Driving in Cyprus?
Firstly, book yourself a hire car before you arrive in Cyprus! The island is the perfect size for exploring independantly and there's plenty of places to visit. We used a broker called Zest Car Rental (who found us a deal with EuropCar). We paid £59, and then chose the top up insurance for £21 (just in case!) Considering airport transfers are usually about £50 each way, we thought this was good value. We got a Kia mini SUV and it was ideal. We picked the car up at Paphos (PFO) airport and began our straightforward 20 minute drive to our hotel.
Driving on the island is the same as driving in the UK. Road signs are all in English. They drive on the left. Roundabouts, traffic lights and zebras will all make you feel at home. The speed limit is slightly lower, but that's not a bad thing if you're a tourist. The hire cars have a different coloured number plate (red) so the locals tend to give you a bit of extra space and time.
What is the weather like in February?
We were quite lucky with the weather generally. In 7 days we experienced:
- Day 1: High winds but sunny.
- Day 2 - 6: No wind. Nice and hot with a day time temperature of around 17oC (sunbath-able). You still needed jacket/trousers once the sun had disappeared in the evening.
- Day 7: Thunder storms and heavy rain.
|The local beer is Keo, but this stuff was decent too.|
What to do in Paphos?
Aphrodite's Rock is a must see. For some Greek mythology, take the coast road from Paphos to find Aphrodite's Rock. There's a free car park just off the main road, plus a small souvenir shop with toilets. Just next to the shop are some steps which lead to a narrow underground tunnel which leads you under the main road and emerges on the beach with Aphrodite's Rock just on your right. To be fair, once you've seen it, it's game over. But if you go early enough it's really quiet and is a great place to spend an hour peacefully taking in the scenery.
Tombs of the Kings. This is well worth the €2.50 entry fee! You get access to a large archeological site which is filled with ruins and tombs. Again, go early to beat the crowds. There's no red ropes or restricted areas - it's a free for all.
Make a flying visit to St Solomons Catacombs, although we couldn't see it all whilst we were there. This is a small underground catacomb, but if it's been raining recently - part of it floods so isn't fully accessible (which was the case when we went). But there was still a bit to see. Look out for the tree with ribbons attached and it's below there.
|Look out for the ribboned tree to find the Catacombs (or use the massive sign next to it!)|
There's also the Old Town of Paphos... We were expecting a quaint old town with this one, but that's very different to what we found. It's pretty much a generic town centre. Nothing special at all. The only part vaguely interesting was a small car park where the walls had large artwork/murals. I wouldn't advise going out of your way to visit this unfortunately.
|The highlight of Old Town|
|Cats. Cats. Cats.|
If you're into your fitness - then I'd definitely advise packing your running trainers for Paphos. There's a perfect coastal path which runs between the beach and hotels and must span a fair few miles. You'll notice lots of locals run this route early in the morning, before it gets too busy. It's also a nice walk too!
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Louis Imperial Beach hotel, which was decent. Mainly aimed towards pensioners and families but ticked all the right boxes. Slightly out of town, so it was a nice 25 minute walk along the coast to get to the harbour/town.