Places to Visit in Paphos
Many people are familiar with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and it was on the Paphos shoreline that her legend was born. Remnants of this legend can still be seen today in a number of features including The Venus Rock and the Baths of Aphrodite. Some of the amazing places to see whilst on holidays in Paphos include Paphos Medieval Fort which is located at the harbor, Petra Tou Romiou which is the birthplace of Aphrodite and located 25km from Paphos, The Tombs of the Kings which are spread out over a vast area and are underground tombs that date back to the 4th Century BC. There are also a number of churches and museums to visit too.
There are so many museums, caves, and tombs to explore not to mention local art, vineyards, banana plantations, and much more.You can also relax on the beach and enjoy the magnificent weather.
The harbour at Paphos attracts visitors all year round, who take the opportunity to walk along the quay and maybe visit one of the fish restaurants, tavernas or cafes. The view is superb, with lots of colourful fishing boats bobbing in the harbour. The castle is in fact all that remains of a much earlier castle dating from 1391, which was demolished by the Venetians. The Ottomans used it as dungeons and the British as a warehouse for salt! It can be reached via a small bridge over a moat and is worth a visit for the view from the top. Opening hours – winter daily 9am to 5pm – summer daily 9am to 6pm (Paphos Tourism Office).
The harbour is also a good place to take a boat tour of the surrounding beaches and coastline.
Paphos Aphrodite Water Park
With the largest number of facilities and attractions in Cyprus, the biggest family rafting ride in Europe and virtually guaranteed sunshine for every one of its opening days, it’s no wonder that Paphos Aphrodite Water Park attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. Young or old, swimmer or not, there’s something here for everyone and everyone’s here for fun! – A cool way to spend a hot day – At the Paphos Aphrodite Water Park! Whether you’re looking for pulse-pounding excitement, slippery challenges, relaxing activities and sunbathing, or a combination of all three, there’s something for everyone at Aphrodite Water Park. Hold on to your cosies, it’s time to get wet!
Paphos Bird Park
Pafos Bird Park truly is magical. As humans we tend to forget all the magic around us. We are so busy with our day to day lives that we do not see all the magic of nature. So why not take the time out from your busy schedules to visit Pafos Bird Park so that you can relax & reconnect with Mother Nature. As well as birds at the Park you will also find other animals such as Giraffes, Crocodiles and Antelope.
As Mr Christoforou is commited to education he is constantly upgrading & adding new features to the Park open in May 2004 was the Amphitheatre which can hold 350 guests, the Amphitheatre’s main purpose is to hold educational talks & programs about the various wildlife there is in the Park as well as showing wildlife documentaries. There is also daily Parrot & Owl shows, which will educate the public as to how agile & clever these birds are.
The Pafos Aquarium invites you to enter a mysterious underwater world – to experience life in the fascinating realms of the deep. Never before in Cyprus has there been an opportunity like this for learning about the mysteries of marine life. Now you can admire a spectacular array of colourful fish from different oceans, seas and rivers around the globe. Step into a wondrous, watery world in the heart of Pafos. The Aquarium provides a unique undersea setting of skilfully illuminated caves and rippling water; a marine ambience so inventive as to be impressively lifelike. Sea and freshwater fish comprise the superb range of species on view at the Aquarium, where no expense has been spared in recreating their natural environment as faithfully as possible. Making full use of the latest marine technology, the Aquarium boasts equipment from the United States that includes special filters and up-to-the minute water circulation pumps.
Tombs of the Kings
The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis lying a little over a mile (two kilometers) north-west of Paphos harbor.The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BCE, are carved out of the solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials up to 3CE (the name comes from the magnificence of the tombs; no kings were in fact buried here). Some of the tombs feature Doric columns and frescoed walls. Archaeological excavations are still being carried out at the site. The tombs are cut into the native rock, and at times imitated the houses of the living.
Not to be missed are these elaborate Roman Mosaics in the Roman Villa of Theseus, The House of Dionysos and The House of Alon. The impressive site is an easy walk from the harbour.
These sumptuous Roman mosaics are some of the finest to have been discovered in the ancient world. They decorated the homes of the imperial Roman commanders who governed Cyprus 2000 years ago and tell the stories of key mythological episodes including Dionysus’ gift of wine to man.
The Roman mosaics were stumbled upon by a ploughing farmer back in 1961. Following the extensive excavations by Polish and Cypriot archaeologists, three separate Roman villas have now been unearthed and are open to the public. They are the highlight of any visit to Pafos.
Mosaics in the House of Dionysus show the God of wine, Dionysus, giving the secret of viticulture to Ikarios, the King of Athens. This is one of the earliest depictions of drunks ever found and the two peasants lie prostrate beside an empty amphora of wine in the final panel.
Agio Nephytos Monastery
The hermit and scholar Neophytos settled at what is referred to as the Ayios Neophytos Monastery in 1159. Carving a home for himself out of rock, he is best known for what became a series of grottoes hewn from the hillside rock and the evocative religious frescoes. The Monastery itself with no more than 6 monks is below the grottoes and situated 6 miles north of Paphos, in a village called Tala.
The impressive Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus, offering cool sanctuary and idyllic hours spent in long walks in its scented pine forests in summer and winter sports and ski-ing in winter.
Here are the many famous mountain resorts, Byzantine monasteries and churches on mountain peaks, and nestling in its valleys and picturesque mountain villages clinging to terraced hill slopes. The area has been known since ancient times for its mines, and in the Byzantine period it became a great centre of Byzantine art, as churches and monasteries were built in the mountains, away from the threatened coastline.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation has a leaflet for the unique Nature Walks, which have been created by the Forestry Department in co-operation with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation at Troodos itself, with full details of the rich profusion of flora and fauna found on these very attractive walks, enticing many visitors every year. In the Troodos mountain range, besides Machairas to the east, and the actual Troodos district around Mount Olympus (height 1951 metres), there are four other districts, each of which has its own character and separate charm.
Petra tou Romiou, a rock off the shore along the main road from Paphos to Limassol, has been regarded since ancient times as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.
According to legend Aphrodite was born from the waves on the coast then escorted ashore on a shell by the soft breezes of the Zephyrs at the rocks now known as Petra tou Romiou.
It is said that in certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With imagination, this looks for just a moment like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape.
There is a long narrow pebbly beach at Petra tou Romiou that extends to either side of the largest rock and its satellites.
Baths of Aphrodite
Just past the town’s fishing harbor of Latchi, and 48 km (30 mi) north of Paphos, are the Baths of Aphrodite,
According to the legend, Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Fertility, was born in Paphos, where a visit to her falls and swimming in her waters will give you eternal youth.
The Bath is a natural pool where the goddess is said to have seduced her swains. The wild, undeveloped Akamas Peninsula which is just up the road is perfect for a hike or jeep excursion.