In Cyprus, children are loved rather than merely tolerated, making it an ideal place to take a young family in search of a sunshine break
Cyprus is a popular island year-round with British travellers and it is easy to see why. Our November trip ran into December and we still enjoyed a week of uninterrupted blue skies and sunshine with the mercury every day getting up above 20°C.
Our first impression of family Cyprus was not great, as we had problems picking up our car in Pafos. There had been an error somewhere along the line, but our promised infant seat from Hertz did not materialise, there is no bus service at the new airport and no taxi had an infant seat, with the local drivers suggesting we ‘just hold on to her tight’. You might want to bear this in mind when arranging your own transport.
Things improved a lot when we got to our hotel in Pafos (also known as Paphos). My wife Jenny had written about the Amathus Beach Resort a couple of years ago and reckoned it had really stepped up its game since. We had a great junior suite with a private pool that my daughter Tara loved. All the rooms we looked at were lovely, though, and the indoor and outdoor swimming pool work well for kids, plus there is a play area by the sea. The restaurants are geared up to families, too, and the staff could not have been friendlier, whisking Tara up for the odd cuddle.
Pafos itself is the most family-friendly resort on the island, with everything close together and plenty of pedestrianised areas where you can push a buggy unmolested by the speeding Cypriot drivers. The cafés and restaurants are well geared up for families and there are a couple of beaches with EU Blue Flag winning clean water. Then there is a water park and also a choice of watersports to keep all the family occupied.
One of the most fun things about Pafos is the wide boulevard that runs right along the waterfront. It is great for pushchairs and there are plenty of cafes on hand for tired parents to take a break in. It is at its best at sunset when the swollen sun slips down into the Mediterranean in a collage of fiery reds and deep burnt oranges.
Pafos also has a modest aquarium, worth a visit if you are unlucky enough to be in town on one of the few days in the year when it rains all day. There are 72 tanks filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful Mediterranean species, as well as some more exotic tropical fish too.
After a few days in Pafos we branched out and headed northwest to Latsi. This old fishing village boasts a cute wee harbour that bobs with small fishing boats. Fish restaurants still line the harbour and we followed a recommendation to go to Yangos. We feasted on a bountiful seafood platter of fish and shellfish while the waiters helped entertain Tara and made sure the sun umbrella covered us at all times. We really felt welcome rather than just tolerated as you sometimes feel in restaurants back home when you have a baby in tow.
We left Cyprus sorry to be going after a great family holiday. The island is really well set up for families and the Cypriots just love kids. This was reinforced passing through security at the airport, when Tara was whisked off for another round of cuddles and smiles as we went through the scanners.
I’d recommend Cyprus to any young family – just make sure you get a cast iron guarantee that you will be getting the infant car seat you arranged weeks in advance!