14 September 2006
After being away from my computer on holiday for a week, I’ve finally read the 94 emails and 808 feed items that were waiting for me, uploaded 120 photos of the holiday and can now post about some of the things we learnt during our stay in Paphos, Cyprus...
We stayed in the self-catering apartments at the Mayfair Hotel. After reading a few mixed reviews on various websites, we weren’t expecting too much so we were pleasantly surprised with what we found!
For a start, the cleaners appeared to work around the clock, which is probably why this appeared to be the cleanest hotel we’ve ever stayed in. Both pool areas were also very well maintained. On the three occasions we had the breakfast buffet, we were impressed by the choice and quality of the food we got for CY£3 each too. (Whilst we didn’t take part in any of the daytime activities or see any of the evening entertainment, they did seem to have a good programme for all ages.)
The Mayfair is no five-star hotel, but it’s in a great location (just 15 minutes walk to either the harbour, the main town or the Tombs of the Kings Road area), has helpful friendly staff and offers all the facilities you would need.
All the restaurants we visited served good food and were very reasonably priced – between CY£30-38 (~GB£35-45) for three courses, a bottle of wine and bottled water – but the best restaurant was undoubtedly “Chex Alex” Stefanos Fish Restaurant which is owned by a local fisherman and situated on Constantias Street, Kato Paphos. Their fish meze allows you to taste 10-11 different fish dishes (including prawns, mussels, octopus, cuttlefish, sardines, red mullet and sea bream) as well as the usual dips, salad and chips. Their menu says, “If you have not tried CHEZ ALEX FISH MEZE, you can not say that you have eaten meze yet!” And I’d be inclined to agree! If you don’t go for the meze, you can choose your own freshly caught fish from the fridge. (This is what was left of ours.)
A close second was deep Blue Seafood Restaurant, which is a more modern restaurant on Pafias Afrodites Street, near the church of Agia Kyriaki. (You can see it in the background of one of our photos.) Since many of the restaurants in Kato Paphos have been in business for up to 30 years, their tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, etc. have seen better days. Whilst this enhances their authenticity, it made a pleasant change to go somewhere that felt a bit more modern – and clean! Their fish meze was quite different to the one at Chez Alex but was equally enjoyable, including mini crabs, and swordfish and salmon skewers.
Other restaurants that deserve a mention are Thessaloniki and Othellos Tavern, both of which are on Constantias Street, Kato Paphos.
Most nights, we ended up around the corner from our hotel in the Full Moon Bar on Agapinoros Street. Their English staff serve reasonably priced local draught lagers (namely Keo and Leon), imported beers (i.e. cans of John Smith’s) and a variety of cocktails. But when in Cyprus, do as the Cypriots do and drink a few brandy sours!
They also seem to have a good range of entertainment, including quiz nights and karaoke. You’ll know that you weren’t too good at singing Don’t Stop Movin’ by S Club 7 when the DJ says, “That’s what karaoke’s all about ladies and gentlemen!”
Their full English breakfast is also pretty good and for CY£1.90 is great value for money!
On the Wednesday evening, we went to the cabaret night organised by Thomas Cook / JMC / Sunset. Since all proceeds from the night were going to the Variety Club children’s charity and our holiday rep was the compere, we could hardly refuse. They promised a ‘night to remember’ and that’s exactly what we got... although perhaps not for the reasons they intended. The ‘professional’ Thomas Cook entertainment team were certainly entertaining and a couple of them had excellent voices. (I think the others were just making up the numbers though.) Whilst we had an enjoyable evening, the highlight of the night was an X-Factor contestant from a couple of year ago being sat at the end of our table. (Sorry, I can’t remember his name or find it on the Internet, but I’m sure he sang something by Anastacia.)
Something else I noticed is that almost all the bars in Kato Paphos have chipped X-Box consoles to keep the kids entertained. With all the latest games copied to their hard drives, it costs 50 cents to play for 15 minutes, after which it effectively disconnects the controller to stop the game.
Places of Interest
The entire town of Paphos is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means there’s lots of interesting sites to visit. These include the Tombs of the Kings, churches, baths, catacombs, mosaics and various other ruins dotted around Paphos without any plaques to tell you what they are. (View our photos.)
- They drive on the left with right-hand drive cars (like in the UK)
- Road signs all look like English road signs.
- Number plates on taxis all begin with the letter T
- Number plates on hire cars all begin with the letter Z (and usually have a red background)
- Make sure you apply plenty sun-tan lotion to avoid getting burnt – and if you use P20, it may stop working if you sweat too much
- If your suitcase gets damaged when you go on holiday, get a complaint form from the airport before you leave
And I think that’s just about everything. Any questions?
Btw, your flickr set gave me lot of new places to see (catacomb, gothic church etc)