In the past Paphos was the capital of Cyprus, with history that stretches back thousands of years. Its heritage has been protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), who recognise its value as a site of historical importance. For those with even a passing appreciation of history, Paphos holidays offer the opportunity to explore and discover stunning monuments and ancient ruins that are centuries old.
Paphos achieved its status as capital under the rule of the Ptolemies, the successors of Alexander the Great. Whilst there are many treasures and remains from this period, the history of the whole area dates back even further, to a time of myth and legend. According to ancient stories, Paphos was the birthplace of Aphrodite. This tale quickly gave rise to a significant number of cults and religions devoted to the goddess, the legacies of which are still standing today. The Tomb of the Kings, which are excavated underground vaults, date back to the 4th Century. These vaults were built in solid rock and decorated with Doric pillars. Although it was high officials rather than kings that were buried here, the tomb is so wonderful that it was re-christened.
Other special places in Paphos include the mosaics of Theseus and Aion. These are considered to be some of the best examples of mosaic art in the Eastern Mediterranean and depict scenes and stories from Greek Mythology. Adorning the floors of the houses of noblemen, they have proven hard to date accurately, but it is thought that they are at least 1500 years old.
Paphos before that time
For most visitors the Fortress of Paphos will be the landmark of the harbour area. It was constructed on the remains of a previous fort and offered the town protection during the Arab raids of the 5th Century. However, its potential age could date back even further. Experts believe they have found evidence that the original structure dates back to the Byzantine period. In the nearby village of Lempa, other sites also show signs of being even older too. Situated in beautiful surroundings near the sea, Lempa is the site of a prehistoric settlement, dating back to the Chalcolithic era. An authentic reconstruction of how the settlement must have once looked helps visitors imagine the village back then, giving an insight into how these early inhabitants lead their lives.
With so much to see, holidays in Paphos can be quite fascinating and engaging experience, However, it’s important to include some real «holiday time» during your visit and renting a villa in Paphos is one way of ensuring that. Paphos villas provide more flexibility during your stay in Paphos and give you the opportunity to enjoy peace, quiet and time away from the crowds as you unwind. Many villas in Paphos are located just minutes from the beach, although most have their own swimming pools if you can’t muster the energy for a short walk. Although Paphos villas are built in traditional styles, they boast all the modern comforts you would expect these days such as satellite television and internet access. There are also a variety of stunning locations you can choose from, such as near to the town’s harbour or in more private locations, such as near to the banana plantations which make the area so famous.
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