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About city Gallery Where to stay

Paphos, located in the southwestern part of Cyprus, is perhaps best known as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. There’s even a marking signifying the place she was supposedly born at from sea foam.

Today, Paphos consists of two parts. The upper part is located on a hill and is considered to be the city’s commercial centre, with a market and administrative organs, whereas the lower part, called Kato Paphos, is home to the most important archaeological objects, and most of the city’s taverns and hotels.

Lately, the city government has been taking all available measures to make Kato Paphos even more attractive to tourists than it already is. The coastal zone, which stretches for more than 10 kilometres, is now home to many new high-quality hotels, catering establishments and a new promenade that leads to the sea and opens up on some truly spectacular views.

Paphos
Photo taken by wikimedia.org.  Paphos

Paphos is the most elite of the Cypriot resorts, mostly designed for the wealthy. Due to its lack of noisy night clubs and discos, it’s very popular with older tourists. Most of the entertainment, especially the water sports-related attractions, can be found at the beach. Here, vacationers can also enjoy many different wellness procedures.

This resort is also held to be the country’s coolest, as ambient and water temperatures here are usually 2-3 degrees colder than elsewhere. For this reason, heat is not as devastating here, although it’s still best to visit during September-October, once the swelter has died down a little.

Coral Bay beach
Photo taken by Su May | Flickr.  Coral Bay beach

Paphos has both sandy and rocky beaches, not all of which offer uncomplicated access to the sea. The hotel situation, on the other hand, is such, that some of the three-star ones are closer to the sea than their five-star counterparts. This is because the resort was initially developed with Brits and Germans in mind, who usually prefered to swim in pools rather than the sea.

The history of Paphos goes back over 5,000 years. The city was established by Agapenor – one of the generals in the Trojan War. A temple for the goddess Aphrodite was built here, attracting people from many different places and increasing the glory of the city. Later, another ruler – Nikokles – decided to slightly change the city’s location by “moving” it closer to the shoreline. That’s how the old and new parts of Paphos originated, today joined by St. Paul’s Avenue.

Odeon Amphitheatre
Photo taken by wikimedia.org.  Odeon Amphitheatre

Later, the city was conquered by the Romans, at which time it became the capital of Cyprus. Later still, it was overrun by the Byzantines. During its history, Paphos went through periods of flourishing and decline, yet it never lost its splendour and charm.

The city is full of famous objects. In the Old Town, archaeologists have found many unique mosaics, created well before the current era, which decorated various temples and the houses of wealthy locals. Now, the city has a museum with entire canvases of these mosaics. One of these decorates the ancient temple of the wine god Dionysus.

Here you’ll also find the ancient theatre of Odeon, with its 40 pillars reminding us of times passed, which still puts on various plays and music shows. One of the most popular tourist places here is the “royal grave” complex, located right inside a cliff, in an underground necropolis. Every tombstone here is a monument to art.

Church in Paphos, Cyprus
Photo taken by Alan Samuel | Flickr.  Church in Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos has many ancient Christian churches and spectacular monasteries – after all, the apostle Paul himself was disseminating Christianity here. Almost all of the city’s monuments (royal graveyards, catacombs, the mosaics of the Dionysus temple, etc.) are now protected by UNESCO.

Paphos is also known for its nature. Here you’ll find a relic pine forest, located right in the middle of the city, a picturesque park with hundreds of bird species and exotic animals in the outskirts, a water park with various rides, and a unique turtle farm in a nearby town.

Even though Paphos is full of catering establishments, in order to try some really tasty Cypriot food, we recommend you go a little further from the shoreline, to one of the tiny villages surrounding the city. The old-fashioned local taverns are cosy and rustic, and the portions so big one could be enough for several people.

Where to stay

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