| 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.
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
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
Aquarium is of more recent origin.
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.