|Paphos is the smallest town of the Southern Greek – Cypriot part located in the south-west coast of the island with a total population less than 50.000.|
It is said that Paphos is the birthplace of the famous Goddess Aphrodite-the goddess of beauty and love of the Ancient Greek Mythology which is also associated with Astarte of the Canaanites. Ancient Paphian residents used to worship the Goddess and developed the Cult of Aphrodite. The Archaeological monuments associated with the Goddess are “Petra tou Romiou” which is found in Paleopahos (old Paphos) near Kouklia village and Ha-potami area which are 15 minutes from the New Paphos town.
During the Greko-Roman period, Paphos was the capital and emporium centre of the island. From this period we have the remains of the Roman Governor’s palace with the famous Paphos mosaics inside.
New Paphos was founded by Agapenor-Chief executive of the Arcadians (Greek tribe) at the siege of Troy who after managing to conquer the town was driven by the storm at the western coast of Cyprus.
The town went through a series of earthquakes after that period that destroyed many archaeological monuments with some archaeological remains being recently re-constructed using artificial methods.
According to the acts of Apostles , Paul the apostle visited Cyprus in an attempt to convert idol worshippers (who were then under Roman supervision) to Christ approx. 2000 years ago. Since then, the town is gradually Christianized with about 90% of the Greek-Cypriot residents following the Christian Orthodox sect like the Greeks, Balkans, and Russians. The influence of the religion is quite evident with currently over 5 monasteries and over 30 churches across the district.
Places to Visit
Even though the town is relatively small, Paphos district in general is the richest in the island in terms of culture, offering more than 80 places worthwhile visiting-more than any other district. For this reason Paphos will be awarded with European Capital of Culture award in 2017.
You can visit the Medieval Castle of Paphos and the Paphos Archeological Park located at the Harbor of Kato Paphos. In addition, it is worth visiting Panagia Chrysopolitissa, where according to tradition Saint Paul was flogged before the Roman Governor Sergius Paulus was converted to Christianity. Furthermore, for the sport and leisure lovers, there are more than 12 blue flag awarded beaches, making, Paphos I place perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling all year round.
Around 45 km from the city of Paphos, are the world famous baths of Aphrodite. A beautiful natural grotto surrounded by rich vegetation and ageing fig trees. According to legend it was here the Goddess of Aphrodite bathed and met her lover Adonis. The Baths of Aphrodite are situated on the beautiful Akamas Peninsula and from here there are two circular walking trails; the Adonis Trail and the Aphrodite Trail, both are 7.5Km long and require approx 3hrs to complete.
Finally, the city landmarks include the ancient sight called Tombs of the Kings, Paphos mosaics and Saint Neophytos Monastery.