The city of Paphos on the southwest coast of Cyprus was the capital of the island in Roman times, and dates from 1400 BC. Legend has it that the city is built on the spot where the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born. The city also has many connections and relics from early Christianity. Paphos lost out to Larnaca as a major port in the Middle Ages and experienced a decline during the British colonial period when development of this part of the island came to a standstill.

Paphos is now growing on the strength of tourism and government investment in infrastructure such as roads and the international airport. Investments in construction of hotels, apartments and villas has also been prevalent in recent years.

Paphos town is a popular seaside resort with a population of 39,500. The Ktima section of the city is the main residential area, while Kato Paphos is the playground of holidaymakers, built around the medieval port with its numerous luxury hotels, tavernas and entertainment venues.


The archaeological site of Kato Paphos which is in the World Heritage List, includes areas and monuments from prehistoric limes up to and including the Middle Ages, with most dating to the Roman period. The mosaic floors of four villas of tlie Roman period are the epitome of all these findings. Other important monuments are the Asklipeio, the Odeon, the early Christian Basilica and the fort of Saranta Kolones.

The Mosaics of Paphos

The striking mosaic floors in a series of ancient Roman noblemen's villas, dating from the third to fifth century AD, are a must-see for visitors to Paphos. The site where the villas are still being excavated can be found at the end of Kyriakou Nikolaou Street, about 300 metres from the Paphos harbour.


Near the modern Paphos lighthouse is sited a complex of ancient buildings, including a Roman Odeon, built in the 2nd century AD, which has been restored and is now used for summer orchestral and stage performances. The Odeon was the focus of the ancient city centre, of which some ruins still remain in the area. South of the Odeon are the remnants of the Roman Temple of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, and north of the lighthouse are the ruins of the ancient town walls.

Tombs of the Kings

There are actually no kings buried here. Rather the site known as the Tombs of the Kings, one mile (two km) northwest of Paphos harbour towards Coral Bay, was the final resting place of about 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats who lived and died in the city between 3 BC and 3 AD.


Paphos Airport (International), Cyprus, Paphos 8320

Airport information: +357 2624 0506
Flight information: +357 6 801800
Location: 9 miles (15km) east of the city

Third weekly flight to Paphos, Cyprus

British Airways has added a third weekly flight to its London Gatwick to Paphos service starting 6 February 2004.
The new flight will operate on Fridays leaving Gatwick at 1410 arriving in Paphos at 1835 and will then leave Paphos at 1935 arriving Gatwick at 0020.

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