Let’s get the big name beach out the way first shall we? A short drive to the north of Paphos puts you in Coral Bay. And, you’ll be glad you got here. At first glance, over half a kilometre of sand to romp on – complete with a shallow, sheltered cove seems more than ample for a day in the Cypriot sun. Spend a little longer here though and it soon becomes apparent that Coral Bay is a triple threat. Gorgeous sands, easy swimming and just behind the beach? A bustling hub of shops and restaurants. Add in some more essentials such as toilets, watersports and sunbeds and things are really starting to look up. Yes, Coral Bay’s catch is that, at times, it seems that all of Paphos wants a spot on the sands, but that’s the compromise for a beach this good.
Coral Bay’s bounty of amenities might make it one of the best beaches in Paphos, but if you’re looking for quieter sands, with all the trimmings, it might not be for you. In that case, drive a smidge further along the coast to Laourou Beach. It has all the sandy appeal of Coral Bay, but it’s a touch quieter. Though, we’re not quite talking metres of deserted beach all to yourself, Laourou Beach is a slightly less commercial option. Where Coral Bay has a bank of shops and cafes, Laourou’s flanked by the beach’s free car park. You can skip along to the harbour, to book a boat trip. Or, if you’re feeling in the mood for some 5 star drinks, you could nip into beach bar at the Coral Bay Hotel.
When you’re looking for the best beaches in Paphos, you could argue the last thing you want is a recommendation that’s over an hour away by car. And, in the case of the Blue Lagoon in Paphos, you could be right. Yes, the coastline of the Akamas Peninsula National Park is stunning – but with so many visitors clamouring to get to the clear blue sea, overcrowding is a problem. If you’re really keen to go, it’s best to be aware of the following pointers. Getting there early, by car, is your best chance of seeing the place relatively peacefully. Taking a boat trip is an option, though, in the height of the season, the bay is crowded with swimmers and boats. So, it’s probably unsurprising that while the waters are beautifully clear, the underwater world is a little barren. Engine noise and splashing swimmers do little to attract the area’s sea life.
It’s about time we looked at one of the beaches in Paphos that doesn’t require a road trip to reach it. Sat squarely in front of Poseidonos Avenue, for some, it’s a case of stepping out of their hotel and onto the beach. And, though there’s only a thin stretch of coast to perch on, all the amenities you could need are on hand. Watersports, souvenir shops, cafes, lifeguards (in season) and easy access by car, bus, bike or on foot. Shallow, child friendly waters are always a hit with families and Pachyammos notches up another bonus point in the sunset category. Boardwalk benches are just the spot for visitors and locals to perch together to see the sun disappear into the sea. The proximity to the road is a mixed bag. Though, if you’re looking for a convenient beach near Paphos centre, Pachyammos isn’t a bad shout.
Another strip of sand that’s central to Paphos, Vrysoudia beach boasts a Blue Flag and gets a regular clean to sort out any seaweed – or litter that might find its way here. Easy to access, its on a major bus route, and maxed out on facilities, so you’ll want for nothing. It does get busy – because, why would you go anywhere else? If you can get past the slightly crowded vibe, you’re looking at a clean beach that’s as close to one of the best shopping areas in Paphos as you can realistically get. If we had one complaint? The waters might be shallow, but occasional strong currents mean it wouldn’t be wise to let children go too far into the waters. Though, with lifeguards on duty through the spring and summer season, there’s always someone around to advise on the daily conditions.
Petra Romiou Beach
If you’ve driven south to check out a couple of the Paphos golf courses that green up the coastline, keep going until you reach Petra tou Romiou – also known as Aphrodite’s Rock. It’s one of the most visited spots in Paphos, so it doesn’t come with a chilled and mellow seal of approval. But it does deliver on its cracking folklore and interesting geology vibe. As the name suggests, it’s said that this is the spot that Aphrodite emerged from the waves. And she really couldn’t have chosen a nicer spot. The pebble beach is untouched – so you’ll need to bring any beach kit you need with you. A lovely spot to get enchanted by lore and legend, but perhaps not viable for a full day on the beach.
Not all beach experiences come with a parasol and a handy ice cream kiosk. One of the best beaches in Paphos can be found at Lara Bay. It’s an undeveloped stretch of Cyprus coastline that offers nothing but nature, sand dunes and the opportunity to spot a turtle or two. As you’d expect for a top turtle area, marine conservation is a big deal. Which means beach rules are relatively strict. No sunbeds, umbrellas or boats are allowed. And there’s a strict curfew requiring you to leave the beach before sunset. Did we mention the road to get here is a smidge bumpy too? If all that has put you off, fair enough, Lara Bay isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a wildlife lover that fancies the chance of spotting adult – or baby turtles, Lara Bay is a coastal wilderness you’ll not want to leave.