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Want to explore what Paphos has to offer? Here are the best things to see and do in this historical and culture-packed Cypriot resort.
The town of Paphos is located at the south-western tip of Cyprus, between the Troodos Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the fact that it attracts scores of sun seeking tourists every year, Paphos has a fascinating history and is renowned as the birthplace of Greek goddess Aphrodite.
Evidence of the island’s past, which includes the main archaeological sites as well as most hotels and tavernas, can be found in lower Kato Paphos by the sea. The Old Town of Paphos as well as the commercial centre and industrial district are located further inland.
But if you are planning on exploring these areas in the near future, what are the best things to see and do?
Explore Paphos Archaeological Park
Featuring a unique collection of artefacts that date back to the 2nd Century BC, the Paphos Archaeological Park is a must-see attraction for history buffs. Monuments on display include the basilica of Chrysopolitissa, the Hellenistic theatre and the Saranta Kolones (forty columns).
Wander around Paphos Old Town
On a laid-back afternoon, head to Paphos Old Town and stroll around the local market, where you can find everything from fruit and vegetables to jewellery and lace. In addition to the arts and crafts, you can also sample some local wine, as production goes back as far as 6,000 years. In fact, Cyprus boasts the oldest named wine which is still being made today – Commandaria.
Visit the Tombs of the Kings
Carved out of solid rock and with frescoed walls, this is the last resting place of top officials and members of Paphian aristocracy. Although each individual would have been buried alongside their jewellery and other significant belongings, the Tombs of the Kings were looted many years ago, leaving behind a mysterious stillness.
Take a walk along the coast
From the Tombs of the Kings to Geroskipou Beach there is a paved coastal path that allows you to witness Paphos in all its beauty. More adventurous types may also want to walk all the way from the airport to Coral Bay, just remember to keep cool and stay hydrated.
Out of the city
If you find yourself wishing for some time outside of the city, the district of Paphos has plenty of options. Akamas is a national park just outside city limits and is one of Europe’s most beautiful sites. There is a rich diversity of flora and fauna in the area. A particular favourite among visitors are the loggerhead turtles, which are a protected species and often come to the region to mate. As well as turtles there are plenty of other animals from foxes and hedgehogs through to several species of lizards and snakes.
Akamas is also deeply connected to the mythical past of Paphos. As previously mentioned, Aphrodite is believed to have been born in the area and when you spend time here you can visit the Fontana Amorosa. This is where Aphrodite is rumoured to have met her lover Adonis and the Fontana Amorosa is said to be her Fountain of Love. According to legend, anyone who drinks from this spring is overcome with a youthful sense of desire. Set on the Akamas Peninsula, the amazing Anassa Hotel puts you at the heart of this enchanting landscape and offers a host of luxurious amenities including a decadent spa.