PAPHOS HOLIDAYS: HISTORY, BEACHES, MOUNTAINS

Anna Luebke - Mar 17, 2012
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Cyprus is a popular holiday destination thanks to a number of remarkable places. The city of Paphos surprises with a number of ancient sites, rich heritage, as well as clean beaches.

Nestled on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in southwest Cyprus, Paphos is some thirty miles west of the largest port on the island, Limassol. Sometimes it is referred to as New Paphos, to distinguish it from its archaic sister city, Kouklia. It is here, only sixteen kilometers away, where Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty was born at Petra Tou Romiou otherwise known as Aphrodite's Rock.

Let us begin our tour at the Medieval Castle of Paphos. Originally a fort built by the Byzantine Empire, it was rebuilt by the Ottomans, circa 1500. Daily tours are available and a large square resides in front, hosting numerous cultural events throughout the year. If you plan Paphos holidays during September, you may attend the annual Aphrodite Festival featuring world renowned opera artists.

Next, there is the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. Bring your camera to this location as you will view items dating back to prehistoric times and the Middle Ages. Some of the impressive monuments you will see include the Tomb of the Kings, the Forty Columns Fortress and ruins of the Christian Basilica to name but a few.

One more stop for anyone interested in history and culture should be the Ancient Theatre. Built around the fourth century BC, you will be amazed at the similarities of this arena, as it is comparable to theatre setups as we know them today – semi circular, elevated descending rows carved in the side of a hill.

If you are visiting Cyprus for some fun in the sun, Paphos will not disappoint you. Fifty kilometers of coastline, featuring twenty seven public beaches, twelve of which carry the prestigious Blue Flag award. The Blue Flag is presented by an independent eco friendly group signifying these beaches are some of the best in the world, based on criteria such as clean water and safety.

To name but a few of the Blue Flag beaches there is, Coral Bay, Faros Beach at Paphos west end with its sand volleyball courts and Municipal Beach. Fifty hotels reside on or near these beaches, allowing for an almost private beach atmosphere for their guests.

There is a wide array of other exciting activities awaiting your visit as well. Boating, of course, is prevalent off shore. Biking the mountains is a popular pastime, while enjoying visits to quant, innocent villages along the way. The Troodos Mountains, specifically offer breath taking views for both biker and hiker alike. Horseback riding is another adventure along the Akamas peninsula.

If a day on the links is more to your liking, Paphos offers four top rated golf clubs, many with adjacent hotels some distance from the city.

If you are a connoisseur of fine wines, be sure to take a tour of a Paphos winery. You may want to taste the "Commandaria", which has bore the same name since the 1100's. Before retiring after your busy day, relax at one of the many taverns of Paphos and enjoy some delicious Greek food along with the beverage of your choice. Restaurants offering international cuisine are at your disposal as well.

You will not find a more beautiful setting anywhere in the world offering the endless possibilities to learn, relax and enjoy than you will experience in historic Paphos with its Greek atmosphere.

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