Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations with sunny weather all year round, amazing natural beauty, 10,000 years ancient history and amazing coastlines with sandy beaches.
It has been a major tourist destination for many decades. With an advanced high-income economy and a very high Human Development, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.
Paphos is a coastal city in the south west of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: ‘Old Paphos’, today located at Kouklia, and ‘New Paphos’. Aphrodite Hills Resort is located in Kouklia. Paphos is included in the official UNESCO World Heritage list of ‘Cultural & Natural Treasures’ for its spectacular ancient remains and was selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2017.
The city of Paphos lies about 50km (a 30-minute drive) west of Limassol (the biggest port on the island) and Paphos International Airport, the country's second-largest airport.
Cyprus has been called “the island of saints.” Some 240 local saints are commemorated on its calendar.
The history of the Church of Cyprus has undergone several important stages, the memory of which is alive in beautiful old monasteries and churches around the island. Pilgrims and tourists from all over the world come to Cyprus to visit its holy places.
The island has a great number of Byzantine monuments. UNESCO has included 10 of them in its list of World Heritage Sites due to their historical and artistic significance and value.
Adonis is known as a god who was for ever youthful, the one who would live and die only to be reborn again. Aphrodite became obsessed with him. Persephone, also fell in love with Adonis thus Zeus had to intervene to prevent a disastrous argument between the two. He decided that every year Adonis would spend 4 months first with Persephone, the next 4 months with Aphrodite and the last 4 months he would be left alone. Adonis then choose to spend 8 months each year with Aphrodite . They would spend most of their time together while hunting in the Rantidi Forest. The legendary Rantidi Forest is the place where Aphrodite Hills Resort is now located.
This is one of the most impressive natural spots of the island with enormous rocks and an intriguing geological formation. According to myth this is the place where Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, rose from the sea and was carried on a large shell at the rocks known today as “Petra tou Romiou” (Aphrodite's Rock).
Another myth says that a legendary warrior, Digenis Akritas, drove away the invading Saracens with his formidable strength. A testament to his strength is the legend that he threw an enormous rock in to the sea, destroying the ships of the enemy.
The “Tombs of the Kings” are found in the necropolis (city of the dead) of Paphos, close to the sea. They have earned this title due to their size and because some of these tombs likely belonged to the aristocracy of Paphos, and not of royalty. They bear similarity with tombs found in Alexandria, which is indicative of the close relations the two cities had during the Hellenistic period.
Paphos Castle was declared an ancient monument in 1935 and is one of the most important landmarks in the Paphos region. It was initially a Byzantine fort constructed to protect the harbour. Throughout its long history, Paphos Castle was used not only for protection, but also as prison cells and a storage area for salt during the British colonial years.
Wine Route 1 (Laona Akamas): a unique area with a remarkable and rare variety of geology, growth and wildlife.
Wine Route 2 (Vouni Panagias-Ampelitis): the steep slopes are beautifully covered by forest and vineyards.
Wine Route 3 (Diarizos Valley): enjoy the flora and fauna of the area. A lot of endemic protected and other species can be seen.
An impressive gorge lies approximately 18 kilometres from the coastal town of Paphos. The trail leading through the gorge is roughly 2½ kilometres long with sheer rocks on both sides reaching up to 260 feet in height, the narrowest point being 10 feet wide. Avakas gorge is an amazing masterpiece of nature. Deep inside the gorge you will encounter rare plants and flowers, reptiles, immense cliffs and even wild mountain goats.
Watching the sunset from atop is a must when visiting the island. The best sunset & sunrise experiences in Cyprus, are best found at Paphos and more specifically at Petra tou Romiou, one of the most natural settings found on the island. Winter sunset & sunrise are as magical as the summer experience.