Image by Steve Parker used under the Creative Commons License.
Greece is home to one of the oldest and unique cultures in the world, and part of its history lies on the Island of Cyprus, which has been inhabited since the 11th century BC. During that period Cyprus has been ruled by Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians and was eventually captured by Alexander the Great. Today the island’s stunning beaches and sites play host to lucky tourists, who flock to beautiful towns like Paphos for a share of the 340 days of sunshine each year. If you’re looking to book your flights to Paphos, here are 7 great things to keep in mind for your trip.
1. The many beaches
While there are a lot of other great sites and activities to take in throughout your stay in Paphos, the beaches are the unanimous main attraction. The most iconic and conveniently located beach is Coral Bay which has long stretches of fine-grained sand, crystal clear waters and provides easy access to the Troodos Mountains and fishing villages like Latchi and Polis.
2. Tomb of the Kings
Though the name might be misleading as there are no kings buried in this famous archaeological site, the Tomb of the Kings is an intricate underground burial system made-up of crypts dug into the rocky ground outside Paphos. These burial sites feature Doric columned walkways and halls, and frescoed walls, which are often a reflection of the houses that their inhabitants once lived in.
3. Baths of Aphrodite
Located just to the north of Paphos in Akamas Peninsula National Park, the Baths of Aphrodite are a stunning natural grotto where legend has it the Goddess Aphrodite was said to meet with her lover Adonis. The site features a statue of Aphrodite and Adonis, two swimming holes and a waterfall, as well as extravagant views of the surrounding region.
4. The House of Dionysus
Located in Paphos, the House of Dionysus is a Roman Villa that dates back to the 2nd century AD and features intricate mosaics depicting scenes from Greek mythology, many featuring the god of wine, Dionysus. The site is also home to the House of Aion, and the House of Theseus, which hold depictions of Leda and the Swan, as well as Theseus slaying the Minotaur.
5. Pafos Zoo
Pafos Zoo is the largest of its kind in Cyprus and features exhibits with giraffes, monkeys, meerkats, crocodiles, kangaroos, albino wallabies, mouflon, white lions, parrots and venomous snakes. The zoo is dedicated to animal care and creates an experience that really connects visitors to the local wildlife.
6. Paphos Castle
Located on the edge of the harbour, Paphos castle is a Byzantine fort that was built to protect the harbour before it was dismantled by the conquering Venetians in the late 16th century. Today it is one of the most recognisable buildings in Paphos and is home to a number of archaeological digs.
7. The cuisine
Cyprus is well known for its delicious cuisine, which feature local halloumi cheese, Sheftalia sausage, and other Greek-inspired dishes like kleftiko. The local tavernas and restaurants serve up a wide variety of delicious fresh fish, and old favourites like souvlaki.
So when you start thinking about planning your next holiday, be sure to keep Cyprus and Paphos in mind, you’ll be glad that you did.