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/ MAIN / Travel Guide to Cyprus & Places of Interest / Paphos places of interest & things to do

PAPHOS

Paphos is one of the most beautiful and ancient towns of Cyprus. Wherever one treads in Paphos he comes across its glorious history which dates back thousands of years, when the cult of goddess Aphrodite who emerged from its seas, flourished in this beautiful part of the world attracting many visitors from the inland and abroad.

Today it is a small harbour town, but in Hellenistic and Roman times it was the Capital of Cyprus. Still under the spell of her Beauty-Goddess, the area retaining her magic has remained impact by time. It seduces its visitor with its majestic landscape, lovely coastline, historical treasures and delightful villages where tradition is still a way of life.

 

Places of interest in Paphos

 

Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site

Agios Georgios at Pegeia is a famous place of pilgrimage in the Pafos (Paphos) region in the west of Cyprus. Three early Christian Basilicas and a bath, all 6th century, were excavated in the early 1950s. Later excavations revealed an extensive unwalled settlement that occupied the neck and the south slope of the cape in the Roman and early Christian periods. The advantageous position of the settlement suggests that it was probably a port of call for ships transporting grain from Egypt to Constantinople. The settlement flourished under Justinian I (527 - 565 A.D.). The necropolis lies at the brow of the cliff with tombs carved into the rock. The place of pilgrimage of Agios Georgios is located between the site of the basilicas and the necropolis.

 

Frankish Baths

The Frankish Baths are located fairly close to the east walls of the ancient city of Pafos (Paphos).They were built at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century and consists of a central room with sidelong extensions. The walls were rebuilt at the beginning of the Ottoman period when some of the semicircular, vaulted roofs were replaced by cupolas. The Frankish Baths are among the few Frankish public buildings to survive in Pafos (Paphos).

 

Lempa Prehistoric Settlement

Excavations have brought to light an important settlement of the Chalcolithic period. Replicas of two houses from this period have been constructed near the site. The site is on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

 

Maa - Palaeokastro Settlement

Maa-Palaeokastro, a settlement on the western coast of the island close to Coral Bay, is important for the understanding of the end of the Late Bronze Age in Cyprus. Maa is located a good distance from the nearest main urban centre of the antiquity Palaepafos, some 25 kilometres to the southeast, and 10 kilometres northwest of the modern town of Pafos (Paphos). Its imposing defensive walls were always exposed and gave the site its name of "Palaeokastro” (‘the old castle’). This area was settled by the first Mycenaean Greeks who arrived on the island around 1200 BC, after the fall of the Mycenaean kingdoms in mainland Greece. It is therefore one of the nuclei from which began the Hellenization of Cyprus.

 

Petra tou Romiou - Rock of Aphrodite

This interesting geological formation of huge rocks off the southwest coast in the Pafos (Paphos) district forms one of the most impressive natural sites of Cyprus associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. According to legend, this strikingly beautiful spot is where Aphrodite rose from the waves and the foaming sea and was then escorted on a shell at the rocks known as ‘Rock ofAphrodite’ or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek. The Greek name, Petra tou Romiou, “the Rock of the Greek”, is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay with his amazing strength. It is said that he heaved a huge rock into the sea, destroying the enemy's ships.

 

Tombs of the Kings

The “Tombs of the Kings” are situated close to the sea in the north western necropolis of Pafos (Paphos). They owe their name to their size and splendour – some probably belonged to the Pafian aristocracy, and not because royalty was buried there. They are rock cut and date to the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. Some of them imitate the houses of the living, with the rooms (here the burial chambers) opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.

 

Agia Paraskevi Byzantine Church

This interesting 9th century Byzantine church in Geroskipou has beautiful wall paintings and a five - domed basilica in the form of a cross – only one of two such churches on the island.

 

Agia Solomoni Church

The so-called Catacomb of Agia Solomoni was originally built in the Hellenistic period. It consists of an open court surrounded by five rock - cut chambers, one of which has a spring. The west chamber has an apse set into the west wall and remnants of Christian wall paintings. It is clear that at some later point it was converted into a church. Agia Solomoni was one of the first to reject idolatry and embrace Christianity. According to tradition, Solomoni took refuge in the cave to escape persecution from the Romans. The cave was opened 200 years later

 

Agios Georgios Early Christian Basilicas

The early Christian Basilicas of Agios Georgios were brought to light in the early 1950s and date back to the 6th century. They belong to the Agios Georgios settlement, a monumental site at Pegeia in the Pafos (Paphos) region in the west of Cyprus. Located at the center of the settlement on the neck of the cape is the large three aisled Basilica A on the north side and a baptistery at the west.

 

Agios Neofytos Monastery

The history of the Monastery of Agios Neofytos is well documented in the autobiography of its founder, the Cypriot hermit and writer Neofytos. It is built in what used to be a secluded location at the head of a picturesque valley, about 10 kilometres northwest of Pafos (Paphos). The “Egkleistra”, an enclosure carved out of the mountain by the hermit at the end of the 12th century, contains some of the finest Byzantine frescoes from the 12th to the15th centuries. The later monastery church contains some of the best examples of post - Byzantine icons of the 16th century, and there is also a very interesting ecclesiastical museum.

 

Baths of Aphrodite

This beauty spot is situated past the fishing harbour of Latsi towards the tip of the Akamas peninsula. A natural pool grotto surrounded in greenery, the site lies at the end of a small nature trail. As its name suggests, the grotto is said to be where the Goddess of Love used to bathe. Myth also has it that this is where Aphrodite met her lover, the handsome Adonis, when he stopped off for a drink while hunting. The moment he drank the water, Adonis fell in love with the goddess

 

Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery

Set in beautiful surroundings, the Monastery of Chrysorrogiatissa in Pafos (Paphos) is dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate’. It was established in 1152 by monk Ignatios who, according to popular belief, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary off the shore of Pafos (Paphos) that had been thrown into the sea in Asia Minor during the iconoclastic controversy and carried by the waves to Cyprus. The monastery was restored at the end of the 18th century.The single - aisle church, built on the foundations of an older one, has fine frescoes above the three entrances.

 

Pafos Medieval Fort

The fort of Nea Pafos (Paphos) is located at the west end of the harbor. It was built during the Frankish occupation in the 13th century in order to replace the Byzantine castle of 'Saranta Kolones'. The fort has only one entrance on its east side and very small windows. Its main part is a big square tower that has an enclosed courtyard in the middle. The Venetians dismantled the fort in 1570 so that the Ottomans, who had begun their conquest of the island, would not use it. According to a Turkish inscription placed above the entrance the Ottomans rebuilt the fort in 1780. Nearby are the ruins of a second fort, which was probably built in the same period.

 

Pafos Mosaics

The mosaic floors of these noblemen's villas dating from the 3rd to the 5th centuries A.D. are considered among the finest in the eastern Mediterranean. Depicting mainly scenes from Greek mythology they were discovered accidentally in 1962 by a farmer ploughing his field. The mosaics at the House of Dionysos depict the god of wine, while the House of Thyseus is named after a mosaic showing the ancient Greek hero brandishing a club against the Minotaur. Many other superb panels can be seen in other houses such as in the House of Aion, the House of Orpheus and the House of the Four Seasons. The mosaics are on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

 

Panagia Chryseleousa Church

Situated in Empa village near Pafos (Paphos), this is actually a combination of two churches. The eastern section was first built as a cruciform church with a dome in the 12th century, possibly on the ruins of an early Christian basilica. Later in the 13th century; an extension was made to the west with a domed building of the cross-in-square type. The church retains valuable wall paintings of the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th centuries.

 

Panagia tou Sinti Monastery

This abandoned monastery is situated on the banks of the Xeros River. The 16th century central nave is in good condition and considered one of the most important buildings of the Venetian period. In 1977 it received the Europa Nostra Award for the restoration and conservation work carried out on it.

 

Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palaepafos

Palaipafos or Old Pafos (Paphos) was one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centres of the ancient Greek world and a former city - kingdom of Cyprus. Here stood the famous sanctuary of Aphrodite, the most ancient remains of which date back to the 12th century B.C. The glorious days of the sanctuary lasted until the 3rd to the 4th centuries. The museum, housed in a Lusignan Manor, exhibits many interesting finds from the area. Excavations continue on the site of the sanctuary, the city and the necropolis.

 

Saranta Kolones Castle

The Byzantine castle known as Saranta Kolones (Forty Columns) is located just north of the harbour of Pafos (Paphos). It takes its name from the large number of granite columns that were found on the site and probably once formed part of the ancient agora. The castle is believed to have been built at the end of the 7th century AD to protect the port and the city of Nea Pafos from Arab raids and later remodeled by the Lusignans. A 3 metre thick wall with eight towers and a moat surrounded the castle. Access was across a wooden bridge spanning the moat. The square courtyard measured 35 m long by 35 m wide, with a tower at each corner.

 

Agios Neofytos Ecclesiastical Museum

Agios Neofytos Ecclesiastical Museum lies within the Agios Neofytos Monastery and exhibits a variety of valuable relics such as important icons and other ecclesiastical objects.

 

Arsinoe Byzantine Museum

Situated at the Holy Bishopric in the picturesque village of Peristerona, the museum has one of the largest collections of icons dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries, wood carved artefacts associated with the ceremonial needs of the church, both local and imported silver and metal artefacts, as well as textiles including 18th and19th century priests’ vestments and episcopal robes. Rare books and manuscripts are also on display

 

Byzantine Museum

The Byzantine Museum of Pafos (Paphos) exhibits artefacts from the 7th to the 18th centuries, mainly icons. Among them is the 8th or 9th century icon of Agia Marina, one of the oldest found in Cyprus. The museum’s remarkable collection also includes wood carvings, ecclesiastical works of metallurgy, sacerdotal vestments and embroideries, manuscripts, old printed books and frescoes. 

 

Ethnographical Museum - Pafos

The building which houses the collections was constructed in 1894.The house is built of stone and consists of two floors and a beautiful big garden. The facade is covered by three gothic – style arches which form a covered rectangular verandah.The design of this particular home is of the ‘’urban architecture’’ style, and presents some peculiarity when compared to the other mansions of the time. The top floor gives a rich collection of old coins from the 1st century B.C until the 4th century B.C.There are collections of jewelries silver and gold dated to 300 hundred years.

 

Fyti Weaving Museum

Fyti village is renowned for its own special style of weaving dating back to medieval times. The textiles made in the village are known as “Fythkiotika” and stand out for their variety of design and rich colours. Examples of such textiles are exhibited in the museum where one can also see how they are made

 

Geroskipou Folk Art Museum

The name of Geroskipou village comes from the Greek phrase "Ieros Kipos" the sacred garden of Aphrodite. It exhibits a rich collection of folk art and crafts portraying village life in years gone by, including the rural crafts of pottery, scarf making, rug weaving and rope making, as well as the manufacture of silk for which Cyprus was famous. It is housed in the18th century Hadji - Smith house, once the most impressive building in the area. The owner Andreas Zimboulaki was appointed British consul by the British Admiral Sir Sydney Smith, and the house was nicknamed ‘the Smith’s house’ because he visited it regularly.

 

Ineia Folk Art Museum

Like its neighbour, Drouseia, Ineia has spectacular views of the Akamas peninsula and is great for photography, walking and painting expeditions. The basket weaving museum has a remarkable collection.

 

Maa - Palaeokastro Museum

The small museum is located within the Maa - Palaeokastro site. Built in 1989, the museum’s original and unusual design is the work of architect Andrea Bruno. It is situated in the Coral Bay area, where the first Mycenaean Greeks settled in Cyprus at around 1200 BC after the fall of the Mycenaean kingdoms in mainland Greece. The museum traces the colonisation of the island by the Greeks.It houses a small collection of objects, mainly copies, as well as a selection of educational information on the site.

 

Marion - Arsinoe Archaeological Museum

The Museum of Marion - Arsinoe is located in Polis Chrysochous. Housing an interesting collection of antiquities excavated in the region, it helps put the history of the area into perspective. The exhibits are from the ancient city of Marion, renamed Arsinoe in the 3rd century BC, its cemeteries and the surrounding area. The Museum consists of two rooms and an atrium. The first room exhibits objects in chronological order tracing the historical development of the area from Neolithic to Medieval times. Exhibited in the second room is an important collection of objects brought to light from the area's rich necropolis

 

Pafos District Archaeological Museum

The Pafos Archaeological Museum houses a collection of findings from the Pafos (Paphos) area from the Neolithic Age through to 1700. Of special interest are a set of surgical instrument and a rare warrior Aphrodite. The museum is linked with the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

 

The Steni Museum of Village Life

The Museum is dedicated to all those men, women and children who lived in Steni Village during the difficult and challenging years from the day of it’s creation to the end of the Second World  War. Weaving in the loom scene, ploughing scene, tools and equipment, handicrafts, kitchenware, pots and jars, traditional clothing are some of the exhibits of this amazing museum.

 

Recommended accommodation in Paphos

Anassa 5* Paphos Cyprus Annabelle 5* Paphos Cyprus
Coral Beach 5* Paphos Cyprus Elysium 5* Paphos Cyprus
Paphos Amathus 5* Paphos Cyprus Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills 5* Paphos Cyprus
Venus Beach 5* Paphos Cyprus Thalasa Boutique & Spa 5* Paphos Cyprus
Alexander the great 4* Paphos Cyprus Crown resorts horizon 4* Paphos Cyprus
Imperial beach 4* Paphos Cyprus Almyra beach 4* Paphos Cyprus
St George 4* Paphos Cyprus Phaethon beach 4* Paphos Cyprus
Cynthiana beach 3* Paphos Cyprus Veronica 3* Paphos Cyprus

Click here to view full list  accommodation in Paphos, Cyprus that features:
Hotels, Hotels Apartments, Villas, Holiday Flats, Self catering accommodation, too.

 

Things to do & buy in Paphos

Enjoy one of the nice taverns & bars, cafe, disco, local and internal restaurants.

Paphos Bird Park

Shopping

Paphos nature parks, trails

Museums

Paphos famous for opera & festivals

Golf

Spa

Shopping area in Paphos

Paphos has a good commercial centre offering a wide range of shops from clothing boutiques to specialist retailers. There are many craft and gift shops at the harbour and along the promenade. Cyprus excels in handcrafted goods and the government have recognised the value of this by creating the Cyprus Handicraft Service. There are a number of official shops around the island. There are of course many more unofficial shops in all resorts selling good quality goods that are reasonably priced. Popular gifts and holiday mementoes are the embroidered linens, the Lefkara lace and ceramic pots
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 





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