Pafos & the Mosaics of Dionysos
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 5 Hours
Travel through Phassouri's citrus groves and vineyards to reach Petra tou Romiou -- the symbol of Pafos city. Legend claims that this is where the goddess of Cyprus, Aphrodite, was born out the foam of the sea and was carried by the waves to Pafos -- the sacred place where Aphrodite is most venerated. The religion of Cyprus emulated that of ancient Greece. Most of the Olympian gods were worshipped in Cyprus but the most important cult was indisputably that of Aphrodite -- the Cypriot goddess. She embodied fertility and love. Archaeological evidence and ancient inscriptions bear witness to the existence of numerous sanctuaries and temples dedicated to the goddess throughout Cyprus.
Your route continues to Pafos -- one of the most beautiful places on the island. Today Pafos is a small harbor town and a popular holiday resort, but in Hellenistic and Roman times it was the capital of Cyprus.
The whole town of Pafos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is home to picturesque churches, medieval monasteries, museums, countless antiquities and a pretty harbor guarded by a small castle.
The true claim to fame here is the colorful Dionysos mosaics -- renowned throughout the Mediterranean. Enter the House of Dionyssos to see the breathtaking mosaics unearthed during the excavation of a Roman nobleman's villa from the third century AD. An extensive complex of buildings fitted with beautiful mosaic floors shows Roman legends and characters, but mostly represent scenes from Greek mythology. These are considered to be the finest mosaics in the Mediterranean, and perhaps in the world.
Next, the drive takes you northwest to visit the underground Tombs of the Kings at the Necropolis of Pafos, dating back to the 3rd century BC. You will find here open, peristyle courts surrounded by burial chambers.
You'll have some time for shopping in the Limanaki area (the old harbor) where local and international merchandise is sold.
Afterwards, drive to Yeroskipou Village to see its remarkable five-domed Byzantine Church of Agia Paraskevi, dating back to the 10th century.
Those who have a sweet tooth may want to taste the famous Cyprus delight, Loukoumi (at your own expense), before returning to Limassol port.
Wear comfortable walking shoes.