November 6th to December 16th 2016 (6 weeks)
We were not sure of our first impressions of Paphos, but it really did start to feel like home, in ways more than anywhere we had been so far, I think this was mainly down to Jacob managing to join a local football academy, we spent 4 afternoons a week taking Jake down for 2 hour training sessions.
This became our routine and we actually enjoyed it, it was super special watching Jacob be a part of something, being around kids with the same passion as him and giving him the chance to improve on his football skills.
We very much miss the friendly faces of the Olympico Football Academy.
Paphos itself has a lot to offer, it’s full of archaeological sites, some you literally just stumble across.
We were staying by Lighthouse Beach and this area has lots of restaurants and cafe’s to choose from, we enjoyed the walk around the coastline to the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park.
Tombs Of The Kings
I could have visited here more than once in our month stay, this place was incredible, once you have paid the small entry fee you are free to see the ancient tombs by yourself, wander around, explore and visualise what it all must have looked like way back, it provides descriptions of every tomb in both greek and english.
You could easily spend half a day here, taking in everything and also relaxing and enjoying the views. There’s a lovely feeling of connection between the man made and the natural, the ancients dug the tombs out of the living rock and now that any plastering etc has long since fallen away we’re left with imperfectly hewn rock tombs, some are barely altered caves others have columns and large square rooms.
It is a very rocky place, so be sure to wear sneakers/trainers or comfortable shoes.
Views out to sea are amazing, especially when the sun is setting.
Paphos Harbour Area
A great place to sit have a drink and watch the world go by especially after a visit to the archeological site. With so many restaurants and cafe’s to choose from.
Stunning place to watch the sun set behind the old fort.
You can walk from Lighthouse beach past the archeological site to the Harbour on the walkway, it’s a beautiful walk with lots of seats for you to stop and take in the rugged coastline.
People were still sunning themselves on the beach in November, I was impressed.
Grant and Lucas even went for a swim…they are game 🙂 they actually said that the water wasn’t cold And it’s crystal clear, as you can tell from the pictures below.
I can so see why people choose to head to Cyprus for the winter or even retire here.
A Stroll around Town
We were recommended to head to this little place and so glad we did, it was so pretty with quite a bit to see, lots of photo opportunities..
Sanctuary of Aphrodite (Palea Paphos – Kouklia)
Palae paphos is an open-sky archaeological site in the village of Kouklia
It is possibly the place through which the ancient Greeks – Myceneans – imported the cult of the goddess Aphrodite, whose very early sanctuary leaves a cyclopean* wall on this much-damaged site.
(*ancient masonry constructed from massive irregular blocks, cyclopean indicating that surely you’d have needed the mythical cyclops to move those boulders!)
The museum, while small, is quite interesting, I imagined soaking in the beautiful old bath as Aphrodite probably did, I could see that bath sitting in my dream bathroom 🙂
Snake Park (Kouklia)
Not really much to see but a nice break for our Lucas, and the man who runs this ‘snake park’, in his back yard, was very friendly. Below are a few pictures of Lucas holding a ‘Cat snake’ (semi venomous apparently, the man described it as venomous but unlikely to bite AFTER Luke was already holding it 😛 we weren’t rapt with that description!)
Dinner at Efraim in Kouklia
A lovely restaurant that the lady in the gift shop recommended, glad she did, best and most yummiest thing was Halloumi Cheese and honey. (Which was eaten before it could be photographed, sorry!)
St Pauls Pillar & The Church of Agia Kyriaki
St Paul visited Cyprus and was imprisoned there for some time before the Island was eventually converted to Christianity, local legen has it that he was chained to a pillar and whipped, the first picture below is, supposably, that pillar. (As with the other photo mosaics on your web pages you can click on the image to view it larger and then you can flick through them all one by one.)
These caves we found just walking to the fish market, they are not sign posted, you don’t pay to go in, you are not sure you are even meant to go in…we went exploring through the largest of the caves and found ourselves in a maze of rooms and openings.
It was all pretty awesome, and totally recommend you finding them and exploring for yourselves.
Agia Solomoni church and catacombs
“The church of Agia Solomoni is located at Kato Pafos, Apostolos Pavlos avenue, about a kilometre from Kato Pafos port. Just around the corner from St Paul’s Pillar. It was carved underground out of limestone and was originally a catacomb, although according to some archaeologists it was originally graves dating back to the Hellenistic period.
The visitor has to go down about twenty steps in order to see the church, the remains of the old 12th century frescoes and the Holy Water.
On the rock above the church, there is a large, centuries old, terebinth tree. Hanging a personal offer, usually a handkerchief, is believed to cure the ailments of those who hang it, and many people, both locals and visitors, do so even today.”
We visited this Restaurant twice because we loved their meat meze so much, the staff were really friendly and the fire was just perfect on a chilly evening.
Totally recommend this restaurant, great atmosphere and fantastic food. Bring a big appetite if you go for the meze, we struggled to finish.
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park (Afternoon with the Boss)
We have of course mentioned many times how fortunate we are to be able to travel Europe while keeping our NZ jobs at Modica Group Ltd, so two years into our trip, one of our Bosses, Simon, came over to the UK for a Mobile SMS Conference, unfortunately although we too were to spend time in the UK around that time we would miss him by a week and be in Cyprus when he came. Unperturbed he booked flights and accommodation to come and see us in Cyprus for a catch up both work wise and personal.
He did say that he has many an interesting conversation with business associates when he admits he has no idea which country two of his employees are in week to week.
The first day was a mini work conference as we had missed the NZ one that the rest of the company had attended, Simon filled us in with all the work stuff and we chatted lots about our lifestyle, the time flew by and before we knew it it was time to sort out dinner, we went back to our apartment and Simon finally checked into his room, we all then met up again at the Hondros Taverna.
While like any employees we were nervous about a face to face with the Boss we were also flattered that Simon had made such an effort to visit us on the far side of the world. (Our son Jacob had joked that Simon might only be coming to fire us face to face rather than via an email :P) Although there were changes in the company they were predominantly positive as Modica Group is doing well in NZ, Australia and further afield.
For the second day of Simon’s visit we took him on a tour of the Archeological park, where we saw more ancient mosaics than most people will see in a lifetime. Thankfully after threatening rain for his visit Paphos actually put on a nice day.
Grant and Jake had been into the Archeological park briefly already as Jake had accidentally kicked his ball over it’s fence a week earlier, the guard had let them through for free to go an retrieve it 🙂
It was great to catch up with Simon in person and comforting to know not only that the company is going from strength to strength but that he and the management team are still OK and even supportive of our unusual lifestyle choice, we literally couldn’t be doing this with out them.
Evening Meal at Hondros Taverna
We were recommended Hondros Taverna, as the oldest traditional Cypriot Restaurants on Paphos, (started in 1953).
We took our Boss Simon there for an evening meal, he said he enjoyed his Moussaka but we thought the meat meze that we shared wasn’t actually the best we’ve had in Paphos. (see our comments above about San Marino Restaurant )
The boys had grilled chicken and ‘roast potatoes’ the chicken was plain grilled so couldn’t go far wrong but the Potatoes had a coconut flavour we thought, not bad but unexpected, maybe they cooked them in Coconut oil?
The Restaurant had a nice feel to it, inside it had hand painted murals and messages written on the walls, also had lots of family photographs showing family members and the restaurant through time.
It was a pleasant enough spot halfway between Simon and our accommodations, we had great conversation, good food, a bottle of wine and a Grande Beer for Grant..
Overall a lovely evening
We arrived at Siesta so not much open at all, it all felt very deserted.
The view from the top was very nice but to us the little town didn’t have a lot to offer, we found a little bar where we watched the football and had a few games of Darts..we kept ourselves entertained.
Football Academy Paphos
Everywhere we go we have to search out a football field for Jacob, here we totally lucked it, after initially only finding a beach football pitch which was a bad mix of soft sand and broken ground we took a cab toward the airport where we had seen artificial football pitches.
We arrived at the Olympicos complex and seeing one of the smaller fields empty asked if Jake and Grant could have a kick around on it, the coach said that we would be welcome to join in with the training, we got all the info and costs and decided yep this was a winning situation for our Jakes.
He trained every day apart from Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays..this became a central part of our life in Paphos and these people became our sort of extended family…
Jacob was happy, if we could find a football academy in every place we stay that would welcome Jacob as easily and as openly as this academy did we would have the happiest boy out there…
The coaches were all very professional, they were strict but had fun with the boys..they trained for around 2 hours each practice. Grant and I watched every night because it was a little far to let Jacob go and come back on his own (it was a very quiet 40 min walk, much of it along the highway) and we loved the enthusiasm the boys had and the respect they had for the coaches.
We all felt extremely lucky to have been a part of this Academy, Jacob made lots of friends and we have lots of great memories..Thank you Christina, George and Lucy X
Airbnb – Cyprus Paphos
The location was 2 mins from ‘lighthouse’ beach, just around the corner to many bars, cafe’s and Restaurants and a good sized Mall with a Cinema that played films in English (this is the norm on Cyprus). Also very close to a lot of the Archeological sites including ‘Tombs of the Kings’. Nice apartment with 2 bedrooms, a nice balcony that was a little sun trap, and everything else you needed to make this your home for a week or a month.
Cost $1452 NZD for 40 nights = Roughly £855,69 (for 6 weeks)