Expat Life in Paphos
Located in the Mediterranean sea, to the South of Greece and Turkey, Cyprus is a beautiful island attracting more and more foreigners.
As the unofficial capital of the Cyprus expat community, Paphos is an attractive and modern city, many have made into their home. So what is it about expat life in Paphos that people can’t get enough of? And why has this city become such a hub for expatriates? Let’s find out in this week’s My Kypros Home blog article.
But first, a few words on Geography. The island of Cyprus itself is the third largest island in the Mediterranean sea, with 9.3 km² of land and a population of just under 2 million.
Paphos is a city to the South-West of Cyprus. It can be divided into Kato Paphos (downtown) and Pano Paphos (uptown). With a rich history, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, where you can discover authentic relics from the past, including an archeological site that dates back to the 4th century BC! It’s no wonder that Paphos was actually named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Did you know that Cyprus is home to the goddess of love Aphrodite, or Venus as she is called in the Roman culture? The legend says that she ascended from the sea just outside Paphos. This place brings myth and astronomy together: Cypriot nights are often very clear, so you can actually see the planet Venus in Paphos.
The nature of the island is one of its greatest hallmarks, with a lot of green spaces, natural parks, and natural agriculture. Paphos itself is at the center of an agricultural region and is ripe with fruit trees, grapevines, and bananas.
In terms of landscapes, you’ll find a bit of everything in Paphos: beautiful beaches facing the Mediterranean, forests, and mountains. The geography of Paphos offers countless opportunities for hiking, wandering and exploring. This comes as no surprise if you consider that it’s actually the greenest area in Cyprus!
Although people are first attracted to Paphos for its beauty, living in Paphos long-term is also a great option because of its mild weather. In fact, the Paphos area has the most gentle climate on the island, with bright summers that are not too hot, and gentle winters that won’t make you cold.
Expect the highest average temperatures in the summertime, around 30°C to 37°C in July and August, and the lowest in January and February, when temperatures go down to about 6 to 17°C.
For anyone sensitive to harsh weather, this makes Paphos a truly wonderful district to live in. And if you live in the mountains and hillsides around Paphos, you can even save energy in the summer, because there is always a nice breeze from the ocean.
Cyprus is connected to the mainland by two large international airports found in Larnaca and Paphos. There are also a few boat connections to neighboring countries, but the plane remains the most popular means of transport here.
Though Paphos airport isn’t the biggest one, it has a lot of connections due to the large flux of tourists in the region. You’ll find planes going to most European countries, as well as Russia and some Middle-Eastern countries.
One of the most important considerations when moving to a new country is the price of real estate. And what makes expat life in Paphos so good is just how cheap it can be to find a beautiful house or flat to live in.
Besides the local market with smaller and more affordable apartments, there is an international housing market with more expensive apartments and houses for sale, for example as an investment. Here’s what you can expect:
- Renting a house or a flat in Paphos can turn out to be really cheap. Expect prices along the lines of 300 Euros per month for a 1-bedroom apartment, even in the city. If you are planning a long-term move to Cyprus, then it can be good to rent a house or a flat for a couple of months before finding your permanent residence in the city.
- Compared to the vast majority of European countries, Paphos offers the opportunity to buy a house overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean for a fraction of the price. Of course, a real mansion with a pool and gardens will set you back at least a million, but you can expect to find a 4 or 5 bedroom house in a beautiful location for a few hundred thousand Euros.
In general, Paphos real estate is a great investment, and it is still a good time to consider buying property if you do intend to live and work in Cyprus.
If you intend to move to Paphos, then your first priority should be to find a job there. Fortunately, working in Paphos offers a range of great opportunities. The main lines of business on this part of the island are tourism and property development.
If you specialize in either of them, this puts you in a great position to find work on the most beautiful part of the island. But because Paphos also has a well-developed network of expats, finding work with a foreign company or even starting your own business can be an option too.
Throughout the district, it’s easy to find dynamic, successful English-speaking professionals to collaborate and work with. Indeed this is one of the highlights of expat life in Paphos: the ability to network with other successful expatriates in one of the world’s greatest cities.
Finding work in Cyprus can be easier for European Union citizens, who won’t need to find a job permit. For foreigners coming from outside of Europe, there are a few administrative hoops to get through. Overall though, finding work shouldn’t be your greatest hurdle when moving to Paphos.
Access to medical services is also part of what makes expat life in Paphos attractive. The Mediterranean island is well equipped with both public and private healthcare facilities, hospitals, and clinics.
Did you know that one of the best hospitals is located in Paphos? Evangelimos Private Hospital is a leading medical facility in Cyprus, offering modern medical, diagnostic, and surgical services.
In Cyprus in general, public healthcare is accessible for free to all European Union citizens as long as they are taxpayers, while international citizens will find the prices generally affordable. And due to its high-quality and affordable medical services, health tourism Cyprus is quickly gaining popularity.
The national health system (NHS) or GeSY in Greek (Genikó Sýstima Ygeías, English: General Healthcare System – GHS) is the general health insurance system of Cyprus. Since March 2019 this scheme covers out-of-hospital care. The own contribution rate is very small.
Employees and pensioners, and income-earners, in general, contribute 1.7% of their income (salary, dividends, interest, income from rent), employers 1.85%, the state 1.65%, and self-employed people 2.55%. GeSY is scheduled to be fully operational by July 2020. From March 2020 it will include hospital care, and contributions will rise to 2.65% for employees, 2.9% for employers, 4.7% for the state, and 4% for self-employed people.
The co-payments are capped at 300 Euros per year for patients and 75 Euros per year for low-pension earners and recipients of the Guaranteed Minimum Income.
Being insured should be one of your prime priorities when moving to a foreign country as an expatriate. When it comes to health insurance, European Union citizens are lucky to get it for free. Expats who obtain a permanent residence permit in Cyprus are fortunate to have the same treatment.
For those without a permit, there are a few different health insurance options, that tend to be considerably cheaper than on the rest of the European continent.
For families, Paphos can be a great, peaceful place to live. Compared to the Cyprus capital Nicosia, Paphos has a very low crime rate and a generally friendly atmosphere that lends itself to family life.
Add this to an active expat community, some very good private schools and weather that lends itself to family time spent in nature, and you have a city that’s pretty much perfect for expat families. Besides, there is an abundance of playgrounds, even especially for babies.
For expats coming to Cyprus with their children, Paphos is a good city to consider because of its educational opportunities. You’ll find a wealth of state schools for all levels in the city, as well as 3 private English language schools: Aspire, Rodia Neophytou Private English Institute, and TLC Private School.
The Neapolis University Paphos offers a large variety of different undergraduate and postgraduate programs. From Architecture and Environmental Design to Real Estate Valuation and Development and Business Administration.
What to do in Paphos?
Expat life in Paphos is great due to a combination of beautiful landscapes, cheap accommodation, and a vibrant expat community. But it’s also a place where you can never be bored. When first coming to Paphos, you’ll have to visit the city’s many ancient ruins, as well as some of its most beautiful beaches.
Particularly noteworthy is Lara Beach, where the sea turtles lay their eggs and every year between July and August the baby turtles hatch. An amazing spectacle, which you should not miss. But please make sure to keep your distance to not disturb them.
Once you have settled in, you may enjoy hiking in the district’s natural park Akamas or going sailing on the weekend. In Akamas you will also find the famous Lara Beach, canyons and the Blue Lagoon.
For wine lovers, Paphos also offers a great range of vineyards and wineries you can visit year-round, and try some delicious local specialties at!
Finally, you’re always sure to find some live music in one of Paphos’s many local cafés and restaurants, offering great local food and drinks alongside traditional songs.
The Expat Scene
With so many attractive qualities, it’s no wonder Paphos has the largest expat community on the island. Expat life in Paphos is rich and exciting, with an active scene made up mainly of British and Chinese expatriates. This can make moving to Paphos interesting to those who want to live abroad but still maintain contact with non-Cypriots.
In fact, for an expat living in Cyprus, Paphos is probably the best area to make friends and build a network of fellow expats.
Paphos is a great city for expats because of the benefits it offers those looking to combine a sunny location with cheap prices and good business opportunities. Even though finding a job in Cyprus is easier in Nicosia and Limassol, it is still relatively easy to move to Paphos.
Paphos in Cyprus offers many great advantages to its citizens in terms of quality of living, nature, healthcare, education, and hobbies. It is not only a great place to live and work, but also a place to raise children or to retire, due to the calm and peaceful atmosphere.
Finally, you simply can’t get bored with the luxuriant nature in this district. From beaches to mountains and nature parks, Paphos can look a bit like paradise to those used to living in a big, grey city. So why not try a taste of Cypriot life in the island’s most popular expat city? My Kypros Home has all the information you need!