A year after its stint as European Capital of Culture, this sun-baked Cypriot harbour town has really hit its stride.
Almyra hotel is where you head to when you want to bask in out-of-season sun, swim in an unfathomably clear stretch of sea and treat yourself at a spa that takes itself very seriously (refreshingly so for a boutique resort). The property is not sprawling but privacy is king here and there are plenty of nooks, alcoves and cleverly designed cabanas that create a calming sense of space. The footpaths are shrouded with aromatic lavender and rosemary bushes and lapping waves are never out of earshot. And although it caters to young families there’s a tucked-away children’s club and a superbly practical Baby Go Lightly service, where you can have everything from a pushchair to puzzles waiting for you in your room the pace here is slow and the mood serene.
With its ancient ruins and mythological mystique (Paphos is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love), you can ill your days touring castles, churches and monasteries. Set aside a morning to hike around the Archaeological Park and take in the mind-blowing 2,000-year-old mosaic floors. Open water swimming is another major draw to this area of coastline, as rows of stone breakwaters create calm swimming zones. Almyra actually hosts triathlon training camps to prep guests for competitions. But if your intention is to realign your energy, not expend it, pre-book appointments at the Almyraspa. The reflexology treatment will tap into and release tension you didn’t even know you had.
Want everything on the menu? Order the meze. It’s an especially safe bet at Theo’s in the harbour where freshly caught fish, including swordfish, prawns, whitebait and calamari is served up daily. Highlights at quirky Koutourou in the old town include halloumi baked in honey and home-baked bread, and at Almyra’s own Ouzeri, the jam and feta ilo pastries are perfection. For sundowners with a stunning view head up and inland to the Muse Cafe Kitchen Bar. It’s by far the best vantage point we came across.
Rates at Almyra start from $249 per night based on two people sharing on a B&B basis. Return Easyjet lights from $289 return.