The community of Paphos on the southwest tip of the island of Cyprus is best known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, among the most famous of Greek goddesses. Today, most attractions in this seaside community next to the Troodos Mountains are situated along the newly renovated coastal strip in the lower Kato Paphos. Car rental in Paphos is the most practical way to travel in this community, where the only public transit options are buses and taxis. Visitors to this beautiful part of the world can explore the Tombs of the Kings, Byzantium Castle and various wineries and beaches along the Diarizos River Valley.
Who to Book With
The five car hire franchises at Paphos International Airport, located four miles southeast of the city, include the big international chains of Europcar, Budget and Sixt. The airport's two other vehicle rental companies, Petsas and Astras, are local businesses that sometimes offer good deals. Online bookings, however, often bring the best bargains of all, both at the airport and in other parts of Paphos.
Best Time to Go
Despite frequent heat waves, summer is still the most popular season to visit Paphos. Summer, however, also brings the year's highest vehicle rental and accommodation rates alongside its humid and hot weather. Humidity and prices both decrease during the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring. April is a particularly pleasant time to visit, when temperatures start warming up and showers are few and far between. Rain occurs far more often than snow in winter, but Mount Olympus remains a popular skiing spot.
Need to Know Essentials
Gather the following documents prior to collecting your rental car:
- A valid national driving license or International Driving Permit
- Proof of age over 25, such as a passport
- If possible, a printed confirmation of the reservation
For more info read our FAQ's
Paphos has unfortunately lost its status as the only traffic-free community in Cyprus, but the town's road network has not grown nearly as fast as the community itself. Paphos did not receive its first motorway link, the A6 to Limassol, until 2001. A second motorway, the A7 to Polis, should reach Paphos by 2013. Traffic, however, remains a problem in central Paphos, which still has the road infrastructure of a tiny colonial village.
Our guide to Cyprus contains even more driving information.
Paphos is just four miles away from the second-largest airport in Cyprus, but most cruise ships dock more than 37 miles away in Limassol. There is no rail service, but the community's bus network is fairly extensive. Passengers can also choose between private or shared taxi services. Paphos itself, however, is perhaps best explored on foot, while car hire remains the most efficient way to reach all parts of Cyprus. Paphos has no rail service.
Taxi Paphos is among the many taxi companies that take passengers around Paphos and the rest of Cyprus. Private taxis obviously cost more than those shared by several passengers. Standard fares begin at €5 for journeys around Paphos and rise to €125 for the two-hour ride to Ayia Napa or Protaras.
Paphos bus schedules are available on the official website of OSYPA, the community's main bus network, as well as the main bus station on the corner of Athinas and Thermopylon. Fares are fixed and range from €1 for one-way tickets to €150 for monthly passes.
Paphos is a designated World Heritage site, not only due to its status as Aphrodite's birthplace, but also for its ancient landmarks such as the fourth century BC underground Tombs of the Kings and Byzantium Castle. Visitors may need more than a day to explore the Akamas Peninsula on the western tip of Cyprus, while motorists will encounter an endless stream of wineries, mountains and picturesque villages along the Diarizos River Valley.
Coral Bay - Coral may no longer be a common sight along the shores of Coral Bay, but visitors who make the seven-mile trip from Paphos to this popular beach paradise will encounter plenty of secluded sunbathing spots between the beach's two limestone headlands. The smaller Potima Bay offers even more privacy and tranquility along its pebbly shores.
Limassol - From a family friendly Wet ‘n’ Wild water park to a stunning medieval castle, Limassol, the second most populous city in Cyprus, offers something for visitors of all sorts. History buffs will enjoy the archaeological and folk art museums, while animal lovers can admire the different species at the Lemesos Mini Zoo and Reptile House.
Polis - Visitors unable to make the longer journey to the Akamas Peninsula's breathtaking wilderness will find a closer rural retreat in the Chrysohou Bay community of Polis. This seaside village's charming exterior has remained relatively unchanged for decades. Winery tours, golden beaches and plenty of cycling and hiking opportunities await visitors.