When I decided to come to Cyprus, I needed to pick a city to set as my home base. Nicosia, the capital, is way more urban and has a rich history, and seemed like much more my personality. All the other cities sounded beautiful, but not vibrant enough to spend a whole month in.
The one exception was Paphos, which has a rich archeology and history that draws you in and is well-known as a destination vacation for Europeans, especially Brits.
I went there for a day trip, and I’m so glad I didn’t stay longer. Cyprus is an amazing country, but Paphos kind of sucks.
The beaches are basically cut out of rocks. So they make pretty pictures, but if you’re going to Cyprus for a week, go ANYWHERE else for better beaches, and do the UNESCO Site as a day trip. Seriously, Limassol or Agya Napa have better beaches and nightlife. Larnaca has better beaches and is more accessible to the rest of the island. There’s no reason to be resigned to hurt toes and scraped knees to get into the Mediterranean. The only things better about the beaches in Paphos is you can get pizza delivered to your chair. That’s it.
The Boardwalk is Schlock City
I like the boardwalk in Larnaca. Nice restaurants, coffee shops, some fast food. Lots of ice cream places. Limassol’s is pretty, and the restaurants and shops are up in the older part of the city, away from the shore line. But in Paphos, the boardwalk is just booth after booth of fake leather goods, crocs, and people trying to write your name on a piece of rice. It’s all clichés, but not in a bad enough way to be good again. I don’t like places that are trying to sell me things to make up for not being good experiences.
The Other Tourists
Most people were nice, but since this is a “beach destination” there are a lot of “those kinds of tourists.” The kind who complain a lot out loud to each other regardless of who else is around. The kind who decide to walk around shirtless at inappropriate times. Etc. It wasn’t a majority by any means, but there’s no one like that in Nicosia that I ran into, and way less of it in Larnaca. Limassol and Agya Napa can get like that, but the beaches are so much better they’re worth putting up with a little of it.
Pick any other city on the island. Nicosia for culture. Agya Napa for the most beautiful beach. Limassol for a good combination of beaches and nightlife. Larnaca for beaches and easy connections to everywhere else. Then take the 7 euro bus to Paphos, see the UNESCO Sites, walk around and see the boardwalk and swim, but be glad this isn’t your main stop.
Are there any popular tourist spots that you didn’t enjoy and want to warn me about?