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A proper beach holiday in Paphos

Monday 18 June 2012
Me, Sam and her sister playing with her nephew
at her dad's pool

A few weeks ago, I headed to Cyprus for a week’s beach holiday. Though I travel a lot, I haven’t had a proper beach holiday in… well, I actually don’t think I’ve ever done the hotel/pool/beach thing. The closest I came to it was in Lamu, Kenya, where the beach was beautiful, the sun was hot and there was a gorgeous tiny plunge pool at my hotel.

But it wasn’t the kind of holiday that you spend lazing around the pool, plodding between the water and a sun lounger.

That is exactly what I wanted Cyprus to be. I couldn’t wait to lay on a sun lounger, reading The Hunger Games in a semi-coma. Which is how it all went down, in the end.

We were there for a wedding, but most of our time was spent either on the nearby beach or by the pool. And it was bliss. Spending a week eating, sleeping and reading was just what we all needed.

We were staying in the Paphos Gardens hotel, a middle of the road option about 10 minutes from the harbour. It wasn’t anything special, but it did the trick. There were a few giddily enthusiastic holiday reps dotted around the place, which I wasn’t expecting, but after a few requests for us to join in an aqua aerobics class (which were denied) they figured out that I wasn’t the activity type.

There was, however, a loop of summer music which was pumped out poolside, on a constant loop. That grew pretty grating, pretty quickly. It also got a little crazy over the bank holiday weekend, when the pool was suddenly swamped with families.

The harbour in Paphos is beautiful, and makes for a great evening stroll. The restaurants along the waterfront are a little more expensive than in at the tavernas (as you would expect) but the food is of a pretty high standard wherever you go.

It’s pretty difficult to just take a look at a menu though – once you’re seen to take an interest, it’s a given that you’ll be eating there. It’s too hard to get away. Don’t fight it. You’ll also get a fair few people from bars, touting for business. Nothing makes me groan faster than someone hopping out of the shadows brandishing a flier in my face and asking

“Are you drinking tonight, ladies?”


There was a lot of talk of Bar Street, but honestly those words just sinks to the bottom of my stomach like a rock. Bar Street? Seriously? I felt fairly confident that I wouldn’t be a fan. And luckily, I was never proven right because we didn’t go! Hurrah!

Instead we drank Cypriot wine by the sea, watching the fancy pants yachts bobbing up and down on the water. Which is just fine by me.

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