After visiting the Canary Islands many times we decided to book a week in Cyprus. The week was going to be a special one as we were getting married at the old Town Hall, in the old town of Paphos. The villa we booked was called Megas Alexandros, a very well done private holiday apartment that sleeps up to 4 people, and was equipped with everything we needed, including a pool, perfect for the kids.
We did research on Paphos before booking to make sure we would be getting the most out of our week away, the wedding was all set so why waste the rest of the week by not knowing what’s around your surrounding areas.
On arrival from our Monarch flight to Cyprus airport, we were welcomed with clear blue skies, there’s nothing better than them plane doors opening and feeling the warmth on your face. We had arranged through the property manager for an airport taxi pick up, always a favourite after flying with irritable kids needing to unleash their energies quickly.
The taxi service in Paphos is one of the best we have come across, happy polite, chatty drivers that cannot do enough to help you. They all speak very good English so no need to worry about learning Greek unless you really want to impress them that is.
After a thirty minute journey, we arrived at our apartment, Megas Alexandros. We were delighted with where we had booked. As you do when you arrive anywhere, you have a good look around checking each room for a few home comforts. Impressed would have been an understatement, we loved everything about the apartment, we knew we had chosen well, we felt at home within ten minutes. The bedrooms were decorated beautifully, light and airy with fans and air conditioning, lots of space for clothes, and en suite bathrooms.
The kitchen was just ideal with a dishwasher, washing machine, cooker, fridge, every utensil you could imagine, and even a welcome pack that had bread, oil, milk, water, biscuits and tea bags. Very thoughtful of the owners as these few bits and pieces help you out, as running off to the supermarket isn’t really what you want to do after just getting off the plane.
Our balcony was roomy with sun lounges and table and chairs. We overlooked the pool which was nice, being on the first floor was ideal as we do like to catch the views and the sun as it goes down in the evenings.
We were situated out of town probably about a twenty-minute walk, and a five-minute ride by bus. I’de say we were two miles out from the main harbour in Paphos itself. The bus service was frequent and cheap, if you prefer a taxi you can be cheeky and offer them 5 Euro, some will take it and some won’t, the usual cost would be around 8 Euro so be prepared to haggle to save you a little cash, as every bit helps.
We did notice that the Supermarkets are not too popular, so if you need shopping grab it while you’re in the main town or from the local Lidl, again saving a little money can be put into something else you want to do.
The cost of food and drink in the shopping markets was not too bad, alcohol was cheap as always when you’re abroad, the food was relatively cheap, some items were a little dear like conditioner and chocolate, but we can all deal with that. If you’re not on much of a tight budget then get yourselves out to the Restaurants as you will be spoilt for choice. In the town itself, you can stroll around gazing at each one, and then pick out which one you want to eat in. All of them serve traditional Greek food which you will love; they also offer many other dishes such as Pizza, Pasta, Fish, and lots of choices for the little ones, so no need to worry. We tried a very quaint looking Greek Restaurant just on the outskirts of the town called Hondros.
It was the setting that caught our eyes, a very pretty looking place that had a brilliant menu. The prices were reasonable and the welcome we got was great. The menu was not too big which was good as sometimes you can be spoilt for choice. The starter we had was a Greek Salad, a rather large portion was delivered to the table, it was absolutely delicious, we had never tasted tomatoes so sweet anywhere, the feta on top was a nice size also, no complaints there, we also had a complimentary plate of oiled bread as well which was a nice plus.
The mains were a lamb kebabs, again lovely and tasty, kids have options from Chicken to Fish, no qualms at all, all of this with great service really does make your choice a good one. We did try other places such as Karlinas Restaurant, Fettas Tavern, and Porto Bello Restaurant. Each was special in their own way, the food was lovely, it’s good to get a feel of Greek food in a few different restaurants if possible as one may offer something the other doesn’t. Our favourite was the Muse, bias maybe but this is where we had our wedding meal, it was faultless, we had an Octopus and Chorizo starter followed by the Muse Cowboy Burger and a Chicken and Bacon Burger with all the trimmings. I didn’t look so glamorous filling my face with a burger in my wedding dress but it did taste good. The drinks menu was extensive, many Cocktails to choose from and other Spirits and Wines. Again kids are catered for so do not worry it isn’t just for adults, the Greeks truly do make an effort with kids, and ice cream is always available.
So if you’re ever in Paphos at anytime I would highly recommend The Muse, the views over the entire town of Paphos is amazing, the lighting outside in the evening is perfect, the sitting area is roomy with waiters on hand. Inside the restaurant was very plush, with well thought-out decoration, we sat on the VIP table which was huge, a little luxury as newlyweds was a sweet gesture of the manager.
Do have a good look around when you first arrive in Cyprus, there’s plenty to see and do. Your apartment or Villa should all have guides to what’s on offer and also maps in case you want to hire a car, it can seem a little daunting when you don’t know the place. Car hire was relatively easy, we decided to get one just for a day so we could get about and visit some of the main landmarks of Cyprus. The cost for a day was 60 Euro, not bad really, you have the option of two to three days or a week if you like, a quick look at your license pay and off you go, just as we like it, no fuss or hassle.
Places To Visit
We decided to go and have a look at The Tomb Of The Kings Archaeological Park, in Paphos. Here you can walk freely in and out of all the tombs. Take your time as there is a lot of steps up and down when it’s 30 degrees out it can make you feel a little drained, especially the kids! Lots of water is the key.
The monumental underground tombs are carved out of solid rock and date back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
Rather than kings, it is actually high ranking officials and aristocracy that were buried here, but the size and splendour of the tombs – some decorated with Doric pillars – gave the locality its grand name.
Some of the tombs imitate the houses of the living, with the burial chambers opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.
It’s definitely an educational experience, I’m sure all kids that visit will enjoy and take home some very informative information. Any camera addicts will love snapping each tomb and enjoy showing them off to friends and family. The entrance fee is £2.50 each, cheap and cheerful, and even better kids are free, this is something we noticed in Cyprus you hardly pay for your kids to get into many places, makes a change!
There are many places to visit whilst in Cyprus, tourist maps show all the landmarks that are popular such as Aphrodite’s Baths, Adonis Baths, Aphrodite’s Rock, Turtle Bay Beach, Coral Bay Beach, Tomb Of The Kings, Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, Paphos Castle, Paphos Mosaics, House Of Dionysos, Agia Solomoni Catacombs, Church Of Pangia Theoskepasti, Faros Beach, Paphos Lighthouse, Byzantine Museum, House Of The Theseus, En Plo Gallery, naming just a few.
You may want to travel around the island and sight see, this is possible as the island isn’t that huge, and if you hire a car for the week you will definitely get to see most of the popular landmarks, and maybe view some of the spectacular 400 miles of coastline that Cyprus has to offer.
There are plenty of excursions to choose from. Fishing, Quad Biking, Kolossi Castle, Lara Bay, Sea Caves, or you might want to book yourself onto one of the popular boat trips that include lunch, and a stop of swim out in the blissful clear waters of the Blue Lagoon like we did.
We planned a full day out through Chris Andreou Quad, Buggy and Jeep Safaris. I was kind of nervous as I had never driven a quad before, it was going to be interesting that’s for sure. Our trip consisted of around eight hours of exploring. We started the day with a pick up from our apartment at 7:45, we were taken to the excursion site where we paid the remaining amount and then given our quads. I think my face said it all after a minute of sitting on my quad I looked rather worried. I think this was noticeable as I got switched to another quad which was easier to control and positioned right behind the professional, thankfully I was back in the game.
We set off on the main roads, a little nervy but all was well, all in a line we followed each other up and out of the town centre. We had no idea what route we were going to go on so this added to the excitement; I do love a mystery tour. We went on for about an hour, going up and down all types of terrain once we left the main roads behind. The time certainly does fly when you’re having fun. Our son Joe who is 11 loved every second of it, thankfully he was on my husband’s quad, just for extra safety. I’ve no idea why I was so worried about Joe, as when we finally stopped at Latchi Harbour to board our boat for the Blue Lagoon trip, he was hopping with excitement.
We were all a little frazzled from the sun and wind when we arrived in Latchi a very sweet fishing village. Sun cream is a must when you’re on quad bikes, the sun in Cyprus is hot, and don’t forget your water and hats in a backpack!
We boarded our boat to the Blue Lagoon, a nice sized boat with an upstairs where you could jump off if you wished into the water once you get there. This I was up for, Joe definitely was not! Many kids were on board of all ages; these were just on a general boat trip not from our quad group. It took about an hour to get to the Blue Lagoon, along the way we had informative information about the cliffs and hillsides we could see, from the captain. The scenery was beautiful; we took many pictures along the way.
We made our stop for an hour so, we could then all have a swim if we wanted. I did my famous jump from top deck along with many other brave souls, never done anything so scary it was about a 20 ft drop, completely safe, just scary. The water was blissful, clear as crystals, but extremely salty if you accidentally get a gob full like I did on my jump you’re going to be feeling a little sick for a minute or so.
Once we arrived back to the harbour we stepped into a lovely restaurant called Porto. We had a delightful lunch, Joe had chicken nuggets and we both had squid, a very tasty dish cooked to perfection, we washed it down with a small wine, perfect, and truly needed. I then had to embrace the long trek back, although we did get to see many beautiful places along the way, Turtle Bay Beach was one of them, a large beach where they help baby Turtles each year to hatch and make it to the sea, avoiding all predators, this conservation has drawn many helpers from all around each year, giving the turtles a well-needed head start in life.
We arrived back to the start around 6 PM, what a truly packed day of exciting activities and delicious food. A little dirty and tired maybe but it was worth every penny. The cost of the trip was reasonable considering we had a full on day out, it was 240 Euro for a double and a single quad, not bad at all for fond memories and pictures you surely will look back on and smile about.