It doesn’t take much to slip back in time in this town: history and culture seem to ooze from the very stone walls around you. Meander through the charming Old Town and enjoy a drink at one of many little cafés or pleasant bars down by the harbour. After you’ve absorbed a bit of the ancient vibe, ensure you take in these attractions within the UNESCO cultural site, which is also the birthplace of Aphrodite. |
Aphrodite’s Rock (Petra tou Romiou)
The goddess Aphrodite is said to have been born on this sacred pile of rocks, before being carried to the nearby shore in a shell. If you’re lucky enough to be here when the weather conditions are right, as the waves break on the rock and create a column of water you’ll see an evanescent human form. Where could be more romantic than Aphrodite’s birthplace?
Paphos Castle and Harbour
Originally constructed by the Byzantines, the Lusignans rebuilt the fortress in the 13th century only to have the Venetians tear it down again in a desperate attempt to halt the Ottomans. When the Ottomans prevailed, they restored the castle for use during their occupation. It was then used as a prison and salt cellar during British colonisation. These days is has an altogether more pleasant role in island life, and is the backdrop to one of the best European opera festivals: the annual Aphrodite Festival.
Enjoy a delicious meal of fresh fish at the harbour while soaking up the history of this beautiful, history-steeped town.
Agia Solomoni Church & Catacombs
This is the perfect way to get your children involved with the cultural side of your holiday in Cyprus. The graves are spooky and err on the side of the macabre, housing remains from the Hellenistic era as well as Christian tombs.
The charming church houses the remains of a fresco dating back to the 1100s and it’s well worth the visit for this sight alone.
Combining history, ghostly tales and mythology, this spectacular landmark offers something for all the family.
Kato Paphos Archaeological Site
Another place where you can get your children interested in the culture of this exciting town, the archaeological site is a veritable delight for the amateur archaeologist in all of us. With sites spanning history from prehistoric times right up until the Middle Ages, its Roman remains are the most spectacular. Feast your eyes upon the stunning Roman mosaic floors in the middle of the site, discovered among the remains of four villas.
Journey all the way back to the 3rd century AD, as you can see some of the best-preserved wall paintings in existence in the Houses of Theseus and Aion.
Furthermore, you can view the well-known Tomb of the Kings with its intricate network of chambers, held up by its exquisitely engraved Doric pillars.
If you’re yearning for an intellectually stimulating cultural holiday in Cyprus you will definitely enjoy a stay in Paphos. Our expert team can help you to design your perfect trip to the past.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. If you're planning a luxury holiday in Cyprus John can help find your perfect accommodation. An expert in luxury accommodation in Bermuda, Cyprus, Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe for over 30 years, John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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