Famed for its golden beaches, eternal sunshine and ancient archaeological sites, Cyprus is the ideal luxury yacht charter destination. Pristine sandy beaches and secluded bays dot the coastline of Paphos, some home to leatherback turtles who can be spotted sunbathing on shore or swimming in the crystal clear waters. Whilst inland, the landscapes are wild and colorful, scattered with orchids, dark-red Cyprus tulips, crocuses and pink thistles.
Spend an afternoon exploring the sprawling ruins of Nea Paphos, or New Paphos (despite its name, this is the ancient city) just a five minute walk from the main boardwalk. Amongst the columns and crumbled walls, there’s a Roman villa with stunning mosaic floors, tombs and a beautiful 4th century church. The Tomb of Kings is similarly impressive containing a set of majestic underground burial chambers that were used during the Hellenistic and Roman periods from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. There are frescoed Byzantine monasteries, rustic grape-growing villages and covered markets selling embroidered linens, delicate lace and local pottery to explore along the way too.
Amongst the rich history and tradition, Paphos has developed into an upmarket, modern metropolis with dozens of first class restaurants and hotels. Annabelle is within walking distance to the harbor and is one of the most regal of the five star hotels, with marble floors and soft, elegant furnishings. A harpist or pianist performs most nights in the lobby whilst dinner is usually accompanied by folk dancers and music from more traditional bands. To the northern end of Paphos, resides The Elysium beach resort, approached via a drawbridge that leads into the glitzy reception. The four restaurants offer a variety of excellent dining options from fine dining at Cava to the relaxed alfresco seating areas. Check into The Royal Suite complete with its own jacuzzi and smart dining room. Else there’s SENTIDO Thalassa, located on a headland overlooking the lively seaside stretch of Coral Bay. The hotel’s smart sun terrace and pool area is the one of the best spots for cocktails at sunset with gorgeous views of the calm aquamarine Mediterranean sea. The spacious suites come with a personal butler and the holistic spa was designed by Barry Warrington, who was once Princess Diana’s personal trainer.
Food is central to the Cypriot way of life and is typically served in generous quantities with carafes of local wine. Seven St Georges is a cosy restaurant renowned for its exceptional meze, which changes depending on the season and is all organically homegrown and served by the wonderfully characterful owner, George Demetriades and his sons, whilst Nicos Tyrimos has long been a local institution for seafood. The melt in the mouth squid and octopus are the highlights of the restaurant’s menu, but if you can’t choose there’s hearty fish meze too. Slow cooked lamb (kleftiko) is a specialty in Cyprus and best eaten under the stars at Kinirias Restaurant in the charming, tree lined courtyard. After dinner, snuggle up on a comfortable sofa at Hobo Cafe on the edge of the harbor for a night cap overlooking the castle and twinkling lights of the yachts, or enjoy a more intimate evening on board with dinner prepared by your private chef using ingredients sourced from the local shores.