The first house was discovered accidentally by a farmer in 1962 and systematic excavations at Nea Pafos followed by the Department of Antiquities during which many of the ancient town´s administrative buildings as well as private houses and ecclesiastical buildings came to light such as the House of Dionysos, Theseus, Aion and Orpheus. The mosaic floors of these houses date from the 2nd to the 5th Century AD.
Source: Department of Antiquities
The Engleistra and the Monastery of Agios Neophytos are situated near the village of Tala, about 10 kilometres north of Nea Paphos. The Engleistra was initially a natural cave on the eastern side of a hill’s slope. In front of the hill lies a deep gorge, at the end of which flows a torrent. Inside the Engleistra, Saint Neophytos led a hermit’s life.
Saint Neophytos turned the natural cave into a place of seclusion which consisted of two areas. One area was a small chapel dedicated to Timios Stavros ( Holy Cross) and the other was the Saint’s cell, in which he also carved his tomb. His cell communicated with the church’s bema. He confined himself in the Engleistra until 1170, when he was ordained priest by the Bishop of Pafos, Vasilios Kinnamos, spreading his fame throughout the island. Many monks gathered around him, forming a monastic community, but the Saint’s need for serenity and seclusion led him to carve another Engleistra higher on the rock, above the old chapel. He carved another small chapel dedicated to Agios Ioannis Prodromos (Saint John the Baptist) next to his new cell.
From the monastic structures of the earlier monastery only the little chapel of the Engleistra with the narthex and the sacristy over it, the Saint’s cell with his tomb and the refectory, still survive. Higher on the hill, there exists the Saint’s later cell and the chapel of Agios Ioannis Prodromos. The katholikon of the Monastery of Agios Neophytos was probably built in the beginning of the 16th century and belongs to the type of the barrel-vaulted, three-aisled, domed basilica. The original church was completely decorated with frescoes. However, a large part of them was destroyed during the period 1585-1611.
Source: Department of Antiquities
National Forest Park
A picturesque area, part of the Randi State Forest. Located on the main Pafos – Lemesos road, 10 km far from the city of Pafos.
A development project has been pursued for this park and it is already underway. It provides facilities like Picnic area, children’s playground, nature trails, sports trails, cycling tracks and look out points. The Flora the visitor can see is: Rare plants as well as a large number or orchids create natural habitats with special characteristics and uniqueness. Of course such a place has a Fauna too.
There are species such as the hare (Lepus europaeus), the partridge (Alectoris chukar), ravens, seagulls, various small birds and reptiles.
For Enquiries: Pafos Divisional Forest Officer
Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 - 17.00
Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 - 19.30
Covering about 230 square km and located on the western tip of Cyprus, it's an area of natural beauty unaffected by development. The uniqueness of the area for Cyprus, and for the whole of the Mediterranean, is centered on its precious ecology. The diversity of flora and fauna living in this relatively small area is truly impressive. Rare endemic plants grow there and foxes, snakes and other reptiles as well as many types of migratory birds live in Akamas or use it in their movements. Out of a total of 128 endemic plant species of Cyprus, the following 39 are found in the Akamas peninsula.
Excavations in the village of Lempa have brought to five an important settlement of the Chalcolithic age. Near the site replicas of five houses from this period have been reconstructed using the same materials and the same building methods as used in chalcolithic times (3900-2500 BC).
The Chalcolithic settlement site is a stop on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.
The Museum houses a remarkable collection of more than a hundred icons and so far the oldest known portable icon preserved in Cyprus, the icon of Saint Marina in the orans position, flanked by scenes of her martyrdom. The origin of this icon goes back to the period of iconoclastic quarrels when Cyprus suffered under the Arab condominium and it can be dated to the 7th or 8th century. The main collection of the other icons extends basically from the 12th to the 19th century and includes a considerable number of examples from every historical period. The majority of the oldest icons are of traditional Byzantine technical and aesthetical conception. The wall paintings come from ruined churches. The principal collection of such murals is dated to around 1100 and comes from the ruins of the Byzantine church of Saint Theodoros at Choulou. Another fragment of a wall painting of an unidentified saint comes from the church of the disappeared monastery of Chrysolakourna near Steni and dates to the 16th century. The examples of woodcarving exhibited in the Museum are basically fragments of iconostases such as Sanctuary Doors, Crucifixions and Lypitera as well as one proskynitarion of the 19th century.
The museum also possesses a remarkable collection of ecclesiastical metal art works which cover a chronological and artistic spectrum of four centuries (17th - 20th). A distinguished position among the bishop's staffs is held by that of the Metropolitan of Ephesos Meletios dating to 1764. The collection of sacerdotal vestments and ecclesiastical embroideries is exhibited in the East wing of the Museum. It contains mainly gold embroidered vestments of the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection of manuscripts covers with a few exhibits the chronological period from 1462 until the 19th century. It comprises a Gospel of 1462, a Hymnologium of the 15th century, two musical manuscripts of 1773 and the 19th century, two 18th century codexes of laws, two firmans of 1853 and the ARMENOPOULOU PROCHEIRON NOMON of the 18th century. The old books exhibited in the Museum are three Gospels: one of 1604, one of 1768 (bearing a gold-plated silver cover of 1745) and one of 1803 (bearing a gold-plated silver cover of 1838).
Source: Holy Bishopic of Pafos
Located close to Coral Bay Resort, the place of Mycenaean Colonization οf Cyprus Museum, is where the first ancient (Mycenaean) Greeks settled in 1200 BC after emigrating to the island following the fall of the Mycenaean Kingdoms in mainland Greece. As such, it is a very important site for Cyprus - as this is where the Hellenisation of the island started - and offers great insight on the end of the Late Bronze Age on the island.
Its name of ‘Palaeokastro’ (‘old castle’ in Greek) comes from its imposing defensive walls that were always exposed. The fortifications of the settlement consist of two separate Cyclopean-style walls; the first wall protected the settlement from the land, and the second offered protection from the sea.
The little museum with its unusual architecture is the work of the Italian architect-conservator and professor Andrea Bruno.
Lara beach is located in the Akamas Peninsula. You can get there from driving to Pegia and then to Agios Georgios. You will need a 4x4 car/ quad bike/ beach buggy to get access, but once you get there it is beautiful. It is a beach totally undeveloped as it is a protected area. The only habitants are wild goats, birds and turtles. Due to its character, the beach and the trees are intact making it a small paradise. The sand is soft and golden-grey, while the sea is crystal clear and clean. Umbrellas are not allowed and you have to be careful as there are turtles creating their nests in the area and is very possible you see baby turtle taking their first steps towards the sea.There are no toilets or cafeterias but you can always take your food and drink with you. Just remember to keep the area clean before leaving.
Perfect if you like a totally natural /unspoilt environment.
A masterpiece of nature, Avakas Gorge is situated in the unspoilt Akamas peninsula within Pegeia state forest with the end of the trail located inside the gorge. It follows the course of the Avgas River, from where the gorge gets its name and resulted from constant erosive activity on the erodible, sloping limestone rocks composed of loams, chalks, reef and grain limestone and bentonitic clays. The gorge is also a Natura 2000 area. The trail firstly follows a dirt road (closed to private vehicles) through an open valley, then takes you into the gorge. In its last section, the trail is in the stream, in which water usually flows throughout the year. The route through the gorge is characterised by thick vegetation and a particularly attractive, shady and moist environment.
A trekker’s paradise, it offers spectacular views and a chance to study the flora and fauna endangered:
Flora: lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus), Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea), terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus), thorny broom (Calycotome villosa), common smilax (Smilax aspera), oleander (Nerium oleander), storax (Styrax officinalis), and the endemic endangered Akamas centaury (Centaurea akamantis).
Fauna: Fox, hare, hedgehog, Cyprus wheatear (endemic), Cyprus warbler (endemic), scops owl (endemic), partridge, little owl, kestrel, wild pigeon, Stellion lizard. Amphibians: Marsh frog, iridescent frog and tree frog.
GPS coordinates of the starting point: 439505 / 3864427
Altitude of the highest peak: 45m
Altitude of the lowest peak: 25m
Starting point: Avakas Gorge, following the Agios Georgios Pegeias – Toxeftra road for 2,5 km and heading east from where Toxeftra Bay begins
Estimated duration: 2 hours
Difficulty Rate: 1-2
The "Baths of Aphrodite" is an area in Akamas between Polis and Cape Arnaouti which attracts many visitors. The Goddess of Love used to take her bath in a cool pond in this cave near Polis. According to mythology, this is where Aphrodite met her lover, the handsome Adonis, when he stopped off for a drink while hunting, to quench his thirst. The moment he drank the water Adonis fell in love with the goddess. It is said that if you bathe in the water you will fall in love with the next person you will see, but unfortunately bathing is not permitted. The place is known as "Baths of Aphrodite" and provides a magnificent view of the Bay of Polis.
The Byzantine castle known as 'Saranta Kolones' ('Forty Columns') due to the great number of granite columns preserved on the site, is located just north of Pafos Harbour and south of the agora. The castle was built in the 7th century A.D. to protect the port and the city of Nea Pafos from the Arab raids and was later remodelled by the Lusignans. A three-metre thick wall with eight towers and a moat surrounded the castle. Access was across a wooden bridge spanning the moat. The square courtyard measured 35 metres long by 35 metres wide, with a tower at each corner. The main entrance was through a fifth, horseshoe-shaped tower on the east side. The castle remained in use until 1223 when it was destroyed by an earthquake.
Source: Department of Antiquities
The Archaeological Museum of the Pafos, houses a large number of archaeological objects found at the most interesting sites of the Pafos district area, representing all the Prehistoric and Historic periods. Founded in 1964 after Cyprus' independence and financed by the government of the Republic, it was built to shelter the objects, that until then were kept in the complex of the Turkish baths. In 1989 a new exhibition gallery was added to the west wing of the building.
The Museum consists of five exhibition rooms and one penthouse in the museum’s yard where the inscriptions and other marble and limestone objects are exhibited. In Room I finds from prehistoric sites of the Pafos area are exhibited, namely from the Chalcolithic sites of Lempa and Kissonerga. The same room also houses a collection of ceramic vessels representing all the phases of the Bronze Age. Objects in Room II represent the Archaic and Classical periods in the Pafos area, with finds from Palaipafos, Marion, Nea Pafos and other small sites. Local pottery is on display aside from imported pottery from Athens which demonstrates the important trading relations between the two cities. The same room houses a collection of coins belonging to the Pafos and Marion kingdoms as well as coins dated to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Exhibits in Room III represent the Hellenistic and Roman periods as well as an interesting collection of stone sarcophagi dating to the Hellenistic period, and the Roman marble sculptures. Of special interest is a unique collection of clay vessels, found in Nea Pafos, which were used for therapeutic purposes.
Objects in Room IV come from excavations in Kato Pafos, from the House of Dionysos, mural paintings from houses and tombs, Roman pottery and some finds representing the Early Christian period and the period of the Arab raids. Room V houses the collection of medieval antiquities found in Kato Pafos, in the Chrysopolitissa and Saranta Kolones localities, namely decorated glazed pottery and other items such as glass vessels, as well as stone sculptures and mural paintings of the Frankish and Venetian periods.
Source: Departmnet of Antiquities
One of the most important sanctuaries of Aphrodite throughout the ancient world. It is mentioned by Homer and other Greek and Latin authors. The surviving remains of the sanctuary form two groups of buildings: in the south was the first shrine of Aphrodite, Sanctuary I, built in the Late Bronze Age. It consists of an open court (temenos), surrounded by a monumental wall comprised of enormous limestone blocks. Its western side and part of its south side are preserved along with a hall, which housed a conical baetyl in its centre symbolising the power of the Great Goddess. The baetyl also adorned the Roman shrine, Sanctuary II, which was erected in the north at the end of the 1st or the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. The new Roman buildings enclose a spacious open court at the south, east and north.
Source: Department of Antiquities
The 'Tombs of the Kings' is the impressive necropolis that is located just outside the walls, to the north and east of Pafos town. It was built during the Hellenistic period (3rd century B.C.) to satisfy the needs of the newly founded Nea Paphos. Its name is not connected with the burial of kings, but rather with the impressive character of its burial monuments. The 'Tombs of the Kings' was the place where the higher administrative officers and distinguished Ptolemaic personalities as well as the members of their families were buried. There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that the first Christians also used the site for their burials, while at the same time the site constituted an endless quarry. Squatters established themselves in some of the tombs during the Medieval period and made alterations to the original architecture.
Most of the tombs are characterised by an underground, open aired, peristyled rectangular atrium completely carved into the natural rock. Columns or pillars of the Doric style supported the porticoes, which surrounded the atrium. The burial chambers and the loculi for single burials were dug into the portico walls. It seems that the walls were originally covered with frescoes although today only small fragments are preserved. Some of the tombs imitate the houses of the living, with the burial chambers opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.
The famous ‘Tombs of the Kings’ form part of the Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos - one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus that has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1980.
Source: Department of Antiquities