With year-round sunshine, bath temperature seawater, sandy beaches and a relaxed ambience it is no surprise that the Cypriot resort of Paphos is booming. Throw in cooling sea breezes, some of the finest Greek relics and Roman mosaics anywhere in the world, relaxing spas, a lively nightlife scene, luxury hotels and decent restaurants and Paphos's myriad charms are hard to resist. If that isn't enough, many of Cyprus's stunning natural attractions, including Paphos Forest, the Akamas Peninsula and the Troodos Mountains, are close to the resort. When it comes to holidays, Paphos, with its sandy beaches, first-class resort facilities and UNESCO World Heritage-listed attractions, comes up trumps at any time of year.
In addition to snatched stretches of often pebbly beach located next to the waterfront hotels of Kato Paphos, the resort also boasts the centrally located and sandy Municipal Beach. Faros Beach often proves a quieter option. Both of these beaches have been awarded EU blue flags for cleanliness. Another blue flag winner is Coral Bay, a lovely sand beach 13km (8 miles) north of Paphos that is easily accessible by bus. Watersports operators located on the beach or operating from the resort hotels rent out everything from pedalos to windsurfers. You can often also try something more adventurous like parasailing.
Ruins that date back to the 12th century BC, crumbing fortresses, ancient tombs and stunning Roman remnants secured Paphos a place on the coveted UNESCO World Heritage List back in 1980. Today the intricate mosaics of Nea Paphos, some of the most impressive in the world, and the voluminous Tombs of the Kings are amongst the resort's most popular attractions. The Archaeological Museum (Griva Digeni 43) sheds more light on centuries of intriguing history.
Paphos is an ideal resort for families with sandy beaches, a smorgasbord of watersports, boat trips and a host of land based sporting activities including hikking in the Troodos Mountains and Jeep Safaris. The white-knuckle waterslides, wave pools and fast and lazy rivers at the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark - including one of the biggest family rafting rides in Europe - (www.aphroditewaterpark.com) thrill kids and big kids alike.
Driving an hour northeast of Paphos brings you to the Troodos Mountains, a natural wonderland of hiking trails, lush forest and other indigenous fauna and flora; look out for wild sheep. Between November and March the area is blanketed in snow, with locals and holidaymakers taking advantage of the ski slopes and cross-country runs of the Troodos Ski Centre - the most southerly in Europe. To the northwest of Paphos the Akamas peninsula is another great spot for a summer walk.