It is also part of the Euro zone, so things are easy and one doesn't need to be very troubled with exotic change rates calculation. Prices are higher than in other Greek Islands, but they are still comfortable enough.
So we took a hotel in Paphos. We booked the Aloe Hotel, which was the one with the most normal price at the time of the booking - the only 4-star hotel there with a booking price of less than 150 Euro per night. We actually paid around 93 Euros per night.
As usual, Shmil and Louiza were our partners in this vacation.
Already at the first day, we took rental motorcycles for going around. Since we had the intention of doing longer trips, we didn't take 250cc scooters, but preferred to take bigger, 400cc choppers, the Honda Shadow. We took them from Pentaras Rentals, and were very well attended by Michalis (Michael).
Coming from 1200cc touring bikes to 400cc choppers was definitely strange. All the sitting was different, the engines are very good in slopes down (slopes up are a different story) and the bikes were so old (but very well conserved) that even a gas level indicator was not present there, leave away all the BMW technology we are used to. Add to this the fact that Cyprus is a former British colony and driving there is on the left side (as opposed to most of the world), and we were heading to the experience of our lives.
After receiving the bikes, we took off immediately to the region of the Aphrodite's Rock. Yes, 50% of Cyprus is named after Aphrodite, the goddess of love, either she was born in the Island or the Cypriots took over her image as their protector.
Aphrodite's Rock is a beautiful beach with a beautiful rock just in front of it. You can visit the place, or even better, just change to swimming suits in the restaurant in front of it and enjoy the beach. This is what we did, and we stayed there for around 2 hours. Water was not warm like in Israel, but it was nice.
Please enjoy the photo gallery below, click on any of the photos enlarge it and provides navigation through them.
The restaurant was very well rated in Google, and it also pulled our interest due to the Israeli name Efraim (later we discovered Cypriots pronounce it Efrem). Getting there, Shmil quickly (and funnily - for the second time - see our trip to Croatia last year and look for the Rizman winery) discovered that Efraim is already dead for some good years and the place is run by his son and daughter. Asking around, nobody knew of any Jewish relation with Jewish community anywhere, but we discovered that his full name was Efraim Ouzery - and Ouzery is a Jewish name with roots in Yemen... so this remained a mistery.
The place is a cozy taverna with outside tables, and gorgeous food. Shmil and me went for the pork chops. Louiza and Lily, since they were not hungry, decided to divide the Traditional Meze dish. That came out to be the dish for the hungriest, because it was an ever ending meal. Every time they thought it was over, the waiter came with two more dishes. And every time he came we bursted in laughter. At the end, Shmil and myself finished our pork chops and still ate about half of their meal.
More than satisfied, at the end of the meal we rolled back to the hotel. Evening meal was only an ice-cream, as expected, at the old port, where we saw night come in.
Latsi, Akamas Park, Blue Lagoon, and Drouseia
Morning broke and with it a new day. This time we decided to travel to the area of Polis (see map), to Latsi and the Akamas park.
Akamas is a national park at the very West of Cyprus. If you look at the map it is that finger pointing up, between South and North. The park has difficult access, and we had to park the motorcycle at a place called Aphrodite's bath (a botanic park) and take places in a Jeep that does frequent trips (like a bus) to the park. The park is beautiful, full with peninsulas and hidden beaches, and we stopped at Blue Lagoon for 2.5 hours.
Blue Lagoon is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of Cyprus, and boats sail to there from Paphos, Latsi, and even from Limassol.
On our way back to Paphos, we decided to use a tip given by a couple of local people (who live in the UK but were born there) who told us that there is a hotel in Drouseia village which has a coffee chop from which you can see all the region. The hotel was called Drouseia Heights. I don't have pictures from there, but the hotel is beautiful, the view is stunning, and the coffee and milk-shakes are perfect.
We were back in Paphos around 20:00, just in time for a perfect sunset at the old port.
Well, it was about time to leave the sea and go for the mountains for one day. So we went for a day in the Troodos mountains. Yes, number 4 in the map at the beginning of this article.
Troodos Mountains are known as the heart of Cyprus. A lot of beautiful roads, with waterfalls, villages and tracks along the way. From a motorcycle, the views in the roads are stunning. You can see more about the area, including its wine routes, at https://mytroodos.com.
Our first real stop (besides a Taverna on the way in which we stopped for some coffee) was a village called Kakopetria. The village was definitely the most interesting village in the route, with a very nice old city, and a very nice center to walk around. If you reach the link, you will see that it can offer much more to do, with churches, museums, tracks, rivers, and more. But then we would need a two-day trip. And what we had was around one-and-a-half hour. So we visited mainly the old city and the modern city center.
From there, we continued to Troodos, and to Omodos where we had lunch. Troodos was not interesting at all, since it is a sky resort and is only interesting in the winter. At Omodos we could find one or two tavernas to choose from for our lunch. After lunch, we continued to Kaledonia Waterfall, which we did not have the luck to find, and then to Chantara Waterfall.
Well, next day we decided to take it easy. We began the day by going to Old Paphos city, where they have some historical buildings and a market.
Aphrodite's Rock Microbrewery
At 17:00 we left the hotel to another special place for the evening. The place is called Aphrodite's Rock Microbrewery. The place was founded by a British Family that moved to Cyprus and bought a small farm there. They opened a brewery, and began seeding fruit. At the time they were good with the beer, they began making also alcoholic ciders from the fruit. And then they opened a shop and a restaurant for people to come, eat and drink. The food is excellent, and the beer and the ciders are perfect... and service, this is the best part of all. One can really feel as a guest in their home. From what I heard, on Thursdays at 14:00, Bill, the head of the family, holds tours of the brewery. We missed that. But we had a great time at the restaurant.
Well, then it was Limassol day!
We took the choppers and travelled the 70 Km between Paphos and Limassol, and began by visiting the old city, old port, and Limassol marina.
In the continuation, we visited the Limassol My Mall, considered to be one of the largest in Cyprus. A very nice and modern mall, in which we went around and had for lunch a delicious Gyros.
Then came Friday, our 7th day. We went back to Pentaras Rentals to return the choppers, and back to the hotel. This was a hotel day, and was spent completely in front of the swimming pool.
In the evening, we went out and returned to a restaurant in which we ate dinner at the first night, Ta Mpania. Just as in the first night, dinner was perfect. The rest of the night we spent at the pub of the hotel with some drinks.