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The Paphos Area Of Cyprus Well Worth A Visit

Paphos town lies at the heart of the Paphos area which is one of the largest municipalities on the West Coast of Cyprus. The town is in fact two towns the old and the new. Lower or Kato Paphos as it is also known nestles against the coast and makes up the greater part of the holiday resort. Most of the resorts bars and restaurants are located around this area of Paphos on either bar street or along the harbor front. The more lively sector is definitely up on bar street which runs parallel to the main street. Apart from the many bars there are some great restaurants serving a wide range of international cusine. The harbor is however the center of cafe life in Paphos with its trendy bars and restaurants where you can relax taking in the magnificent view out over the Mediterranean.

Kato Paphos has plenty to offer culture vultures too. The restored Roman Odeon now plays host to summer concerts and stage productions right were gladiators would have once been locked in mortal combat. A short walk from the harbor are the beautiful ancient mosaic floors of the house of Dionysos which cover most of the excavated rooms. Also near Paphos harbor is the site of the ancient fort of Saranta Kolones built where an original Byzantine castle once stood. Unfortunately even this later structure was destroyed by an earthquake in 1222. At the end of the harbor itself stands Paphos castle again originally built by the Byzantines, rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century only to be dismantled by the Venetians in 1570. They found themselves unable to defend it against the Ottomans who in turn rebuilt it as it stands to this day.

Whilst your visiting ancient sites around Kato Paphos it's worth a walk up the hill to the church of Panayia Chryasopolitssa which is built upon the site of the largest early Byzantine Basilica in Cyprus. Next to the church is a fenced in area with several stone pillars one of which is reputed to be the pillar of Saint Paul the Apostle of Jesus. Here is where Paul received 39 lashes for preaching the gospel in Cyprus. Shortly afterwards the Roman governor of Paphos was converted to Christianity which led to Cyprus becoming the first Christian state in the world.

A few miles from Paphos harbor is the ancient site of the tombs of the kings. The tombs are cut out of the bed rock and many are decorated with doric colums also cut from the rock. Despite its name no kings were actually interned at the site but it earned its title because it was considered fit for a kings burial. The theory is that several local Nobelmen or important dignitaries were lain to rest there. You don't have to look far around the Paphos area to find places of historic interest and some of them date back even before Roman times. Then of course there's all that Greek mythology which Cyprus plays an important part in. The Island is reputed to be where Aphrodite the Goddess of love and sexual rapture landed after her birth from the sea foam. We won't go into all the gory details of how she was formed but it involved a certain amount of castration by some god or another. Anyway, the rock of Aphrodite is situated a few kilometers outside paphos and you can view it from a cliff top restaurant.

The beauty of Paphos from a Cyprus holidaymakers point of view is it's close proximity to the airport and the main coastal motorway. Access to the rest of the Island including the capital Nicosia is real easy either by coach or with a hire car. With so much to see and do you will never cram it all into one holiday which explains why people return to Paphos year after year. There is little doubt that this lovely Cyprus resort with its many historic buildings will remain unspoiled for a long time to come. Perhaps this blend of old and new is part of its appeal but you will never know until you visit Paphos Cyprus yourself.

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