On the southwestern coast of Cyprus stands Paphos which is undoubtedly the most attractive region of the island, with long sandy beaches and abundant vineyards sweeping up to the unspoilt beauty of the Akamas Nature reserve. Paphos is the island's fourth largest city just 10 minutes drive from Paphos International Airport.
Originally a fishing harbour, Paphos has all the facilities generally associated with seaside resort. However, unlike many others, it has managed to retain its unique blend of charm & history. Excavations have unearthed some spectacular ruins dating back to the 3 rd century, from mosaics belonging to the House of Dionysos to the Tombs of the Kings – a maze of vaults - the final resting place of many ancient noblemen.
Paphos boasts excellent international schools, a high standard of health care and superb sports facilities both water and land based.
The old town is a maze of winding streets packed with local shops and old houses. There is also an area which caters for tourists as well, with boutiques, restaurants and tavernas to suit all tastes and budgets. Paphos' character is best summarized as the smallest seaside town with the best climate, excellent night life, clear sandy beaches and crystal waters and a perfect town for holiday, retirement and investment.
Coral Bay is located an easy 10 minute drive from the centre of Paphos. Close to the spectacular Akamas Peninsula, the whole area is unique, being one of the few remaining breeding places on earth for the Green Mediterranean Turtle. This area is generally accepted as being considerably lusher than other parts of Cyprus, with a variety of flora and fauna indigenous to the Coral Bay area. The whole region benefits from beautiful sandy beaches, a wide choice of restaurants, plenty of banks and supermarkets.
Places to see in Paphos
PAPHOS DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Dighenis street Tel: 26240215 Attractive collection of Cypriot antiquities from the Paphos area, dating from the Neolithic Age to 1700 AD.
I n the premises of the Bishopric Elysee str. Tel. 26232092 An interesting collection of objects from the Byzantine period, including Byzantine icons from the 12th to 18th century.
Exo Vrisy Tel: 26232010 Interesting private collection of objects from the Neolithic Age to the present day.
TOMBS OF THE KINGS
Wide area containing underground tombs carved out of solid rock dating to 4th century BC, many decorated with Doric pillars. Whether Kings were buried here or not, the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its name.
AYIA SOLOMONI CHURCH
Kato Paphos, St. Paul street . Originally a Christian catacomb. A sacred tree stands at the top, which, according to tradition, cures the diseases of those who hang a personal offering on its branches.
THE MOSAICS OF PAPHOS
House of Dionysos, House of Theseus and the recently excavated House of Aion. Kato Paphos, near the harbour. Tel: 26240217
The amazing mosaic floors, of these 3rd century AD noblemen's villas, are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mostly depict scenes from Greek mythology and are beautifully executed.
A small 2nd century Odeon entirely built of well-hewn limestone blocks. It was uncovered by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities in 1973-4 and is now regularly used for musical and theatrical performances.
Kato Paphos, near the harbour. This castle was built in the first years of the rule of the Lusignans (beginning of 12th century) maybe on the site of a previous Byzantine Castle . It was destroyed in the earthquake of 1222.
Kato Paphos Originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour, it was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, and then dismantled by the Venetians in 1570, who found themselves unable to defend it against the Ottomans, who in their turn restored and strengthened it after they captured the island.
PANAYIA LIMENIOTISSA BASILICA
Kato Paphos dating from the Early Christian period, probably early 5th century and dedicated to 'Our Lady of the Harbour'. Almost completely destroyed during the 7th century Arab raids.
PANAYIA CHRYSOPOLITISSA CHURCH AND BYZANTINE BASILICA
Kato Paphos Built in the 13th century, over the ruins of the largest early Byzantine basilica on the island. Within the compound, one can see the so called St. Paul 's Pillar, where according to tradition Saint Paul was flogged at some time before the Roman Governor Sergius Paulus was converted to Christianity. Excavations are still going on.
Kato Paphos, facing the harbour. Theoskepasti means 'Veiled by God' and according to tradition, God sent down a fog to protect the original church during the Arab raids. The modern church was built in 1923.