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Paphos is probably the nicest of the major resorts on Cyprus, because it's one of the least developed and boasts arguably the best beach on the island (Coral Beach).

The town's relatively new international airport was built with the specific aim of increasing tourism to this part of the island, but it hasn't yet gone the way of resorts further east. It's also culturally rich, with impressive ruins dating back to the days when this was the island's capital.

Thanks to this historic and archaeological wealth, the whole town of Paphos is on UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Built on a rocky hill, the town is divided into two parts: Kato Pafos (Lower Pafos), based around the harbour, and Ano Pafos (Upper Pafos/Paphos, also known as Ktima), which is up the hill.

The upper town has the best shopping, but it's in the lower part of town that you'll find most of the archaeological sites and the revamped port area. The pleasant fishing harbour is full of fishing boats, tour boats and private yachts bobbing up and down, and lined with tavernas with tables down to the water's edge.

The western end of Cyprus was long regarded as a backwater, ignored by locals and tourists alike. It had a reputation for being an area of blood feuds and lawless types. Now, though, the tourist industry is booming, especially in and around Pafos, and it's not surprising - this is one of the most beautiful parts of the island.

Some of Cyprus's best archaeological sites are here, along with lovely beaches (Coral Bay, north of Pafos, is one of the best on the island) and big resort hotels. Inland there are pretty, timeless villages to explore, and the region is perfect for hiking and biking.


Capital of the west and positively teeming with history is Pafos/Paphos, site of the island's second international airport. The resort town has as its focal point a charming fishing harbour by Pafos Fort, and is lined with open-air cafés and tavernas that serve a tempting menu of the day's catch.