Paphos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km (31.07 mi) west of Limassol which has an A6 highway connection. Paphos International Airport is the country's second largest airport. Near Palaepaphos (Old Paphos) at the seaside of Petra tou Romiou is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty and the founding myth is interwoven with the goddess at every level, so that Old Paphos became the most famous and important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world. In Greco-Roman times Paphos was the island's capital, and it is well known for the remains of the Roman governor's palace, where extensive, fine mosaics are a major tourist attraction. Paul the Apostle visited the town during the 1st century AD. The town of Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world's heritage.
Paphos enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island.
Archaeologists report that the site of Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite's mythical birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century BC.
The Greek names of two archaic kings, Etevandros and Akestor are attested in Cypriot syllabary on objects of 7th century BC found in Kourion
This 2ND century Odeon made of limestone has a semicircular shape having 12 rows of seats is situated near the lighthouse. Today it's a venue for many musical and live performances and shows .Some remains of Roman temple of Asclepius (God of medicine) and ancient town wall can be seen in its vicinity.
Archeological Museum :
A museum in Paphos where you can find a lot of antiquities which were collected from the area dating from 1700 AD.
Tomb of Kings :
These ancient solid rock structures are situated next to the harbour. Many Doric pillars and walls with many paintings and carvings are seen here that are believed to be from Byzantine times. This place is a resting place of many aristocrats who died between 3 BC and 3 AD in Paphos.
Temple of Aphrodites (kouklia) :
Situated on a hilltop at the pilgrimage site of Palea Paphos . This temple is almost 14 km east of Paphos.The temple constructed in 1500 BC houses many idols and coins related to Aphrodite and dating about 3800 BC.
Catcombs of Agia Solomoni :
Agia Solomoni church which was originally a Christian catacomb carved in the Fabrica Hills during ancient times. A large tree stands at the entry of the underground catacomb which believed by most people that almost all the ailments will be cured if you tie a cloth on the branches and wish with honest intentions. The church also has many decorations and paintings. Visitors need to have a torch with with them to view the inside of these dark catacombs.
Adonis Bath :
Located at a waterfall with two levels this beautiful place was the favourite meeting place of Aphrodite and her lover Adonis where they spent most of their time. Statues of Adonis and Aphrodite stands near to the baths. It is believed that swimming in these baths make the women more beautiful and young and men become stronger. These baths are worth a visit.
Baths of Aphrodite :
The pools of the natural cave is where Aphrodite used to take her bath. The cave is surrounded by fig trees. Bathing in this pool restores ones fertility is one among the many myths regarding the pool and surroundings. However entering the pool is restricted nowadays.
Ayios Neophytos Monastery :
Cypriot writer Neophytos in 1159 made his home by carving on mountain rock which later on became a monastery in his name. Many beautiful paintings can be seen here dating back to the Byzantine reign. A few monks stay here today and the monastery has a museum with many religious items, holy utencils, garments of the priests, jewellery, manuscripts and potteries on display.
Saranta Kolones :
These are ruins of a castle in the harbour area. The Saranta Kolones means 40 columns and named so because the castle was built on a 40 granite column base. Constructed in 7TH century this castle in its ruins now has a lot of dungeons and towers that need to be excavated.
Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery :
Founded in the 12TH century this monastery which stands at a height of above 600 meters gives a very beautiful view of its surroundings. This monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary or the Cypriot Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate. Inside this stands a statue of Virgin Mary made of silver and other attractions such as religious treasures and icons are on display. On 15TH August every year celebrations are held here as this day is believed to be the day Virgin Mary slept and did not wake up.
Mosaics of Paphos :
These are well preserved remains of mosaic dating from 3RD to 5TH century AD. The Villas of Dionysos , Orpheus and Aions and Theseus have pavements with these mosaics. These villas are being excavated even today and the mosaics depicts many scenes from Greek mythology. These villas are situated near the harbour.
St Pauls Pillar :
A place where a lot of pilgrims and tourists visit is this ruined Byzantine Basilica the panopia Chrysopolitissa. It is believed that the Apostle St Paul was tied to the pillar in the western corner and lashed by the jews of Paphos.
The mosque of Paphos :
An interesting architectural symbol when viewed from the outside. The premises has a cemetery and tombstones on the backside.
Great sculpture wall at Lempa :
The village of Lempa is situated just to north of Paphos. A Cypriot artist Stass Poraskoss constructed a remarkable sculpture wall in this village which has a length of 30mts and 5mts high made out of junk materials, bottles, broken tiles, oil cans and drums and even old toilets. Sculpture of kingkong, the pygmy elephants and some other strange things could be spotted here. These walls are worth a visit for everyone who would like to do something different.
Petra Tou Romiou (Aphrodite Rock) :
Believed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite it was on these rocks that Goddess of love chose to begin her life as a human. Petra Tou Romiou which means Rock of the Greek came from the story of the Byzantines guards used to throw these rocks to destroy the Arab ships that raided Cyprus. This place should not be missed.
Fort of Paphos :
This fully protected fort is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Located near the harbour this castles origin was during the Byzantine times. Remodelled by Lusigans ,destroyed by Venetians in 1570 and again restored back to its old charm by ottomans, the castle has a lot to say. An arch bridge connects the castle with the harbour.
Paphos Aquarium :
The aquarium in kato paphos has 72 large nature friendly tanks with varieties of rare and common freshwater and sea fish and also a special tank for crocodiles. This aquarium is a perfect spot for a day out with the family to experience the mysterious world underwater.
Bird and Animal Park :
It is a unique zoo in Cyprus. Open to the public in 2003 it was started to educate the local people the importance of caring and conserving the birds and animal life. An amphitheater set up here has a capacity to hold 350 people at a time where many talks and shows regarding animals takes place. A daily Parrot and Owl show also takes place here.
Aphrodite Water Park :
This mid size water park is an ideal place to have some fun out with the kids. There are fun rides to keep the adventure going throughout the day for people of different ages.
Coral Bay :
The bay with beautiful and lovely beach and safe swimming water. Fun filled water sports also attracts one towards this beach. The restaurant at the top of the cliff gives a stunning view over the bay.
Kato Paphos and the harbour :
The harbour of Paphos is filled with many bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, ice cream parlours and cafes. A place filled with many activities throughout the day and late into the night . This lovely town is a perfect place to chill out by simply walking around, sipping a cup of coffee or relaxing with a drink or even swim in the beach.