Famous for its role in Greek mythology as the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite the goddess of love, it’s not surprising that Paphos is abundant in natural beauty. The ancient port has been honoured with the title “European Capital of Culture 2017” and there has never been a better time to charter a yacht in Cyprus and discover its heritage. A fractional yacht charter will give you plenty of time and freedom to discover this splendid corner of the Mediterranean.
Explore the Ancient Town
Paphos is an attractive city with palm tree-lined boulevards and stunning archaeological sites, including the ruins of an ancient city and Byzantine monasteries. The huge archaeological site of Nea Paphos is just five minutes away from the main boardwalk and comprises a medieval fortress, a 4th-century church, a Roman villa with stunning mosaic floors, and two tombs with frescoes from the early Hellenistic period. The site is still being excavated as many treasures still lay buried in this fascinating area. Slightly north of Nea Paphos, the town’s most popular and awe-inspiring site is the Tomb of the Kings, a World Heritage Site. It was an ancient necropolis with underground tombs and chambers and has been remarkably well preserved.
Stroll Along the Harbour
The promenade that lines the harbour is a wonderful place to take in the scenery and stop off for a drink at one of the cafes with panoramic sea views. The harbour is small but beguiling with luxury yachts at anchor and fishing boats bobbing in and out to sea, while some fishermen fish from the shore. There are lots of places to sit along the promenade if your legs get weary or you just want to soak up the ambience in a moment of reflection. A medieval castle/fortress is situated at the edge of the harbour, which is small enough for a quick visit and offers even better views from its second floor.
Discover a Golfer’s Paradise
Paphos attracts golfers on yacht charters since there are several excellent golf courses in the region. Elea golf course was designed by Sir Nick Faldo and is part of a luxury development just 2km from Paphos. The 18-hole Aphrodite Hills course also has the expert touch since it was designed by American golf architect Cabell B. Robinson. It’s laid out over two plateaus, making it one of the most challenging courses in the Mediterranean. Minthis Hills is arguably the most popular golf course because it is set in the grounds of a 12th-century monastery and at 550m above sea level offers incredible views and a superb clubhouse.
Enjoy Spectacular Beaches
There’s no shortage of pristine golden beaches in Paphos and most have been awarded Blue Flag status. If you want to avoid the busiest beaches in the town, head a few kilometres north of Paphos to the small sandy beach at Agios Georgios in a beautiful setting below steep cliffs. It is sheltered by a large enclosed harbour, which has a path and beach coves to explore a little further north as well as the rocky islet of Geronisos offshore.
Pissouri Beach is one of the best beaches with clear calm waters and plenty of atmospheric tavernas with traditional Cypriot food nearby. It is located between Paphos and Limassol, close to Cape Aspro and Aphrodite’s Rock and is a great place to do watersports and scuba diving. Petra Tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock) has been regarded since ancient times as the birthplace of Aphrodite and the pebble beach which faces it is a big attraction for that reason.
Eat in High-Quality Restaurants
Paphos is packed with restaurants serving delicious cuisine from local specialities to international fare. Porto Bello has a long list of regulars who keep returning for the well-prepared pasta dishes and extensive wine list. With traditional decor, it’s a truly authentic Italian experience in the heart of Cyprus. The Sienna Restaurant is located between Paphos and Coral Bay, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and serves both Cypriot and international cuisine. The Master Chef was trained at the restaurant in Harrods department store in London, which guarantees world-class quality. This restaurant is great for families and there is a children’s play area located in their private garden. The finest seasonal dishes in Paphos can be found at Laona Restaurant, an establishment that is hidden away in a side street. However, its discreet location doesn’t mean it hasn’t been discovered by both locals and visitors who enjoy the home-cooked Cypriot dishes and attentive service.