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The southwest of Cyprus is known for great archaeological wonders, endless Mediterranean blue water and traditional produce. With so much to choose from, here are the best things to do in Paphos and Limassol if you have just 24 hours.
Have breakfast at Kika’s Garden
The best way to get around the area is by renting a car visiting Kallepia village (about 20 minutes from central Paphos) to have a mouthwatering brunch at Kika’s Garden Homemade Food & Produce. Kika, a retired dentist, has transformed her backyard into a must-visit breakfast spot in Paphos offering homemade breads, jams, eggs, vegetables and fruit, all organically grown in her garden. Enjoy your first meal of the day with a stunning view of the mountains, or under Kika’s fig trees on the porch.
Visit the Tombs of the Kings
Get a taste of the island’s grand heritage at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, where ancient tombs stand tall. Though they didn’t belong to royalty, the underground tombs and chambers are from the Hellenistic and Roman periods and got their title from their majestic appearance. A visit here is well worth your time.
Drive through the villages
The district of Paphos is made up of numerous villages, so much so that you might not realise when you’ve moved on from one to another! Driving from the tombs up to Kathikas village, you’ll pass through Kissonerga and Peyia. Stop by the villages to briefly explore and have a chat with the locals.
Lunch in Kathikas village
It’s time for meal number two – adapt to the local lifestyle and indulge frequently in the local cuisine. Kathikas is renowned for its taverns, and some to look out for are Imogen’s Inn, with its cute green garden, and To Petradaki, with a more modern twist and vegetarian dishes. You won’t be disappointed.
Stop at Aphrodite’s Rock
Head towards Limassol and you’ll be greeted by Aphrodite’s Rock on your right. Pause here to admire the location where the goddess of love and beauty was born; you can visit the site and take a photo if you have time to spare. To reach the rock, climb down the steps and walk through the narrow tunnel to the beach.
Visit Kourion Archaeological Site
Cyprus’s most famous archaeological site, Ancient Kourion, is situated between Paphos and Limassol. As one of the most important city-kingdoms in antiquity, it is believed to date back to Neolithic times. Its ruins are well preserved and are spread over a large area. To see the full size of the site, head to the visitor centre to see a model of it: the Roman amphitheatre is the star of the whole site, with stunning views of the horizon, and continues to be used today for concerts and theatre performances. Catching a performance here at sunset is unforgettable.
Walk the narrow streets of Old Limassol
Once in Limassol, leave the car behind and explore the town on foot. One of the best areas to explore is the Old Town, which is picturesque, with charming alleys and beautiful neoclassical buildings such as the Municipal Library. Pay a visit to the medieval castle where it is believed that Richard the Lionheart and Berengaria of Navarre were married, before she was crowned queen of England in 1191. Pay attention to the town’s walls, as they are decorated with stunning street art that has recently evolved all across the island.
Dine at Heroes Square
Time to eat again. Still within the Old Town, Heroes Square is surrounded by numerous taverns where you can relax and dine. Accompanying your meal with a bottle of local wine is definitely recommended here, as Limassol is also known as the wine capital of Cyprus, and is home to dozens of vine-growing villages.
End your day with a cocktail
Kick back and unwind with a tasty and refreshing cocktail at some of Limassol’s atmospheric bars. If you’re a fan of gin, Library Bar is a must. It’s set in a green garden with low lighting, and serves beautiful gin cocktails. For a more groovy time, head to Sousami, a colourful bar that hosts various local and international DJs and also has a small garden.