Hey everyone! I hope you’re all doing well.
I went on a family holiday to Paphos in Cyprus last month so I thought I’d tell you all about it and give you a bit of winter sun envy. Soz. I’m giving it to myself too.
We’ve been to Cyprus for family holidays before (back when my sister and I were about 3ft tall) and loved it, so a trip back to the island was long awaited. However, we’d only been to a completely different area, and it’s safe to say that we preferred the Nissi Beach/Ayia Napa area to Paphos. No, believe it or not, Ayia Napa is not just for laughing gas balloons and 3 shots for 1 euro deals.
Upon arriving at our hotel, Azia Resort and Spa, it was clear we’d made a great choice, despite it being… in the middle of nowhere. Okay, I lie – there were a handful of restaurants and pubs nearby (an Irish one, obvs) however we certainly weren’t in the hustle and bustle of Paphos.
Nevertheless, the hotel resort itself was gorgeous, big and had a luxury feel to it.
And breatheeee. If you’re a sun-seeker like me, you’ll know the sheer joy of waking up and seeing a sight like that in November.
You may also resonate with the utter euphoria of being presented with a breakfast buffet when you’re a food lover like me. Let’s just say, in that one week for breakfast alone, I consumed:
18x hash browns
Approximately 10 cans of baked beans
Approximately 2 fields of mushrooms
19x Glasses of orange juice
4x Halloumi pastries
4x Nutella waffles…
You don’t count calories on holiday, FYI. You just stuff em’ in like you haven’t eaten for the past year, then feel guilty about it the second your plane lands back on home turf. No? Me neither…
On our first morning, we were all desperate to get out in that heat. Oh, but of course, it was November – the sun can’t last forever. We arrived at the nearby beach, paid for our sun loungers… and around 2 hours later, those lovely things we call grey rain clouds appeared and didn’t fancy moving on. This could only lead to one thing instead… day drinking.
We decided to head to Paphos Harbour for drinks. After consuming about 8 glasses of Pimms and playing a very loud and enthusiastic game of Charades, we found a restaurant to eat dinner at, and to my joy they had a Vegetarian Moussaka. It was a happy day.
Of course, no day drinking session would be complete without… post-day-drinking-session… drinks. We sussed out some great bars there – especially The Wooden Pub, where we introduced my Mum to the bliss that is a Pornstar Martini, and she declared it the best drink she’d ever had.
Thankfully, the next day for us was filled with sun, sun and a bit more sun. Obviously going to Cyrpus in November is totally out of season, so there were quite a few cloudy patches and the odd bit of rain, but that was to be expected! Right? *Cries silently*
I’d honestly really recommend our hotel, Azia Resort & Spa. The pool area was perfect, and although the evening Cava Bar was quiet due to low season, it did get a little livelier at night with live music. When I say lively, you know the tragic level of lively I mean – a violinist, perhaps a two man band if you’re lucky. But, if you’re just seeking a more chilled out holiday and can bare the cringeworthy evening entertainment programme, you’re all good.
When in Cyprus, of course you’re gonna hunt down some meze, aren’t ya? If you’re unfamiliar of what a meze actually is, think tapas – a little taster of lots of different dishes to share.
Before our meze experience, however, we headed to a place called Muse, which is pictured above. It’s a very swanky bar/restaurant, high up in the cliffs with a great view over Paphos.
We ate in Fettas Taverna – very much a no-frills, authentic restaurant, but that’s exactly what we were looking for and I would recommend it highly! They very kindly did me a separate vegetarian meze too, and everything was unreal: think halloumi, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed vine leaves, rice, greek salad, falafel… it’s safe to say that by the end of it, we were genuinely so full we had to go back to the hotel and lay down. If you don’t feel like that after a meal, you’re doing it wrong hun.
Since the beach by our hotel was so small, we decided to head to a nearby one for the day – Coral Bay. It was much larger, a bit busier and had a strip nearby filled with cafes, bars and what not. Oh, and obviously lots of Instagram photo opportunities.
Even though it was out of season, the beach was still pretty busy and had a great atmosphere. There were also watersports and jet-skis available, however to my dismay I didn’t get to utilise these exciting facilities as my family are wimps. My sister claimed that her last experience on a ‘Crazy Sofa’ left her feeling like she was going to fly off into the sea and die, so for some reason she didn’t quite fancy it again. Boring.
Another little excursion we did was a boat trip, departing from the harbour. Oh, this boat trip. I’ve never seen my Father look as horrified as he did on this day.
We booked the boat trip thinking it would be a lovely, relaxing time at sea. What we were actually faced with was an excursion trying so hard to replicate a ‘Booze Cruise’ in a destination like Malia or Zante, but with a twist: 90% of the attendees were aged 50+ and the gal on the microphone was a 70 year old lady called Bev from Wales.
We should have really had alarm bells in our head when we were informed that the boat trip included an all-inclusive bar with free spirits, wine and beer. Alas, we spent the next 4 hours dancing to the macarena, G&T in hand which resembled the taste of petrol and being ogled at by 60 year old Steve.
All jokes aside, I’m all for making the most of a *hilarious* situation and we actually had a really funny day. I say we – me, my mum and sister made the most of it and remained moan-free throughout the day, intent on having a good time, however my Dad was most unimpressed and spent the day threatening to jump off the boat and swim back to shore, of course to the tune of ‘we will rock you’. Oh dear.
Anyway, if you’re seeking a laugh in Paphos, I’d still recommend a boat trip.
My sister and I had waited for our last night to go out-out, seeing as it was a Friday night. We’d been informed of the notorious ‘Bar Street’, and after hunting for it on Google Maps and being wholly unsuccessful, we decided that the road we were already on must be Bar Street. Disappointingly, this so-called crazy fun area had one bar and about 3 restaurants. Wild.
After being spotted looking lost and confused by a promoter, he laughed out loud when we said we thought we were on Bar Street and walked us to the actual Bar Street. It’s safe to say that it was like stepping into Kavos – free shots galore and even a ‘balloon girl’ – if you know, you know.
Tragically tacky but all the fun, we ended up having a fun night and of course, I boarded the plane the next day hanging out of my arse. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but it seems I am incapable of returning home from a different country feeling normal. Apparently, a homeward bound hangover has become somewhat of a tradition for little old me.
So, there we have it – 7 nights in Paphos spent eating, drinking and basking in the sun with my family. Although we didn’t feel like Paphos had that much to offer and weren’t that impressed with it, we still had a great time and I’d recommend it to anyone just searching for a bit of sun in the Summer.
Love, Dayna x
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