Information About Paphos town and the island of Cyprus
If you are a nature lover, Cyprus will inspire you. From rugged coasts to mountain peaks, sunny vineyards to cool pine forests, flat expanses of wheat field to lush citrus orchards, the changing landscape within short distances offers endless opportunities for the artist or photographer in you.
Sunshine is practically guaranteed and not just in the Summer. As an all year round destination, each season has its special allure. Spring, like an impressionist painting, will delight you with its profusion of colour. Autumn is pleasant with its lack of crowds, while the mild Winter, when everything turns green, is ideal for hiking and cycling, for taking in the culture, or for long-stay visitors.
The island is a must-visit for birdwatchers as there are several endemic bird species and hundreds of migrating birds passing through. Rape plants, such as the Cyprus tulip and cyclamen, will fascinate botanists, while geologists can marvel at majestic rock formations derived from millions of years old oceanic crust. Cyprus is one of the few places in the Mediterranean where sea turtles come ashore to breed on the island's sandy beaches and are strictly protected, as is the elusive mouflon, a rare wild mountain sheep roaming the Troodos mountain sides.
In antiquity, Pafos was the centre of the cult of Aphrodite. Swim in the sea by the rocks known as Petra tou Romiou where the goddess was believed to have risen from the waves, make a pilgrimage to her sanctuary at Kouklia, or visit the grotto near Polis where she was supposed to have bathed.
Pafos, with its pleasant harbour and medieval fort , combines a cosmopolitan holiday resort, spectacular countryside and historical sites. It was the capital of Cyprus for 600 years in ancient times and its archeological legacy is such that UNESCO put the whole town on its World Cultural Heritage List. The intricate floor mosaics in villas dating back to the Roman period depicting scenes from Greek Mythology are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. Equally impressive are the underground Tombs of the Kings carved out of solid rock and decorated with Doric pillars. The museum at Maa-Paleokastro near coral bay has an interesting collection of artefacts from the period of Mycenean Greek colonisation of Cyprus.
Byzantine treasure abound, such as the remarkable five - domed church of Ayia Paraskevi in Geroskipou, or the ruins of two early Christian Basilicas at Ayios Georgios in Pegeia. The monastery of Agios Neofytos has wonderfully colourful frescoes painted on the walls in a cave that a hermit carved out of the mountains. Chrysorrogiatissa monastery is worth visiting for its fine icons and a taste of the locally produced vintage wine from its own winery.
If peace and quiet in harmony with nature are what you are after, head for Polis area. The Akamas Peninsula is an area of natural wilderness with dramatic coastlines and sandy coves. Here you can explore the various picturesque villages, walk along one of the many scenic nature trails or take a boat trip along the coastline.