πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ύ The antique Expatriate Paradise of Paphos

Diary Entry

From the port city of Larnaca at the eastern end of the Greek part of Cyprus, I take the intercity bus to the western end of the island. There is a short stop in Limassol, also called “Limassolgrad” by the locals because of the high proportion of Russian residents, before continuing to the town of Paphos. Zsolt and Jacky are waiting for me there. I know the couple from Freiburg. In 2022 they packed their bags and emigrated to Cyprus.

They liked the town of Paphos best, so they stayed there and rented a house. Zsolt takes me there when he picks me up from the bus station at sunset.

It takes me 2.5 hours from one end of the island to the other

As soon as you arrive at the house, the post goes off immediately. There’s a pool party to which my hosts have invited all the other emigrants they already know. I am the exotic of the event, who is only “visiting” the island.

We play board games and have fun in the pool. Most of the guests are German, but there are also Spanish and Russians.

Emigrate to Cyprus

Cyprus is very popular among expats. Europeans come to Cyprus to save on taxes. You have to pay 12%, and even that can be reduced even further with a few tricks. The cost of living is comparatively cheap and an island in the Mediterranean is not the ugliest place to live either.

For people outside of Europe, Cyprus is attractive because you can acquire citizenship in the European Union for a mere 2 million euros. This is particularly popular with Russians and Chinese.

Must eat: Meze

My friends also show me the local cuisine. “Meze” is popular. You get small tapas on the table until you beg for mercy. Starters, salads, meat dishes, pickled vegetables, sauces, shrimp and sausages are part of the spectrum.

Some restaurants also offer pure fish meze, which then focuses on fish and seafood. Especially with others, this is the best way to try your way through a large part of the Cypriot cuisine in a fun way. A local red wine goes very well with it.

Zsolt lends me his small 125 Honda so that I can explore the city and later more of the island on my own. On the very first day, I witness an accident in which a truck crushes two cars. Nothing happens apart from a fender bender, but I’m preparing to drive more carefully in the country again. The unfamiliar left-hand traffic is not helpful.

First, I take my motorbike to the part of downtown where I arrived on the intercity bus. There you will find the well-preserved remains of a Turkish bath.

First, I take my motorbike to the part of downtown where I arrived on the intercity bus. There you will find the well-preserved remains of a Turkish bath.

The freedom to ride a motorcycle across a Mediterranean island:

Hell Yeah!

ToDo’s in Paphos

  • Visit of the city center (free)
  • Visit to the harbor promenade (free)
  • Visit to the Royal Tombs of Nea Paphos (2.50€)
  • Visit to the ruins of the city of Nea Paphos (UNESCO) (4.50€)
  • A swim trip to Coral Bay (Rental Car or Tour)
  • A hiking trip to Avakas Gorge (Rental Car or Tour)
  • A Trip to the Monastery of Saint Neophytos (Rental Car or Tour)
  • Visit to the wreck of the Edro (Rental Car or Tour)
  • Visit to the limestone cliffs of the Sea Caves (Rental Car or Tour)
  • Visit to Aphrodite’s Rock (Rental Car or Tour)

The area surrounding the city center also has a lot to offer: modern street cafes, restaurants, wine bars, handicrafts and souvenir shops are lined up here. It’s extremely clean and packed with tourists.

I drive the machine a bit through the city center, but the traffic in the narrow streets is unbearably heavy. At least I can snake my way around.

The big highlight for people with a fetish for old stones is the large site of Nea Paphos, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins of the old city lie on a peninsula south of the city. The harbor promenade with all its shops is also worth a visit. Accordingly, the coaches are stacked here.

You can also get into the sea via stairs to swim there. But you don’t have privacy. For more beach feeling you have to go to Coral Bay.

The port is beautiful and has many restaurants. An old castle can also be visited there, but there is nothing to see there.

Not even the view is worth it. At least I got in for free, although there is a ticket booth inside. The officer in there, however, has little interest in potential customers and occupies himself with his smartphone while everyone marches past him.

Most highlights are very cheap or even free

Admission to the vast grounds of Nea Paphos is ridiculously cheap compared to other heritage sites in Europe. For just €4.50 I get access to the site where I could spend a whole day if I wanted to see every column and mosaic. Even the tourist groups from the tour buses get lost here in the distance, so that I have my peace in the heat of the day.

The ruins of the city are no longer clearly visible. Individual foundations and pillars are still standing, but that’s about it. What is special are the mosaics, which used to adorn the floors of the living rooms of the rich Greek residents and still show colorful scenes from Greek mythology or nature.

The ruins of Nea Paphos

The history of Nea Paphos dates back to the 4th century BC. when it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Paphos. It has been shaped by different civilizations over the centuries, including the Romans and Byzantines. The city prospered during the Hellenistic and Roman periods and was an important political, economic and cultural center.

The ruins of Nea Paphos offer an impressive variety of archaeological sites. One of the most notable features is the Roman House of Dionysus, whose mosaics are of exceptional artistic quality. The depictions range from mythological scenes to portraits of the Roman gods. The Roman House of Theseus and the House of Orpheus are other notable examples of well-preserved villas with ornate mosaics.

The Odeon of Nea Paphos, a Roman amphitheater, is another impressive site. It was used for musical and theatrical performances and still provides a fascinating setting for events today. The ancient theater located nearby was once an important place for Roman entertainment and can still be admired.

In addition to the private villas and theaters, there are also public buildings such as the Agora building and the Saranda Kolones, an impressive fortress that once guarded the port entrance. It is also worth paying a visit to the Tombs of the Kings, which are monumental burial sites from the Hellenistic period.


The area is not only characterized by ruins, but is also a nature reserve for rare animal and plant species. Information boards point out the flowers and grasses as well as birds and reptiles. A few large agamids almost walk over my feet.

There is also a large picturesque lighthouse on the site. In its shade you can rest a bit. With a little adventurous spirit, you can march back and forth and look between the bushes to see if you can find exciting antique remains.

There really is a lot to discover. Without any signs, I stumble into large caves where people used to live. Russ testifies to fireplaces. The limestone was easy to work with.

Like in a labyrinth I find passages, stairs up and down, walls and openings. But I can’t find an explanation of what that actually is. Very strange.

I’m staying with my friends in Paphos for four days and exploring the country’s cuisine with them. Alone I make my way to the Monastery of Saint Neophytos and the Troodos Mountains on my motorbike, travel the west coast and march through the Avakas Gorge.

From Paphos I take an intercity bus to the next town. Of course I also have to get to know Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus.

intercity buses

In every city there is a bus stop from which buses to the other cities depart regularly. From Larnaca to Paphos there are (as of 2023) three connections in the morning and three connections in the afternoon. The price is just 7 euros. There are also private companies that offer the ride, but they are much more expensive.

Intercity Bus, Kapnos Airport Shuttle

You can pay for your trip directly to the bus driver on site and, in my experience, you don’t have to worry about not getting a seat.

All roads lead to Nicosia. Most connections go to and from the capital, sometimes every 15 minutes.

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  1. Aymen says

    This looks like a lot of fun. You have inspired me to take a trip to Cyprus.

    During the bus journey from Larnaca to Paphos, did you also happen to cross the British Territory?

    How was the vorder crossing?

    1. Alexander says

      Hi Aymen, I am very happy about that! πŸ™‚

      To your question: no, there was no entering of UK territory. Everything is very smooth. I think the UK territory these days is limited to military area which you cannot access at all. The only border you might cross is the one to Turkish Cyprus. There are apparently 9 checkpoints over the island.

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