The western part of Cyprus (= Paphos area) is the most diverse area for tourists. There are so many interesting things here that you cannot visit a small piece even if you come here for a month.
Paphos. Its mystery and antiquity
Paphos keeps the secrets of ancient times: from mythological to quite real. It is unrealistic to visit all the interesting places of Paphos even in five years, but you cannot miss something.
There is a must-see attraction in the Paphos Bay in Poseidonos Avenue (Kato Paphos).
This is the Paphos castle (or fortress), which was erected in the XIII century, at the time when the Franks ruled Cyprus. It was destroyed by the Venetians closer to the middle of the 16th century, so the Turks who seized the island did not use it. Nevertheless, after a couple of centuries it was reconstructed and used as a defensive structure until the end of the Ottoman Empire.
Despite the troubled times, the Paphos Castle is still well preserved. It can be seen that the masonry is crooked due to the destructive effect of the sea. But the fortress is still strong in general and tourists are even allowed on its roof. From above there is a beautiful view of the city and the sea.
Rock (Stone) of Aphrodite in Cyprus
The rock of Aphrodite has a second name, Petra tou Romiou. Where did these two names come from? It's all about legends that are not related to each other.
Aphrodite's stone is located on the beach of Aphrodite. Both objects are named after the ancient Greek goddess of love and female beauty. According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite was born in the foam of the sea, and she came to land on a green, flourishing and fertile island of Cyprus.
Petra tou Romiou is translated as "the stone of Romios" (Greek). There is a legend according to which the giant Digenis, being on the opposite coast of the island and protecting Cyprus from invasion, tore a stone from the rock and threw it westward, at the ships of the conquerors. It landed in the waters of Aphrodite's beach and still stands out among the white rocks with its dark shade.
On the beach, despite the rocky bottom, locals and tourists swim as according to legend, those who plunge into the local waters are lucky in love affairs.
Tombs of the kings in Paphos
An amazing place that still keeps a tacit secret.
Despite the name, no rulers known to historians were buried there, the nobility, but not the kings, are in the tombs.
The age of the necropolis is impressive as scientists believe that it was erected in the 4th century BC. The scope is also impressive - these are huge squares with tombs with columns, arches and real underground streets.
The tombs have the special charm at dusk: the silence and impending darkness make you feel that the dead live here. Living people, especially those prone to mystical thinking, feel something unusual and even frightening.
Temple of Aphrodite in Kouklia
A lot is connected with the goddess Aphrodite and her cult in Cyprus, and a special abundance of finds and attractions is located in the Paphos region.
For example, in the village of Kouklia there is a big temple in which the Greeks worshiped the goddess of love.
Of course, due to time, little has remained of it: the ruins of the walls, several columns. All utensils found by archaeologists were transferred to museums. However, the size and aroma of antiquity on the territory of the complex can be felt. It is enough to realize that all this place is more than 3 thousand years old.
Saranda Kolones Castle in Paphos
Saranda Kolones translates as "Forty Columns".
Indeed, the ancient structure of the 8th century had 40 columns! Few of them have survived to this day: some were destroyed during the defense of Cyprus by the conquerors (and there were many of invaders), some were rebuilt by those who came to power. What remained was destroyed by the earthquakes.
However, the ancient castle covers a vast area. You can walk along the preserved stairs and labyrinths, and through several preserved arches you can contemplate the sea.
Anti-gravity road in Cyprus
Fans of mysticism and unexplained phenomena should go from Paphos towards Polis (north) and get on the E711 road.
Here, at the site at coordinates 34.982934 32.405962, the laws of physics stop working, as the gravity is broken here.
If you put a ball or a bottle on the asphalt, then the object will not roll downhill, as usual, but uphill! Miracles happen with the poured water: the trickle does not flow down, but up. It’s impossible to believe until you see it with your own eyes.
Sunken ship Edro III
The vessel called Edro III has no impressive history, as it sank in Cyprus in 2011.
This did not prevent him from becoming one of the favorite objects for visits and photo sessions.
The ship got stuck in a very picturesque place: among the white rocks and the azure sea, not far from Peyia. Due to its proximity to the coast, Edro III is very popular with photographers: it is captured at different times of the day and from different angles. Lovers and newlyweds arrange photo shoots here. In any case, it is worth looking at man-made beauty framed by natural beauty.
Akamas Peninsula is the pearl of Paphos and of entire Cyprus
The Akamas Peninsula is located in the northwestern part of Cyprus and is a protected national park. Akamas is a piece of rich Cyprus nature with hundreds of endemics, rare and endangered species. A walk around the peninsula is an unforgettable experience.
Walking trails in Akamas
Tourists have heard of two trails: Adonis and Aphrodite.
In fact, there are many more scenic hiking trails on Akamas, just the two mentioned are the most popular. They do not belong to the category of the lightest, as they have a length of 6-7 kilometers and are full of descents and ascents.
Nevertheless, the trails are well equipped, in some places there are benches, and on most of the way the visitors can see the magnificent sea views. It is recommended to take plenty of water, sandwiches or fruit for a picnic and a good camera to capture the unique beauty!
Baths of Adonis and Baths of Aphrodite in Cyprus
The two baths are located in different places, and you need to spend a whole day visiting them.
They are united by one myth: about Aphrodite and her lover, the mortal youth Adonis. The goddess and the man had a passionate love. And they did it just at the baths.
The bath is a natural small lake into which a waterfall flows. The water is clean and cool in summer, and around it, there are picturesque green "walls". Baths of Adonis and Baths of Aphrodite are incredible places worth visiting for indomitable romantics and fans of natural rarities.
Protected beach Lara
Lara Bay near Paphos is a true paradise for lovers of untouched nature.
The long sandy beach is ideal for swimming, but it doesn't have any infrastructure. It's all because of the rare turtles that nest on Lara beach in the summer.
Therefore, any human intervention is prohibited, although you can swim and sunbathe there. If you are very lucky, you can watch a female turtle emerge from the sea and lay eggs in the sand. A person rarely manages to witness such a miracle, but it makes sense to try your luck. Even if you're unlucky, you can look at the turtles being nursed by animal defenders right there, in the nearby conservation center. They will also take you on a tour and tell you more about the Caretta turtle.
A unique place for Cyprus - that's what we can say about Avakas.
White rocks, washed by waves and winds, rise upward. In some places, the height of natural walls reaches 10 floors!
An equipped hiking trail is nearby, but extreme sports lovers in good shoes can go deeper along this gorge. The main thing is not to be afraid to get your feet wet, as there is a river ahead. On your way, you come across wild goats and a variety of small animals, some of which are included in the Red Book. And the most stubborn can reach the cave in which someone previously lived.
Valley of cedars in Cyprus
Residents of stuffy cities should love the quiet and fresh air of the Valley of the Cedars.
Not. They will be so delighted that they will have the coniferous smell in their sweetest dreams for many years after! And this is not an exaggeration.
Overlooking views, huge cedars, clean air or a stunning aroma of heated pine needles. All this is combined into an unforgettable and inexplicable experience. The lungs are cleansed, and the soul calms down in this magical place.
Paphos Orthodox shrines
Cyprus has always, even under the yoke of the Ottoman Empire, preserved Orthodox traditions. As a result, small churches and huge monastic complexes from different centuries are located throughout the island, including Paphos. The oldest are over one thousand years old.
The monastery is located high in the Troodos mountains in an area related to Paphos.
The complex is large enough and neat and tidy. Its history began in the 12th century, when the hermit Ignatius found the icon of the Mother of God on the seashore and preserved it in his mountain cave.
Later, on the site of the cave, a monastery was built, and then was almost destroyed, named after the icon found by Ignatius. Chrysorrogiatissa means "Mother of God of the Golden Pomegranate". Reconstruction was carried out several times, and now the monastery complex is one of the most magnificent in Cyprus.
Church of Panagia Theoskepasti
Now it is a perfectly restored temple on the rock, which is incredibly beautiful both inside and outside.
Believers from all over the world want to visit this place and feel the peace.
According to legend, a small temple built on the seashore in the 7th century was attacked by conquerors, but it was covered by a curtain of fog, and the shrine was not destroyed. People considered it a divine miracle and renamed the temple to the Church of Panagia Theoskepasti. Panagia means the Mother of God, Theoskepasti if the God's veil.
Church of the Holy Unmercenaries in Cyprus
The large modern church is impressive at first glance, such a scale in Cyprus is rarely seen.
Usually churches are small, lost among the greenery or neighboring buildings. But the church of Cosmas and Damian is an exception. Built in the Byzantine style, it is distinguished by its majesty...
The church got its name from the healers who treated the suffering for free. These included the brothers Cosmas and Damian, as well as other saints. The temple is a must for those who have a request for healing.
Catacombs of Saint Solomon in Paphos
One of the most unusual places in Paphos and all of Cyprus.
In general, a cave chapel is always something mysterious, quiet, a little frightening and at the same time grievous.
According to Christian tradition, Solomon had 7 sons, and all of them were executed by King Antiochus because they did not renounce the Orthodox faith. The mother was not touched in order to bring her more suffering. There, in the cave, where the bodies of the young men were laid, the mother mourned them until she died from grief.
Now the chapel is very quiet: there are ancient icons, and the arriving pilgrims ask for healing from illness and mental anguish.
Monastery of Saint Neophytos
An amazing monastery, the oldest part of which is in the rock. Previously, there was only a cave in which the hermit Neophyte lived. The cave that laid the foundation for the monastery was man-made as the saint cut it down with his own hand.
Now on this site there is a magnificent monastery, where the relics of St. Neophytos are kept. They have a healing effect. The complex is open daily to all visitors.
Active entertainment in Paphos - for adults and children
Relaxation on the sunny island can be diversified by trips to the water park or to the animals. It will be curious for both adults and children.
Aphrodite Paphos Aquapark
This is a whole city of slides and related water activities.
There are different areas for children and (the most extreme slopes) for adults. You can spend the whole day in the complex as there are snack bars, showers and relaxation zones on the territory.
A separate advantage of the water park is that it is very conveniently located. If the tourist is not staying within walking distance, you can easily get there by bus, the stop is very close. This item is especially important for families with children.
It is rightfully the best zoo in all of Cyprus.
Tourists from other areas come here specifically to look at exotic animals living in close to natural conditions.
About 65 species of animals and birds - that's not all. A parrot show is held, where trained macaws and cockatoos show real miracles. The children and even adults are delighted here.
What is almost absent in the zoo are marine representatives. Therefore, a visit to the aquarium is the best addition after the zoo. There are more than 70 giant aquariums installed on the territory, and each of them is home to several amazing fish and mammals. Excellent lighting and other special effects create the impression that the visitor is at a great depth.
Alley of plants Lemba
It is possible to relax among the riot of greenery not far from the big city.
It is enough to get to the village of Lemba and visit the park of the same name (it is also a flower alley). Everything here is striking in its cleanliness, well-groomed and variety. Something is constantly blooming in the park, so the aromas are amazing. The walk can take several hours, especially if a photo session is planned.
Nobody would be able to list all the best sights of Paphos. But you have to start somewhere!
You can return to Cyprus again or buy property here. A house or apartment in Paphos is an excellent investment and a way to easily obtain a residence permit. Real estate in Cyprus is always in demand.