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Top ten attractions to see in Paphos

Love Cyprus! (Courtesy Cyprus Tourist Organisation)

Beaches

Lara Beach in the Akamas - away from it all and perfect to catch the rays and swim in the sea

Lara Beach in the Akamas -
away from it all and perfect to catch the rays and swim in the sea

The beaches of Paphos District are a delight. Relax on the beach or swim in the clear, warm sea.

For beaches with amenities, check out Kato Paphos, Coral Bay and Latsi. If you fancy having the beach to yourself, explore the beaches of the Akamas around Lara. You’ll probably have the beach to yourself if you fancy getting an all over tan.

Many of the beaches have great watersports facilities – in particular Kato Paphos, Coral Bay and Latsi.

Tombs of the Kings

Tombs of the Kings - no kings but not to be missed

Tombs of the Kings -
no kings but not to be missed

The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis situated alongside Tombs of the Kings Road in the north of Kato Paphos.

The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC are carved out of the solid rock and are thought to have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials.

Despite the name, no kings are buried here. It was named as a result of the magnificence of the tombs.

Some of the tombs feature Doric columns and frescoed walls.

Paphos Archaeological Park

Paphos Archaeological Park has some of the finest Roman mosaics you'll find anywhere

Paphos Archaeological Park has some of the
finest Roman mosaics you'll find anywhere

The Archaeological Park at Kato Paphos was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1980.

The Archaeological Park includes sites and monuments from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, while most remains date from the Roman period.

The marvellous mosaic floors of four Roman villas form the impressive centrepiece of the park. The complex includes other important monuments, such as the Asklipieion, the Odeon, the Agora, the Saranta Kolones (Forty Columns) Fortress and the Limeniotissa ruins of early Christian Basilica.

Akamas Peninsula

The Akamas in the spring is a riot of wild flowers

The Akamas in the spring is a riot of wild flowers

The Akamas is a peninsula at the northwest extremity of Cyprus with an area of 230 square kilometres. It is undeveloped and wild – perfect to explore on foot, by bike or by 4x4.

Up until the year 2000, the peninsula was used by the British Army and Navy for military exercises and as a firing range. Under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment, the British army was allowed to use the Akamas for exercises for up to 70 days a year.

At the southern end of the peninsula is the town of Peyia and on its northeast side the town of Polis.

Due to the mountainous nature of the peninsula there are no surfaced roads running through its heartland – though there are many tracks to walk, bike or 4x4.

Visitor attractions in Akamas include the loggerhead turtle sanctuary at Lara and the Baths of Aphrodite near Latsi where the goddess is said to have bathed.

As the area is therefore relatively inaccessible there is a large diversity of flora and fauna there. Indeed the European Environment Agency noted that it was one of only 22 areas of endemism in Europe.

Petra tou Roumiou

Petra tou Romiou - birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love

Petra tou Romoou - an icon of Cyprus

Petra Tou Romiou or the Rock Of Aphrodite is a very beautiful stretch of coastline located just off the old Paphos to Limassol road.

Petra tou Romiou has become an icon for holidays in Cyprus, regularly appearing in brochures describing taking holidays in Cyprus.

It's a very popular place to visit for its breathtaking view of the sea and for the legends suggesting its was the birth place of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Legend has it that this is the rock from which Aphrodite mythically arose from the foaming sea.

There’s a large car park with souvenir shop and restaurant at Petra tou Romiou.

Monasteries

Agios Neophytos Monastery near Tala, Paphos

Agios Neophytos Monastery near Tala, Paphos

There are many Orthodox Greek monasteries in Paphos District that are well worth a visit. Monasteries you might like to visit include:

  • Saint Neophytos monastery is situated about 10 km north of Paphos near Tala village. It is built in what used to be a secluded location at the head of a picturesque valley.
  • Chrysorrogiatissa and Agia Moni are both worth exploring – you find them near Pano Panagia in the Paphos Forest.
  • High in the hills of the Troodos is Kykkos Monastery. The village has built up around the monastery and there are a number of souvenir shops and cafes to explore as well as the monastery itself.

If you want to visit the monasteries in Cyprus, bear in mind that the Greek Orthodox Religion is very proper. What does that mean for visitors?

  • Visitors are advised to avoid wearing short trousers and to be dressed 'decently'. That means men must wear shirts and women must have their arms and shoulders covered.
  • During Sundays and after the morning service, Christenings often take place. Visitors are welcome to watch.
  • Many of the monasteries are included in organised tours.
  • A small donation to the Church is always welcome.

Please respect the local customs and you'll be a welcome visitor.

Villages

The villages inland in Paphos District are well worth a visit

The traditional villages inland in Paphos District are well worth a visit

Get inland away from the tourist coastal area, and visting some of the villages is like stepping back many years.

You can have a great day out driving gently through the winding lines in the hills, stopping to explore some of the villages on foot. Stop at the village coffee shop and take in the atmosphere.

Some really beautiful villages you could explore include Kallepia, Panayia and Kelokedara.

If you’ve a taste for history, check out some of the deserted villages. After the Turkish invasion of the north of Cyprus in 1974, many of the Turkish communities in the south fled north. Their villages stand deserted, waiting for their occupants to return one day. Check out Souskiou, Androlikou, Vretsia and Evretou.

Paphos Forest and the Troodos

High mountains, stunning views. Explore Paphos Forest and the Troodos

High mountains, stunning views. Explore Paphos Forest and the Troodos

Exploring Paphos Forest, Cedar Valley and the lower reaches of the Troodos Mountains is a great day out exploring by car. The grandeur of the mountains and the cool of the forests is a total delight.

The mountain roads are perfectly easy to drive – just allow plenty of time and enjoy the views.

You’ll see villages high in the mountains where little has changed in years – perfect to stop to enjoy a snack and a drink at the local coffee shop.

Its also cooler in the mountains, so if you visit in the Spring or Autumn remember to take a jumper with you.

Avakas Gorge

The Avakas Gorge - a great walk but wear something sensible on your feet

The Avakas Gorge - a great walk but wear something sensible on your feet

In you enjoy a walk, check out the Avakas Gorge. It’s a spectacular gorge cut deep through the rocks by water flowing to the sea over centuries.

The Avakas Gorge runs down from Arodes to the coast at Toxeftra, just north of Agios Georgios. Its probably easiest to park at the coastal end of the gorge – there’s a small car park for visitors – and then walk as far as you want up the gorge.

Bear in mind after rains the gorge can flood, and there’s no mobile signal when you’re in it – so wear sensible footwear and take care.

Sunsets

Sunset over Coral Bay

Sunset over Coral Bay

The coastline north from Paphos past Chlorakas, Tala, Coral Bay, Peyia, Sea Caves and Agios Georgios all faces west. This leads to some spectacular sunsets you can enjoy whilst walking along the coast – or possibly even from the garden of your villa or the balcony of your apartment.

Spring and Autumn probably feature the most dramatic sunsets – colours you’ll remember for the rest of your life.