Paphos – birthplace of Aphrodite. I’m not sure what she’d think of the resort that has sprung up around her mythical home but, amidst the hotels, bars, shops and restaurants, there is still enough charm in this 12017 European City of Culture to hold your attention for a few days at least…
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the top tourist attractions on the island. If you love mosaics (as I do!) then you’re in for yet another treat. Depicting scenes from everyday life as well as mythology, the mosaics were discovered by a farmer in 1962! These villas must have been astonishing in their heyday.
Besides the villas, the extensive site includes the ruins you’d expect from an ancient city.
The nearby lighthouse dominates the skyline nowadays….
Open – Summer 08.30 – 19.30 / Winer 08.30-17.00. Admission €4.50. Don’t forget your hat and water.
Tombs of the Kings
No – there are no kings buried here but the underground tombs – dating back to the 4th century BC and carved out of solid rock – are believed to have been the burial sites of local aristocrats and officials.
Much information has been lost over time – proximity to the sea hindered the preservation of the bodies while grave robbers have long vanished with the rich contents of the burial chambers. However, amphorae have been found with manufacturing stamps on the handles, making it possible to date the burials.
The views out towards the Med are stunning ……
….but the ever encroaching ‘development‘ is very close indeed!!!
Open – Summer 08.30-19.30 / Winter 08.30- 17.00 Admission€2.50
Around the Harbour
As you’d expect – a palm fringed seafront and promenade with an abundance of cafes, restaurants and shops intermixed with agencies trying to get you out on the water…
Paphos Castle dominates the western end of the promenade. The Byzantine fortress was originally built to protect the harbour and was rebuilt several times. The 12 cannon that once graced the battlements were removed by the Ottomans in 1878 when administration of the island was handed over to the British. The castle then took on new purpose as a salt store until it was declared an ancient monument in 1935.
Old Town (Ktima)
Up the hill from the harbour lies Ktima. Most visitors stop briefly to admire the view before hitting the shops. The 1920 municipal market that once sold fish, meat and vegetables has been transformed into tourist stalls and shops. As well as the usual souvenirs, it’s also a good spot for local handicrafts…
Paphos claims the longest coastline region on the island. Of the 27 beaches in the area, 16 have Blue Flags. Coral Beach – 6km north of the city, is the most popular.
We’re going back in April 2022 to explore other parts of the island…. so watch this space….
Before you go:
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