Paphos is the second largest resort on the island of Cyprus, located in the south-west region. As the island plays host to resorts such as the party district Ayia Napa too, Paphos is more of a laid back area which is suitable for families and those wishing to focus more on sight-seeing than the nightlife.
Paphos is the place to go if you want to see more historical areas, and the region itself is made up of ‘Old Paphos’ and ‘New Paphos’. Old Paphos is a place linked with some mysticism and spiritualism, as it is the birthplace of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. If you are interested in this connection, you can take it further and not only witness Paphos, where Aphrodite rose from the sea, but you can go and dip your hand into a pool where she was said to bathe (the Fontana Amorosa, or fountain of love) and which contains the love potion she is said to have concocted. A walk over some more unsteady ground is required for this, as it is located in the Akamas Peninsula, which is 48km north of Paphos. However, trips are regularly offered to the historic spot, and the views surrounding the area make for a well spent day, which you will not regret.
Paphos used to be the capital of Cyprus in ancient times, so buildings that are related to this fact are in the area surrounding the main resort. There are ruins that were the Roman Governer’s palace, and also many mosaics which draw in the crowds. There are several rooms worth of mosaics, and the site for these is near the harbour in Paphos itself. It costs approx. £2 to look at them and you can buy postcards of the designs and so on, so you can show people back at home. It gives a real insight into the creativity of the people who used to live there, and shows more about their lifestyles.
If you are into history, then a good trip for you would also be the Tomb of the Kings, which are also in Kato, Paphos. There are many catacombs and tombs to look around, and a guide book that will explain more about them if you are willing to pay the small fee for it. These are good even for children, as they will love clamouring up and down the steps and walkways to look at them, even if the significance may be a lost a little.
The modern resort is a port and harbour, and is lovely to wander around in the day so you can see the boats. There are also good places to eat up and down the front, so you are bound to find somewhere that serves both Greek food and English food, whichever you are after. Paphos castle also sits on the harbour, so you can look at that if you so wish.
If you travel 4km north of Paphos, you can see Lemba, which is home to many artists, a great place for picking up a real souvenir of the area. Further north yet though is something artistic yet historic: the Ayios Neophytos Monastery. With an enclosure carved out by a hermit who lived there, there is fine sculpting from the Byzantantine era to admire. Nearby is also a pretty painted village church, which can be lovely for photos.
Paphos is a brilliant location in Cyprus, as it is a good resort within itself, but there are also many nearby sites and you can also take a day trip to the capital of Cyprus from there with great ease.