Clare Tobin, CEO for Olympic Holidays recently took her family on holiday to Paphos and we wanted to know if it ticked all their boxes for the perfect luxury family getaway. Clare tells us all about their wonderful holiday experiences.
How important is a luxury family holiday to you?
It is really important to us as a family as my husband and I both work full time and have a daughter, Charlotte. Ian also has two teenage daughters, Rosie and Lauren, so it’s a time when we can all enjoy the luxury of some quality time together. It’s good to disconnect for a while too and turn off the phones, tablets and laptops. Although I’m not sure we’re always that successful or whether it’s me or the children who are the biggest culprits!
What made you choose Paphos for your luxury holiday?
We wanted somewhere that we didn’t have to travel a long distance to get to for some winter sun, but still have guaranteed sunshine. Also we felt it was important to choose somewhere that had lots to offer in terms of activities. I’ve been to Paphos before, so I knew the hotels had loads of really lovely beaches with plenty of watersports and that we could combine a bit of everything here. There are so many sophisticated facilities and activities in Paphos as well as being a culturally fascinating place to stay. It also has a wide choice of high-end hotels that are still affordable, especially if you opt for going on an all inclusive basis. It was great to explore in and around Paphos but also appreciate the luxury home-from-home comforts back at our hotel. The option to dine in a la carte restaurants makes the holiday and dining experience unique.
It sounds a bit of a cliché but it’s so true – when you’re travelling with a family and still want a luxury holiday, you really need to find somewhere that ticks a lot of boxes. Paphos does that!
What were the highlights of your holiday?
There were so many! We swam every day, which was wonderful – both in the hotel pool and on different beaches. We went snorkelling and cycling; exploring the countryside and Charlotte even went horse riding at Aphrodite Hills, which was definitely her holiday highlight. We were very active during the day, which is probably just as well, as the food everywhere we went was just a little bit too good! There are some really individual and high-quality hotels in Paphos with great restaurants, but we ate out quite often too. Charlotte showed off some new cooking skills we didn’t know she had and the chef was brilliant with her. Rosie and Lauren are sometimes a bit hard to please when it comes to food, but they loved trying new things and I think their favourites were probably squid and taramasalata. Rosie was studying the Romans at school, so a visit to the Tomb of the Kings was a must for her and greatly enjoyed by all of us. Ian managed to sneak in a couple of pamper sessions and left me to read my book and also have a round of golf, but mostly we did things as a family. That was our luxury.
Where was your favourite beach?
There’s a beach in Peyia, called Coral Bay and we went there several times as it has lovely soft sand and there are lots of watersports facilities. It was busy but we walked along a bit and found some nice quiet spots to spread out on. We walked along the coast from Agios Georgios back to Coral Bay one day, taking in the sea caves and shipwreck.
There are some great restaurants there too, so it was nice to take a break from the sun and eat some tasty food. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside for lunch, the food always tasted really fresh and we tried to eat something different every day; lots of fresh fish for Ian and I and the girls enjoyed the mezes as they could have a little bit of everything. We also loved the beach at Latchi. The village is less than an hour away by car and It’s much quieter there. We found a delightful restaurant for lunch, sitting beneath some pomegranate trees and had a real feast of meze, dolmades and moussaka. And, we discovered you can do boat trips from the harbour, so we spent a wonderful morning out on the sea. We hired a rib and stopped off for some swimming and snorkelling at a beautiful bay called Aphrodite’s Baths and a lovely little secret spot called the Blue Lagoon.
Will you go back?
Most definitely! We’ve already been talking about it and plan to hire a car to explore a bit more of Cyprus. I’d like to go along the coast to Limassol and up into the Troodos Mountains as there are some lovely mountain villages, great scenery and even vineyards in the area. I think the family might be ready for a holiday that takes them away from the beach a bit more. I’ve already got my eye on a couple of hotels in Limassol which will be great bases to do all of this from; either the brand new Parklane A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, which is a really lovely upscale hotel which opened in 2018, with 3 swimming pools, surrounded by cabanas, waterbeds and lounge areas. Or, Amathus Beach Hotel which is a really chic hotel, but with lots of amenities and activities for the whole family. Children even get their own bathrobes and slippers. Plus, I confess I’ve checked out that they both have excellent spas as well as free WIFI throughout. It’s my turn to visit the spa on our next holiday!