The sky was overcast and it had been threatening to rain, but being Cyprus it was warm even though slightly dull it was great to venture into Paphos with my friend Carolyn as we hadn’t seen each other for a few months….. So with umbrellas in hand we decided to have a wander round the old town to see the work that had been carried out over the past year and the changes that have been made.
I’m pleased to say that the work being undertaken is progressing well and it is hoped that it will bring regeneration to the old town where the once vibrant centre of Paphos had become desolate in places with shops and premises lying empty. It is hoped the €60m worth of projects for Paphos, including the regeneration of the traditional shopping centre and Kennedy Square, the restoration of the municipal market, the upgrading and enhancement of the Markideio theatre, and connecting and enhancing the squares of October 28, Kosti Palama and Dionysios Solomos (around the town hall) will see the old town being revived and re-invigorated not only because Paphos is the European City of culture for 2017 but for the future of Paphos itself!!
From the photographs below you can see the streets have been pedestrianised with lovely paving and beautiful shrubs and trees have been planted. Shoppers can now wander without any need to worry about traffic on the narrow streets. Many street cafes have opened in addition to those restaurants that have been there for many years (near the market area) Clothes boutiques have opened and some little shops open selling local artist products. Of course there are still shops selling bags and leather goods. Fitflops can also be found here at a fraction of the cost of those at home.
They are once again looking to move the bus station from the harbour to the old town near the Markideio theatre where it originally was to bring tourists and locals once again back to the old town.
We couldn’t believe the changes in the area. It looked amazing we could see that the developers/architects were trying to retain the traditional old world charm expected of the old town but also introducing the more modern cafe and boutique feel about the area too.
The little shops and cafes all looked very interesting and definitely worth a trip if you fancy getting away from the beach and out of the sun for a few hours……..
If you do fancy it you don’t need a car to get to the old town of Paphos just jump one of the local bus which is signed to the MARKET. If you feel like walking then you can go straight up the road from the Kings Avenue Mall and you are there. In the cooler months it may take about 15 minutes from the mall but allow more time in the hot summer months.
Of course every outing with your friend needs to start with a coffee before moving onto the shops and other attractions.
We chose this quaint little cafe “Grafico Cafe” to have a coffee in the new pedestrian area where we sat and caught up and watched the world go by as we enjoyed the ambience surrounding us.
Grafico Cafe in Paphos Old Town
Having ventured into a few clothes shops and did a little window shopping we came
across an old traditional property housing a shop called “The Place“. From the outside we thought it was fabulous and the architecture was typically Cypriot so we had to go inside to find out more…..
Once inside we met one of the local artists who told us about the Place and how it offers the opportunity to visitors to get a hands-on experience of Cyprus culture and tradition. She told us everything that we saw was made by local people.
“Everything here is traditional and handmade. People were disappointed to come to the market and see goods from China. This is why everything we have is natural and from small producers in Paphos villages. People want to see what they’re creating.”
I was very tempted to purchase a few of the items on sale here, from wine jugs to glass candle holders not to mention locally grown herbs too.
There are live daily demonstrations of traditional handicrafts, pottery, basket making, weaving, wood carving and wine tasting performed by wine experts as well as a variety of Cypriot handcrafted gifts, souvenirs and products to enjoy. We were offered the opportunity to try wood burning and pottery designing (we declined on this occasion but most definitely will return and perhaps take an opportunity to try our hand at one of these crafts. Who knows we may discover we have a hidden talent!!