Paphos…used to be my favourite place in Cyprus. Three decades ago, I recall the place as a picturesque village. Mass over-development and ruinous town planning make it a strange kind of place.

The sea front towards the harbour now resembles Southend in the Med! Its brainless how so many shops can all sell the same products – the same plasticated tourist gifts.

Kato Paphos also used to be characteristic but nowadays most of the tavernas are empty, as people prefer the walk along the harbour, which leads to a handful of fish restaurants well known for extortionate prices. Dare to eat the wrong kilo of fish and your plastic friend in your back pocket may just find itself a little overstretched.

The strip with all the clubs in Kato Paphos looked like a ghost town as we stepped along it at around 11 at night in late July. Each place blared out the same soul-less music through weakheart speakers with an array of cliche neon lighting and names that had nothing remotely to do with the town.

You have to go out of the town nowadays to realize what Paphos has to offer. Yeroskippou beach for example. OK so the sand is limited and pebbles predominate but the place is fairly quiet and the sea is fresh. A number of beach bars have also sprouted up, offering a different alternative to the neon glow and wack selections of the town.

Paphos also has the highest concentration of 5 star hotels on the island which makes for a quirky mix of hi-end and bucket and spade mass tourism. Coral Bay remains a stunning place when you get there. But along the journey, you see what the mix of tourism has created – an endless array of hotels, apartments and souvenir shops.

Generally Paphos has sadly lost alot of its previous charm due to the fact that the town has developed along the sea front and up on the hills. Amidst all the trendy frappe bars and souvenir shops offering the same globalised gifts, stands the castle in the harbour, which dates back to the Byzantines.

Paphos Castle

The Mosaics, discovered a few decades ago. Its an amazing story when a local farmer ploughed his land and came across the ancient Roman artifacts by complete accident. No matter what goes on around them, they remain untouched and protected as a UNESCO Heritage site.

I would still venture to Paphos. I am still drawn to the place and people but the harbour, mosaics aside is a no-no, having seen it this summer, unless major changes are made, its pointless seeing it again. The real attraction of Paphos is the surrounding area although with the mass over-development and concrete skyline, I fear the untouched places will eventually get swallowed up into the routine mass consumption of globalized tasteless tourism.