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Last updated : Nov 2009
Pafos and the West Cyprus
Pafos & the West - TravelPuppy.com
The booming main town and year-round resort in the west consists of Upper Pafos, built on a rocky escarpment that commands a superb view of the coastline, and Lower Pafos, with a taverna-fringed harbour and a long seafront lined with many hotels.

Pafos is rich in ancient sites, in particular a cluster of excavated Roman villas near the harbour, among them the House of Dionysos and the Villa of Theseus, that contain beautiful mosaic floors, and the Tombs of the Kings.

Other attractions include:

The Pafos District Museum,
The Byzantine Museum,
Pafos Fort commanding the harbour,
The remains of the Byzantine castle of Saranda Kolones,
Panagia Chrysopolitissa Church, the largest early Christian basilica on the island
Pafos Aquarium is of more recent origin.

Excursions

Pafos is a great base for exploring the rugged west of the island. To the east and northeast, the land rises through vineyards and the Pafos Forest to Cedar Valley, part of the Tripylos Nature Reserve, centred on the Stavros tis Psokas Forest Station. Wild mountain sheep (moufflon) are protected here. The Panagia Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery is located in scenic surroundings and is an interesting stop on the way.

A main road skirts the foothills on the edge of this area, passing the Agios Neofytos Monastery, and finally descending to the north coast at Polis, a small town that until recently was virtually undeveloped and is now a bustling resort, though it retains traces of its former ‘alternative’ character. Close by, at the fishing port and resort of Latchi (Lakki), tavernas around the harbour serve freshly caught fish.

To the west, at the edge of the Akamas Peninsula, are the Baths of Aphrodite, a grotto containing a freshwater pool – legend says the Greek goddess of love bathed here. Going east from Polis, around Chrysochou Bay, the barely developed coast as far as the United Nations buffer zone at Kato Pyrgos gives an idea of what Cyprus looked like before mass tourism began on the island.

On the coast north of Pafos, Coral Bay is a fast-growing resort around a small but great beach. Further on in this direction, the fishing harbour at Agios Georgios is overlooked by cliffs into which ancient tombs are cut and at the top is an excavated early Christian basilica. At Lara Bay, beyond the rugged Avgas Gorge, a reserve has been established to protect the dwindling number of loggerhead turtles that nest here.

In the opposite direction, southeast of Pafos, Geroskipou village – now little more than a suburb of sprawling Pafos – is the home of ‘Greek Delight’ (like ‘Turkish Delight’) and has a small Folk Museum. Farther along, at Kouklia, are the ruins of ancient Palaia Pafos and the Temple of Aphrodite. At the coast are Petra tou Romiou (Rock of Aphrodite) and a busy but small resort at Pissouri Bay.