The rugged coastline north of Paphos has long been famed for its natural splendour and remains one of Cyprus ' last unspoiled wildernesses (mostly as a result of the 'population exchange' in 1974 when the local population fled to the Turkish north). In the early 1980s a number of package holiday companies 'discovered' the town of Paphos 11km to the south and began developing the region. The ancient landscape of citrus groves, windmill irrigated fields and half-forgotten villages soon disappeared under a cloud of construction smoke. Luckily, this time, the developers had learned from mistakes previously made further down the coast; and when the brick-dust settled they found they had the island's most desirable real-estate on their hands.
Coral Bay itself is a 600m crescent of soft white sand, book-ended by a pair of headlands. It is home to a handful of top-notch hotels and the neighbouring marina looks set for completion in the near future. However, it's the glassy waters offshore that everyone comes for. While the sea is calm year-round the same can't be said of the beach, where you'll find every conceivable activity from banana boat rides to jet skis for hire.
Cultural types may find themselves twiddling their thumbs as there is little of historic interest in the resort. However, 'foodies' will find a good selection of bars and restaurants (although they vary in quality so it's a good idea to talk to fellow diners). Coral Bay is a family-friendly place and anyone wanting a big night out would do better to head for nearby Paphos and get a return taxi in the small hours.
Coral Bay is a great base for exploring the pristine coastline to the north, where a jigsaw of coves and inlets hide some of the best (and most isolated) beaches on the island. Don't expect to find much in the way of refreshments and pack a well-stocked picnic hamper and plenty of sun cream.