I once had a friend who told me that he was going to Cyprus for two weeks with his girlfriend; I couldn’t wait to hear all about it. To my disappointment, once they had returned, he told me that they never left the hotel … not even once!
If you’re anything like me, cabin fever will be a term you are all too familiar with. I love a good chill day by the pool but the island has so much more to offer. I have listed below a variety of other things that are a must when visiting the Paphos area in Cyprus.
1. BOAT RENTAL
In Cyprus, if you hold a full UK driving licence, you can rent a boat; something which both myself and my boyfriend still cannot fathom. And I am not talking about a rowing boat. I am talking about a high powered speed boat with an engine and anchor that you are both responsible for!
Whilst we were apprehensive at first, this has easily become the highlight of our trips; I could never imagine coming to Cyprus without doing it.
Where to rent from
We rent our boats from the Latchi harbour which is within the Poli region (northwest). It is roughly a half hour drive from Coral Bay or just under an hour from Paphos. The drive is spectacular and takes you up and over the mountains, providing some amazing views! From Latchi, you can explore the many coves and bays which run along the Akamas coastline. This includes their famous Blue Lagoon (turquoise water at its finest!)
There are a couple of boat providers at Latchi, but we always hire from Latchi Watersports. They have a variety of boats for hire, differing in capacity and speed (and price). You can opt to take them out for either a full or half day. All boats come with complimentary snorkelling equipment but if you enjoy watersports, they will also throw in waterskis or a ring at an extra cost.
‘But I have never driven a boat before!’
If you have never driven a boat before, not to worry! Before you are allowed to set off, the team spend a good half hour running through a safety briefing: the do’s and dont’s, where to anchor, minimum distances, where the reefs are etc, followed by an induction on how to actually drive the boat. Whilst it is abit of an info overload, I can happily say that every team member we have ever Interacted with, has always been incredibly welcoming, informative, and has put our minds at ease!
So once your life jacket is on and you’ve sun-creamed up, you’re ready to go! It is worth mentioning that you are not actually allowed to navigate out of the harbour yourself (thank god!) so they will drive you out before being shortly collected, and then you are left alone….
*tip: visit the blue lagoon first thing in the morning before all of the big ships start to arrive otherwise you’ll be battling for a spot!
2. HORSE RIDING
For ages I had been nagging my boyfriend to go horse riding with me in Cyprus. Despite having never ridden one (and not particularly keen to either), he reluctantly agreed one year when I managed to convince our other friends to join.
For the first time, we booked a sunset hack with George’s Ranch based in the Coral Bay Area. The hack takes you along the rugged coastline and eventually leads you to the edge of the sea caves, giving you a beautiful view of the sunset and the sea.
Since then, we have also ridden at Mountain Eagle Ranch which is in the village of Mesogi, just north of Paphos. This sunset hack offers a slightly different ride, as you meander through the Cyprus countryside before arriving at an opening at the top of a hill, which overlooks Paphos and the neighbouring villages below.
George’s Ranch or Mountain Eagle Ranch?
I couldn’t recommend one ranch over the other (it all depends on your preference of setting). The horses are well looked after and incredibly gentle, knowing the routes off the back of their hands! This makes for a leisurely ride which is great for beginners/novices. The instructors are also at hand with a person on foot for that added reassurance.
For the more experienced riders, both ranch’s offer different pathways or areas which are suitable to have a trot and a canter upon.
3. SEA CAVES
We stumbled across the sea caves one year when we decided to get in the car and go for a drive.
To our pleasant surprise, after driving past a beautiful church (the Agios Georgios Chapel), and reaching the end of the road, we ended up at the small Agios Georgios harbour. It is from there that we took ourselves off the path and discovered some amazing sea caves. First time lucky, we arrived at a time when the tide was out so you could access these. However, when the tide is in, you would never know they existed!
You only need an hour or so to explore the area.
The water is crystal blue and if you’re brave enough, you can go for a swim. It is worth pointing out though that it can be incredibly slippy and the rocky terrain is rough.
On our last trip, we also discovered what once looked like a pathway, which allowed you to access the sea caves further along the coastline. We just had to explore this area since the water was so enticing! They had tried to (terribly) block the steep pathway with a bolder which took you down the cliff, and there were ‘falling rock’ warnings. Whilst I would never promote dangerous behaviour, it is certainly worth it!
4. BEACH BARS
After a long day in the sun, there is nothing we enjoy more than spending our evenings relaxing with a cocktail, in the presence of great company and in a beautiful setting.
Oniro by the Sea
Oniro is an absolute must if you are staying in the Paphos region. This bar boasts a fantastic location with a view like no other, situated on a clifftop near the sea caves and a stones throw away from the Edro III shipwreck. It has a modern, trendy vibe, offering a slightly alternative drinks and food menu which fits in perfectly with the decor and the overall mood of the bar.
You won’t find a €6 Sex on the Beach in sight; instead you’ll be presented with a list of beautifully designed cocktails with creative and unusual flavours. Whilst more on the pricier side (by Cyprus standards) they are worth every penny!
Since you’ll find that you will never want to leave, stay for dinner as well; I can highly recommend the meat platter for two, which is delicious!
What was once a hidden gem, every year this place seems to be increasing in popularity (and rightly so!). If you want to ensure that you get a table for sunset, you must arrive early.
Sea You is exactly what you would expect from a typical beach bar; palm trees, huts, decking, hammocks, coconuts, chilled music and all of your favourite cocktails. It is beautifully decorated, shabby chic style with cute nick nacks dotted around and quotation signs.
It is situated in Kissonerga and lies basically just off of the main road from Paphos to Coral bay. It is a pretty large bar and has plenty of parking spaces; if you want to witness the breathtaking view of the sun setting into the sea it is worth reserving a front table in advance.
To discover more about visiting Cyprus, click here to read my post about why this should be your next European destination!
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