Paphos

Overview

Introduction

Once a relaxed, pleasant spot on a rocky and dramatic coastline, this town in Greek Cyprus has been transformed into a thriving monument to package tourism. Paphos consists of two areas: the coastal resort area (Kato Paphos) and the town itself (Ktima Paphos), which is slightly inland. Not too long ago, Kato Paphos was one of the most romantic spots on the island (facing west, it has a near-monopoly on sunsets over the sea), but it has now been developed to within an inch of its life. Ktima Paphos remains pleasant, however.

The area has plenty of attractions, the highlight being the third-century AD mosaic floors at the House of Dionysus and Theses. From the mosaics, walk along the waterfront to the ruined castle. Other sights include an archaeological museum, the Byzantine castle of Paphos, the Tombs of the Kings, St. Paul's Pillar (which marks the spot where the apostle was chained to a column and whipped for his faith), the Temple of Aphrodite and other historical and religious sites. Some 2 mi/3 km east of Paphos is the House of Folk Architecture (local arts and crafts). There are several churches, monasteries and ruins worth seeing—of special note are the Monasteries of St. Neophytos (Byzantine frescoes and icons) and Chrysorroyiatissa, situated high in the mountains behind the town. Paphos also has an international airport and three 18-hole golf courses. Plan one night, more if you want to do a day trip to Akamas. 60 mi/100 km southwest of Nicosia.

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