By: Rosette Obedoza
Duration: 6Days 5Nights
Family of 3 (child is 5 years old + 2 adults)
Game Plan: Use Paphos as home base and travel around via rental car
Trivia: Paphos in 2017 was identified the European center of arts and culture.
Tip: Have Euro in cash for admission fees on sites and museums
Leave Bahrain via Gulf Air –check Skyscanner for flights, Qatar Airways also flies regularly to Larnaca
Direct (non stop) Flight: 3 hrs max one-way
Arrive at Larnaca Airport
Upon arrival at Larnaca Airport, pick up free maps and guide books from the Cyprus Tourism Organization kiosk by the baggage claim area. You will spot this easily before you head towards the exit.
Pick up rental car (previously reserved) from Europcar and include a mobile wifi for navigation –we used Google Maps and Waze apps to help us go to various destinations. Cars are right-hand drive in Cyprus, stay on the left side of the road.
Drive towards Paphos from Larnaca Airport: 90-120 minutes
Arrive at Meltemi Villas and meet with the owner, Constantinos. He sent us confirmation e-mail and provided us details on how to get to Paphos from Larnaca. He even included local restaurants to check and other tips prior to arrival.
Meltemi Villas - https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g190384-d2664245-Reviews-Meltemi_Villas-Paphos_Paphos_District.html
Owner: Constantinos Drymiotes at email@example.com
The reviews from Trip Advisor are accurate! They have 8 villas for rent and we enjoyed our stay here. Too bad the weather is not suitable for swimming in the month of February when we visited.
Villa #4 – 2-storey villa with a pool, 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (1 downstairs and 2 upstairs). Clean, more than spacious for the 3 of us, parking space, and the kitchen is well furnished so you can prepare meals.
Added bonus: Constantinos’ wife even prepared us her homemade spinach and feta cheese pie upon arrival! He even stocked our refrigerator with wine, beer, milk, cheese, eggs, ham etc PLUS, we have bread, cookies, jam, and other snacks. The supplies provided is good for 4 days!!! They even gave our daughter, Elise toys as a welcome gift. Now, that is topnotch customer service!!!
Aside from an amazing owner and the villa itself, the location is quiet and the view of the ocean is wonderful! About 300 meters the beach is right there…walk during sunrise or sunset –the place is magnificent.
Constantinos even took his time to provide us tips based on the maps he gave us where to go for groceries (LIDL about 5 minutes from our villa), nearby local restaurants, the best local Sunday brunch place, and of course places to visit. He is a wealth of information! He even gave us a heads up that in the mornings we may see his father-in-law checking the villas for any repairs that need to be done. He was actually the city’s Mayor for a number of years!!! We actually met him one morning and we chatted with him for a bit.
There is so much to do, see and eat in Paphos alone. As we snacked on the wonderful spinach and feta cheese pie, we mapped out where we wanted to go around Cyprus.
First evening, we drove towards Paphos’ or Pafos Marina.
Trivia #2: The entire town of Paphos is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, in ancient times it is considered to be Cyprus’ capital.
Medieval Fort of Paphos
Dinner at Pelican Restaurant (pricey as this is a tourist area)
Breakfast at villa
Morning walk to the beach close to the villa
Drove around Paphos to familiarize ourselves with the area. The Tomb of the Kings is very close from the villa!
Went to LIDL grocery store and bought some food supplies for dinner.
Went back towards Paphos Marina to walk around the “boardwalk” have coffee and pastries. Bought a few eye catching souvenirs.
Sites we explored in the Kato Pafos Area:
Early Christian Basilica-St. Paul’s Pillar- Chrysopolitissa/A.G. Kyriaki Church (St. Paul’s Pillar is in the church’s courtyard)
Agia Solomoni Christian Catacomb
Kato Pafos Archaelogical Park – 4.50 Euro each for adults, kids – free (entrance fee)
-important monuments to see: Odeon, Agora, Saranta Kolones (Forty Columns) Fortress, etc
-mosaics are considered the finest in the Mediterranean look for them at the House of Dionysos, Theseus, Aeon, Orpheus
Breakfast at villa
Day to explore Nicosia or Lefkosa
History about Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus: http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~durduran/dergi/kalou1.htm
Sites we explored in Nicosia:
Cyprus Museum, http://www.nicosia.org.cy/en-GB/discover/museums/cyprus-museum/
**the museum has a child-friedly activity for kids, just ask the staff
Entrance fee: 4.5 Euro for each adult
Parking Space is around the corner 3 Euro for the whole day. We have to repark to be closer to Faneromini Square , another 3 Euro for parking.
Lunch at Faneromenis Square, the heart of the walled city and a classic to visit.
Cross the Green Line Walk, the artificial border dividing the city into two. Also called the Buffer Zone, where the Blue Berets of the UN peacekeeping forces are on duty.
We used the busiest crossing point in the heart of the city, Ledras Checkpoint to visit Turkish Cyprus. Bring your passports, you will have to show your passport twice.
After reaching the other side, you will notice the difference between these two worlds.
Sites we visited:
The Great Khan (Buyuk Han) – Cyprus’ most important Ottoman-Turkish architectural work
The Church of St Nicholas (Bedesten)
Old City Wall by Eleftherias Square
Breakfast at Villa
Limassol or Lemesos Trip
Carnival event –mega traffic!
Sites we visited:
Lemesos Medieval Castle/Museum – Legend has it that it is in this castle that King Richard the Lionheart of England & Leader of the 3rd Crusade married Berengaria of Navarre in 1191.
Lemesos Old Port
Lunch at one of the restaurants in front of the Medieval Castle –Cypriot cuisine is aaahmazing! Tried the Beef Stifado
Kolossi Medieval Castle
Sanctuary of Apollon Hylates – entrance fee 2.50 Euro for adults
Breakfast to go
Sites we visited—last day to drive around --
Very early to catch the sunrise at Aphrodite’s Rock or Petra Tou Romiou – Birthplace of Aphrodite
We hiked to a little hill across Petra Tou Romiou to get the best sunrise shot –it did not disappoint!
The sunrise, calm and quiet, Aphrodite must be there –it was so serene and beautiful!
Kourion Archaeological Site –Entrance Fee: 4.5 Euro each adult
-most impressive archaeological site in Cyprus
- see the magnificent fully restored 2AD Greco-Roman Theater
- House of Eustolios
-House of Achilles and the House of Gladiators because of their mosaic floors
Lunch at Kourion Beach –there are two places to choose from
Sanctuary of Aphrodite and Palapaifos Museum
Trivia: Palapaifos was one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centers of the classical Greek world and one of the city-kingdoms of Cyprus in antiquity
Check out from villa
Drove towards Larnaca or Larnaka
-Larnaca is built on the site where ancient Kition once stood
One last stop to see on the way to the airport –Kamares Aqueduct, an 18th century aqueduct, built in 1746 by the Turkish Governor of Larnaca.
Return car rental at airport. Check in. Signs are easy to find around the airport. Same with the road signs –clear and easy to follow.
BONUS from Constantinos, Owner of Meltemi Villas:
FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS / EVENT DINING
Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant located near Coral Bay.
Excellent food cooked right in front of you. Teppanyaki chefs are very entertaining.
Reservation highly recommended. A bit pricey but worth it.
TRADITIONAL MEZE TAVERNA
Ta Perix Tavern
One of the best restaurants for traditional meze.
Reservation for Saturday is highly advised. I believe that they are closed on Sundays.
Their telephone number for reservation is +357 99628701
It will be rather crowded by locals but if you want the authentic taste, this is it.
One advantage, compared to other restaurants, is that instead of bringing you a set number of dishes, they give you a list in the beginning where they list everything on offer and you mark only the dishes that you like, plus the quantity desired. The waiters are very helpful; they will even tell you if you order too much, so there's no chance of ordering things to be wasted.
It is located in the middle of a residential area. GPS coordinates: 34°46'59.9"N 32°25'00.1"E.
REAL TRADITIONAL FOOD
Food like it used to be eaten by the locals decades ago. This is authentic Cypriot cuisine with high quality ingredients; more like home-cooked dishes than a typical restaurant.
Open daily for lunch except Sundays. Also open every Tuesday and Friday evening. Contact the restaurant and make sure that they are actually open; until two weeks ago they were closed because the road in front of the restaurant was closed because of road works.
Their website: http://laonarestaurant.blogspot.com/
SUNDAY BUFFET LUNCH
Excellent Sunday lunch buffet menu and very good value for money.
For Sunday buffet, early reservation a must.
I highly recommend this restaurant for your Sunday lunch. Great buffet and excellent value for money. You have to book a few days in advance because it is very popular with British expats and locals.
OTHER GOOD RESTAURANTS
It is what I would call a Fusion tavern. Combines old favourites with new ideas and tastes. Where possible, all ingredients are locally sourced.
See their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lengotavern
Their review by Cyprus Mail: http://cyprus-mail.com/2014/04/07/restaurant-review-lengo-tavern-paphos/
See the Chefs/Owners Facebook place at https://www.facebook.com/petros.mavros
Masa Soura Tavern
It is located at the village square of Tala Village.
Their TripAdvisor page can be found below:
It is the favorite restaurant of (of all people) the Archbishop of Cyprus, who is well know for his love of great food (and he has the pot belly to prove it).
Great for meze (more than 20 meze dishes)
Just 300m from your villa. Excellent local food.
Very good casual dining Italian restaurant. Just 1Km from the villa.
Excellent Sunday lunch buffet. Driving time around 20 minutes.
For Sunday buffet, early reservation a must.
High quality international cuisine restaurant. Pricey. Best for special occasions.
Great traditional tavern. Excellent food, following the traditional recipes.
If you want a taste of what the locals eat, this is one of the best places.
Just 1Km away, located at the Chloraka village square, very near the church.
Also, Kathikas village, where Petradaki Tavern is located has many other good taverns. I advise that you check in TripAdvisor for them
TRIP COST: $2,616.00++
RT Airfare for 3 via Gulf Air: $1,738.00
Car Rental: $84.00 (Feb 16-21, 2017)
Meltemi Villas (5 nights): $694.00
Travel Insurance: $100+
30211 Avenida de las Banderas , Rancho Santa Margarita, California 92688