Tag Archives: pafos

Swim at the Beach in Cyprus

Being an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, you’d expect Cyprus to have some wonderful beaches, and amazing coastal views – and you’d be right. The island has a wide range of beaches to visit, all with stunning views and great water. While we didn’t get to visit all the locations we would have liked, we still got to see a fair bit, and they all offered something a little different. It was great to finally get to a beach. It was really our first opportunity since we’d left Florida.

So I’m going to go ahead and show off the beaches of Cyprus we visited, in the order that we did.

Pissouri Beach
Pissouri Beach Cyprus

Pissouri Beach was the first of the Cyprus beaches we visited. The homeowners of our house sit were meeting up with friends and they asked us if we’d like to come along. They had decided on Pissouri because of a restaurant they liked as well as the ability to avoid the supposed crowds of Kourion Beach.

The beach here is very rocky. We would have liked to have had water shoes – the homeowners did. But aside from that, it was really quite nice. Cliffs stood out against the sea as gentle waves came ashore.

Pissouri Beach Cyprus

The water was nice, with only a gentle swell and little to no current. You could easily spend hours floating in the water. It was also nice that once you made it about ten feet out, the large stones and pebbles made way for sand and easier walking.

Alykes Beach (Pafos Waterfront) and Municipal Baths
Pafos Swimming Pen

Alykes “Beach” we visited several times, though never actually got in the water. The first time was on my birthday when we decided to go to Pafos to celebrate. We walked past the beach, and discovered that it’s really hard to call it as such. There is no shore to speak of here, but that doesn’t stop hundreds of tourists and locals from enjoying the water.

Lounges and chairs line the waterfront. Ladders and small platforms allow you to enter the water.

Pafos Swimming Platform

As these are also a municipal baths, you find well equipped changing rooms and bathrooms right next to the water as well. The water seemed to be a little rougher here than at Pissouri, but if one was searching for calmer waters, there were walled off sections that could easily be used for younger kids or lap swimming.

Pafos Waterfront Boardwalk

One thing that is certain though, is that the water is crystal clear.

Kourion Beach
Kourion Beach Overlook

Our visit to Kourion Beach was the wind down to a long day trekking the Kourion ruins on the above cliffside with my parents. The beach was certainly a bit more crowded, but when we went all the way down to the end of the beach, we found some more private areas to swim, and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant (the best squid I’ve ever had).

Kourion, like Pissouri, is primarily smooth pebbles and rocks that gives way to sand once out in the water. Gently sloping, with easy waves, it is an enjoyable beach with great views of the surrounding sea cliffs.

Lady’s Mile Beach
Lady's Mile Beach Cyprus

Lady’s Mile Beach is just south and very near to the new Limassol Port. The beach, like the previously mentioned, is primarily a pebble beach. The water is very shallow though, so you can easily wade out into the water without it coming up high on you. The water is normally pretty calm here and can offer you a nice relaxing place to watch the local birds and cargo ships come in.

Lady's Mile Beach Cyprus

The road is a little rough though, so if your car is low-riding or not in good shape, you may not want to try this one out. If you have a 4 wheel drive though, you should have no problems at all.

If you drive far enough, you’ll eventually find sandy beach – but we stayed close to the start because of the rough roads.

Lady's Mile Pebbles
Molos (Limassol Waterfront) Beach
Limassol Beach

A few miles further north along the shore from Lady’s Mile is a nice beach called Molos Beach. This beach is a well-manicured park, that stretches for several miles along the Limassol waterfront. Here, a grassy, shady park lines the shore.

The beach itself is a soft sand, and as such attracts many locals and tourists. Most likely, it will be busy.

We didn’t get out into the water because we were visiting a cat cafe at the time, but we could see the the water was protected with stones a few hundred feet out, to make for a nice and calm swimming experience.

Finikoudes (Larnaka Waterfront) Beach
Larnaka Beach Front

The sandy Finikoudes Beach can be found in Larnaka just past the Tomb of St. Lazarus. A picturesque beach, filled with tourists and locals alike, you’ll find that there are many restaurants, cafes, and shops that line the waterfront.

Larnaka Beachfront

As well, you can visit the Larnaka castle which sits right on the beach.

The water itself gently slopes and remains shallow a fair ways out. You can easily take a stroll in the water without worrying about getting soaked if you don’t want to.

Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock)
Beach Near Aphrodite's Rock

Get In

Down the coast about twenty minutes from Pafos, lies the mythical Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite’s Rock. According to myth, it is the place that the Greek Goddess Aphrodite was born – emerging from the sea foam.

It is said that if you swim around the rock, you will be granted with youth and graceful aging. We decided to not test this superstition. The water here is pretty rough, and we didn’t want to get thrashed against the rocks.

Instead we elected to have a picnic on the beach with pita, hummus, yogurt, and wine.

Picnic at Aphrodite's Rock

Getting down to the beach can be a little bit tricky, as the tunnel which takes under the road and onto the beach isn’t obvious at first. The entrance is next to the restaurant with the same name.

The beach itself is very much a rocky beach, with stones, pebbles, and boulders primarily being present. Not the greatest place to lay out, but the location is very scenic and quite iconic.

Dive In

The water here, is far rougher than the other beaches as it sits on a point of land that juts out. Strong currents, cold water, and a steep, immediate drop off make this beach not friendly for young or weak swimmers. However, it’s awesome for one key feature: the jumping rock.

About fifteen feet into the water sits a large rock mount. As we witnessed – you can climb it and jump off into the waves. Some of the people were really risky and making huge dives just barely skimming the rocks. Meanwhile, others were showing off with flips.

Aphrodite's Rock Guy Jumping

I decided to jump too, so I followed someone’s lead on climbing the wet, vertical, and sharp rock. It was a little difficult at first to climb, the rock was very slick, sharp, and quite literally vertical. But once about ten feet up, the rock began to slope and it was far easier to climb. It was fun to climb and jump from – I do regret only doing it once.

Kyle Jumping from Aphrodite's Rock

Honorable Mention:

There are many, many more beaches on Cyprus that we simply didn’t make it to for whatever reasons. Check out the key beaches that we wish we had made it to here. We really wish we could got to Ayia Napa:

Cyprus Island

LoveCyprus2Site

~K~

Paphos, Cyprus – Activities and Adventures

Paphos

The coastal city of Paphos lies on the the southwestern most shore of Cyprus. Easily reached via the A6 highway, it is a very direct route from the primary airport on the island in Larnaka, and is just under an hour’s ride from the major port city of Limassol. Paphos is also home to Cyprus’ second largest airport. The city is a bustling resort town that enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate and is considered to have the mildest temperatures on the island.

Paphos Lighthouse

The city consists of two parts: Old and New Paphos. Old Paphos has been inhabited since Neolithic times, and was the center of the cult of Aphrodite at Petra Tou Romio and various pre-Hellenistic fertility deities. New Paphos contains the modern buildings and resorts, as well as ruins and archaeological sites from the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods.

We visited Pafos on two occasions during our stay on Cyprus: once on my birthday and another time with Briana’s dad while he was visiting us.

Paphos Waterfront

Waterfront

Paphos Waterfront

Go for a Swim

The Paphos waterfront is a lively resort area with numerous cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. You’ll also find plenty of public “beaches”, or rather swimming spots. The waters surrounding Cyprus tend to lend themselves to go swimming, but often lack any sand but instead have large pebbles. In this case, there aren’t even pebbles, just a spot to jump in. We didn’t partake in any swimming, but dozens of swimmers were enjoying themselves.

Paphos Waterfront
Paphose Waterfront

Grab a Bite

We ate at two different locations on the waterfront. Once for my birthday, which had a pretty good basket of fish n’ chips, and a really strong Irish coffee. Generally I think of an Irish coffee as a bit of Bailey’s in the coffee, but they just threw in a bunch of whiskey on this one.

The other place (Mar Bianco Cafe Bistro) was right along the main boardwalk with Briana’s dad who treated us to some wonderful Cypriot food. In both cases the food was plentiful, a trend we found across the entire island.

Meal At Paphos
Paphos Food

We also enjoyed a delicious smoothie from an ice cream shop on our first outing.

The famous Pink Pelican of Paphos Harbor will also make itself seen frequently, and has become a bit of a tourist attraction. While sadly not the original, you’ll find him most days at the Pelican Bar which is aptly named for the bird.

Pink Pelicans At Paphos

Paphos Castle

Paphos Castle

At the very end of Paphos Harbor you’ll find the historical Paphos Castle. Originally built as a Byzantine fort, it was reconstructed in the 13 century after the earthquake of 1222. It was dismantled by the Venetians in 1570 and then fortified by the Ottomans when they captured the island. The castle has served as fortress, prison, and warehouse throughout it’s long history guarding Paphos harbor, but today stands as a listed landmark.

We didn’t go inside while we were in Paphos, but we did take a few pictures of it. It is a little bit on the small side, but apparently well worth the visit. It costs €2.50 to enter. At the time we were strapped for cash and were more interested in the Archaeological Site.

Visiting hours are:

Winter (Nov 1 – March 31): 8:00am – 5:00pm

Spring (April 1 – May 31): 8:00am – 6:00pm

Summer (June 1 – Aug 31): 8:00am – 7:30pm

Autumn ( Sep 1 – Oct 31): 8:00am – 6:00pm

Archaelogical Site Paphos

This was one of our favorite things that we did while on Cyprus. I chose to do this on my birthday after we dropped off the homeowners of our housesit at Paphos Airport. The Archaeological Site Paphos is just a few hundred meters north of Paphos Castle along the waterfront.

Ruins At Paphos

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a vast complex of monuments. Here we found beautiful and well-preserved mosaics in the House of Dionysus – the god of wine.

Mosaics At Paphos
Mosaics At Paphos

The house of Thyseus, named after a mosaic showing the Greek hero Thyseus fighting the Minotaur.

Mosaics At Paphos

The House of Aion and the House of Orpheus also contain great mosaics.

Mosaics At Paphos

The Roman Odeon stands as a well preserved amphitheater and still operates during the summer for musical and theater performances. The Hellenistic theater, a theater cut into the rock is also still used to this day.

Archaeological Site Paphos Amplitheatre

As well there are the remains of an Agora dating to the 2nd Century BCE and the Asklipion, a temple that served as a hospital named after the god of medicine.

Paphos Ruins
Archaeological Site Paphos

If you’re interested in visiting, it costs €4.50 and the hours are:

Winter (Nov 1 – March 31): 8:00am – 5:00pm

Spring (April 1 – May 31): 8:00am – 6:00pm

Summer (June 1 – Aug 31): 8:00am – 7:30pm

Autumn ( Sep 1 – Oct 31): 8:00am – 6:00pm

Be sure to bring some water, it gets hot!

Tombs Of The Kings

Tomb Of The Kings

Another one of our favorites, and an awesome UNESCO site to check out located about 4km north of the archaeological site is the Tombs of The Kings. The tombs themselves are not actually of kings, but rather belonged to the rich aristocrats of the 4th century BCE through to the 3rd century CE.

Briana In A Tomb
Tombs Of The Kings

The tombs carve and cut into the native rock. Some are more simplistic while others contain Doric columns and frescoe walls. All contain alcoves in which the dead were placed (though none now remain.)

Tomb Of The Kings
Tomb Of The Kings
Tomb Of The Kings

The site consists of 7 tombs spreading out over a large area. Tomb 3 is the largest and most impressive of the tombs.

Tomb Of The Kings
Tomb Of The Kings

We enjoyed climbing about through the stone caved ruins and trekking through the rough desert landscape.

Tomb Of The Kings
Tombs Of The Kings
Tombs Of The Kings
Tombs Of The Kings Stairs
Tombs Of The Kings
Briana At Tombs Of The Kings

Entry is €2.50 and it’s hours are:

Year Round: 8:30am – 7:30pm 

Ayia Kryiaki Chrysopolitissa

Church

The Panagia Chrysopolitissa church was built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest Byzantine basilica on Cyprus. The church was originally 7 aisled, but due to damage throughout the years has been reduced and rebuilt into a 5 aisled church.

Church Ruins
Church Ruins

The church still operates today, but also serves as a historical site. Mosaics remain on display and can be viewed from the cat-walks that surround the standing building.

Church Ruin Mosaics

As well, you can view St. Paul’s Pillar, where tradition states that Paul was flogged before the Roman Governor Sergius Paulus was converted to Christianity.

St Paul's Pillar

You can visit the interior of the present standing church. The church is smaller, but well decorated and contains many paintings.

Inside The Church
Brotherly Love
Panagia Theoskepasti

 
This is another church, just a little down the road from Pangia Chrysopolitissa. We weren’t able to visit it, but it is still operating and you can attend services. The church was built in the 10th century, and is today listed as a part of the greater Paphos UNESCO World Heritage Site. The original church was destroyed unfortunately, but was rebuilt upon it’s foundations in 1923.

~K~

Church of Panagia Theoskepasti

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