After spending time exploring the beauty of the island of Cyprus, we’ve assembled a list of the best things to do in Paphos to help you experience the amazing sights on offer. For a relaxing holiday destination, we were pleasantly surprised at how much there is to do and see here. It has everything from stunning coastal scenery and beaches, to quaint villages and towns in the mountains, and an endless array of ancient history. It really has something for everyone!
Plan a trip with both relaxation and sightseeing using our list of things to do in Paphos for inspiration. Attractions included are both local to the area or within a short drive. We recommend renting a car if you can, however you can also visit the sites on our list using a taxi, local bus or on a guided tour.
Visit the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite at Petra tou Romiou
Noted as one of Cyprus’ most famous attractions, Petra tou Romiou is a distinct stack of rocks alongside a pebble beach on the west coast. It’s said to be the birthplace of the Greek goddess of Love, Aphrodite. It has been a proud symbol of history and culture for the Cypriot people for centuries. Visit Aphrodite’s rock to capture its beauty for yourself and go for a swim in the warm sea. Although the beach is made of pebbles and isn’t that comfortable, the surrounding scenery is deeply impressive and you’ll want to relax here for a couple of hours. It’s only a 15-minute drive from Paphos Town!
Drive deep into the Troodos Mountains for the best views of Cyprus
The Troodos Mountains is a day trip from Paphos that not many people think of. Located way inland, the start of the Troodos Mountains is around a 1-hour drive from Paphos Town, so you’ll need to rent a car or book a guided tour for the day. The mountains themselves are spectacular to look at, providing endless rows of forest terrain, hidden local villages and idyllic wineries. They’re literally on every corner! Spend a full day exploring quaint villages such as Omodos, Pano Platres and Kyperounta before ascending to the highest point in Cyprus, Mount Olympos.
Check out our road trip itinerary below for our recommended route. Set off early for an action-packed day of sightseeing and pack plenty of snacks and drinks for the scenic ride.
Have lunch overlooking the Edro III shipwreck at Oniro by the Sea
We took over 3000 pictures on our trip to Paphos and our shots at Oniro by the Sea are some of our favourites! Oniro by the Sea the name of the restaurant that overlooks the famous shipwreck of Edro III. This cargo ship ran aground in 2011 after experiencing rough seas. The entire crew were rescued; however, the ship has been left behind and still sits on the shore it landed on a decade ago.
Enjoy a scenic lunch at the Oniro by the Sea restaurant, with the turquoise ocean and Edro III shipwreck in the background. It’s a beautifully romantic lunch spot and the coastal views are breath-taking. We recommend ordering the chicken teriyaki and Soba noodles! Oniro by the Sea is a 20-minute drive from Paphos, situated just north of Coral Bay. Check out their website here for location information and menus.
Cruise the coastline on a luxury yacht and stop off at the Blue Lagoon
Cyprus’ ocean is a mesmerising turquoise colour. It’s warm, surrounded an impressive coastline of beaches and cliffs, becoming a highlight of any visit. The best way to explore it is, of course, by boat. You can board a sightseeing boat trip from Paphos Marina, exploring the west coast, however we highly recommend going a little further afield and booking a trip that covers Akamas National Park to the north. Here you’ll find the amazing Blue Lagoon.
Our recommended boat trip is the Sea Star with Paphos Sea Cruises. Spend half a day at sea enjoying scenic views, going for a swim in the lagoon and sampling the all-you-can-eat on-board food and drinks. The boat is a little more expensive than others but the luxury experience was worth every penny!
View the Sea Star Blue Lagoon trip on the Paphos Sea Cruises website here.
Visit Tomb of the Kings
Emphasised by its sheer number of excellent Tripadvisor reviews, the ancient Tomb of the Kings is one of the best things to do in Paphos. It’s located on the edge of the main town so you can get there with a short drive, walk or bus ride. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a necropolis of underground tombs that date back to 4BC. Pay the small €2.50 entrance fee and delve deep into the labyrinth of tombs. marvelling at the ancient architecture and rocky remains of each burial chamber.
The entire area is open-dessert terrain and can get very hot so we recommend wearing a hat and visiting early morning whilst it’s cool.
Relax on the beautiful beaches of Coral Bay
The Paphos area does have its own coastline of beaches, however the tide is high and they’re a little underwhelming compared to beaches elsewhere in Cyprus. Venture up the road 20 minutes to the neighbouring beaches of Coral Bay. Here you’ll find long golden-sand beaches that are perfect for a day out. Sunbathe on the sand, try some water sports or take a dip in the ocean. Jet-ski’s, banana boats, paragliding and paddle boards are all on offer! Coral Bay’s beach is one of the best things to do in Paphos for those that want to relax.
Have an action-packed day out at Paphos Water Park
Great for families and even the grown-ups, Paphos Aphrodite Water Park is a welcome break from the hot summer sun. It’s packed with water slides, but also has a lazy river and relaxation areas for those that wish to take life at a slower pace. We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the water park and recommend it for extended stays in Paphos. It’s only a short drive from the main town by car, bus or taxi. Visit the official website here for ride info and ticket prices.
Uncover the ancient ruins of Paphos town centre
Paphos itself is one of the most historically significant areas of Cyprus. It’s home to countless ancient ruins, old buildings and Greek monuments. Take a break from the beaches, bars and nightlife scene to spend a morning or afternoon learning about Paphos’ ancient past at the local Archaeological Park. Enter the open-air museum through two large columns and explore at your own leisure. Top things to see include restored houses of ancient scholars, preserved Roman Mosaics, an ancient sports arena overlooking a lighthouse and ruins of a medieval fortress.
Explore the ancient monuments of Kourion and relax on the local beach
The ancient region of Kourion is a little ‘off the beaten trail’ for visitors to Paphos. It’s well worth the 40-minute drive and remains one of the best historical sites to see in Cyprus. The town sits by the beach and is made up of a collection of ancient ruins, from the magnificent Greek amphitheatre that is perched on the mountain-side to the old Acropolis inland. Add each of the Ancient Kourion sites to your map and drive between them. You can buy a Cyprus historic sites pass that covers entry to each attraction.
Once you’ve spent a few hours uncovering the history of this area of Cyprus, kick back on Kourion’s beach for an afternoon of relaxation.
Go for a walk along the Paphos promenade, all the way to the marina
One of our favourite things to do in Paphos is to simply wandering along the huge Paphos promenade, from the luxury hotels of the south, all the way to the marina. There’s a good chance you’re actually staying in this area as the promenade is home to many resorts. Go for a sunset stroll and admire the views of the beach or take a sneak peak at the nearby hotels to scout out your next holiday accommodation.
It’s also a great place to go for a run! Alternatively, relax on the beach, try some water sports or enjoy a cocktail with a view. On evenings, it’s lit up with pavement lights and has sets a beautifully romantic scene to end your night.
Admire the view from the beautiful Agios Neophytos Monastery
Nestled deep into the mountains inland from Paphos, the beautiful Agios Neophytos Monastery. It overlooks the Paphos coastline and rows of villages beneath. It was founded by a monk in the 12th century and is one of the most well-known monasteries to visit in Cyprus. Drive up the hill to pay it a visit and you’ll discover its ancient façade and stunning views, as well as learning about its interesting history. We recommend a fleeting visit to Agios Neophytos as part of a multi-stop trip around the Paphos and Coral Bay area. The scenic drive there is part of the experience!
Visit the town of Limassol for the day
Limassol is often overlooked as a place to visit from Paphos. This is mainly due to it being a business central town with very few tourists. We encourage you to explore this built up area of the south coast if you have time, spending a full morning or even an entire day there. To get there, you’ll first need to drive 45-minutes along the coastal route, or catch a local bus.
Top things to see and do in Limassol include its luxurious promenade of restaurants, parks, boutique hotels, coastal scenery and its glistening marina of boats. It’s also home to a number of museums, castles and churches.
Cool down at Adonis Baths Waterfall
The rocky road to get to Adonis Baths Waterfall from Paphos had us on the edge of our seats. Steep cliff drops and a road littered with rocks made our arrival to Adonis Baths rather bumpy, but it was well worth the journey once we arrived. Pro-tip: Head to Adonis Baths via Coral Bay for a less-scary journey or rent an off-road vehicle. Journey aside, Adonis Baths is a tranquil collection of cool Greek statues, accompanied by a small waterfall lagoon and surroundings of beautiful forest scenery.
Admire the different viewpoints, take some pictures and then descend to the waterfall lagoon for a refreshing swim. We recommend packing your bathing suit and a packed lunch for a couple of hours relaxing by the falls. The waterfall itself isn’t massively impressive and is rather small, but the attraction is still worth the visit. Entry costs €9 per person, which is a little expensive in our opinion.
Catch a glimpse of giant sea turtles grazing on Lara Beach
If you ask us what the best beach in the Paphos region is, it’s hands down Lara Beach. It’s a secluded sandy beach to the north-west of the region, taking 50-minutes to get there by car. On arrival you’ll find a nature retreat with very few tourists and endless barrages of waves crashing against the shore.
Visit between May and August for a chance to catch turtles hatching their eggs on the sand. You’ll see baby turtles scuttling into the water. The beach attracts turtle breeding due to its horseshoe shape and hatching season is an amazing sight to see!
Trek through Avakas Gorge and take some cool pictures
Just along from Lara Beach and a great combination sight to see on your day out is the picturesque hiking trail known as Avakas Gorge. Slide between narrow rock faces that have been formed over centuries and capture some cool pictures. You then have some nice scenery, water views and wildlife to complete an epic hike through the canyon. We recommend packing some snacks and water and venturing through the canyon with decent footwear. View Avakas Gorge on Google map here.
Visit Paphos Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, Paphos Zoo should be your first port of call as one of the best things to do in Paphos. It’s full of exotic animals, tropical birds and the fiercest of venomous snakes, providing an interesting day out no matter your age. We really enjoyed wandering around looking at the animals! On a warm day large parts of the zoo are shaded so you can take a break from the sun. Animals seemed well looked after and the attraction has excellent reviews across the board. Visit the official zoo website for information and to book tickets. It’s open 365 days a year but opening times differ depending on the season.
Sample fine Cypriot wine at a vineyard
We were amazed at how many wineries there are on the island of Cyprus. Many of them are nestled inland, deep in the Troodos Mountains. However, you also have some excellent wine tours in the Paphos countryside, needing only a short drive to get there. Stop by the top-rated Kolios Winery to learn how the locals makes their red’s and white’s. Next, grab an outdoor table with a view and enjoy a meze lunch (with plenty of wine!).
Another great winery in the Paphos region is Tsangarides Winery. It has amazing panoramic views of the countryside and the group tours are great fun! The winery is family run and they cook up delicious food as well as the home-grown wine.
Rent an ATV and explore the countryside
When driving on the off-roads of Cyprus, one second you can be cruising on concrete and the next second you’re edging alongside a rocky trail on a cliffside. Exploring the hidden dirt tracks can lead to ancient monuments, waterfalls and majestic viewpoints. However, they’re best avoided if travelling in a standard hire car. Ditch the car for an off-road vehicle, or ATV, and take to the countryside for a thrilling adventure. Paphos has numerous ATV hire shops for daily rentals.
Plan out an off-road route around the Paphos area and explore at your leisure. It’s one of the most adventurous things to do in Paphos for couples and groups of friends! We personally recommend taking the costal route to Akamas National Park and then touring the nature trail to secluded beaches.
That concludes our epic list of things to do in Paphos. All of the above recommendations have been tested by ourselves on our holidays to the country and we’ll be back very soon to see what else the rest of Cyprus has to offer. It’s a beautiful country and we’re confident you’ll have a great time. 😊