Paphos was once the Capital of Cyprus under the successors of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and in those days the harbour was a thriving port.
Today, 47,300 people reside in Paphos and the town is now a fast developing tourist center and an important fishing port. The city is divided into two parts: Ktima, the main residential district and Kato Pafos, which is the port and contains most of the luxury hotels, restaurants and tourist sights.
It is In Paphos where lies Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock) on its South coast at one of the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus.
Due to the amount of history in Paphos UNESCO added the entire town to its World Cultural Heritage List.
On one the main road joining Paphos to Coral Bay, is Tombs of the Kings. Although no actual Kings are buried here, it is the resting place for approximately 100 Ptolemaic Aristocrats who lived and died in the city between 3BC & 3AD. Carved out of solid rock they feature Doric Pillars and frescoed walls.
Located 48km north of Paphos, in the Paphos region is the Akamas and where you will find the Baths of Aphrodite. Where according to legend, the goddess, Aphrodite used to bathe in the pool of the grotto.
Paphos, embraced by the Mediterranean Sea, is located northwest of Cyprus. In ancient times the city was divided into two areas, “Palepaphos”, called today Kouklia, and New Paphos, the residential area now-days, inhabited by 88,266 people (census 2011). It is worth mentioning that Paphos has been fairly honoured as the European Cultural Capital of 2017, along with the second largest city in Denmark Aarhus.
It is exciting how the founding myth of Paphos’ name is associated with the worship of Aphrodite. It is said that Pygmalion was so dedicated to Aphrodite that he stole the goddess’ statue and kept it in his palace. But the statue, named Galatea, got alive and gave birth to Pygmalion’s children, Metharme and Paphos. Kinyras, perhaps son of Paphos, established the city in the name of Venus and he built the first great temple, dedicated to the goddess. Besides, one of the most famous myths regarding Aphrodite’s birth wants her emerging through Paphos’ sea.