Family Fun in Paphos

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Family holiday’s need to be well thought out and planned. The location and accommodation need good children’s facilities and activities to keep the days occupied as well as it being enjoyable and convenient for the parents. On your European doorstep lies the beautiful sun kissed island of Cyprus with an abundance of long sandy beaches, kid’s attractions and great 5* family accommodation. Cyprus could well be your next holiday destination.

Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents, where east meets west and new experiences await you around every corner. The island is situated within the idyllic Mediterranean Sea, so already offers an array of water activities for you and the family. Budget airlines from most UK airports fly to Cyprus and a mere four and a half hour flight will land you in the sunshine (so hopefully the kids won’t get too restless). The cost of flights start from £150 return per person at the start of the summer season in May, some airlines may offer family packages so make sure you scout around to get the best deal. With all that Cyprus has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

Paphos

When trying to choose the exact location for your family vacation in Cyprus you’ll find that Paphos, a small charming harbour town on the west of the island, has the best reviews. The Paphos hotels welcome families with open arms and offer a host of special deals and children’s activities. Paphos has a rich historical background, housing many interesting archaeological sites, including the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, the Tombs of the Kings, the baths of Aphrodite, the very famous Mosaics of the House of Dionysos (under the protection of Unesco) and Paphos Fort. Cyprus is well known for its all year round warm climate but for families it may be better to visit slightly before or after the high summer season. Consider booking your holiday between March and May which ties in nicely with the school Easter holidays. The maximum temperature between these months ranges from 20 – 30 degrees Celsius, so remember to still pack the sun cream!

Family activities

With any family holiday you need to keep yourselves and the kids entertained. Having a daily itinerary of activities before you get there is a good way to plan your holiday. Paphos has some fantastic family activities on offer, here are a few suggestions:

Amusement parks and water parks are a good day out for the family, an activity that both adults and kids can enjoy. Aphrodite Water Park, situated at the far eastern end of the Kato Paphos coastal road is close to many of the Paphos hotels, boasting a short journey if you’re staying nearby. There is a wide and varied selection of rides and attractions. Spacious changing rooms and secure locker rooms are amongst the good facilities available at the park. One particularly good feature is that any purchases made within the park gets charged to your individual wristband meaning that you don’t have to carry cash around, which at some busy adventure parks can be a safety risk. A day out at a water park for an adult (aged 12 up) will cost 29 euros, children aged 3-11 costs 16 euros and infants under the age of three go free. If you think you may want to visit the park a second time while on your holiday you can get a two day pass, adult tickets 46 euros each and children 26 euros.

If the manic environment of a water park is not for you and your family, but you still enjoy the water, then a boat excursion off the Paphos coast may be a better option. With a number of scheduled boat trips departing from Paphos harbour, visitors can choose from half day or full day trips depending on how packed the rest of your holiday schedule looks! There are also a wide selection of glass bottom boats: usually leaving Paphos and cruising along the coastline to the famous Vera K shipwreck offering you the chance to admire the Mediterranean’s hidden treasures, spotting tropical fish and intriguing marine life without getting soaked. The trips only last an hour and leave Paphos Harbour several times throughout the day.

If the children crave a little more entertainment, a boat called the Jolly Roger is the vessel for them. It is an old fashioned pirate ship which offers a fantastic day out for the whole family. It cruises out from Paphos along to Coral bay then anchors for swimming and snorkelling. You can have a buffet style lunch whilst soaking up the scenery and experience some fantastic family entertainment such as limbo, face painting, acrobat shows and pirate stunts, so hopefully there won’t be any bored children, or adults!

Wildlife

Cyprus is situated in the easternmost part of the Mediterranean basin and right in the middle of the migration routes for millions of birds. Cyprus has a bird list of 374 species making it a great destination for wildlife lovers. Luckily enough Paphos houses some truly spectacular birds in the Paphos Bird and Animal Park. When visiting the park you will encounter parrots, cockatoos, emu’s, ostrich, toucans and even pigeons amongst many other species. A few of the animals that you’ll spot in the park will be camels, deer, giraffe’s, zebra’s, primates, snakes and many more. The parks facilities include a restaurant and snack bar and a children’s farm where the kids can get up close and personal with the rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and goats. If this is something that you know you and your family will love then the park is open to the public from October to March (winter season) and April to September (summer season), the adult fee is 15.50 euros and for children it’s 8.50.

Where to eat

With all the sightseeing and adventures you’ll be having, you must keep the energy up. Cypriot cuisine is full of lovely warm Mediterranean flavours, there are many restaurants and café’s to choose from serving a range of Cypriot, Middle Eastern, and British influenced cuisine. There is a selection of restaurants around the Old Harbour offering a range of culinary styles with fantastic views. In most places you will find a kids menu due to the popularity of Paphos being more of a family destination. The Paphos hotels have a wide range of cuisine on offer in their restaurants/bars. Many large resorts have complimentary meals for children, including a buffet style lunch and dinner with a selection of children’s dishes; alongside the meal a selection of free drinks will also be served. That will help to keep the costs down and allow the adults to indulge a little!

Paphos hotels

Paphos clearly has a lot to offer family holiday makers but there is still one more thing to make you aware of. Some of the Paphos Hotels have a range of activities and programs put on throughout the days and evenings to entertain you and your children. These activities may include organised Wii competitions, painting and t-shirt designing, table tennis and other sports. While the kids are in organised activities, being well looked after by hotel staff, the adults can relax by the pool or book themselves on a Greek language course, cookery course or an exercise class. You may not even need to leave your hotel with all the activities on offer, but do make sure you get out to see all the local historic attractions that Paphos has to offer!

If you have never been to Cyprus before and are unaware of the language then here is a brief guide with a few key phrases that kids and parents might find useful.

Where is the nearest beach?

Pou ine i pio kontini paralia?

Που είναι η πιο κοντινή παραλία?

Where is the nearest toilet?

Pou ine i pio kontini toualeta?

Που είναι η πιο κοντινή τουαλέτα?

Where is the tourist information?

Pou ine i touristikes plirofories?

Που είναι οι τουριστικές πληροφορίες?

Do you have any baby changing facilities?

Ehete diefkolinseis peripiisis vrefon?

Έχετε διευκολÏ νσεις περιποίησης βρεφÏŽν?

Do you have any highchairs?

Ehete pedika kathismata?

Έχετε παιδικά καθίσματα?

Do you have a children’s menu?

Ehete pediko menou?

Έχετε παιδικÏŒ μενοÏ ?

How far is the airport?

Poso makria ine to aerodromio?

ΠÏŒσο μακριά είναι το αεροδρÏŒμιο?

Good morning

Kalimera

Καλημέρα

Good night

Kalinikta

ΚαληνÏ κτα

I want an ice cream

Thelo ena pagoto

Θέλω ένα παγωτÏŒ

Lastly, here are a few tips on transport. Paphos has a newly renovated airport which can now be used instead of Larnaca Airport (The Maingate of Cyprus). The new Paphos airport is approximately a 10-15 minute drive from most of the hotels whereas Larnaca is over an hour. Airport transfers should be available as part of your accommodation, if not there are plenty of hire car options at the airport that are open 24 hours. If you want to be able to get around easily with the family then a hire car would be the best option, but remember it is left hand drive. If you prefer relying on public transport, it can turn out to be inexpensive and convenient but not the best idea if you are with small children. The buses can be cheap but you need patience, they do not run on a regular timetable and only run on certain roads. Why not hire some bicycles to get around Paphos, this way it is cheap and you get to see the sights in your own time.

Paphos is a great family destination full of lively activities, historic locations, exotic wildlife and friendly locals. If you book flights in advance, accommodation that can cater for all your needs and scout out the activities that suit the family then it will be a fruitful inexpensive experience that everyone will enjoy.


write by Angela

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