Stelios Kyriakides Stadium – Pafos FC
Photos by Peter Miles, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Stelios Kyriakides Stadium Democracy Ave Paphos, Cyprus
Year Opened: 1985
Fun in the Sun Following Pafos FC
Pafos FC were only formed as recently as 2014 following a merger of AEP Paphos and AEK Kouklia. It was a marriage borne out of mutual convenience. AEP, themselves a result of a merger of APOP Paphos and Evagoras in 2000, were in severe financial trouble in the second tier while Kouklia had just been relegated from the top flight. The aim was to form a more financially stable club competing regularly in the top division. The club were promoted into the First Division in 2016/17 as runners up to champions Alki Oronklini.
Food & Beverage 4
Under the main stand is a small kiosk selling soft drinks, crisps, confectionery, and warm Cypriot snacks.
The kiosk sells a good variety of snacks including fresh koupes (also known as kibbeh), a snack made of bulgar wheat and minced meat; it’s really popular in the whole Levantine region.
The usual range of sodas like Coke and Fanta are available in plastic bottles. No alcohol is available.
The flavorsome koupes with a cold drink are perfect on a balmy evening.
While the crowd is usually fairly modest, during my most recent visit the attendance was officially declared as 2,500, but in reality 800 was more accurate. Still, the vibe of the place is welcoming and a small section of younger fans wave flags and bang a drum.
The stadium is essentially two sided with visiting fans housed in open seating on the far side. The main stand is well appointed and while the roof covers only the central section of seats there is an option to move undercover if there is any rain.
Music is played before the game and during halftime with the PA announcer reading the teams out just before kick off.
The season tickets holders and VIPs are allocated the central section of seats in the main stand and there appears to be no option to purchase a ticket for this area. The roof extends past this section at either end so it is possible to buy a standard ticket and be undercover if required. The tickets do have a row and seat number, but the seats are actually unnumbered so you can effectively sit where you like within that sector.
The stadium is located around a five minute drive from the main tourist areas of Alykes Beach and Pachyammos. The harbor area features a castle and stunning waterfront, it really is fully geared up for a sunshine break.
There are numerous restaurants in the tourist areas offering both local and western cuisine. They come with a wide range of prices from middle of the road to high end. All have on street seating to make the most of the beachfront location and most restaurants will have outdoor heating available should the sea breeze turn a little chilly.
Paphos Harbour and Castle are well worth visiting and are littered with interesting sculptures, notably the work of local artist Yiota Ioannidou. As an internationally renowned tourist resort you will never be short of something to do or see. Local companies offer trips all around the island including the famous Aphrodite’s Rock.
The choice is endless for high class hotels to self catering apartments, there will be accommodation to suit any pocket.
As a mass tourism destination, the local fans are more than used to English speaking guests watching their games and they are friendly and welcoming.
Attendance data should be viewed with skepticism as there is no electronic counting and attendances are rounded up for reporting purposes. During my visit, the actual attendance in the ground was under 1,000 but was reported as 2,500. I suspect normal attendances are higher than the match I attended as for locals at 15 degrees this would represent a chilly evening!
The younger fans have formed an “ultras” group and they are happy to sing and shout throughout the game and are armed with some flags and a big drum.
The stadium is on a main road, Democracy Avenue, which leads away from the main tourist areas and is around half way between the highway to Larnaca and the beach areas. It would take around 45 minutes to walk to the stadium from the tourist areas.
Buses 1 and 2 stop very close to the stadium and the huge floodlights are easy to see from miles around.
There is ample free parking outside the main stand and in surrounding streets. Tickets cost 15 euros and are available from concrete kiosks outside the stadium in the car park. There are no bags allowed in the stadium and body searches are made, although cameras are permitted.
Once you are in your section you cannot move to another as the central sector is fenced off. You can, however, sit anywhere you like within your sector. The egress into the arena is about halfway up the main stand and I saw no specific areas for disabled supporters. The refreshments kiosk and lavatories are located at the mezzanine level of the main stand.
Return on Investment 3
For the general standard of Cypriot football, 15 euros for a ticket seems a little expensive compared to comparable European nations. However, as an overall experience it is thoroughly enjoyable.
Free parking and easy access offset the cost of the ticket and the price of snacks and drinks are reasonable.
Only standard tickets are available. There appeared to be no tickets available for the central section of the main stand.
There is a team sheet available from the main entrance, strangely the Greek players are shown in Greek alphabet and foreign players in roman script. There are no other souvenirs or merchandise of any sort available.
While the standard of play is not the highest you will ever see, I would still recommend Cyprus for a winter break for guaranteed football in pleasant warm temperatures surrounded by beguiling coastal and mountain scenery.