Paphos Archaeological Park Cyprus
Submerged with ancient ruins and tombs, Paphos Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with monuments dating back to prehistoric times. Immerse yourself in Greek mythology as you explore Roman houses, villas and mosaics around every turn. The Archaeological Park isn’t the only historical attraction that Paphos has on the table. You’ll find the medieval Paphos Castle perched on the edge of the Kato Paphos harbour. It’s a distinctive landmark of the city and begs to be explored. Both Paphos Castle and the Archaeological Park are iconic landmarks. So, you really can’t travel the whole way to the city without discovering both.
Step inside Paphos Castle
Originally built as a fortress to help protect the port from enemies, the castle has undergone more than its fair share of misfortune. Back in 1222, an earthquake struck the region. However, the Lusignans rebuilt the castle shortly after. If you thought the bad luck stopped there, think again. The Venetians dismantled the fort in 1570. Eventually, the Ottomans came to the rescue and restored it completely.
Enter the castle and explore the main central room. You’ll notice a few small areas embedded in the stone walls and various places throughout the castle. During the Turkish occupation, these small rooms were used as prison cells to house criminals. The most dangerous of which was forced to serve their sentences in two underground cells. The first floor is where the Turkish guard slept. If you make your way onto the roof of the castle, you’ll see the remnants of 12 ramparts used for cannons plus spectacular views of the entire marina.
Nowadays, Paphos Castle is open for public access. It’s a top tourist spot with thousands of tourists visiting each year to learn more about its history. Cultural events are often held in the castle, and you can even get hitched inside its stone walls.
Paphos Archaeological Park
After paying a small fee to enter, you’re free to explore every inch of the archaeological park. Get your walking shoes on and prepare for a long day of exploration and adventure. You’ll find lots of ruins of mosaics, monuments and villas. Keep looking and you’ll step into an ancient amphitheatre and other ruins that date back to prehistoric times through the Middle Ages.
Elaborate Roman villas will likely be your first port of call. There are five roman houses to explore, and each one showcases scenes from ancient Greek Mythology. Inside the House of Dionysus, you’ll walk on a floor made entirely of seashells. If you take a closer look, the shape of Skyla, the mythical sea monster, will come into vision. Another impressive build is the House of Orpheus, where you’ll find epic mosaics depicting scenes of Hercules and the Nemea lion.
Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water as you explore the Paphos Archaeological Park. It takes a few hours to see it all, and it can get very hot. So, the more water you have at the ready, the better.