October 15, 2009
Paphos Cyprus - A Wonderful Holiday Destination
Paphos, in the Southwest corner of Cyprus, is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Historical and archaeological treasure are everywhere, from the lovely floor mosaics to the network of catacombs used by the early Christians. There are mysterious caves and vaults to explore and beautiful soft sand beaches lapped by a turquoise sea. The District of Paphos has been named as a world heritage site by UNESCO and is the perfect place for a holiday or retirement home.
Paphos itself consists of two districts, the resort area called Kato Phaphos and the town itself called Pano Paphos. The resort area has lovely sand beaches, including the famous Coral Bay, and the popular promenade bordering the sea where tourists and locals stroll on warm summer evenings. It is also famous for it's old harbour and medieval fort but there you can also shop to your heart's content in modern boutiques and malls in Pano Paphos. There is a wide range of cultural entertainment available including regular concerts and operas and there are museums and art galleries to visit.
Antiquities from around Paphos are housed in the District Archaeological Museum and you can see lovely Roman floor mosaics, well preserved after many centuries, in the remains of villas in the area. The remains of the Roman Agora (the market place) are worth a visit as in the ancient building that was dedicated to Asclepius, god of medicine from whom we get the Rod of Asclepius still used today as a symbol of medicine. To the North west of Phaphos is the Tomb of the Kings dating back to the fourth century. The underground tombs are carved from solid rock and are still being excavated today. They were the burial grounds of the aristocracy of Paphos around the third century C.E. and are named for their magnificence as they were never actually kings buried there. Many were made in the form of residences of the time complete with Doric columns and walls decorated with frescoes.
We could not describe Paphos without referring to the Greek goddess Aphrodite whose birthplace was in the ocean close by. Myth recounts how she was born from the ocean foam and was carried to land at Petra tou Romiou on a scallop shell wafted by the breeze of the Zephyr's. Paphos remained the center of the worship of Aphrodite where she was worshiped in earlier incarnations as Ashtaroth and Ishtar.
Moving out from the center of Paphos district into the green hills of the suburbs you will find stunning views of the coast and the Troodos mountains. Further away are quiet villages still pursuing a life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Traditional crafts are still done here including lace making, weaving, silver smithing and embroidery.
Gently rising from Phaphos the surrounding hills offer superb views of the coast and are the location of suburban areas such as Yeroskipou, Konia, Chorio, Peyia, and Tala. A short distance away you will encounter quiet villages still pursuing a rural life that has been unchanged for centuries.
Paphos has a mild climate, with low humidity and is a popular place to visit throughout the year. In the heat of the summer the many sandy beaches are a major attraction but in the cooler winter months cycling and walking in the surrounding hills or theTroodos mountains is an attractive activity. Paphos has so much to offer once visited you will return year after year and never run out of new things to do or interesting places to visit.