by Janis / 0 comments

A perfect holiday on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea

Ahh, the crystal blue shores of the Med were calling.

After the past couple of years that we’ve all had, and in the midst of a British winter, we were craving a little sun to lighten our mood. So, with our love of history and culture, we took the opportunity to escape for a little winter sun with Jet2holidays.

Browsing through Jet2holidays extensive list of destinations and various accommodation options, we chose their all-inclusive package holiday to Paphos in Cyprus. And what a perfect choice it was too.

The ancient coastal city of Paphos lies southwest of Cyprus, which is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. During your visit, you’ll be soaking up the rays beneath the beautiful blue skies, basking on their incredible Blue Flag beaches and strolling in the footsteps of civilisations past within the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Paphos offers the ideal blend of relaxation with the delightful addition of culture and charisma. Its location also allows you the opportunity to head to the mountains and explore the captivating Cypriot countryside.
The view from the jetty into the Mediterranean sea back to the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos
The Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos
Everything you would want from a holiday in the winter sunshine.

Where is Paphos, Cyprus?

How to get to Paphos

- By Air
Here are your UK departure options for Jet2 flights to Cyprus;

  • Belfast (BFS)
  • Birmingham (BHX)
  • Bristol (BRS)
  • East Midlands (EMA)
  • Edinburgh (EDI)
  • Glasgow Intl (GLA)
  • Leeds Bradford (LBA)
  • London Stansted (STN)
  • Manchester (MAN)
  • Newcastle (NCL)

Venturing off with Jet2holidays to Paphos

A smooth and effortless experience

Jet2holidays offers several departure locations around the UK, we selected to hop aboard the Jet2holidays flight from London Stansted Airport. Stansted Airport is easily accessible by car from the M11 motorway, or you can catch the Stansted Express rail link from London Liverpool Street, which departs every 15 minutes.

If you choose the driving option, you can book your car parking through the Jet2 Extras website, and you’ll also get a discount.

Three Jet2 Planes parked at their gates at Stansted airport on a clear day with Blue skies
Jet2 planes at Stansted Airport
Our experience during our Jet2 flights to Cyprus was an incredibly smooth and stress-free one, aided by Jet2’s friendly staff all the way. From the smiley faces at the check-in desks to the upbeat flight attendants and the team greeters on the ground at Paphos. It’s an experience I can highly recommend, and we would certainly choose again.
The departure board for the Jet2 flight from Stansted airport to Pathos, Cyprus
A Jet2.com flight to Paphos

Included in your holiday package, you’ll have a generous baggage allowance of 22kg and a hand luggage allowance of 10kg, so plenty of room for those extra sandals and sunnies. When you hop off your flight at your chosen destination, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that your hotel transfer awaits.

If you wish to make the whole in-flight experience even less stressful, you can pre-book your seats and meals for a charge.

Additionally, ensure you download the Jet2holidays app; it is effortless to manage your booking.

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Strolling Paphos coastal path

Stunning views across the Mediterranean Sea

The sound of crashing waves under the winter sunshine is a treat for the senses. We could hear the waves lapping at the shoreline from our beachfront accommodation of the Olympic Lagoon Resort.

One step, and we embark on the breath-taking walk along the coastal path to Paphos harbour. The views across the Med are spectacular; every craggy inlet you discover, you’ll be stunned at how beautiful it is.

The clear blue waters of the Mediterranean sea from the coastal path outside the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos looking towards Paphos Harbour in Cyprus
The Paphos coastline

Wildflowers, evergreen succulents, and delicate grasses share the coastline with Blue Flag beaches, rocky coves and intimate bays. Rockpools fill with each roll of the tide, and children relish the idea of discovering a little creature washed in by the ocean.

With every step, Paphos Castle will creep closer and closer, and the beautiful iconic view of Paphos will emerge. Along the shoreline, you can jump on a jet-ski, parascend in the skies or stick to terra firma and just dips your toes in the Med like me.

Janis standing with her feet in the Mediterranean sea in the bay next to the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos, Cyprus
Janis with her toes in the Med'

Exploring Paphos Harbour

Soaking up the relaxing vibes
You’ll continuously be drawn to the bustling harbourside in Paphos. Local families and tourists alike love the relaxed atmosphere along the waterfront and spend hours soaking up the winter sun while mingling with family and friends. Ice-creams are indulged by the young and old and optimistic folk who try their hand at fishing for their supper.
An old man fishing off Paphos harbour with the Castle in the background
A fisherman at Paphos harbour

As we strolled towards Paphos Castle, restaurants and bars were welcoming us in to enjoy their delicious seafood, all washed with a glass of local wine or beer.

Ambling further around the harbour, keep an eye out for the charming bronze sculptures and statues; they add a fun character element to the shoreline.

A bronze statue of a woman, named Sol Alter, draped over a rock in Pathos harbour
Sol Alter in Paphos harbour
As usual, if there’s a harbour to be found, you’ll always find me captivated by the nautical comings and goings. I loved the spot where the vibrantly painted fishing boats are bobbing in the bay. Loaded up with baskets ready to head out for their following daily catch.
A row of small fishing boats lined up in Paphos harbour on a bright day under blue skies.
Fishing boats in Paphos harbour

Visiting Paphos Castle

The iconic Medieval Fort

Paphos Castle stands proud at the harbour entrance and is almost entirely surrounded by water. Just a short hop across the arched bridge, and you reach its only entrance.

The charming square sandstone coloured castle which stands today, dates from the Ottomans and was built in 1592. Originally a Byzantine fortress stood at the harbourfront; however, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1222.

The 16th-century Pathos Castle surrounded by a modern-day moat
Paphos Castle

There are twelve battlements around the castle rooftop which once housed cannons. The Ottomans removed these cannons prior to the administration handover in 1878 to the British.

As we stepped inside Paphos Castle, we immediately entered the enclosed courtyard. The rooms on the lower floor were once used as prisons and barracks. Heading up the steep steps to the upper floor, you reach the rooftop, where the Guard of the Castle would reside.

The view of the top of Paphos Castle and the harbour it protects in Cyprus
The top of Paphos Castle
The views from the rooftop across Paphos harbour and along the Mediterranean coastline are amazing. Paphos Castle was once again struck by an earthquake in 1953 and was fully restored by 1969.

Good to know

The castle’s ground floor is wheelchair accessible; however, the rooftop is not.

Pathos Castle is open all year round, excluding public holidays.
Summer entrance times: 16th April to 15th September, 08:30 - 19:30
Winter entrance times: 16th September to 15th April, 08:30 - 17:00

The entrance fee is €2.50.

The historical sites of Paphos

Ancient relics at your feet

In 2017 Paphos was designated the European Capital of Culture, and with so many archaeological treasures, it’s easy to see why. The ancient ruins to be found in Paphos are stunning.

Our first stop was at The Archaeological Site of Nea Pafos, one of the most important sites in Cyprus. It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, along with other historical locations in Pathos, including the Tombs of The Kings.

In my opinion, you will need to allow at least 2 hours to explore the ancient park as it is incredibly fascinating. It houses ruins dating from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages.

Looking down on a mosaic from a raised walkway of the archaeological site of Nea Paphos in Cyprus
The archaeological site of Nea Paphos

The meticulous mosaic floors from the four Roman Villas of Dionysos, Aion, Theseus and Orpheus are overwhelming. The other parts of the site not to be missed are the ‘Theatre’ overlooking the Forum and the Catacombs.

At this point, I should add ensure you’ve doused yourself in sun-cream. Don’t make the same mistake as me, as there are very few shady spots.

Our next stop was to the ‘Tombs of the Kings’, and I can’t believe the entrance fee was only €2.50. Once again, allow at least two hours; there are so many nooks and crannies to explore.

The columned interior of the inside Tomb 3 in the archaeological site of the Tombs of the Kings
Inside Tomb 3

Considering that this ancient site dates from the Hellenistic period to the Romans, you are free to wander wherever you wish, but obviously, be careful.

There are tombs and catacombs dotted everywhere. The especially remarkable tomb was Tomb 3, with its stunning Doric columns and atrium; it was awe-inspiring.

Nearby is also the Basilica of Chrysopolitissa and the Church of Agia Kyriaki.

Good to know

The sites are partially wheelchair accessible.

The archaeological sites are open all year round, excluding public holidays.

Summer entrance times: 16th April to 15th September, 08:30 - 19:30
Winter entrance times: 16th September to 15th April, 08:30 - 17:00

The entrance fee is €4.50 the Tombs of Kings is €2.50 (Both are excellent value)

Don’t forget to download the UNESCO app when you arrive; it is full of fascinating facts to help you navigate the site.

Exploring Paphos Old Town

Lanes full of rustic charm
Gary and I loved exploring Paphos Old Town; it was full of personality and charisma. You felt that the locals were proud of the town, and an injection of love and renewal was flowing through its characterful streets.
A street in Old Town Paphos lined with beautifully restored classic buildings
Old Town Paphos

Old styles blended effortlessly with the new and the colourful tapestry of lanes guide you past stylish boutiques, old workshops, trendy cafés and even a traditional Singer sewing machine shop. What’s not to love?

Life is being lived on the streets of Paphos Old Town, and I just adore seeing locals pull up a chair and open their old board games and let the world pass by.

A restored courtyard, shielded by canvas sun blinds in Old Town Paphos
New in Old Town Paphos
Keep a lookout for the delightful bronze statues dotted around the town and the incredible street art that adorns the quietest corners.

Our All-Inclusive stay at the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos

Luxurious, effortless, and extremely relaxing
Our choice of accommodation with Jet2holidays was the 5-star Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos. This stylish Luxe Collection resort was such a pleasure to stay at, and the premium beachfront location was captivating. The Olympic Lagoon Resort most certainly had the wow factor and will have you booking a return visit.
The Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos pool area, lined with palm trees under a clear blue sky.
The pool area of the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos

The hotel’s outdoor pools are enchanting within immaculately kept surroundings. Palm trees are lightly swaying in the breeze; you have the choice of whirlpools, freshwater pools, and plenty of sun-loungers to laze upon with cocktails at your fingertips.

The Olympic Lagoon Resort has 6 restaurants and 5 bars, including a pool bar, some of which are seasonal. There are spa and beauty facilities, an indoor pool, air-conditioned gym, tennis courts, children’s clubs, and evening entertainment. Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg; and the fun begins when you first skip through the door and you’re greeted by the hotel’s welcoming staff.

The view from the lobby of the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos, to the lounge below, looking onto the outside seating, pool and the Mediterranean sea beyond.
The lounge area of the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos
Our experience of all-inclusive holidays with Jet2holidays has truly impressed us and changed our perspective on this holiday choice. The word that kept springing to mind during our winter break was 'relaxing' we were constantly saying to each other, 'how relaxing is this?' The staff made the whole holiday effortless, and nothing was too much trouble.

Discover more of the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos

If you want to discover more of the Olympic Lagoon Resort, then why not check out our full post 'Escape to the winter sun in Paphos, Cyprus.Our stay at the Olympic Lagoon Resort, Paphos'

We will guide you through our experience of this all-inclusive package holiday to Paphos.

Aphrodite's Rock

Petra tou Romiou

We now venture a little outside of Paphos.

Legend has it that the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty, was Paphos. Aphrodite elegantly rose from the waves of the sea at ‘Petra tou Romiou’, Aphrodite Rock.

Aphrodite's Rock set in beautiful blue waters on the coastline to the south of Pathos, Cyprus
Aphrodite's Rock

This picturesque rock formation is along a stunning coastline area to the southeast of Paphos. Although you are not meant to climb the rock (not that I would want to), it is believed that if you swim around the rock three times, you will be blessed with eternal youth and beauty.

Aphrodite Rock is around 30km (19 miles) from Paphos Harbour. If you’ve hired a car with Jet2extras, then it’s just a short cruise along the shoreline. Alternatively, have a chat with your Jet2holidays rep and discover the excursions on offer.

Our video of Paphos

We have created a little YouTube video of our first look at Paphos.  Why not take a look?

Also, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Further afield in Cyprus

Discovering the mountains and bays
During our adventure to Paphos, not only did we want to sightsee the local history, but we also wanted to explore a little further afield. Discovering the scenic mountainous countryside, the picturesque bays dotted around the coastline and some of Cyprus’s off-beat villages.
Our white Kia Cee'd hire care parked next to the roadside in the mountains of Cyprus
Martine on the roadside

The perfect option for this is hiring a car, Jet2extras; has many options to choose from and suits most budgets.

I would hasten to add that my jaunt in ‘Martine’ (we like to give our cars a name based on the number plate) was limited, and I let Gary take to the wheel. Gary has driven in quite a few countries worldwide, and he said that Cyprus was one of the calmest countries he had experienced. The roads were easy to navigate, and the locals were easy-going and patient.

The view along Lara beach on the western edge of Cyprus
Lara Bay

Having the flexibility of the car allows you to stop when you wish and take things at your own pace. We visited some beautiful bays and villages, including Coral Bay, the sea caves and the Edro III shipwreck at Peyia and Lara Bay, to name a few. Lara Bay is home to a turtle conservation station and protects the area when the turtles lay their eggs in the summer months.

We headed to the mountainous region around Troodos and Mount Olympus during one of our days out. The views and scenery were spectacular, although it was a surprise seeing snow banked up on the side of the switchback roads.

The Kykkos Monastery, high in the hills of Cyprus, with its bell tower high up on the hillside.
The Kykkos Monastery

We stopped off at the very remote Kykkos Monastery, and then on our adventure back down the mountains, we visited the delightful wine-making village of Omodos. Omodos is so quaint to see; it has tiny narrow lanes and charming tavernas.

Keep a lookout for our future posts where we share a little more in-depth info on the Olympic Lagoon Resort and the historical sites of Paphos.

Disclaimer

We were invited to Cyprus as guests of Jet2holidays to stay at the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos. However, all our views, opinions and personal experiences are our own.

Would we recommend a winter sun stay at the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos with Jet2holidays? Unequivocally yes, we would return tomorrow. You instantly start to unwind and feel a wave of relaxation flow through you.

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