Sitting pretty along the southwestern coast of Cyprus is the remarkable town of Paphos. The romantic harbor town proudly wears its Hellenic heritage on its sleeve as one of the island’s historical hotspots. Through the centuries, foreign influences have given Paphos a wide array of interesting sites that range from Roman monasteries and Byzantine castles to Islamic mosques and Medieval baths. Legend has it that the town was the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, making it the popular spot for a romantic getaway.
Much of Paphos remains astonishingly untouched by time itself and makes for a deep dive into Mediterranean antiquity – whether you find yourself exploring archaeological ruins or roaming the backstreets of its magnificent old town. Paphos balances out its ancient mythology and cultural riches with a buzzing waterfront that gives way to upscale restaurants, palm-fringed promenades and gorgeous beaches.
Where to Stay
Happiness, excitement and rejuvenation can be found in abundance at the Olympic Lagoon Resort. This superb all-inclusive retreat lies on the seashore surrounded by manicured gardens just a short walk from Paphos’ charming fishing harbor and achieves a subtle blend of intimacy with its monastic architecture and classical interior. The hotel offers a total of 273 rooms and suites, all of which fill the ancient Cyprus tradition of hospitality and comfort.
While the suites pay homage to the local heritage, the design is contemporary with floor-to-ceiling windows, polished wooden furniture and a calm palette of creams and whites. All rooms come with a private balcony or terrace, most of which have dazzling views of the pool to the sea. Around the superstar resort, guests can take advantage of five outdoor pools, an on-site spa, tennis courts and five sizzling restaurants.
Where to Dine
Housed within the Annabelle Hotel, Mediterraneao offers an elegant al fresco dining experience mere steps away from the sea. An open kitchen and wooden furniture enhance Mediterraneao’s welcoming atmosphere, which combines traditional décor with a touch of contemporary grace. The restaurant draws upon its ‘Food from the Village’ ethos, which means an overall emphasis is placed on homemade produce from around the island.
The result is a refined menu of fresh flavors and light dishes designed to be shared with friends and family around the table. Regular live music and dancing add a joyous Cypriot flair to the alfresco dining experience. After the meal, you can head upstairs to the Ouranos rooftop lounge and bar to finish the night off with panoramic views of the harbor and castle over a selection of delicious cocktails.
What to Do
Dotted with splendid castles, monasteries, mosaics and beaches, Paphos is undeniably a land for romantics. This all comes to fruition along the palm-studded promenade, which is packed with hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. When it comes to diving into the town’s ancient history, the Paphos Archaeological Site offers curious visitors a wealth of treasures. Dating back to the 4th century BC, the park continues to house a mesmerizing collection of intricate mosaics based on Greek mythology and it was formerly the center of all political and administrative life during Roman rule.
The UNESCO-protected Tomb of the Kings is another unmissable site in Paphos, containing a grand set of well-preserved underground tombs and chambers. One of the town’s emblematic landmarks and symbols is the Medieval Castle of Paphos, which guards the mouth of the harbor and is certainly worth a visit.
What to Pack
Whether you prefer to soak up the atmosphere of the beach or quietly lounge poolside at the resort, this Johanna Ortiz Felucca Sailing One-Shoulder Swimsuit offers a chic one-piece option that will take you through it all. It’s made from comfortable, stretch materials into a one-shouldered silhouette with cutout details at the sides that exude elegance.
Under the Mediterranean sun, you’ll be glad you brought along these Gucci Oversized Round-Frame Sunglasses, which have been crafted in Italy into transparent rounded frames accented with its iconic interlocking ‘G’ logo at the temples. These sunglasses hark back to the style of the 70s and offer a subtle vintage touch to them. Finish the outfit off with these Jennifer Fisher Mini Jamma Gold-Plated Hoop Earrings, which draws all the right attention with its thick silhouette yet remains extremely lightweight.