Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite’s legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century B.C. The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs mean that the site is of exceptional architectural and historic value. The mosaics of Nea Paphos are among the most beautiful in the world. Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list im the year 1980.
Paphos, situated in the District of Paphos in western Cyprus, is a serial archaeological property consisting of three components at two sites: the town of Kato Paphos (Site I), and the village of Kouklia (Site II).
- Kato Paphos includes the remains of ancient Nea Paphos (Aphrodite’s Sacred City) and of the Kato Paphos necropolis known as Tafoi ton Vasileon (“Tombs of the Kings”), further to the north.
- The village of Kouklia includes the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite (Aphrodite’s Sanctuary) and Palaepaphos (Old Paphos).
- Paphos is authentic in terms of its locations and settings, forms and designs, as well as materials and substances. The key elements of the property, such as the archaeological
remains associated with the cult of Aphrodite, the rare mosaics, and the remains of civil, military, and funerary architecture, retain a high degree of authenticity with regard to the built fabric.
- Paphos Archaeological Park covers most of the important ancient Greek and Roman City with outstanding ancient remains. The most significant remains so far discovered are four large and elaborate Roman villas: the House of Dionysos, the House of Orpheus, the House of Aion and the House of Theseus, all with superb preserved mosaic floors. In addition, excavations have uncovered an Agora, Asklepion, Basilica, Odeon, Theatre and a necropolis known as the Tombs of the Kings.
- The religious and cultural importance of the cult of Venus, a local fertility goddess of Paphos that became widely recognized and celebrated as a symbol of love and beauty, contributes to the Outstanding Universal Value of here.
Best Time to Visit
Paphos witnesses a pleasant weather almost throughout the year, with its beach scene being something like those of Thailand’s beaches. Spring and summer seasons are mild while winters are chilly, but however, offer excellent opportunities for sightseeing.
Cyprus is far more than a lazy beach-time resort, the island is multilayered, like its history, with a compelling culture, lifestyle and landscape, overseen by warm, hospitable people. Cyprus has historic sites, Roman ruins, multifaceted museums and dusty urban streets. There are the beaches, from the wild and windswept to the family-friendly and packed. Every conceivable water sport is also on offer, from scuba diving the watery depths to skimming the surface on a kite- or windsurf board. And if you tire of all that blue, just head to the interior where pine-clad mountains, sweeping valleys and densely planted vineyards offer hiking, biking, wine tasting tours and, yes, even winter skiing.