If you are visiting Paphos, seeing the harbour is nearly impossible to avoid. While it offers plenty to enjoy, it also has a handful of tourists traps.
I love coming here in spring and winter when there are almost no tourists and its much more peaceful and enjoyable to take in the surroundings.
Restaurants in Paphos Harbour
Don’t get me wrong, even though Paphos offers quite a few very good restaurants, you won’t find any of the in the harbour. Most of the restaurants on the main strip offer the same menu, service and prices. The food is about average and most of the seafood is cooked from frozen, if you care to check the menu properly you will see how much of it actually comes straight from the freezer. Those pretty displays with fresh fish are more of an attraction to get you to the restaurant in the first place. Some of the restaurants offer also fresh fish which is priced per kilo.
If you absolutely have to have food in the harbour, I can only recommend Theos Restaurant which is in the middle of the harbour strip.
If you care to venture a bit further, walking along the coastline away from the castle and towards the town, you will find the more reasonable option which also offers quality, along with the views. Few of these include:
Ta Bania Restaurant – this used to be my favourite place to watch the waves after stormy weather. It has undergone quite the transformation and the food menu got more exciting too. Beautiful views and it stays open in winter season too.
Alea Lounge Bar – seems to be the place where the cool locals hang out. Great selection of drinks and delicious food. Quirky decor and the perfect place for people watching. One of my go-to places when I’m in the harbour, tends to be quite busy though.
Ouzeri Restaurant at Almyra Hotel – located a short walk away by the coast, Ouzeri is well worth the stroll. Delicious fresh food served right by the coastline with immaculate service and live music at weekends.
Also worth mention – Tea for Two – great value food, a better alternative to the fast food chains nearby. Big portions, plenty to choose from and very reasonably priced. This one is located across the road from Alea Lounge Bar.
Bars in Paphos Harbour
Rose Pub – located just off the main road, this is one of the only pubs I actually venture to when in the area. They offer live music every weekend and stay open during the winter season. Great atmosphere and the place is always full of locals. Rose Pub is just a short walk away from the “bar street” with plenty more options should you fancy something more like a nightclub.
Sightseeing in Paphos Harbour
Well, this is a short chapter. There are a few attractions that can make it to the top of your list:
Paphos Castle – In my five years I did not have the need to go inside, until this year and I’m happy to report you can save yourself the trouble. There is very little to see, it’s worth probably just the view from the top, but aside from that, it’s fairly boring compared to for example Limassol Castle.
Paphos Archeological Park – even though I’m not a huge fan of historic sights of this kind, I think this is a must see. It’s huge and takes a while to see it all. If you’re coming in the middle of the season, I highly recommend going there very early in the morning or just late afternoon as the heat will get to you.
St Pauls Column – another small historic site just off the main road, a short walk from Pappantoniou supermarket. Location on map here.
Boat Trips from Paphos Harbour
Paphos Sea Cruises – a range of different cruise options, including a Pirate option for kids
Venus Sea Cruises – a smaller selection of cruises of different lengths
KingFisher – fishing trips and glass bottom boat trips
I have not used any of the companies myself – most of these go along the coastline, some of the trips go as far as Blue Lagoon in Akamas. If you’re planning to visit Blue Lagoon, I would recommend driving to Latchi and getting a boat trip from there, it’s a fraction of the price.
What to Avoid
- most of the restaurants in the harbour area around the castle. In summer the employees will try to drag you into each restaurant and after a while, it gets a little annoying.
- the area right next to the parking lot is usually filled with people trying to sell you boat trips or fishing trips. Again, not a very relaxing atmosphere for a holiday stroll if you ask me.
- if you’re coming with a car, sometimes parking in the main designated area can prove rather challenging due to the number of cars and reckless people leaving their cars literally in the middle of the road. There is a better parking option right next to the entrance to the parking area, next to Dionysos restaurant, it’s usually not as crowded
- if there is an even in the harbour, the traffic is a nightmare and it will be impossible to find a decent parking spot. If you’re coming for an event, it’s worth arriving earlier to avoid