The ancient city of Paphos, Cyprus is filled with so many remnants of its rich history, that the entire city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Many of these sites are located around the harbour and Old Paphos, where you can also enjoy staying in one of the numerous villas in Paphos. In this article you will be able to read about ten of the top visitor attractions of Paphos, Cyprus.
1. Petra tou Romiou, or the Rock of Digenis – As an area with great hikes, one of the first places you might want to visit is the rock from where it is believed Aphrodite was born. This rock is located not far from the famed Paphos Harbour, making a solitary figure just north of Fabrica Hill.
2. Paphos Castle – In the harbour, it was originally built as a fort during the Byzantine Empire, but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over by the various conquerors of the island. Today, you can walk along the quay for terrific views and enjoy fresh seafood at one of its many taverns or restaurants. You’ll need to cross a bridge to get to it, which is usually open from 9am – 5pm.
The photo above shows Paphos Castle.
Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pafos_castle.jpg
3. Roman Mosaics – These beautiful mosaics have been found in a number of structures and a ticket costing roughly three Euros will admit you to see them. The oldest mosaics, in the House of Dionysus and House of Theseus, date from the second century A.D. Just a couple hundred years younger are the Houses of Aion, Orpheus, and Four Seasons. All the mosaics depict different myths in intricate levels of detail.
4. Tomb of the Kings – A necropolis with a network of tombs and caves that pre-date Jesus. This site is particularly interesting as an example of Egyptian influence in the area. The ticket price is around two Euros.
5. Saint Solomoni Church – An underground church with 12th century frescoes and catacombs. It’s also believed hanging a personal offering from the tree just above it will cure diseases.
6. Odeon Amphitheatre (Pano Odeon Paphos) – An ancient Roman outdoor theatre which is still used for musical and theatrical performances still today. There is another ancient theatre in Paphos, just diagonal from the harbour that was built into a hillside. Not as well preserved as the Odeon, it offers some interesting architectural insights into the evolution of ancient theatre design.
The photo above shows a view of the Odeon Amphitheatre in Paphos, Cyprus.
Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PanoOdeonPaphos.jpg
7. Basilica of Panagia Chrysopolitissa – This is the largest basilica excavated on the island and dates from the fourth century. While originally a seven aisle basilica, much of it was destroyed by Arab invaders in the seventh century. After that it has been rebuilt and fortified against further destruction.
8. Paphos Archaeological Museum – Home too many antiquities, from the Neolithic Age to the 1700s, including a marble bust of Aphrodite. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and costs around two Euros.
9. Byzantine Museum of Paphos – This museum focuses entirely on the Byzantine period. It contains many Byzantine icons from the twelfth to nineteenth centuries. The collection has a range of liturgical items, which are also detailed examples of Byzantine art. The museum is open Monday through Saturday and costs around two Euros.
10. Kato Akourdaleia Folk Art Museum – Includes items from ancient and traditional lives in Paphos, from clothes to farming equipment to rug making, and even old photographs. This museum is open Monday through Friday and costs a little more than one Euro.
These sites don’t even begin to explain the beautiful beaches and hiking around Paphos as well. If you stay in one of the Hotels/villas in Cyprus in the Paphos area, you’ll have full access to all these attractions on your doorstep. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained in Paphos, Cyprus where legend says Aphrodite first appeared.