The 3rd post in my blast from the past series is on my visit to Cyprus in October 2009. After flying into Larnaca, I transferred to Paphos on the west coast of the island. It was very hot at that time of the year, about 32 degrees. Considering I left Belfast in 6 degrees, it was a bit of a change.
Tomb of the Kings
If you enjoy places like Pompeii, then you will like the Tomb of the Kings just north of Paphos. The Tomb of the Kings is a necropolis dating from around the 4th century BC. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. One of the best things about this place, is that it is relatively unvisited. So if you hate going to places and being in a throng of tourists, then this will suit you perfectly!
Monastery and Road Trip
Back in 2009 I hadn’t passed my driving test, so hiring a car was not a possibility. Having looked around at some day trips around Paphos, I decided to go for one organised by Georges Fun Bus. This is a full day tour and George will pick you up from anywhere in Paphos (in his old Bedford bus!) making it extremely easy to do. You can check out what other people think of this tour on trip advisor.
One of the stops on this tour is at Ayios Neophytos Monastery, 15km outside Paphos, which was founded in the 12th century, as well as the Adonis Waterfalls, near the village of Koili north of Paphos. Legend states that this is where Adonis, the God of Beauty, tended to his horses and hunted in the nearby Akamas forest. Whether you believe the legend or not, this is still a great place to escape the scorching hot sun for a while and to take a dip in the water!
Akamas is one of the most stunning places I have ever seen. This is in the very north west of the island. To get there (without a hire car), you take a public bus from Paphos to Polis. Once in Polis, there are minivans taking people to Akamas itself and different hiking trails. The one I decided to do, on the hottest day of the week, is the legendary Aphrodite Trail.
It takes about three hours to do this trail, although I actually did the trail backwards so the first part was largely uphill going round switch back mountain paths with lots of goats. It isn’t difficult to do. The hardest think is the heat, so bring plenty of water and food supplies and of course sensible shoes!
Food and Drink
If there is one thing that Greece and Greek islands are renowned for, it is their hospitality in bars and restaurants. One of the best I have ever been to is called 7 St Georges Tavern in Yeriskipou, just outside Paphos. The waiters took great delight in telling me that my name comes from Greek and seemed genuinely pleased that I was there. If you go, try the meze! The restaurant is rated 4.9/5 on its facebook page, so it must be good right?!
All that remains is to say goodbye watching the sunset over Paphos on my last night in Cyprus in October. Have you ever been to Cyprus? What are your favourite memories?