Days 6 & 7: A Weekend in Paphos

This weekend, we went on a two-day trip to Paphos, which is on the western coast of Cyprus! We started off Saturday by driving to Kourion. On the way, we got to hear from our tour guide, Georgia, about Cyprus’ history and resources, Greek mythology, and more. I love the kind of stories she was telling– they’re one of the reasons I wanted to come to Cyprus– so I really enjoyed listening while we drove along. We finally got to Kourion, which was an Ancient Greek city-state. There were ruins of many different buildings here, but the two that we saw were a large house and an amphitheater. The house had all the different rooms necessary for a bath house. We could see the stilts for the floors that were elevated to heat some rooms, the aqueduct that ran to the house, the mosaics on the floors, and the underground storage for food, wine, etc. The amphitheater was impressive, although it wasn’t the original, and when we stood on a specific spot down on the stage, we could hear our voices echo back at us! There were also fantastic views of the ocean here!

After Kourion, we continued on to Paphos along the coastline. We drove through a British controlled area, which was interesting to see. You couldn’t take any pictures, but it was obvious that the houses were different, and you wouldn’t find a Worcestershire Lane anywhere else on the island! Our next stop was Aphrodite’s Rock, which is where Aphrodite is said to have emerged from the sea when she was born. This was an absolutely beautiful spot and lots of fun. We didn’t stay for too long, but we climbed to the top of the biggest rock to look out at the views. These were probably my favorite so far!

We made one more stop before lunch near the Paphos shore: the Tombs of the Kings. Here, we saw many different underground tombs that didn’t necessary belong to kings but are called that because they’re very impressive. All of them are carved out of the rock bed– I can only imagine how long it took to make them! One particular tomb was rectangular and had tombs all along the walls. It was open in the middle like an atrium and was held up by columns– it was very cool! Interestingly, here, people of different religions were buried together. Another noteworthy tomb may have belonged to one of the Ptolemies!

We went to lunch at a restaurant called The Pelican. I didn’t expect anything peculiar going into this, but it turned out that there was a real pelican at the restaurant! The whole time I just wondered where it sleeps?? but we enjoyed our food and the entertainment! It could walk up and down stairs and flapped its wings every now and then.. I just tried not to make eye contact!

After lunch, we went to a house filled with mosaic floors that is thought to have belonged to a family in the Roman ruling elite. There were spectacular mosaics everywhere! They were really amazing to see, and I loved the mythology that went into this visit too!

We had free time after checking into our hotel room, which was more like an apartment, in Paphos so we attempted (very foolishly) to go in the hotel pool. We left after 20 minutes– it was way too cold. We went out for dinner, walked around a bit, and did a movie night instead!

Today, Sunday, we slept in and went to the beach. The beach was a little rocky but still lots of fun! We swam out pretty far to stand on a strip of bigger rocks; it was probably the furthest I’ve ever gone from the shore. We went to a Cypriot restaurant for lunch and I finally had dolmades, which I’ve been looking for all over! We finally drove back to Nicosia and went out for dinner in the Old City. I’d give our weekend in Paphos an 11/10!

The amphitheater in Kourion
Some of the mosaics in the house at Kourion + the view!
Aphrodite’s Rock! We climbed to the top of the rightmost one
This is one of the tombs we saw at the Tombs of the Kings site!
The Pelican @ The Pelican!
Some mosaics at the Roman house. I don’t know how they kept track of all these patterns!
The beach in Paphos!

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