First trip to Cyprus – Part 1

Coral Bay

Cyprus spring flowers It started well with a 9am flight from Birmingham airport with Monarch, although you could check-in and leave luggage from 6am onwards (no queue and they offered to put one of our 10kg hand luggage in the hold for free). Even security was quick with no real queue. It is a 4.5 hour flight, but the transfer from Larnaca airport to Coral Bay took another 2.5 hours so it was 7pm before we finally got to our room.

As there was no sun on the balcony, and it was a bit dark and doomy, we asked if there was a chance to change rooms on the first morning – they were very good and gave us a key to look at one on the other side of the block which was great. Day 1 to explore, so turn right out of the gardens for Coral Bay beach, turn left for the ‘strip’ with bars and restaurants and a few small shops. On the second lot of sun cream by lunchtime – 27C!

First impressions of the Crown Resorts Hotel? There is a very pleasant lobby, seating areas plus bar. The buffet restaurant has a good selection of food and you could be vegetarian with no trouble. All-inclusive means free drinks at meals, of course, unless you want to buy a specific bottle of wine, which is just as well as drinks in the hotel bar are very expensive – €4.90 for a Tia Maria if you are all-inclusive but a massive €7.50 if not.    

Crown Resorts Horizon Hotel, Paphos Rooms are a bit tired, shower head in both rooms a bit temperamental (must-have item for travel bag is a cable tie!), and the hair-dryer nozzle kept falling off. No free WiFi anywhere in hotel, and very expensive to buy at €10 for 2 hours over a 7-day period. Find free WiFi in the local bars or cafes instead. Evening entertainment is very poor with Bingo 9.30pm every evening, most nights followed by karaoke. This is definitely NOT entertainment in a 4-star hotel as awful people who cannot hold a tune bombard everyone with their screeching.  Music was so loud in this lobby/bar area, with no quiet area to escape to, that by the end of 2 weeks people had complained so much, they turned it down a bit.

Coral Bay Although Leslie was poorly for a couple of days, we did manage to watch England beat Wales (just) in the 6 Nations rugby shown at the Blazing Saddles pub across the road. There are a lot of different bars and restaurants along the main street (referred to as the ‘strip’), with some really high-quality cuisine on offer. Whether you want traditional Cypriot meze, typical Mediterranean foods, steak or fish and chips, you can find it in this very small town just along from Coral Bay beaches.  

Coral Bay itself has several small bays, some with sandy beach areas but mostly shingle, lots of activities in the summer months but little going on in early March. However, by the end of our 3 week stay, areas had been tidied up, shrubs cut back, and lots of rough ground flattened as car park areas for visitors. The 615 bus is great as it takes you directly into Paphos, runs every 15 minutes until after 11pm, and is €1.50 each way.

Harbour town of Paphos

This is one of the main tourist locations in Sothern Cyprus and a lot of money is being spent to improve the infrastructure. Paphos is the European Capital of Culture in 2017 so there are lots of events taking place throughout the year (visit for more details). Paphos harbour The harbour is a lovely area to stroll around, lots of bars and restaurants and a range of boats from a ‘Nautilus’ submarine simulator, beautifully preserved wooden sailing ship and local fishing boats to the millionaires’ high-tech modern craft.         

If you continue walking south along the harbour front, still easy walking along wide paths, there is a fascinating glimpse of the pools and gardens at the back of the many 4-star and 5-star hotels at this end of town, all carefully maintained. A little further on is the stone marking the Sunset Point of the island, the best place for photographs as it sets.                        

Entrance to Kato Pophos This area of Cyprus is the archaeology lover’s dream. So many things to see! Most visitors look for the Tombs of the Kings first, a fascinating site just outside the town and only half-price €1.25 if you are over 65 – excellent value. We spent ages looking into and around the Tombs, a very big site with most of it open to explore (health and safety is not a priority here). We then walked the paved coastal path down to the harbour, past the lighthouse and around the point to come out at the Castle. It is a good distance but worth it.   

Probably better for another day rather than straight after this walk, the highlight for visitors must be the Archaeological site of Kato Paphos, the modern entrance gate at the Castle end (north) of the harbour. It is easy to say these words, but this truly was an amazing site to visit and we spent most of the day there. Mosaic peacock You must start with the visitor centre and see information about the many birds and flowers found here, but whatever you do, find time to watch the film about how they found, rolled up like a carpet, cleaned, rolled up again and laid back where they found the magnificent floor mosaics from the Roman period.  Walk around the raised platforms and look down on what looks like a huge carpet, such detail and clear colours that you cannot believe it is made up of tiny chips of marble. How can you show eyebrows in such detail in a mosaic?! A well-deserved title of World Cultural Heritage site has been given by UNESCO.    

Once in town, visit the Basilica (free) with monumental granite and marble columns and very clear remains of mosaic floors, the whole site having been altered several times from the 1st century BC. It was very impressive and just behind the bars and shops along the harbour front.

For holidays to Cyprus Silver Travel Advisor recommends Sunvil

137 people found this helpful

Share Article:


Silver traveller and award-winning travel writer

Leave a comment


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

Ambassador offers unique ways to focus on health and wellness while enjoying the beauty of the sea….
Who can resist an invitation to a birthday party in Paris? Gillian Thornton celebrates 40 years of Riviera Travel, the…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.