Paphos (Pafos) is a beautiful coastal city in the southeast of Cyprus. The history of this beautiful town dates back more than 9 thousand years, from the Stone Age, to the roman times, Byzantium until today. There are a number of sites that have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Due to the fact that Pafos is the European Capital of Culture for 2017, I’m taking the opportunity to post the must Paphos sites in this beautiful town.
Paphos Harbour Castle is another UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the harbor. It’s a beautiful stone-walled castle with a lot of history. It was a Byzantine fort, built to protect the harbor but later destroyed by the Venetians. After the Ottomans ruled, the castle was restored back to its old glory. If you enter the Castle and get to the top you’ll enjoy lovely views of the harbor and the city.
Admission: € 2.50
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Here you’ll find the more important monuments including Saranta Kolones, the Roman Oden, Agora, Asklipieion, Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, Roman mosaics at the House of Theseus, Aion, and Orpheus.
Admission: €4.50 (to see all sites)
Opening Times: Winter (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00 Summer (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30
Paphos Odeon is one of the most important archaeological sites. Next to the Odeon and near to the New Paphos Lighthouse is a rocky mound that is said to have been the Acropolis of the town. Odeon is not only a tourist attraction but is one of the best amphitheaters to stage live musical and theatrical performances.
Panagia Chrysopolitissa is a Christian Orthodox church built in the 13th century. The floors are covered with colorful mosaics which have been preserved. Here you’ll find St. Paul’s Pillar, one of the most popular spots for Christian pilgrims.
Opening Times: Winter (08.00 -13.00 and 14.00-16.00) Summer (08.00- 13.00 and 14.00 -17.00)
Tombs of the Kings
Tombs of the Kings is UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as a necropolis since they have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and officials. I’ll advise you to visit early in the morning before it gets how. Spend around 1-2 hours exploring the place.
Admission: € 2.50
Opening Times: Winter (8:30am-17:00) Summer (8:30 – 19:30)
Agios Neophytos is a Monastery near Tala Village, around 10km outside Paphos. Ayios Neophytos Monastery is the perfect location for those looking for peace and quiet. The monastery, it’s said, that was founded by a Monk called Neophytos who carved a home for himself within the mountain rock. The Monastery contains a collection of icons and the remains of some 16th-century frescoes. Agios Neophytos is said to have lived here for 45 years in one of the caves and you can go inside and see.
Opening Times: Winter: (9.00 – 16.00) Summer (9.00 – 13.00 & 14.00 – 18.00)
Akamas Peninsula is the most beautiful and untouched area on the island. Here you’ll find the most crystal clear and sandy beaches, you will enjoy the natural beauty, have the chance to view the untouched landscapes, and see some unique plant species. Lara Bay is an important turtle breeding and you might even see some turtles. The Akamas Peninsula has been declared a National Park in order to protect a large amount of unique fauna (animal life) which can be found here.
Baths of Aphrodite
Baths of Aphrodite are located in the Akamas Peninsula right after Latchi. It’s believed that Aphrodite used to bath in the natural pool which is surrounded by natural beauty. You can walk here via the nature trails of Akamas. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes/sandals.
Peyia Sea Caves
Peyia Sea Caves is a natural rocky area that consists of beach caves. It’s located near St.George Island, also known as Geronisos. The sea caves are further east of Coral Bay. Nature has created some amazing sea caves which illustrate talent and creation.
Aphrodite’s Rock is a famous site located between Paphos and Limassol and should not be missed. Another legend has it that the Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite emerged from the sea so that’s why the rock has been named Aphrodite. It’s a beautiful place to visit and take some nice photos and also swim – however the water here is a bit chilly.
Palaipaphos is located in Kouklia Village, on the way from Paphos to Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock). At Palaipafos you will find some of the most important monuments including the sanctuary of Aphrodite (important pilgrimage site ), the House of Leda, Panagia Katholiki church etc.
Admission: € 4.50 (including Palaipafos Museum)
Opening Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday: 08.00 -16.00 & Wednesday: 8.00 – 17.00
If you liked this post about Paphos Sites and want to learn more about other Cyprus Historical Sites make sure to check out Must-Visit Limassol Historical Sites