The Ancient Greeks were intelligent to build their sacred city closer to the inland. However, the Pafos in Cyprus is a modern settlement sitting prettily beside the sea. It dates back to 2400 years, and in comparison to the other ancient Greek structures, it is a newcomer. The Pafos today receive travelers in big numbers who are lured by sand, sea, and sun. Of course, Cyprus also receives sun in abundance and enjoys around 326 days of sun per year. However, walking on the island without coming across ancient ruins is impossible. Pafos is a Mediterranean city featuring courtyards filled with potted geraniums.
The Two Cities of Pafos
The tradition of splitting towns is as per Greek culture, and it dates back to 500 BC at least. The cities were divided as per the writing of Herodotus and Plato. It is divided as per parallel communities and is known as Kato and Ano in the inland.
Pafos, in general, is usually referred to as Kato Pafos which has an abundance of sunlit areas and beaches that lure the British sun-seekers. The Byzantine castle guards it, and apart from the beaches, there are favorite spots for everyone. There is the Ktima or Ano Pafos, a 16 km inland, that is cooler and allows the visitor to enjoy peace at an elevation, as it is away from the touristy tavernas and beach bars.
Kato Pafos is the beach level and consists of the classical Med culture. It has all-day breakfast cafes, and sun umbrellas for a day out. There are also remains of ancient history for a day of wandering. On the North of the harbor is a big adventure playground, a perfect place for families and kids. Across the Archeological Site of Pafos are scattered ruins, of what was once the capital city of Cyprus before the earthquake toppled the columns in the 4th century and cracked the arches.
The Culture in Pafos
Pafos’s history is over 3000 years old. Pafos was, in fact, the leading candidate for the 2017 award of the Best European City of Culture. Performers have gathered at the amphitheater, locally called the Oden, right from the 2nd century BC, and worshipped the Goddess of fertility. This culture has thrived since Neolithic times. The ancient Greeks were always drawn to these hills and chose this coast as the cradle for Aphrodite.
Every July and August, during the Aphrodite Festival, the amphitheater is full, and the opera takes place on the center stage of Pafos’ castle every September. In 2017, the entertainment added features of public performances, art exhibitions, and classical concerts spread across the archeological sites in the city.
The Magnificent Mosaics
The archaeological remains of Pafos act as Greco-Roman treasures as it has thermal spas, massive columns, classical amphitheaters. The House of Dionysus is the highlight of Pafos. This is a Roman villa starring extravagant mosaics. The floor designs are intricate, covering everything from the changing seasons to the Gods of wine and the Depiction of Dionysus. The adjacent villas feature Poseidon, Theseus, and Achilles’ mosaics. Wandering to the east has the Chrysoplitissa Basilica built to stand tall. However, it was reduced to crumbles by Arabian pirates and earthquakes.