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Paphos is an archeological site from Antiquity. It has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. In ancient times it was known for its Aphrodite-cult: the Myceneans - the rulers of Cyprus at the time - erected temples for this fertility goddess.

The UNESCO-awarded site consists of numerous places of architectural and historical meaning: villas, palaces, theatres, forts, tombs and mosaics.

Visit May 2001

Modern Paphos is a beach resort as there are so many in the Mediterranean. It's an unlikely place to find treasures of the past, treasures that are carefully being unearthened. The most spectacular findings are the Tombs of the Kings, graves that are set up like houses. There's a strong Egyptian connection here, and also the comparison with Petra (Jordania) has been made.

Only a few hundred meters from there, the most beautiful mosaics I have ever seen have been discovered. We're not talking about a few colored stones here and there, but about the floors of whole rooms and even of one total house. An amazing sight.


John Booth (New Zealand):
Another part of this WHS is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite near Kouklia village, just off the highway between Paphos and Limassol. This contains ruins of an ancient temple complex.
Date posted: January 2014
Assif Am-David (Israel):
Paphos is a very touristy city on the Western coast of Greek Cyprus. It features abundant huge restaurants and English pubs which makes it lack any integrity it might have had. The findings for which Paphos got its nomination are of varying significane and quality. Of utmost beauty are its wonderfully preserved mosaics which are the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. They are of such artistic quality that they can be appreciated as art and not only for their historic importance. The other findings in the archaeological park and the nearby port and castle are much less interesting. Another well-known attraction is the Tombs of the Kings (not far to reach by foot). These catacombs are easily accessible and beautifully located along the shore. The old basilica is also worth a visit. What I found less appealing were the caves and Agia Solomoni catacomb which are surprisingly neglected and not that welcoming. The upper town (Ktima) is nice for a short stroll but nothing more.
Date posted: May 2009
Jacqui Sherratt (England):
I recently had the experience of viewing the mosaics at Paphos in the snow! I had the benefit of seeing the true colours and found it incredible that they were laid 2,000 years ago. The whole scale of the site was amazing and well worth a future visit. Having the amphitheatre to myself, as everyone else had been put off by the weather, truely was an inspiring experience!

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Site info

Country: Cyprus
Inscribed: 1980
Cultural Heritage
Criteria:  (3) (6)
Category: Archaeological site, Ancient Greece

Site history:
1980 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription
Until more detailed info is available of possible adverse impact on sites of tourism development
Bureau - Need more info

Site links

Official website:
»Nea Pafos

In the news:
» Paphos excavations uncover ancient bath house (27-01-2014).

Related links:
» Visit Pafos.
» Weblog of the University of Sydney Archaeological Excavations of the Paphos Theatre Site.

Related Forum posts:
Not available

Getting there

This WHS has 3 location(s).


Cave Temples/Churches .
Baths . Catacombs . Lighthouses . Mosaic art . Necropolises . Pillars . Prayer Labyrinth . Theatres . Tunnels .
Destroyed or damaged by Earthquake .
Seals .
Mediterranean shore .
Assyrian Empire . Helladic Greece . Ottoman Empire .
Human Activity
Ongoing/Recent Archaeological digs . Sea Ports .
Religion and Belief
Christian Pilgrimage Sites . Goddesses . Jewish religion and culture . Mentioned in the Bible . Mosque . Mosques converted from churches / cathedrals / synagogues .
Built in the 2nd Millennium BC .
First inscriptions . Located in a Former Capital . Preservation assisted by Getty Trust . Protective Shelters .
WHS on Other Lists
European Capital of Culture .

© WHS 1997-2016