For your holidays in Cyprus choose Paphos (or Pafos) one of the most beautiful and ancient towns of Cyprus. Wherever one treads in Paphos he comes across its glorious history which dates back thousands of years, when the cult of goddess Aphrodite who emerged from its seas, flourished in this beautiful part of the world attracting many holiday makers from the island and abroad.
Today Paphos is a small harbour town, but in Hellenistic and Roman times it was the capital of Cyprus. Still under the spell of her Beauty-Goddess, the area retaining her magic, has remained impact by time. Paphos seduces its visitor with its majestic landscape, lovely coastline, historical treasures and delightful villages where tradition is still a way of life.
The legacy from its remarkable history adds up to nothing less than an open museum, so much so that UNESCO simply added the whole town its world Cultural Heritage List. Among the treasures unearthed, are the remarkable mosaics in the Houses of Dionyssos, Theseus and Aion, beautifully preserved after 16 centuries under the soil. Then there are the mysterious vaults and caves, the Tombs of the Kings, the ancient Odeon Theatre and other places of interest including the various Museums.
The City of Paphos, on the southwest coast of the island, was founded by King Kiniras in 1400 BC. The port of Paphos was built by Nicocles, the last King of Paphos, at the time of Alexander the Great. It became the capital of the island replacing Salamis during the Hellenistic period as its masters, the Ptolemies, favored a location closer to their capital, Alexandria. The Romans retained Paphos as the seat of Roman Governor.
Paphos however, was gradually losing much of its attraction as an administrative center. The result was that the capital was moved inland to Lefkosia (Nicosia). The city and its port continued to decline throughout the Middle Ages and Ottoman Rule, as Nicosia, and the port cities of Larnaka and Famagusta were gaining in importance.
The city and the district of Paphos had remained the most underdeveloped part of the island until 1974 when the Turkish invasion happened.
After 1974 there was rapid economic activity in all fields in Paphos but especially tourism and the district population started to increase.
The government invested big capitals in infrastructure and in building of the Paphos International Airport while private initiative concentrated in hotel, apartment and villa construction and the entertainment infrastructure.
Today Paphos is a popular sea resort with population of 40000. It is divided into two major quarters – Ktima, on the sea terrace, is the main residential district, and the Kato Paphos, by the sea, is built around the mediaeval port and contains most of the luxury hotels and the entertainment infrastructure of the city.
Paphos has a rural traditional architecture, a very eye-catching and striking landscape, as well as areas of untouched nature. In Pafos you can find the peninsula of Akamas, a natural wilderness of astonishing magnificence with stunning gorges, extravagant coastlines and pleasant nature trails.