With a population nearing 50,000, Paphos is a fishing town with stunning ancient sites and a rich heritage. The Romans landed in 58 BC, but since ancient times the coastline around Paphos was said to be the site of Aphrodite's birth; the goddess of fertility has been worshipped in Cyprus even before Homer's time in 700 BC, and the first temple was built in her honour by the Myceneans. In modern times many tourist attractions are linked with the myths and legends of Aphrodite (or Venus) and Cyprus is still referred to as 'Aphrodite's Island'. Until 46 AD when the Romans were driven out, Paphos was the capital city of Cyprus, and has since been controlled by Venetians, British, Turks and Arabs. Its location on the southwesterly coast of Cyprus makes it an ideal tourist destination with gentle sea breezes taking the heat out of the blisteringly hot Mediterranean sun. Visitors to Paphos enjoy watersports, byzantine relics, opera and choral festivals, outdoor music and fantastic nightlife.
The population of Pissouri is around 1,000, with around half of the residents of Northern European origin - ex-pats, visitors and tourists. Although developments are springing up to accommodate visitors, the village retains its authentic Cypriot character and is famous for grapes and wine-making. Aphrodite's Rock is situated on the coast very close to Pissouri beach, and the village has a good range of ameneties, tavernas and bars.
A popular but tasteful resort for British tourists, Coral Bay is situated north of Paphos and boasts long stretches of soft white sandy beach with warm shallow waters making it ideal for family swimming and paddling. The beach is sheltered by limestone cliffs. Local tavernas rent out equipment for water activities and there are multiple bars, restaurants and shops close by. Watersports activities are also available. Coral Bay is accessible on the bus from Mandria via Paphos.
Latchi is a tranquil fishing village where walkers often enjoy the Aphrodite Trail, a 7km rocky trek through the Cypriot countryside. Latchi is also an ideal base as you embark on a trip to the Akamas National Park. At the harbour, Aquaplanet provide water sports, particularly scuba diving, and fresh seafood is a speciality in the local tavernas and restaurants. Latchi is a 40 minute drive from Paphos.
For a short day trip excursion, why not fly to Cairo from Paphos? Various package trips offer short flights to Egypt so you can take in the pyramids and round off the day with an hour-long cruise down the River Nile. Day trips within Cyprus from Paphos include tours around the Vouni Panayia winery and various local monasteries. If you are looking for a longer excursion, fantastic cruises from Paphos are available from two days up to a week in duration to various destinations including Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Syria, Kos, Rhodes, Corfu, Chania and Heraklion.