Pafos (Paphos) located in the west coast of Cyprus is known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of beauty and love. Pafos is surrounded by an air of romance and seduces its visitors with its majestic landscape, historical sites, beautiful coastline, medieval pafos monasteries, byzantine churches and delightful villages where tradition is still a way of life. Opt to stay in one of the many available traditional houses and move ahead to explore the countryside and tranquil villages where the old traditions and customs have been kept alive.
The famous Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite's Rock) is located on the west coast, approximately halfway between Lemesos and Pafos highway. It is propably one of the most beautiful and most photographed places in Cyprus. The rock's history, enshrouded in myth and legend, is captivating. It is famous as, according to the myth, the place where Aphrodite was borne ashore on the sea foam. Another story, is that the legendary Greek giant hero, Digenis Akritas, hurled the giant rock into the sea to destroy enemy Saracen ships.
During the Hellenistic and Roman times Pafos was the capital of Cyprus. Bursting with ancient sites, Pafos is of such outstanding historical value that UNESCO added it to their World Cultural Heritage list. The exquisite floor mosaics (which date from between the 2nd and 5th century AD and depict scenes from Greek mythology), the underground Tombs of the Kings - an impressive former burial site that overlooks the Mediterranean, St Paul’s pillar, the medieval castle are among the most interesting places of interest.
The city is composed of two distinct districts: the touristic Kato (lower) Pafos and the older, more characterful Ktima (Upper Pafos). Developing through modern times Pafos boasts to have luxurious accommodation facilities, quality service, cosmopolitan nightlife and premier golf resorts. Next to the romantic harbour and the medieval castle visitors can enjoy culture under the stars, such as the annual opera performance.
The Monastery of Agios Neophytos has wonderfully colourful frescoes painted on the walls in a cave that the hermit carved out of the mountain. Chrysorrogiatissa Monasery is worth visiting form its fine icons and a taste of the locally produced vintage wine from its own winery.
Leaving Pafos and continuing north takes you through some of the island's most beautiful coastal scenery where you can encounter many attractive and intriguing villages. There's Pegeia - with its early Christian Basilicas, Drousia - with its stunning view of the Troodos mountains and Chrysochou Bay, and Polis Chrysochou - City of the Golden Land - which is an especially charming blend of old and new.
Feel one with nature and head for the Polis area. Polis, which in Greek means ‘town’, is situated on a beautiful seep of bay, with the rugged Akamas peninsula to the west and the pine clad Troodos Mountains as its backdrop. The Akamas peninsula, the jewel in the region’s crown, is an area of natural wilderness with dramatic coastlines and sandy coves. Explore the picturesque villages, walk along the many scenic nature trails or take a boat trip along the dramatic coastline.
The Akamas peninsula, with its tabletop mountain, spectacular views between pines to turquoise waters down below and the famous Baths of Aphrodite where the legendary goddess of love is said to have relaxed in the cool spring waters, is an excellent place to admire nature on foot or by bike. This remote, untamed area is perfect for exploring. Remote, beautiful, and unspoiled, the Akamas is among the most beautiful parts of the island. The area is ideal for hiking, cycling, diving and swimming in crystal clear waters. The Akamas peninsular is a turtle sanctuary and their nests are sometimes difficult to spot, so take care where you park your car and sun umbrella!
The fishing shelter of Polis, Latsi, with its waterfront promenade and long sand and pebble beach, is now being expanded into a marina. Latsi is reowned for its seafood. Along with a broad range of watersports that will appeal to the adventurous, Latsi also offers relaxing boat trips along the rugged coastline of the nearby Akamas wilderness.
Pafos with its romantic and pleasant harbour and medieval fort combines a cosmopolitan holiday resort, spectacular countryside and historical sites.
Welcome to Pafos!
Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture – Candidate City
One step from the dream…
Pafos is very close to achieving its greatest ever vision and most ambitious goal in its modern history – to claim the title of European Capital of Culture for the year 2017.
Pafos city has already made its first big step by advancing to the second and decisive stage of the selection and now looks towards the final decision with justified optimism. In September, Pafos will present its final proposal and will need to convince the 13-member Selection Committee that it wants the title, that it is able to win, and that it can meet the high demands of the institution.
Pafos ideas and suggestions…
"Open-Air Factory"- Linking Continents, Bridging Cultures.
The actions and events of Pafos artistic programme will be the product of an "open air factory", which by definition does not comply with time nor with territorial boundaries. Neither is it limited to cultural or socio-economic boundaries.
Based on the philosophy of "Linking Continents-Bridging Cultures", the Open-Air Factory produces and exposes culture underneath the open sky and expands in order to embrace all those living in or visiting Pafos- Greek and Turkish Cypriots, EU citizens, as well as citizens around the world.
The rebirth of our city for the benefit of the present generation and future ones.
By making the most of this institution, Pafos can turn over a new leaf, enter a new era and reap the benefits throughout all sectors.
Pafos city, like every city which receives the title, becomes the centre of European cultural creative activity.
• Learn more at www.pafos2017.eu
Pafos town hall
Medieval Castle & harbour
Pafos harbour area 2
Scenery from Cyprus, photo by ...
Diving at Turtle Rock, photo b...
Larnaka Marina, by Christina K...
Zinon of Kition Statue, by Chr...
Protaras Beach, photo by Cypru...
Europe Square, Larnaka by Chri...
"A traveller without observation is a bird without wings" - Moslih Eddin Saadi