Paphos, Cyprus guide: the best hotels, restaurants and things to do
If you think Cyprus is all Ayia Napa clubbing and rowdy stag dos, think again. Paphos, on the island's South West coast, is full of beautiful coastline, Instagram-friendly hotels and amazing ancient ruins.
Where we stayed...
Annabelle, Poseidonos Ave, Paphos
The Annabelle was the first 5-star hotel in Paphos, opening in 1985, making it an iconic part of Cyprus. But after a €10 million transformation this year, it's now also more luxe than ever.
From the decked pool area and blue-and-white-striped wooden sun loungers, to the sea views and palm trees, it's got a classic Cypriot feel to it. The rooms are the same - modern, but kitted out in blues, whites and natural wood, with toiletries courtesy of The White Company. Think authentic and boutique, rather than mass-market package holiday hotel.
But on top of the wonderfully local vibe, the regeneration means everything feels very fresh and Instagram-friendly. A new rooftop terrace, Ouranos, with amazing sea views, incredible cocktails and a DJ playing the chilled-out soundtrack to your holiday has opened. So has a brand new spa and rooftop pool that feel much more Miami South Beach than Cyrpus.
» Rooms start from €186 based on two people sharing on a B&B basis.That's approx. £166, or £83 per person per night. Visit www.annabelle.com.cy
You could also try... The Almyra next door. Much like the rooftop part of Annabelle, there is a slightly more minimal, Miami-style twinge to the decor and atmosphere here. There's an adults-only pool, a healthy eating restaurant (Eauzone) and a colour palette that's more whites and greys. But the great news is that residents at either hotel can use the facilities at the other - bonus!
»Rooms start from €216 (approx. £192) based on two people sharing on a B&B basis.Visit www.almyra.com
Where we ate...
Koutourou Ouzerihas the most incredible food at the most amazing prices. We ate halloumi baked in honey (literally one of the best things I have eaten in my life), prawns cooked in beer and roast carrots with yoghurt and coriander, amongst other mouthwatering dishes. Five meze plates, homemade bread, a bottle of water and a carafe of wine came to an impressive €45 - about £20 per person. I cannot stress enough how good the food was and how cool the restaurant is - if you're within a cab ride of this place, you MUST go.
We also lovedOuzeriat the front of the Almyra. It's an authentic Cypriot set-up, with little candlelit tables right on the sea front. From the Grilled Village Halloumi and the Baked Feta cooked in filo pastry with tomato jam, to the Chicken Gyros and Lamb Souvlaki on Skewers, this meal was so mouthwatering we ate here twice (and would have eaten here a third if we had discovered it earlier).
(An ouzeri is a type of Greek tavern which serves ouzo and small plates, which is why they all sound like the same place)
The Annabelle's fairy-light strewn Mediterraneo does great local food and wine, and the set menus are good value at around €33 for three courses.
What we did...
Just a 10 minute walk from the Annabelle and Almyra is the UNESCOPaphos Archaeological Park- one of the main (if not THE main) archaeological sites in the country. It's a lovely - mainly outdoor - stroll around various ruins and some amazing mosaic floors from four Roman villas. You could do a speedy whizz round in half an hour, or if you want to take your time, allot 1-2 hrs. Entry is €4.50, but the Tombs of the Kings is an extra €2.50. Basically £4-6 all in.
Poseidonos Avenue- the seafront promenade that runs in front of the hotel, is a lovely walk. The whole stretch is an hour walk and will take you past plenty of little beaches, tavernas and watersport providers.
The Old Town, whereKoutourou Ouzeriis located, is a decent little area to walk round. It's not a super 'Old Town' Old Town - more run-down new town IMO - but the church and town hall are worth a look. Then stop atLabyrinthos Wine Barfor some Cypriot prosecco and nibbles before you head round to Koutourou Ouzeri.
Where we relaxed...
The many many pools between the Annabelle and Almyra give you plenty of room for chilling, as do the beach-front sun loungers. There's also a handy little walkway down to the sea in front of the Annabelle and the sea is lovely - super calm and clear, complete with little fish.
The newly-builtOuranos Wellbeing Spa at the Annabelleis ideal if you want to get out of the sun for a bit but still want the benefit of a pool, loungers and sea views.
Video: Best Restaurants in Paphos , Cyprus
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