Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

Cyprus is a beautiful country that I could quite happily live in forever sunbathing, swimming and eating very good food at local tavernas, but it also has some incredible history going back millennia. We decided to visit Paphos and the huge UNESCO archaeological park there to find out more about ancient Cypriot history.

It is a very easy site to get to, at the far end of the harbour car park, which also is home to the bus station which was fab for us. It costs €4.50 to enter but children go free so is a sensibly priced family day out.

Unfortunately there’s not much left of the buildings  (they are thousands of years old to be fair) but there’s enough to get a sense of the place,  and there are a few information boards dotted around to help. 

The first building you come across is the House of Aion which has two very nice mosaics in a little building, before heading out to the House of Theseus which was the proconsul’s house and has some very good mosaics of various mythical scenes such as the bath of Achilles and Theseus and the Minotaur which gave the building it’s modern name.

It is then a short walk to the House of Dionysos which has the best geometric and mythical mosaics I’ve ever seen in person, over a large covered area that was a welcome break from the sun! 

We then walked on to the Roman forum with an a joining odeum and asklepion which was huge but unfortunately the information board was too faded to read much of it.

Our last stop was the medieval Saranta Kolones castle built during the Frankish occupation of Cyprus. I was very impressed that some of the frail arches were still standing after so long and it was interesting to see the development of the site over the centuries.

There are other areas of the park which you can visit such as a subterranean complex and Ottoman baths but by this time we’d got to the hottest part of the day and there is practically no shade anywhere in the park so we called it a day. Even so, I would definitely recommend a visit for an hour or two.


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