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Places to Visit as a Tourist in Cyprus

Pictures for the Region of Paphos

Tourist Bucket list of must see places to visit when on holidays in Cyprus

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   Paphos Harbour Mosaics

The House of Dionysos

The mosaic decorations and the mythological compositions are the main characteristics of this restored Roman villa, dating back to the second century A.D. The house is named “House of Dionysos” thanks to the many depictions of Dionysos, the god of wine. The house most probably belonged to a member of the ruling Roman class or to a wealthy citizen of Pafos.
Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in ancient Greek religion and myth. Wine played an important role in Greek culture, and the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus for its unrestrained consumption.

The House of Theseus

The mosaics of the villa of Theseus lie close to the House of Dionysus and date back to the second century A.D. A visitor can see the very interesting geometrical decorations as well as mythological representations. Worth seeing are the mosaics of “Theseus killing the Minotaur” and the “Birth of Achilles”

The House of Aion

The mosaics of the House of Aion date back to the fourth century A.D and lie close to the mosaics of Dionysus and Theseus. Five mythological scenes worth seeing are: "The bath of Dionysus", "Leda and the Swan", "Beauty contest between Cassiopeia and the Nereids", "Apollo and Marsyas", and the "Triumphant procession of Dionysus".

The House of Orpheus

The mosaics of this villa belong to the third century A.D and lie to the west of the House of Theseus. There are three mythological representations worth seeing, “ Orpheus and his Lyre”, “ Hercules and the Lion of Nemea” and “the  Amazon”.

The House of Four Seasons

This house lies north of the House of Orpheus. It was named after the mosaic that represents the personification  of the four seasons, which dates back to the first half of the third century A.D.

 


   Venetian Bridges:

The hidden Venetian bridges in Paphos Forest are testimony to the Venetians rule from 1489-1571.  The bridges formed part of the old camel trail, built to aid the extraction of anything valuable the Venetians could find on the island, for example copper from Pera pedi.

Recently the Department of Forests has opened up a trail from the deserted village of Vretsia to the Elia Bridge and beyond. Its a great walk or 4×4 drive. It’s also used as a Special Stage for the Rally of Cyprus!

The bridges are tucked away in quiet valleys and are a real treasure.  On the hottest days there’s a coolness around them from the gently burbling streams they cross.

                                       
Elia Bridge                               Kelephos Bridge                      Piskopos Bridge                       Roudias Bridge                        Skafos Bridge

To find the bridges, follow the minor road north east from Koilineia (just off the main road from Acheleia to Pano Panagia) through the deserted village of Vretsia – an interesting stop in itself. 

The road becomes a dirt track that a normal car can get along with a bit of care.  The first bridge you find is the Roudia Bridge tucked away on the right.  The next is the Kelefos Bridge on the left as you go through the shallow ford, and then the Elia Bridge comes up next and is tucked away on the right.  They’re all clearly signed, so are quite easy to find.

 


   Blue Lagoon:
Nothing beats exploring the picture perfect Akamas peninsula, with its rugged forested sea cliffs dropping down to the crystal clear seas of the west coast. And there is nowhere better to experience the beauty of the sea that the Blue Lagoon with its brilliant turquoise waters as clear as a swimming pool. Head out on a boat trip from Latchi to really experience it at its best, giving you a glimpse of all the lovely coves in the area while enjoying a splash in the blissfully cool waters!  Blue Lagoon will take your breath away with its white sand on the sea bed and warm turquoise waters. Enjoy swimming or snorkelling in the clear waters of one of the most beautiful bays in Cyprus. The legend states that Aphrodite bathed there before her marriage to Adonis.


Relax and enjoy an amazing day cruise tour along Akamas Peninsula with an open bar of local drinks and buffet lunch. The highlight is the Blue Lagoon, a bay with crystal warm waters. A maximum of 10 passengers are allowed on each trip to ensure a small group service. Highlights Buffet lunch included Travel by boat and see the sights from the water What You Can Expect Blue Lagoon Day Cruise from Paphos Blue Lagoon Akamas On this trip, you will set sail from Latchi harbor and cruise along the beautiful Nature Reserve of Akamas Peninsula, which juts out into the sea on the north-west corner of the island. During this relaxing day cruise, you will enjoy swimming and snorkeling in Blue Lagoon, a large popular bay with crystal clear and warm waters. From the boat, while you will be sunbathing you will have the opportunity to see sights such as the Sea Caves and the tiny Saint's Island. Refuel with a lovely buffet lunch, served on board. Open bar with local drinks is also available during the whole day cruise. In the afternoon, you will return at Pafos harbour.

 


   Akamas Cape:
Akamas, is a promontory and cape at the northwest extremity of Cyprus with an area of 230 square kilometres. Ptolemy described it as a thickly wooded headland, divided into two by summits [a mountain range] rising towards the north.[2] The peninsula is named after a son of Theseus, hero of the Trojan War and founder of the city-kingdom of Soli.

Until the year 2000, the peninsula was used by the British Army and Navy for military exercises and as a firing range. Under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment, the British Army was allowed to use the Akamas for exercises for up to 70 days a year.

At the southern end of the peninsula is the town of Pegeia and on its northeast side the town of Polis. Due to the mountainous nature of the peninsula there are no roads running through its heartland. Furthermore, some roads marked on Cypriot road maps of the area are rough terrains. Visitor attractions in Akamas include a loggerhead turtle sanctuary and the Baths of Aphrodite where the goddess is said to have bathed, near Polis. As the area is therefore relatively inaccessible, there is a large diversity of flora and fauna there. Indeed, the European Environment Agency noted that it was one of only 22 areas of endemism in Europe. This however looks like it may be threatened by tourist development and the planned A7 motorway between Polis and Paphos; organisations such as the Green Party of Cyprus, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are taking action to protect the area.

   The Avakas Gorge:
Outdoor enthusiasts have 79sq km of land to explore either on foot or by bicycle and less active tourists can always opt for a jeep safari tour or even hire their own 4x4 vehicle to marvel at the amazing scenery. I could wax lyrically about the landscape on the Akamas peninsula all day...about the steep gorges, hair raising rocky mountain bike descents and leisurely strolls on the nature trails

 


   The monastery of Panagia tou Kykkou:
known widely as “Kykkos monastery”, is the most famous in Cyprus. Located on the far edge of the Troodos mountain area, 15km west of Pedoulas and the Marathasa valley, it’s often dismissed because its buildings are relatively modern, but it will tell you more about Greek Cypriots and their religion today than all the more venerable churches of Troodos put together. With its mixture of religious observance and commercial enterprise, the presence of national hero President Makarios’s tomb and the nearby EOKA hideouts, it’s a must-visit for anybody trying to get a handle on modern Cyprus. The original monastery was established at the end of the eleventh century by the Byzantine Emperor, though none of the original buildings has survived the numerous fires that have swept through the region.
Nothing in the current monastery pre-dates the last fire in 1831, and much of it is later than that, though the famous icon of the Virgin Mary seems to have miraculously survived.

The Kykkos Monastery is the richest on the island and it shows. Its buildings are pristine and immaculately maintained, its murals vivid and bright, its monks numerous. This wealth grew partly because of the pulling power of the icon, and partly because, during Ottoman times, many people chose to donate their money to the church rather than see it whittled away by heavy Ottoman taxes. On entry, through a highly decorated porch, you walk into a handsome courtyard with a museum at the far left and, above the monastery roof, a wooded hillside with a recently built bell tower. Beyond the main courtyard the visitor is free to explore a series of passageways and flights of steps and paved courtyards that can’t seem to muster a right angle between them.
 

   The Monastery Museum, up a flight of steps from the main courtyard and unexpectedly huge, is organized into antiquities (pre-Christian artifacts) and documents (on the left as you enter), vessels, vestments and ornaments from the early Christian and Byzantine periods and after in the main room, then icons, frescoes and woodcarving (on the left), and manuscripts, documents and books (on the right). Though of limited lay interest, nobody could fail to be impressed by the comprehensiveness of the collections and the lush complexity of the exhibits.

The monastery church is opulent even by Greek Orthodox standards, and is lined with icons (including the famous one of the Virgin, in its own silver, tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl protective case), usually busy being kissed by a line of supplicants. Nearby is a brass or bronze arm, the result of a punishment, it is said, meted out by the Virgin to a Turk who had the temerity to light a cigarette from one of the sanctuary lamps, and, a more cheerful story, the blade of a swordfish, presented by a sailor who was saved from drowning by the Queen of Heaven. The church and the courtyard outside it often becomes packed with people at weekends – some attending weddings or christenings, some making pious pilgrimage, others simply having a day out.
 

 

Places to visit when in Cyprus - Paphos    

Places to visit when in Cyprus - Geroskipou   

Places to visit when in Cyprus - Polis and Latchi    

Places to visit when in Cyprus - Platres and Omodos   

Places to visit when in Cyprus - Troodos Mountains   

Places past and present Colour + Black & White photographs   

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