Paphos (Pafos) Castle was initially a Byzantine fort constructed to protect the harbour. In the 13th century the Lusignans rebuilt it only to be pulled down by the Venetians in 1570 during the Ottoman invasion. Then, the Ottomans rebuilt it again after they captured the island a short while after. The role of protecting the harbour was originally undertaken by the Saranta Kolones (Forty columns) fort, the remains of which lie several hundred yards away. Throughout its long history, the Pafos Castle was used not only for protection, but also as prison cells and a storage area for salt during the British colonial years. Pafos castle was declared an ancient monument in 1935 and is one of the most important landmarks in the Paphos region. Numerous cultural events take place in the square immediately in front of the castle. Every year during the month of September, the castle hosts the Pafos Aphrodite Festival which presents a different opera each year by world renowned artists with the castle featuring as a majestic backdrop to the event.
Discover the Aphrodite trail and Adonis Trail, two of the most beautiful Cyprus walks on the Akamas Peninsula, with its stunning views over the blue lagoons. Cyprus has many way-marked nature trails and if you only walk one of them when you visit the island, make it this one. The Aphrodite Trail is probably the most beautiful walk on the island and this walk will be a lasting reminder of your holiday in Cyprus. You will never ever get tired of the stunning views from the highest point on the walk.
Join a 4X4 wheel drive of road adventure and discover the untouched wilderness of the Akamas Peninsula with its lush foliage, unique fauna and flora and a variety of rare birds. Take me there
Blue lagoon is the most popular place of Akamas and thousands of people have visited it by boat. The crystal blue waters in this small bay are so clear, you can see all the way to the underlying sea bed. The water in this area of the Akamas Peninsula is so inviting and refreshing you will want to swim in this beautiful environment or go snorkeling and look around you underwater for metres on end.
Enormous rocks constitute an intriguing geological formation on the south west coast in the Paphos district. It is one of the most impressive natural spots in the island. According to myth this is the place where Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, rose from the sea and was carried on a large shell at the rocks known today in Greek as “Petra tou Romiou”. The terminology for this name (Rock of the Greek) is derived from a legendery warrior, Digenis Akritas, who drove away the invading Saracens with his formidable strength. A testament to his strength is the legend that he hurled an enormous rock in to the sea, destroying the ships of the enemy.
The best sunset experiences in Paphos are best found at Petra tou Romiou (the mythological birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite), at Kouklia, Kato Paphos harbour and lighthouse, viewing the sea from Ktima, (old town Paphos), and from the area of Mouttalos, the Akamas region, and specific areas of Polis and Neo Chorio. Another favourite for a sunset view is the coastal area between Lemba, Chlorakas, and Kissonerga, as well as Ayios Georgios, Peyia, and Lara Bay in Akamas.
Agrotourism is becoming an ever more popular trend in Cyprus in recent years. “Agro” means rural. Thus, people staying in traditional rural or mountainous village houses, is known in Cyprus as “Agrotourism”. If you prefer the charm of a quiet rural environment to the hustle and bustle of a tourist resort you can choose one of many idyllic places to stay. These properties consist of traditional village houses that have been renovated. All have modern kitchens and bathrooms and are furnished with rustic furniture and soft comfortable furnishings in a traditional weave. Most of the houses have a garden, where you can enjoy such delights as lemons and oranges fresh from the trees therein. You can enjoy the comfort of a house that will soon feel like home, many of which come with a swimming pool.
The area is located in the northwest part of the Troodos mountain region. Its boundaries overlap with the boundaries of the Main Forest of Paphos, which represent 96% of the site. It covers a large area from sea level up to the peak of Tripylos at 1,352 metres. This particular area is the most important area of Cyprus for nesting raptors. It supports the highest number of breeding Bonelli’s eagles and Goshawks.
Cedar Valley: A must for nature lovers, Cedar Valley in Tilliryan Troodos is a thing of beauty. However, the cedars in this secluded valley are no ordinary trees, but the indigenous Cyprus cedar – Cedrus brevifolia, a close relative of the famous cedars of Lebanon, and which number in the thousands here.
Stavros tis Psokas (Cyprus Mouflon): This area contains the Cypriot mouflon (a wild sheep, Ovis musimon, inhabiting the mountainous regions of Sardinia and Corsica, the male of which has large curving horns considered native and unique to Cyprus). This breed of animal was almost extinct during the 20th century, yet the moufflon is now healthily populated within the Paphos Forest, Cedar Valley, and particularly the Tripylos area. Near the Stavros tis Psokas Forest Station, there’s a Moufflon enclosure near which will be featured in an upcoming blog post.
You can get there from driving to Pegia and then to Agios Georgios. The sand is soft and golden, while the sea is crystal clear and clean. A 4×4 vehicle is necessary to reach this expansive and virtually deserted beach. Lara Bay is an essential Green Turtle and Hawk’s Bill turtle breeding ground; both are endangered species. Provisions are constantly been made for safe sites for the egg laying of these sea creatures.
Stunning natural environment, friendly, laid back people, great hotels, apartments and villas for your accommodation, many restaurants, tavernas and fish restaurants for dining out, wonderful sandy beaches, many things to do, Polis region is the ideal place for those seeking active holidays in the nature.
The areas near the small villages of Pomos and Pachyammos are majestically beautiful and the mountains lead straight into the sea.
Pomos village, hanging on the cliffs of west coast Cyprus, lies about 20 km afar from Polis Chrysochous, on the way to Akamas nature reserve. It is a laid back village very peaceful and quiet. It is ideal for those wanting to live the authentic Cyprus way of life…
KATO PAPHOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK (MOSAICS): In 1980 UNESCO placed the Kato Paphos archaeological site on its World Heritage Sites list. This was a catalyst for the creation of a plan for the protection and maintenance of all archaeological remnants as well as promoting them and offering detailed information to visitors. The Kato Paphos Archaeological Park includes sites and monuments from the Roman period (most remnants in Cyprus date back to this period), the Middle Ages, and even prehistoric times. From all the finds, perhaps the most impressive is the fabulous mosaic floors of four Roman villas found here. There are other significant monuments here as well; the Asklipieion, the Agora, the Odeon, the ‘Tombs of the Kings’, the “Saranta Kolones” (Forty Columns) Fortress and the “Limeniotissa” Ruins of an early Christian Basilica.
TOMBS OF THE KINGS: The “Tombs of the Kings” are found in the necropolis of Paphos, close to the sea. They have inherited this title due to their size and grandeur. Some of these tombs likely belonged to the Pafian (of Paphos) aristocracy, and not of royalty. They are hewn from rock and date to the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. Several tombs imitate the houses where the departed lived while alive, with the rooms (now burial chambers) opening on to an atrium. They bear similarity with tombs found in Alexandria, which is indicative of the close relations the two cities had during the Hellenistic period.
Tzielefos Bridge is one of the medieval bridges positioned between the Elia and Roudia bridges. The path towards this particular bridge heads towards a dense pine forest, over Arminou dam, past Pera Vasa picnic site (where there is a huge dry tree trunk of the Pera Vasa pine exhibited), and continues through “Saouris” farm belonging to Kykkos monastery, past the Cave of Saouris, “Mita’s Pen” and near the vultures observation point.
Found on the western tip of the Akamas Peninsula, this impressive gorge lies approximately 18 kilometres from the coastal town of Paphos. The trail leading through the gorge is roughly 2½ kilometres long with sheer rocks on both sides reaching up to 260 feet in height, the narrowest point being 10 feet wide. Deep inside the gorge you will encounter rare plants and flowers, reptiles, immense cliffs and even wild mountain goats.
There are many Greek Christian Orthodox monasteries in the Paphos District that are a worthwhile visiting. Monasteries that you might like to visit include: Saint Neophytos monastery, which is situated about 10 km north of Paphos near Tala village. It is built in what used to be a secluded location at the head of a striking valley. Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery and Agia Moni are both well worth visiting – you can find them near Pano Panagia in the Paphos Forest.
If you want to enjoy a game of golf all year round in picturesque scenery and the island’s ideal Mediterranean climate, Cyprus is the perfect choice and, according to many golfing enthusiasts, is fast becoming a golfer’s haven. There is a choice between three 18-hole golf courses of international standards located amongst hills with a view down to the beautiful sea, and to add to this wonderful picture there is the added bonus of peace and tranquility. Situated in the wider area of Paphos, they are distanced from the noise and ruckus of the tourist resorts, but just close enough for easy access to them. At these courses there are Golf Open Tournaments which are organized in Cyprus where you can test your handicap or enjoy amateur golf- once you come for the first time you will want to come again and again. Today’s golfer will find everything they need, either they be professional or recreational, from practice facilities, clubhouses and the giving of personal lessons. Bring the family or your friends, Cyprus has everything anyone needs.
Come and meet all the residents: giraffes, monkeys, meerkats, kangaroos, albino wallabies, mouflon, tigers, white lions and many more. Paphos Zoo was the first licensed zoo in Cyprus and the largest. It offers a great wildlife experience and is located just a few minutes from Peyia, in Paphos.
Adonis Baths located in Kili Paphos, is one of the most beautifull and unique areas in Cyprus. Tradition says that Adonis the God of Beauty tendet his horses in this place and hunded in the Akamas forest. Ladies who swim in Adonis Baths Waterfall they become more young, beautiful and virgin again and when they touch Adonis Apendage they become pregnant. Men they swim in Adonis Baths they become strong like Adonis the God of Love. According to the poll on the internet, Adonis Baths is one of the most romantic places in the world and one of the seven most erotic places in Europe.
Wine Route 1 (Laona Akamas): The route is mainly located on the Akamas peninsula. It is a unique area with a remarkable and rare variety of geology, growth and wildlife. The relatively untouched environment and the charm of the communities, make it a joy for the walker and nature lover. The area is rich in viniculture and vast areas are covered by vineyards. Along the route, there are four wineries worth visiting.
Wine Route 2 (Vouni Panagias-Ampelitis): The route lies east of Pafos in a mountainous area with relatively high altitudes. The steep slopes are covered by forest and vineyards. The environment creates habitats for a large number of flora typified by the clusters of oak (Quercus infectoria). The pine forests are mainly in the north east. The area has many types of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Along this route, the visitor will find seven wineries open to visitors.
Wine Route 3 (Diarizos Valley): The valley lies west/southwest of Troodos and includes various types of habitats in a relatively small area. The flora and fauna has not yet been fully explored but so far a lot of endemic, protected and other species have been recorded.
Panagia Tou Sinti Monastery is an amazing abandoned monastery that is located on the banks of the river Xeros in the Paphos region. This central nave of the Panagia Tou Sinit Monastery dates back to the 16th century and is still today in excellent condition mainly due to some excellent restoration work. Its one of the most important buildings of the Venetian period in Cyprus. It received the Europa Nostra award for the restoration and conservation work that has been carried out. The monastery was restored by UNESCO and is today a World Cultural Heritage Site. Builded on the banks of the river Xeros, the Panagia Tou Sinti Monastery is surrounded by some of the most unspoiled lands on the island of Cyprus and it’s great for photographs and relaxes.
In the past few years due to its ever-growing facilities and amenities, Latchi has become a favorite stopping point after the Greek Isles and Turkey. Latchi is a small port in Cyprus where the fishermen bring in the fresh catch of the morning and supply those who are fortunate enough to have got up early that day. Taverns litter the dockside offering the local specialty “Fish Meze” and at a very affordable price, unlike some of the other harbours around the island.