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This European Hidden Gem With Turquoise Waters Is All The Rage This Summer

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Planning on heading to Mediterranean Europe this summer, but France's surging prices and the mass tourism in Italy keep putting you off?

Maybe you've just been looking for that idyllic sunny break in all the wrong places:

Aerial View Of A Resort Zone In Paphos, Western Cyprus, Mediterranean Europe

Tucked away in the Eastern side of the ancient sea, the resort city of Paphos, in the subtropical island of Cyprus is one of the warmest destinations across the pond, and though it's not on the average American's radar, it's all the rage this season.

We're talking turquoise waters, a picturesque Old Town, amazing cuisine, and most importantly for budget travelers, affordable resort stays.

Where Is Cyprus, Even?

Paphos City Center, Cyprus, East Mediterranean

Unless you're a geography geek, you've probably never even heard of Cyprus, as is the case with most U.S. travelers; not a snide comment, but this is a tiny island country in the Med, after all, and we wouldn't blame you for not being able to pinpoint it on a map.

So we'll tell you 5 key points you need to know about the country before we delve deeper into Paphos specifically:

  • Cyprus is located just south of Türkiye, and as a result, it's a stone's throw away from the Middle East (not literally, but it's pretty close)
  • It's geographically Middle Eastern, despite being a member of the European Union, being treated as geopolitically European, and having the euro as currency
  • It's Hellenic (Greek) and Turkish in character, though across Southern Cyprus, which includes Paphos, Greek is the dominant culture
  • It's been politically divided between North (Turkish-controlled), and South (Greek-controlled) since the 1970s, though the situation, albeit intractable, has been stable for decades
  • It's warmer year-round, with scorching hot summers, and very mild winters, particularly along the coast, making it a popular sunny getaway for Europeans
Young Woman Paddleboarding In The Turquoise Waters Of The Mediterranean Sea Off The Coast Of North Cyprus, Southern Europe

Now onto Paphos.

Why Is Paphos Surging In Popularity Right Now?

Ancient Culture And Beaches All In One

Paphos is a historic, mid-size city in Western Cyprus with a History spanning thousands of years, best known for its UNESCO-listed archaeological zones contrasted with a surprisingly modern, hotel-lined seafront: think Tulum, except calmer and far more developed.

It attracts both culture buffs and beach bums alike, as visitors can often find areas of outstanding natural beauty, including sandy beaches and secret coves within walking distance of the city center, as well as all the main sightseeing spots.

@vinigoesglobal 📍 The Tombs of the Kings, Paphos, Cyprus 🇨🇾 #cyprus #travel #europe #traveltips #summer #summervibes #island ♬ Satellite – Harry Styles

If you love European culture, you're certain to be mesmerized by the Tombs of the Kings, a vast Hellenic necropolis over 2,000 years old, the harbor-side Paphos Castle, and Nea Paphos, the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman city, still featuring partially-preserved colonnaded agoras and a theater.

Paphos also boasts one of the warmest climates in all of Cyprus, with temperatures raging above 80 degrees, and near-zero rain in summer, and basing yourself in the heart of the city, your option of swimming spots is endless, starting from the ever-busier Municipal Beach.

Boats And Yachts Docked At Akamas Blue Lagoon National Park, Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean

For the best, more recluse beaches, however, you'll have to head out of town towards Aphrodite Beach, where, according to Ancient Greek tradition, the goddess Aphrodite was born out of sea foam, and the Blue Lagoon in Akamas.

Reckless drivers, beware: like Greece, there might be a vertiginous cliffside drive, or two, on your way down to Akamas, so you might want to refrain from hitting the pedal, especially if there's an unexpected migration of the local donkey population.

@vinigoesglobal Can we talk about these vertiginous cliffside drives for a sec?? 😩 #greece #humor #fun #funfacts #travel #traveltips #traveltiktok #travellife ♬ original sound – Vini | Travel Blogger

Paphos and its wider province are incredibly tourist-friendly, and you will have no issue reaching all of the most popular tourist sites, whether coastal or inland, and you should definitely not underestimate the waterfall-dotted hinterlands.

The most beautiful natural attraction near Paphos is, in fact, the emerald-green Adonis waterfall, where Aphrodite would escape to consort with her human lover, away from the prying eyes of the Olympians, or so the Ancient Greeks would have you believe.

Adonis Waterfall In Western Cyprus, Mediterranean Europe.jpg

Paphos Is An Affordable Mediterranean Getaway

Taking all of this into account, you'd expect Paphos to be prohibitively expensive like equally-trendy Santorini or Mykonos, but that's not the case at all.

While in these other islands, you could spend hundreds of dollars on an overnight stay in a modest guesthouse, with nothing but an unremarkable breakfast and easy beach access as perks, you can book four-star resorts in Paphos for only $160 a night.

Aerial View Of Paphos, In Cyprus, East Mediterranean Sea

The adults-only Atlantic Golden Beach Hotel, facing the azure Mediterranean, has a beautiful swimming pool, world-class spa facilities, and additional concierge service with rates for double rooms with partial sea view starting from only $1,120 per week.

The less-luxurious, privately-managed Seashell Apartments, catering mostly to holidaying families, is still an affordable $692 per week this summer, competing with equally-attractive Sunset SeaView Studio ($506) and the three-star Cynthiana Beach Hotel ($608).

Woman In Luxury Hotel Room

Food in Paphos is incredibly inexpensive, too, with travelers expected to spend an average $41 on meals per day: this means you can gorge on some delicious moussaka, generously-filled gyros, and fresh taramasalata without breaking the bank while dining out local.

It's no surprise Paphos is expecting the biggest summer in years, with connectivity to the local Paphos Airport, which mainly hosts low-cost seasonal flights from Europe, serving 59 destinations across 21 countries from June, and a significant increase in summertime bookings.

Aerial View Of Paphos Castle, Paphos, Cyprus

Alongside Ayia Napa, on the eastern side of Cyprus, it is now one of the island's main tourist hotspots, with a 50% increase in arrivals compared to 2021:

Paphos is sizzling hot right now, literally and figuratively, and it's high time Americans joined their European counterparts in discovering it.

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