Britain and Cyprus have long been associated together. In 1878 Cyprus was placed under British administration in an agreement with the Ottoman Empire and then in 1914 it was annexed by Britain and then became a crown colony in 1925, a situation that lasted until 1960 when Cyprus became the independent Republic of Cyprus. Britain still maintains a military presence there with troops and an RAF squadron bases. It’s used as a staging post to the Middle East and has a major  electronic surveillance station with a listening post high up on the Troodos mountains. Coupled with the generally warm weather, a welcoming population and a huge number of archaeological sites to visit, it’s no surprise Cyprus is a favourite holiday destination. Paphos is a popular resort to stay at, it has its own airport, good hotels and lots of places to visit.

A stylish hotel to stay at is the Almyra. This had a complete makeover in 2004, transforming the traditional Paphos Beach Hotel into a minimalist modern hotel. It was reviewed in The Guardian in 2004, so it became a must on the to do list. EasyJet or Jet2 direct from Edinburgh is a good choice and then it’s a short taxi journey from the airport into Paphos.

It’s would be best to book a sea view room, as a garden view room is basically overlooking the main drag through Paphos and could be noisy with traffic. But the views from the room balcony can be very fine, overlooking the Mediterranean and Paphos harbour.

The harbour is still a working fishing boats, augmented now with leisure craft and the occasional military vessel.

Lara Beach is one of the best beaches in Cyprus, it’s way off the beaten track and is completely undeveloped and is likely to remain that way as it is a protected area with turtles there during the breeding season. There is a rough track so a four wheel drive vehicle is required. Drive north west from Paphos along the coast and to the first stop at Agios Georgios which is a small village with a harbour and a church.

There’s a café as well, so it’s morning coffee time. But will make sure to ask for a Cyprus Coffee next time …

It’s back in the car again on the track to Lara Beach. There are actually two main beaches there, separated by a rocky headland. The first indicator that you’ve arrived is a sign pointing to Lara Restaurant on the left. This is just before the first beach with tables looking over the sea. So it’s time for lunch refreshments.

Continue round the headland, either by car on on foot to the next beach. A note of caution here. The beach is a turtle hatchery with an associated research station, so be careful where you tread.

On the drive back to Paphos be careful of the crowded roads.

No trip to Paphos would be complete without visiting Petra tou Romiou or Aphrodite’s Rock. This is a short drive from Paphos on the road east to Limassol and is allegedly Aphrodite’s birthplace. There is a rocky beach there to walk along and a café on the landward side of the road.

After seeing Aphrodite’s Rock it only seems natural to go and see the Baths of Aphrodite. These are on the north west coast on the edge of the Akamas Peninsular and is a very popular tourist spot. Drive up north through Polis and stop for some lunch at Latchi harbour where there are plenty of cafés and restaurants.

In practice there is not a lot to see at the Baths of Aphrodite, bit of a tourist trap really. However the setting on the Akamas Peninsular is spectacular and offers huge potential for walking which makes the trip from Paphos worthwhile. But would have hoped there’d have been better water quality in Aphrodite’s day …

To get away from the sea for a change, a good day out is to head for the Troodos mountains. There are a number of possible routes to take, some being better than others, the best from Paphos is to head east on the A6 towards Limassol and then turn left onto the B8 which heads right through the mountains up to Mount Olympus.

In places the mountains are covered in pine trees and with some spectacular viewpoints to stop at. There are plenty of places for refreshments, particularly in the resort village of Platres.

The mountains are surprisingly high with Mount Olympus being 1,952 metres above sea level. Even more surprising maybe is that enough snow falls for there to be a sky resort. So you can go skiing in the morning and sun bathing in the afternoon.

The Troodos mountains are home to a number of British military installations. There is an electronic intelligence listening station there monitoring the Middle East, and a long range radar at the top of Mount Olympus.


Sunday 8th April 2018

Almyra Hotel, view from Paphos harbour

View from room, overlooking Paphos harbour

Paphos harbour  

Morning Coffee at Agios Georgios

Agios Georgios Church

Harbour at Agios Georgios

Petra tou Romiou

Refreshments at Lara Restaurant

Coffee at Petra tou Romiou

Aphrodite’s Rock

Beach at Aphrodite’s Rock

Lara Beach   

Almyra Hotel entrance

Lara Restaurant taken from across the bay

Lara Beach

Turtle Hatchery and Research Station

Lara Beach and Turtle Hatchery

Turtle Nest, Lara Bay

Goats on Road by Lara Beach

Baths of Aphrodite

Baths of Aphrodite

Baths of Aphrodite

Latchi Harbour

View North from Akamas Peninsular

Latchi Beach looking towards Akamas Peninsular

Troodos Mountains

Troodos Mountains

Snow, Troodos Mountains

Troodos Mountains

Troodos Mountains