Cyprus...Aphrodite's Island...the original Love Island. We recently revisited across the October half-term holidays with the family. It holds a special place as it's where we were married 10 years ago, but the objective was slightly different this time around. Out went the 5* Hotels...in came the family option and a significant change of pace.
First thing to advise is that there is a growing culture now to book your accommodation separate from your flights. For example, we booked our own 2 bed apartment by the sea with a communal pool. There are a number of these options as well as larger styled villas to be had here...and in many locations now. The flight companies are not silly, they know this as because they cannot get the deals with the hotels so much now...it means that flights are on the increase again. So first bit of advice...really revise and plan your flights to get the best cost and option you can. Don't settle for silly times or random airports...make sure you do this in good time to get what fits you best. There is no such thing as last minute anymore...get those flights booked as soon as you possibly can, and look out for those all important sales!
We booked an apartment..well it's what we offer to clients and groups, so it seems daft not to play by our own rules. But significantly, we felt it just works better for families. As much as the hotels are lovely, all inclusive and have entertainment across the day and night. If you look beyond this, you will effectively be all in one room, with the kids on a put-me-up of some kind. Not the most ideal of living conditions, and you will be spending time there across your stay, so it does need to be considered.
Our boys are 8 and 4 and so could not go in an adjoining hotel room. Then the fact the pools are crowded and so it's hard to keep an eye on them at that age...when do we relax? So a two bed apartment worked really well. We all got our own space and when the boys went to bed it wasn't the end of the evening...we could sit out on the balcony with drinks and music and finally chill. It is definitely worth looking at private renting your accommodation, especially for young families. There is so much choice and a range of prices to suit all budgets.
We stayed in Coral Bay, just north of Paphos itself and about 30 minutes transfer from the airport. For those not looking to be in with the hustle and bustle of Paphos, it's a great location. A small village with a lovely cove beach and a main strip where the shops, bars and restaurants are all located. There are a few hotels here too that are well worth staying at if that is your preferred choice, such as Crowne Resort Horizon and the more up market Coral Beach Hotel. It's also only 15 minutes via bus to Paphos harbour and about 3 euros return...definitely use the busses!!
Locally in around the Paphos region you have predominantly karaoke bars, authentic local restaurants and some themed bars and restaurants. One of our favourites is near the Tomb of the Kings - Fat Mama's who provide some great entertaiment while you eat. Plus the portion size is crazy and good quality! But Samisen Japanese Restaurant in Coral Bay is amazing...a must for anyone staying in this region.
The harbour is well worth a stroll where you have the old fort and some great eating areas. You also have the waterpark a must for families...but again use the busses to go there!
The beach at Coral Bay is set between rocky coves and does all it needs to do. It's not a hugely expansive area, but still serves it's purpose for the day. The sea is a little choppy here, so make sure you don't venture too far, and keep an eye on the flags.
There are a number of excursion options, but we opted for the Jeep Safari that took us across the Akanas region. It was 100 euros for the family and fantastic value. It was one of those that takes in pretty much everything, rather than paying a high price for half the tour. We took in the Sea Caves, Turtle Beach with the last hatching turtles for the year, into the Akanas mountains where we had some stunning views as well as a trek to the Gorge which was hard work, but is still child friendly. There was an amazing fish lunch at a local fishing village, then off to see Aphordites Bath...where supposedly you bathe your face and become 10 years younger?? Then a final stop at an olive oil factory..(not sure that was needed, but the oil was lovely on toast!) The only thing we didn't get to see was the Blue Lagoon, but this was due to the roads at this time of year not being suitable to get there.
So finally that leaves the sunsets...yes you know we love a sunset. Again, simply stunning in Cyprus and a special moment each day as a family we really enjoyed.
There is more to tell and explore, but this was just a simple guide with a few tips hopefully to help and whet the appetite. If you would like to know more, or need help in planning and booking your stay in Cyprus, then do get in touch with us - firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us socially on Facebook and LinkedIn.