5 Amazing Things To Do In Paphos
Paphos was the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite so you can be sure that you’ll have a lot of ancient archaeology on the agenda in this town in western Cyprus. Kato Paphos on the water’s edge is the ancient city where the mosaics of Roman villas are as vibrant now as the day they were laid.
It’s a guarantee that you’ll eat and drink well in Paphos, where you can feast on meze and sample the range of wines that are grown in the hills to the east of the town. And for the little ones: A water park, zoo and an almost endless array of beaches. Let’s have a look at the amazing things to do in Paphos:
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
You could easily spend hours pottering around this fantastic attraction close to the harbour. There are structures here that go back to prehistory, but the most famous remnants are from the Roman era.
The ruins of four villas survive from this time and boast stunningly detailed mosaics, all dating to the year 100 and depicting scenes from Roman mythology.
From the same era is the Ancient Odeon, a small arena that is still used by the town as a performance venue, while the Tombs of the Kings is an underground burial complex, supported by intact Doric columns and dating back 1500 years.
St. Paul’s Pillar
This is one of Cyprus’ most significant pilgrimage sites. Back in 45 AD it wasn’t a great idea to try to spread Christianity to places that didn’t want it — if you were interested in self-preservation.
Paul the Apostle came to Paphos to convert the ruler from Paganism, and for his efforts got 39 lashes. In the grounds of Panagia Chrysopolitissa, a handsome Orthodox/Anglican church on the site of an ancient basicila, you’ll find the pillar to which the saint was tied for his punishment.
The pillar has been eroded down the years but is still standing amid two millennia of ruins that include some stunning mosaics.
Paphos Archaeological Museum
This museum documents human activity in western Cyprus from the Neolithic age to the 18th century.
The artefacts on display were excavated from as many as 15 archaeological sites, including the ancient settlements that predated modern Paphos and the neighbouring town of Kouklia.
You’ll get a real sense of location when you see the collection of coins that were minted right here in Paphos thousands of years ago.
Each room at the museum represents another stage in the area’s history, so after the Ancient Greek exhibits you can admire the wonderful marble sculptures of the Roman era: The Bust of Aphrodite is a real standout here.
Medieval Castle of Paphos
This structure, guarding the mouth of the harbour has had a very chequered history.
Originally a Byzantine fortress stood on this spot and this was reinforced by the Lusignans, whose territories extended across numerous Mediterranean locations in the 1200s.
Later the Venetians dismantled the old stronghold, but when the Ottomans took Cyprus they built the castle that you see today.
It’s a squat, rectangular building that for the past few hundred years has served as a prison and warehouse for salt, but now it’s a cultural landmark and emblem for the city.
Aphrodite Water Park
A family-favourite for those long summer days, Aphrodite Waterpark is the largest attraction of its kind on this side of Cyprus.In all it has 17 rides and attractions with something for both the big kids and toddlers.There are four high-speed plunges for people who want to get the adrenaline pumping, including Racer, in which you face off against your friends to see who can get to the bottom of this tube ride first.
More sedate is Lazy River, a mile-long float beneath waterfalls and fountains that drops you right back at your sun lounger.
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