Paphos, Cyprus - Stein Travel
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Paphos

The city of Paphos on the southwest coast of Cyprus was the capital of the island in Roman times, and dates from 1400 BC. Legend has it that the city is built on the spot where the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born. The city also has many connections to and relics from early Christianity. Over the centuries it has survived numerous foreign incursions and raids, and even a devastating earthquake in the 4th century. It lost out to Larnaca as a major port in the Middle Ages and experienced a decline during the British colonial period when development of this part of the island came to a standstill.

Today, however, Paphos is reviving on the strength of tourism and government investment in infrastructure such as dams, roads and airport. Private initiatives have also resulted in a boom in the construction of hotels, apartments and villas. The city has become a popular seaside resort with a large population. The Ktima section of the city is the main residential area, while Kato Paphos is the playground of holidaymakers, built around the medieval port with its numerous luxury hotels, tavernas and entertainment venues.

Information & Facts

Climate

Paphos enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate, with sunny, warm summers and short mild winters when the weather is comparable to a pleasant European spring. In summer temperatures are comfortable without too much humidity. Towards the end of the brief winter season, in late January and February, snow falls on the nearby mountains and it is possible to make a ski-trip and take a dip in the blue sea all on the same day. Paphos guarantees more than 340 sunny days a year.

Getting Around

Paphos has a reliable and inexpensive bus system that connects Kato Paphos and the upper town. Hiring a car is a good way to explore the surrounding areas, but the main parts of town can be easily navigated on foot. Municipal taxis are available and tend to be reasonably priced, servicing Paphos and its surrounds, although it is recommended that these are hailed rather than pre-booked as drivers tend to turn on meters when leaving to pick up passengers. For the more adventurous, hiring a scooter can be an exciting way to explore Paphos, but it is worth noting that accident rates are very high.

Language

The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, and a small percentage speaks Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect differs from mainland Greece. English, German and French are spoken in tourist areas.

Money

The currency was changed to the Euro (EUR) on 1 January 2008. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments. Money and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, open from Monday to Friday. There are ATMs spread throughout the island, operating 24 hours a day.

Time

GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

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