I am not one for returning to the same place (apart from cities) and I have never returned to a sun holiday destination before…until last month. There are so many places in the World to visit and so little time that I like to explore as much as possible. However, I would like to introduce you to Aphrodite Hills, nestled in the hills above Paphos, Cyprus. I first visited here two years ago for my best friend’s wedding of which I was a bridesmaid and so choosing where to stay was already decided for us. I went with the hubby, my son (then 18 months old), my mum and my dad and we hired a self catering apartment in Theseus Village through Aphrodite Rentals. Fast forward two years to the month and we’re back, this time with our two sons, four friends and their four children. Not only did we stay in the same resort, we also booked the same apartment!
On a list of places I would recommend, it is most certainly high up there especially if you are looking for a luxurious family friendly holiday. Aphrodite Hills combines a 5 star hotel along with award winning villas and apartments. The resort also offers a wide range of activities to keep you, and your friends and family busy. There is an 18 hole Golf Course and practice facilities, tennis courts and a 5-a-side football pitch, an award winning health spa, gymnasium, shops, restaurants, bars, Kids Club and kids playground. The restaurant and bars are located around the Village Square within a traditional Cypriot setting. One of our favourite places to hang out was the Haagen Dazs cafe where we enjoyed daily ice-creams, coffees, milkshakes and other delicious treats. I couldn’t recommend this place highly enough, it provides fantastic facilities for all the family.
One of my highlights was discovering the Retreat Spa. Winner of 2015 World Luxury Spa award it is certainly not to be missed. I didn’t have a treatment but took part in a Yoga class that was utterly amazing! Our instructor, Vanessa, was exceptional and combined three styles of yoga over the 75 minute class. Having trained for over 20 years in different countries, she really knows her stuff. The setting was tranquil and I have never felt as relaxed from a yoga session before. I am now trying to find a nearby class at home but I am afraid Vanessa is going to be hard to beat.
Paphos is just over a 4 hour flight away and most budget airlines fly there a couple of times a week. From the airport, the resort is only a 15-20 minute drive away and is very easy to find. The resort is conveniently situated near many local attractions. Here are a few places I would recommend visiting nearby:
– Pissouri Beach, located a 20 minute drive away is a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, water sports and building sandcastles! The sunbed vendors will take your orders for a nearby cafe serving fresh smoothies, ice-creams and milkshakes, although sadly the cafe was closed the day we visited. However, we ate in Captain’s Bay restaurant which served simple and easy food. Pissouri village which is located in the hills above the beach offers a good choice of restaurants offering authentic food around the village square. More information on Pissouri can be found here.
– Paphos – we ventured into Paphos on our previous trip but didn’t manage to get there this time. Paphos offers a waterpark, a zoo which is famous for its entertaining bird shows, is only a 25 minute drive from the resort and is very easy to get to.
– Limassol is approx 45 minutes drive away and is a large resort town with a brand new marina, old town with Castle and a promenade stretching for miles along the coast. Definitely worth a trip out if you fancy a change of scenery. Th Old Port Exhibition Centre is worth a visit too, you can buy all sorts of marine artifacts including some amazing smelling soaps and natural sponges, it is very hard not to bring lots of things home with you from here.
We booked our return stay through Aphrodite Rentals again and they were efficient and very helpful on both occasions. We found our apartment to be immaculate and it was cleaned part way through our stay too. Aphrodite Rentals supply there own 8509 magazine which is an independent guide on the resort and the local area. We dealt with Martin on our most recent visit and he couldn’t have made our stay any easier for us. We stayed in BE02 Theseus Village and the apartment was fantastically equipped. Comprising open plan living and dining area, fully fitted kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine, master bedroom with ensuite, twin bedroom and bathroom. The apartment benefits from fitted wardrobes, doors from both bedrooms and living area opening onto the veranda, TV and DVD player, air conditioning, BBQ, sun loungers and external furniture to dine and relax on. Everything was suitably provided making our stay comfortable and enjoyable.
There is also a superb on-site supplier of baby and children equipment called Kids Travel Lite, who offer a wide choice of products.I have used this company twice and Yvonne was most accommodating at supplying our cot and highchair. We booked through her website and everything was set up for us in the apartment before we arrived, a box of toys was left for the children too which was very thoughtful and came in very handy too!
Here are a few of my highlights that I think make Aphrodite Hills an ideal child friendly destination:
– Gardens outside our ground floor apartment offered plenty of space for the children to play
– The apartment was well equipped and the veranda was perfect for having early dinners with the children
– Communal swimming pools outside the apartments were child friendly and one of them was shaded
– Childrens’ adventure playground is set in sand so no need to worry about any accidents
– On-site supermarket offers a wide choice of baby essentials including formula, nappies, swim nappies etc. and a wide selection of toys and water floats to choose from
– Football and tennis academy with regular classes
– The Haagen Dazs shop!
– Kids Travel Lite hiring facility
– Plenty of beaches within a short drive away.
I actually found that the beach was the easiest place to keep my 11 month old son safe and occupied. As he is not walking he was able to crawl around to his hearts content and loved discovering and playing with the sand. He was also a keen water baby and so loved crawling into the sea too.
Aphrodite Hills has given me two brilliant and memorable family holidays. In fact it has been both of my sons first holidays abroad which means we’ll have some pretty special photos to look back on. Although I might find it difficult working out which one is which given that the two boys look so similar and they have both shared the same clothes!