General Information about Paphos
Cyprus lies in the North Eastern Mediterranean, at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. It is a land of contrasts, with a coastline made up of stunning rock formations interspersed by long sections of sandy beach.
Troodos is the main mountain range, with Mount Olympus its highest peak at 1,951 meters.
There are 380 rural villages.
The population is approximately 700,000.
The most common language is Greek although English is widely spoken.
Cyprus became a full member of the European Union in 2004.
Most visitors to Cyprus find the best way to explore and see the country is to hire a car (or even a motor bike) for a few days. The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) provides a range of maps and brochures free of charge. Staff in their offices, in all towns, are more than happy to suggest routes, should you require assistance.
Those who are really adventurous may hire a bicycle or mountain bike. Cyprus is suitable in many ways for Cyclists who wish to explore a town and its surrounding country side at their own pace. The mild Cyprus winters and the mostly warm and dry conditions running from October through to April offer perfect conditions for cycling. More-over, unlike Europe, there are no legal barriers here to prevent you from cycling wherever you like. The only restriction is, you cannot cycle on the motorways.
Cyprus has so much to offer it is hard to know where to begin but a wonder around the town is always a good place to start and you’ll be delighted to discover that there are some great bargains to be found.
Visit a market – Just about every type of fresh fruit and vegetable are on display in the colourful markets. The markets sell mainly local grown seasonal fruit and veg, so don’t expect highly polished, tissue wrapped, apples here. They are bought straight from the fields or orchards – usually a few hours after it’s picked. There are lots of other things to discover: herbs and spices, handmade baskets, olives and olive oil, village cheeses, sausages, smoked hams and home made breads, crystallised fruits and pure honey, are all there to be bought and taken home as a special gift. Don’t forget to take your camera.
Glasses – Did you know that glasses and contact lenses are much cheaper in Cyprus than in most European countries? Eye testing is free and you don’t even book an appointment – all shops have qualified opticians and standards are excellent, plus they have the very latest selections of frames of just about every named brand you can imagine. Your glasses will be ready for collection within a couple of days, or they can be sent on to you.
Jewellery – For a really enduring memento of your holiday, look for a piece of jewellery. Silver and gold is reasonably priced. Many jewellers make copies of ancient pieces and these are incorporated into charms, pendants, key rings, cufflinks and more.
Paphos (or Pafos) is one of the most beautiful and ancient towns of Cyprus. Wherever one treads in Paphos he comes across its glorious history which dates back thousands of years, when the cult of goddess Aphrodite who emerged from its seas, flourished in this beautiful part of the world attracting many visitors from the island and abroad.
Today Paphos is a small harbour town , but in Hellenistic and Roman times it was the capital of Cyprus. Still under the spell of her Beauty-Goddess, the area retaining her magic, has remained impact by time. Paphos seduces its visitor with its majestic landscape, lovely coastline, historical treasures and delightful villages where tradition is still a way of life.
Today Paphos is a popular sea resort with population of 40000. It is divided into two major quarters – Ktima, on the sea terrace, is the main residential district, and the Kato Paphos, by the sea, is built around the medieval port and contains most of the luxury hotels and the entertainment infrastructure of the city.
Paphos has a rural traditional architecture, a very eye-catching and striking landscape, as well as areas of untouched nature. In Pafos you can find the peninsula of Akamas, a natural wilderness of astonishing magnificence with stunning gorges, extravagant coastlines and pleasant nature trails.
Weather in Paphos
Paphos benefits from a warm Mediterranean climate which sees long, hot summers and short mild winters.
Summer temperatures peak in July and August, during which daytime temperatures in the mid-30s are not uncommon. June through to September is summer time in Paphos, where high temperatures are coupled with almost no rain. From June to August it is very rare to experience a rainy day. Fairly low humidity and sea breezes help to keep things more comfortable on the hottest summer days, although for those wanting a very active holiday the periods either side of summer are more comfortable.
Spring is very favourable in Paphos. May sees very little rainfall with daytime temperatures averaging in the low to mid 20s. March and April are a little cooler though still warm. March is really when the rainy season comes to an end in Paphos, and the month sees about a week of rainy days on average. From then on rainfall peters out until the end of summer time.
Autumn is a great time too, with very agreeable temperatures. The summer heat starts to cool from late September. October is very comfortable, with daytime temperatures in the mid to high 20s, and November is warm too. October sees a little rain, and November heralds the start of the wet season – though you’ll still only get about 7 days per month of rainfall on average.
Winter in Paphos is very mild indeed. In fact many days one can sit comfortably in a t-shirt in the midday sun as temperatures can be up towards 20ºC. This is the period where Paphos gets most of its yearly rain. January is the wettest month on average with a standard of 9 days rainfall. The yearly rainfall in Paphos is just above 400mm on average and much of this falls in short, heavy downpours.
If you are in Paphos in winter and find yourself wanting a bit of proper winter weather you can find it in the nearby Troodos Mountains. In fact you’ll even find a ski resort here! Generally there is snow in the higher mountains (that reach up to 2000m) between January and March. So you can ski in the morning then swim and sunbathe at the beach in the afternoon! Weather in the mountains is very different to weather in Paphos itself and the other coastal regions.
Paphos, like anywhere, can receive freak weather conditions. Occasionally the area can get strong thunderstorms with heavy, localised rainfall. In October 2006 heavy storms brought unusually high rainfall and even hail to Paphos. Thunderstorms are at their most common in autumn and winter.
THE PAPHOS PEOPLE
When you first meet your Cypriot neighbours they will probably eye you with suspicion. Try to greet them with a word or two in their language, even a ‘Kalimera’ (good morning) will do, and you will see the instant change. The Cypriot people are the most hospitable and welcoming people in the world.Here in Paphos there is an overwelming sence of community from village to village. People here are keen to have peace and keep peace and are very family orientated. Families stick together and are very close, socialising regularly.
Cyprus is very safe, people often don’t lock their front doors or cars. Cyprus is a very stable country and you will find the people genuine and friendly, they will go out of their way to help you.
If you make a Cypriot friend I promise you, you will have a friend for life!