Cyprus Discovery Tour
Discover the history, culture and cuisine of western Cyprus from our base in Paphos
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Hills & moorland
Cyprus is situated in the Eastern Mediterranean and is also known as the beautiful Island of Aphrodite. Due to its location many different cultures have left their mark in a huge array of temples, tombs, mosaics, churches and castles, but perhaps the biggest surprise is the backdrop for these historic treasures.
- See colonial buildings in Paphos
- Visit the ancient settlement of Kourion
- Explore Magnificent Monastries
- Great value: all prices include Half Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full day excursions with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 2½ miles
- Accommodation: stay at our highly rated beach front hotel
- Knowledgeable leaders: discover the true identity of Aphrodite’s isle with our knowledgeable leader
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays – explore together, eat together and relax together
The 4-star Athena Beach hotel enjoys an enviable beachfront location in a quiet part of Paphos.
The hotel is also renowned for its warm and friendly staff. This accommodation has been branded 'Hotel Plus' as this hotel is close to the shops and local services and has a good range of facilities that add the "Plus" to your holiday.
|There are 327 en-suite bedrooms, which are spacious, very well equipped and have been recently refurbished.
The hotel has comfortable en-suite bedrooms with private balconies and breathtaking sea or land views.
All rooms have flat screen LCD satellite TV and radio, direct dial telephone, WiFi (small charge), safe deposit boxes (small charge), tea and coffee making facilities, a mini-bar, hairdryer, bathrobe and slippers, complimentary toiletries and air conditioning/heating.
||Hotel's Elixir Spa
Holidays on Cyprus are Half Board with an extensive breakfast selection and 3-course evening buffet.
This an extensive self-service continental buffet selection and hot options are also available.
Dinner is a 3-course meal with the entré and dessert served from the buffet. The main course is served to your table. There will be a vegetarian menu option but if you have any special dietary requirements we recommend that you discuss your preferences with the hotel management.
The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.
Lunch (payable locally)
A picnic lunch can be ordered in advance from the hotel or purchased from the shop on the lower ground floor which is open Monday to Sunday 7.30am until 10pm.
In Europe, our walking holidays continue into the evening. Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer whilst listening to your leaders outlining the next day's walks. After a relaxed evening meal take advantage of the warm evenings and chat with your fellow guests drinking a cocktail in the hotel gardens or just listen to live music one evening at your hotel.
The hotel's location is ideal for a leisurely stroll into the old town, where you can watch the world go by and soak up the atmosphere with a relaxing drink at one of the pavement café bars around Paphos harbour front; just follow the path from the beach front. Or you may like to relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat.
During your Discovery Tour you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; Please allow up to £15 per person for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price). Please bring cash as card machines are not always available at all venues.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Exploring PaphosExplore the various areas of Paphos, starting in Kato Paphos (Lower Paphos)and Paphos Castle. This small fort guards the harbour entrance and is entered by a stone bridge over a moat, we'll climb to the roof to enjoy the sweeping harbour views. Once back at sea level we take the short walk to the sprawling archaeological site of Nea Paphos (New Paphos), the ancient city of Paphos founded in the late 4th Century BC. Some of the highlights here will include a collection of intricate and colourful mosaics and the Agora (forum), the heart of the Nea Paphos complex. From here we take a short walk along the coast to the Tomb of the Kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 3 : Mountains and Monasteries
We'll travel inland and our first stop is the Agios Neofytos Monastery just 10km out of Paphos. The monastery was founded by the Cypriot hermit and writer Neofytos who we’ll learn about him here, as well as viewing some of the finest examples of Byzantine frescoes and post-Byzantine icons. We then travel further inland to the picturesque village of Pano Panagia, 900m above sea level in the Paphos mountain range. Here we take time to explore and have lunch in one the tavernas before continuing to Chrysorrogiatissa monastery, dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate’. Founded in the 12th Century, the monastery also produces their own wine and a visit to their cellars will give us an introduction to their product with a taste of course! Our final stop of the day is Agia Moni Monastery (Monastery of the Priests). Originally dating from the 6th Century, it is one of the most ancient monasteries in Cyprus and today the monastery is inhabited by one monk only, Father Epiphanios.
Day 4: An Amphitheatre, A Monastery and a Goddess on the Coast
Today we'll start with a drive along the most beautiful stretch of coastline on the island. stopping at the ancient Greek city of Kourion to visit the famous House of Eustolios, with its intricate mosaics, as well as the wonderful amphitheatre overlooking the sea. We then drive through the beautiful mountain area to the charming village of Omodhos, built around one of the oldest monasteries in Cyprus, the Holy Cross. This is also one of the best wine producing regions, and we'll visit the wine cellars and enjoy a traditional meze lunch (included). On our way back to Paphos we’ll stop at Aphrodite’s rock – a sea stack purported to be the birthplace of Aphrodite – goddess of love, beauty and fertility.
Day 5: Free Day
On our 7 night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently.
Day 6: Exploring fishing ports and traditional villagesOur first stop is the small fishing port of Agios Georgios an important place of pilgrimage in this part of Cyprus. We'll enjoy far-reaching views of the Mediterranean and along Lara Bay, we'll also visit the archaeological site with ruins of an early Christian Basilica, dating from the 6th Century. Further north and inland we visit two beautiful villages; Dhrousia and Kritou Terra. Dhrousia is a traditional village of winding streets, perfect for us to explore and to have lunch in one of the tavernas. Kritou Terra is an unspoilt village where we can see some splendid traditional houses that have been tastefully renovated by their inhabitants. We return to the hotel late afternoon, to make the most of the facilities on offer.
Day 7: The wilder side of Cyprus
The Akamas peninsula is one of the least inhabited areas of Cyprus and with an abundance of wildlife and flora this is another of the "must do's" on Cyprus. The most westerly point that we'll visit are; the Baths of Aphrodite and the adjacent botanical gardens, comprising of perennial indigenous plants on the peninsula. From here we travel east along the coast and our first stop is the picturesque harbour village of Latchi, followed by Polis, a town rich in history dating back 3,000 years. Here we'll take lunch in one of the tavernas on the main square before continuing along the coast stopping at the beautiful villages of Argaka, Ayia Marina and Pomos to admire the views and the nature that surrounds us.
Day 8: Departure Day
In the Evenings
The friendly atmosphere of our Discovery Tour continues into the evening. We’ll enjoy a leisurely meal and then you may also like to listen to local musicians, relax with a book in a quiet lounge or enjoy a drink at the bar.
Cyprus has always been fought over, from the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, Venetians, Ottoman Empire to the Arabians during the Crusades, the British and the civil struggles with Greeks and Turkish. Its easy to see why, throughout history, this Mediterranean gem has been so sought after. Modern day Cyprus is no different and the island is a popular holiday destination. It offers visitors an ancient history to marvel and explore with the Greco-Roman sites on the island, one of the largest within walking distance of our hotel.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and dominated by a vast mountain range, The Troodos Massif. The diversity of the flora and fauna is amazing; the best time to see this is early Spring when we visit the island and again in Autumn.
Paphos and Nea Paphos
Paphos has an interesting history, dating back to Neolithic times, the current city of Paphos was not a particularly important centre until the 1970s, when tourism flourished in the area. Until this time, the city was in decline, as the Capital City, Nicosia, grew in importance on the island. Paphos airport is now the second largest on the island, and the city became the European Capital of Culture in 2017.
You can enjoy the beach of Paphos in the sun or hire bikes from the tour office to see the sites in the city.
On the fringe of Paphos is the ancient city of Nea Paphos (New Paphos) is steeped in mythology, with strong ancient links to the Greek goddesses Aphrodite and Artemis, the city was built next to a natural harbor. Nowadays, the site is open to visitors, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This archaeological site boasts outstanding archaeological park features extensive Greco-Roman ruins and incredibly well-preserved mosaics depicting ancient mythology.
Did you know?
Cyprus was once the wealthiest nation in the known world. It was during the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island's rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Gatwick and Manchester flights to Paphos airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The short coach transfer takes approx 30 minutes to the Anthena Beach Hotel.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
Mike Ingleby has a lifelong interest in art and graduated in Fine Art as a mature student. He also loves history, architecture, geology and wildlife, especially birds. Mike enjoys storytelling in his relaxed, humorous style using plain English to make his tales accessible to all.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £16 per night
- Sea view: £7 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person