It might be the smallest of the major towns, but Pafos is a rapidly growing tourist resort.
A fascinating mix of old and new, Kato Pafos and Pafos Town offer much for visitors of all ages. Pafos harbour is a good spot to relax, have a drink and watch the world pass by. The Pafos antiquities so impressed UNESCO they added the whole town to their World Cultural Heritage List. The area is well served for the usual sports activities, especially golf –there are 3 top class courses. The surrounding area is well worth exploring with plenty of small villages where you can sample the Cyprus of old. The nearby Akamas peninsula is a vast unspoilt area of natural beauty. Green and Loggerhead turtles still nest here on the quiet, secluded beaches. For those of you with a good head for heights why not try a local sightseeing flight or flying lessons from Pafos airport?
Places to Visit
Andrea Ioannou 5
Adjoined to the Bishop, near Ag. Theodoros Church
Byzantine icons from the 12th to the 19th century. Also books, wood carvings and vestments on show.
District Archaeological Museum
43 Griva Digeni str, Tel: 26306215
Displays artefacts from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages.
Exo Vrisi 1, Tel: 26932010
A private museum of articles found mainly in the Pafos area.
This area is included in the UNESCO list of World Monuments. Dating from the 3rd to the 5th century AD, the remains of the villas have impressive mosaic floors and are named after the figures shown in the mosaics – House of Dionysus, House of Aion, Villa of Theseus, and the House of Orpheus. Some of the finest mosaics found in the region, they mainly portray images from Greek mythology.
Located on Pafos’ pictures harbour, the fort was originally built in 1592 by the Ottomans on the site of a medieval castle. It was declared an ancient monument in 1935.
Within the ‘Archaeological Park’ east of the lighthouse’
Built in the 2nd century of limestone blocks, the first 11 rows of seats have now been restored. The Asklepeion was a healing centre and altar to Asklepios, the God of Medicine. Also here was the 95 metre by 95 metre Agora (market area).
Panagia Chrysopolitissa Church
Built in the 13th century over the remains of a 4th century basilica. The original basilica is the largest one found on the island. The nave has a double floor, which is unique to Cyprus. There are floor mosaics from different periods. To the western side of the basilica stands Saint Paul’s Pillar, where Saint Paul was flogged before he converted the Roman Governor, Sergious Paulus, to Christianity.
Panagia Limeniotissa Basilica
Close to the harbour, Kato Pafos
Meaning “Our Lady of the Port”, the basilica was built at the beginning of the 5th century. All that now remains is a floor mosaic.
Within the ‘Archaeological Park’ near the house of Dionysus and the harbour.
Saranda Kolones -“forty columns” – was built to protect the harbour in the early 13th century. It was named after the granite columns scattered in the area and used in the construction of the castle, they came from the colonnade of the nearby Roman agora.
Tombs of the Kings
Built between the 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD, the site contains over 100 tombs. Despite the grand title, they are believed to be the tombs of Pafian aristocracy or important officials. They are impressive, nonetheless.
Baths of Aphrodite
Near Latsi, Polis
A small shaded rock pool where Aphrodite and her lover were said to have bathed.
An area heavily occupied during the 3rd century BC, various graves and stone buildings have been excavated here. Also visit the Cyprus College of Art to see some very unusual work.
Marion was one of the 11 City Kingdoms of Cyprus in 5th century BC. It was an important copper mining centre, and is surrounded by a large necropolis.
Founded by the Venetians. The ruins of Agios Georgios, a 6th century basilica, containing fragmentary mosaics depicting sea creatures, sea birds and a wild animal hunt.
Petra tou Romiou
Located off the coastal road between Pafos and Lemesos.
Large rocks mark the spot where Aphrodite stepped from the foam. Legend says that Dighenis Akritas, a legendary giant, hurled the large rock into the sea to destroy enemy Saracen ships.
Sanctuary of Aphrodite
The remains of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite date back to the 12th century BC. Many writers, including Homer, referred to it as the most revered temple in the world. During the Frankish period, the Kouklia area was one of the most important sugarcane processing centres on the island.
Things to do
Aphrodite Hills Golf & Leisure Centre
18-Hole par 71 golf course. Spa and tennis courts.
18-hole par 72 golf course.
Tsada Golf Course
Polis Chrysochous Road
First golf course in Cyprus. A fairly challenging 18-hole par 72 course.
Pafos Bird Park
Coral Bay & Agios Georgios, Pegeia
Geroskipou off Poseidonos Avenue (Hotels area)
“Kataklysmos” – June
Contact: Pafos Municipality
Kataklysmos, which coincides with the day of the Pentecost, is a religious and popular feast celebrated only in Cyprus. The celebrations of this feast last several days and take place in all seaside towns and resorts.
Pafos Aphrodite Festival
Venue: Pafos Médiéval Fort Square
Organised by Pafos Aphrodite Festival Cyprus Ltd
Impressive annual operatic performances set against the magnificent backdrop of Pafos harbour side castle.