I have just recently travelled back from Paphos and having read so many fantastic reviews about the place was looking forward to going, but what a shock. The harbor shops all sold the same stuff, the food was awful and the people serving in the cafes and restaurants were not cypriots but eastern european.
The Cypriot people whom obviously are having financial troubles were hostile and not pleasant at all. I even heard one in a harbor cafe saying how he hate the british and because the holiday makers are all, all inclusive and not spending he wished the would go home. I thought this was going to be a one off statement but in truth it happened time and time again, different words but the same meaning.
Bar street where all the action is meant to take place was a ghost town with closed bars and broken glass everywhere.
The road there are at the moment being dug up everywhere and there is sever pot holes everywhere, I hired a car from a company an don return the claimed the suspension was damaged, well the pot holes are the size of craters so it was not mad driving but sheer damage caused by the road conditions, needless to say I lost my deposit.
Would I go back, NEVER and anyone going please be aware it is so expensive and not a pleasant place to visit, there is nothing open and nothing to do even in season.
Like any country there are a large number of foreign nationals working in the service industries. Yes like any country there are those who hate the Brits - Germans - French - you name it.
Food is something that people love to hate when visiting another country - on the whole I have had little problem with it.
Roads in Cyprus are the same as here in the UK - some good - some bad.
Expensive - well I will not disagree with you, but Cyprus like any other country in The EU is catching up fast with their standard of living and we would be foolish if we thought the cheap holidays we enjoyed years ago were going to continue. You can get reasonably priced good quality food and drink if you look around, as I am sure others will tell you.
By the way, as for the shops all selling the same stuff that applies in every country I have visited - even see the same stuff on sale here in the UK.
Firstly, I am really so to hear that you had a bad experience.
Much of Cyprus closes down for the winter. This is when repairs/refurbs are done to the hotels and bars, and (mainly, but not exclusively) when the roads are dug up. Up until recently, these hotel/bar closures were mainly confined to the eastern end of the island, with Paphos staying open all the way through. This year appears to be different, probably to do with the current economic situation and much of Paphos has also closed for the winter.
We too have noticed an influx of eastern european workers in the bars and restaurants in the tourist areas. This is because they will work for peanuts as there is no minimum wage (for the majority of jobs, before anyone corrects me ;)) This is a shame and we are agreed, when we go to Cyprus we too expect to meet Cypriots. This is one reason (the others being price and quality) that most of our meals out are out in the villages in traditional tavernas rather than in the tourist areas. It is accepted though that this is not a choice, or even practical for everyone on holiday.
We are next out to Cyprus in three weeks time - to the east of the island. Yes, we know it is out of season, but we know where and what will be open. It is certainly a very different experience to that which you would get in the summer. We enjoy both, but for different reasons.
If you gave it another go in the summer you would find a very different place. Nothing to do? We always come back promising that "we must do that next time"...and quite often find that we don't get around to it
until the Cyprus tourist industry decides where it wants to position itself in the market place my own feelings are that things will get a lot worse before the show any signs of improvement, with airport and flight charges , excessive taxi cost and most hotels being over 20 yrs old [and in need of upgrading] along with the euro exchange rate making it even more expensive they struggled this year and bookings for next year are well down also..
Chris Karlman I know its a bit late for you and am sorry to here your bad experience, but do give it another go in season
When we hired a car the shop owner told us of 'new rules' which came in last year - if you damage your car in a pot hole she told us to ring her - stay at the sight with the car and someone would come out to us and under new rules they had to repair the hole - she told us this was because hire companies had been complaining of the state of the roads and was doing too much damage to their cars! Fortunatley we did not have a problem even though we went 'rock dodging' over the mountains where there were plenty of rolling stones.
We hope too that you will give it another try when it isn't shut - I can't wait...
Personally I would not go back to Cyprus - it takes 5 hours to get there, when you got to the airport there was not public bus so you were forced into taking a taxi (think this has changed now) and it is not particularly cheap - when you can goto Spain in 2 hours from the UK and it is far nicer.
Thats just my opinion, I am sure other people will have different opinions on it.
Each of us has our own tale of woe for whatever country/resort. I think Scarborough is a dump but I still go. If only because my wife loves the place.
We are off to Paphos again in October - prefer Ayia Napa end really but it is the hotel that draws us back. But then Paphos is just another resort. We are attracted because of the whole island - Some parts good and some not so but this will be our sixth year and third time to Paphos.
We married in Paphos during 1999 and initially, we were gearing up to moving there - but one bad experience on an extended few days following a weeks cruise from Limassol really put us off. We went in one of the bars on Tombs of the Kings road as there was a quiz taking place. The place was packed with expats so we shared a table with another couple and eventually got chatting about our plans.
All they did was slag off the UK. It was not our intention to "escape" from the UK, merely make a change to our lifestyle for a more relaxed living. We knew we would never get rich living in Cyprus as were aware salaries were much lower for a comparable position in UK. But we wanted to give it a go....
It totally put us off Paphos as we did not wish to be in what was considered by us at that particular point as little Britain. We changed tack and started to look back at Limassol. During the next 2yrs we took all our holidays in Limassol (2 - 3 times a year) and started to look within a 15km radius of the tourist area.
We moved to the outskirts of Limassol in March 2004 and have not looked back since. We both work in completely different positions to what we had in UK and thoroughly enjoy our new life. We have not yet been back to the UK in all that time but we do take the odd holiday off the island.
We have some friends in Paphos and when we do go there - we liken it to going visiting my parents when we lived in UK. They live on the North West coast so we used to meet up with them the odd Saturday morning in Cleveleys. Always a nice day to go to the seaside, mooch around the shops, stop off for a cup of tea somewhere - then go back home again. Paphos to us feels like a British holiday resort. Universal area is a concrete jungle and feels much like driving through Moss Side in Manchester but with prettier coloured houses & apartment blocks - but it's not attractive. But, get into a car and head off for the hills and within 20 minutes you will be in a completely different world. Paphos is an all year round resort and has to make the time for repairs etc. Winter months are the best time to do this and it's usually between New Year and Easter.
Unfortunately, planning for building in Cyprus is not the best thought out. They seem to allow building to take place pretty much everywhere without giving thought that Cyprus makes its' living mostly from tourism. We don't do much export of goods from Cyprus (maybe the odd potato or 2) and everything has to be imported, which makes some things more expensive.
If you are in one of the hotels on the outskirts of Paphos you would hardly notice any of these things unless you always went to bar street and the harbour. Limassol too has its' bad points but doesn't have so many expats congregated in one small location. Limassol is more cosmopolitan as it's still a working town combined with a holiday resort so you get a bit of a mixture. The eastern side of the island will always be more attractive to us and if we didn't have to work, it would be that side that we would choose to live. However, it does all but close down over winter.
As you can see from my post - there are good and bad points to be had for each of the main resorts in Cyprus. You have to take the rough with the smooth but at the end of the day, a holiday is what you make it. Nobody is going to hold your hand and show you a good time.
We see the good and the bad living here. It may not be the place we will end our days either. We are considering moving elsewhere when the time comes that we are no longer working and have no 4 legged friends to consider.....
Come and visit Cyprus, experience all it has to offer and remember - do your homework and read the reviews before you book.
Concrete jungle hell yes,
Look, some of you may well enjoy the place I posted a comment as a direct result of my own experiences and those whom I met there. Having moved now to another european country we feel a lot better and more relaxed and the cost of living is far better. No attitude from Cypriots because there are none.
We still stay in contact with people that live there, and they have said things have not gotten much better.
Yes it was out of season for some of the time, but talk to anyone who has lived there for some time and the recession has hit hard, airport taxes were not reduced, deals from the operators did not come down in price, break ins had risen when we left on many of the complexes and I am sorry the food was terrible and I ate in nearly every restaurant whilst there.
Bar street had fallen into serious dilapidation and every bar for sale, well nearly
And the ticket touts are a pain, abusive and will not take no for an answer even the CTO was aware of the problem.
Loutish behaviour in the summer was awful with some of the internet booking agents not even vetting the people that were coming and I might add when problems accured on complex did nothing about it, like everything some of the booking agents were brilliant and responded very quickly. Even a few weeks ago I heard of a stag party that had been booked into one complex and created merry hell.
Like I said it is down to every ones personal feelings I just would recommend that anyone planning to move out there especially to Paphos, consider it and do your research.
Re coral bay that is not Kato Paphos and is almost a village on its own, some good hotels including the Coral Beach Hotel, where it is self sufficient and I dare say a good place for a holiday, especially as you do not have to got to the harbour to eat as there are many restaurants up the road.
If you go enjoy, I personally wish never to return but have learned I may have to return for business reasons, and I might add not looking forward to it.
The bars and restaurants were empty except for New Years Eve which was a great night although we did go to the wrong place for the fireworks but thats another story .
This year for the first time we are trying Turkey and then back to Protaras next year
There are still some beautiful places to visit but the majority of them are being found by the Brits & taken over, places like Tala, Chloraka etc, once quaint Cypriot villages are now turning into Brits enclaves which is imo ruining the Cypriot way of life.
The roads are the worst I've ever seen but this is due to the new sewer system they've got to put in since joining the EU, it's one of the major requirements & seems to be taking way to long to complete & from what I've heard, it's only going to get worse!!
But Paphos isn't the only place in Cyprus to holiday in, yes its the best known but looks what that's done, personally having moved out of Paphos in Larnaca, it's a 100 times better in every area, beaches, restaurants, prices, shops, places of interest, locality to the North, Napa, etc etc, I could go on but you get the idea.
So anyone wanting to take a holiday in Cyprus, may I suggest you fly to Larnaca airport instead & see this side of the island before you disregard Cyprus completely from your holiday destinations
As for the "Brit Settlements" I am afraid that is something that is becoming harder to avoid just like Spain.
Paphos this year (October)and we are already doing our research.
Bar street has declined a lot over the last 5 years. Each year it gets quieter & quieter. Many of the bars are now closed (including Woody's). In Woody's a few years ago I couldn't even make it across the dance floor to the back stairs to get to the loo as it was so packed! I was down Bar Street last Tuesday (20/07/10) and it was nowhere close to as busy as it used to be. However I was also there on Friday and it was much much busier (still not like a few years ago though). I did notice a couple of new bars have opened this summer, and if memory serves, Hollywood was closed last year but is now reopen... But it is still nothing like it used to be. I'd say more than half of the ones on this map from about 4 years ago have gone...
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