Tourist Information on Cyprus Holidays
Cyprus is a small island with a long history of rich culture and
is one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean region. Cyprus
has many fascinating cultural sights, museums, monuments and galleries
Lying South off the Turkey shores is the Island of Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean. National languages spoken on the island are Greek in the
Republic of Cyprus and Turkish in North Cyprus and English in both. When you plan to spend your holidays in Cyprus, this website
hopefully will offer you tourist information and a guide of the island of Cyprus. At
we have put together this Cyprus tourist portal directory that provides you with villa holiday accommodation, real estate property to rent, buy or sell, weather reports, restaurants, cafe bars, tavernas, car rentals,
taxi services, airports with direct bookable flights information, general tourist information on Cyprus.
As there is plenty to see and do in Cyprus, car hire is commended to make your holiday that much more interesting.
Rent a Car,
take a weather forecast, check your maps of Cyprus and now you are free to explore the island, exploring rocky coastlines of Cyprus or its sandy beaches, journey up to the many forests and onto Troodos Mountains.
Ski a while and then back to the Cyprus sunshine coastal resorts. Where ever you go... we hope you enjoy your picturesque holiday vacation in Cyprus.
Capital of the West and positively teeming with history is where you will find the seaside resort of Paphos and the site of the island's second international airport. The resort town has as its focal point a
charming fishing harbour by Paphos Fort, lined with open-air cafes and tavernas that serve a tempting menu of the day's fresh catch. Cyprus History: It was on Pafos shoreline that the mythological Goddess
Aphrodite was born, a legend that spawned a massive wave of cult worship from neighbouring countries that lasted several centuries. The large rock that juts from the sea is known as `Petra Tou Romiou' -
The Venus Rock - while the Baths of Aphrodite at Polis and the 'Fontana Amorosa' - Fountain of Love - also echo her apparent penchant for the island. At Kouklia village lie the remains of the Goddess' earliest Sanctuary.
Paphos Harbour Fort:
The Paphos Fort or castle is located at the Kato Paphos harbour. It was originally a Byzantine fort, but was remodelled by the Lusignans,
but in 1570 the Venetians destroyed the castle, then during the
Ottoman rule the castle was restored to it old glory, expanded and reinforced. Built of strong and large stones, the castle is connected to the harbour via an arched bridge. There are very few windows but the view
from the top of castle is superb. The fort is noted in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites and is fully protected.
Situated near the Paphos harbour, are some superbly preserved mosaic remains dating from third to fifth century A.D. These mosaic floors can be seen in the Villas of Dionysos, Orpheus, Aion, and
the Villa of Theseus. A farmer accidentally discovered these mosaics while he was ploughing his field. Till today, the villas are being excavated and the mosaics that are being found depict scenes from Greek
mythology and are made from small cubes of marble stone along with glass paste. These small marble cubes are called tesserae. The wide range of these beautiful designs can be seen in the Villa of Dionysos where
nearly 5,985 sq.ft of area consisting of 14 rooms are covered with the mosaics. House of Dionysos, House of Theseus and House of Aion. The mosaic floors of these noblemen's villas dating from the 3rd to the
5th century AD are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mainly depict scenes from Greek mythology.
Made up of ancient ruins and buildings, the Acropolis is situated near the new Paphos Lighthouse. Built in the second century, the Odeon is made of pure limestone. Today it is used to stage musical and
live performances. The structure is semi circular in shape with 12 rows of seats. It occupied an important place in ancient Cypriot history and even today with the influx of tourists its value has not diminished.
To the south of the Odean are the remains of the Roman temple of Asclepius,
God of Medicine and to the north are remains of ancient town walls.
The temple of Aphrodite, found in the village of Kouklia, was officially established by its cult by constructing a hilltop temple on the important pilgrimage site of Palea Paphos. Although
erected in 1500 BC, idols and coins related to Aphrodite dating back to 3800 BC have been found at the site. The temple stood on a knoll about 2 kms inland around which soon the town of Palea
Paphos started forming. The Cyprus Exploration Fund first excavated the sanctuary in 1887 with findings again by the British Kouklia Expedition in 1950-55. Recently it has been dug by the
Swiss-German expedition since 1996.
Tomb of the Kings:
As the name suggests, but no kings were buried here. It was actually the resting place of around 100 Ptolemaic wealthy aristocrats who died in Paphos between 3B.C. and 3A.D. Located in the northwest
of Paphos, just before the harbour, near the structure consisting of solid rock formations featuring Doric pillars and walls decorated with frescoes. Ongoing archaeological excavations have discovered the Church of
Paleoekklisia, which depict Byzantine frescoes. Spread over a vast area, these impressive underground tombs date back to the 4th century BC. They are carved out of solid rock with some being decorated with Doric
pillars. High officials rather than Kings were buried here, but the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its name.
Petra tou Romiou - means the Rock of the Greek and does not refer to Aphrodite but to another myth,
that of the Byzantine hero Dighenis who threw these rocks at pirates to protect his lady.
The rock of Aphrodite is a rock off just off the shoreline. To find it, go along the B6 road from Paphos to Limassol
for about 7k. It has been regarded since ancient times, as the
birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of love and fertility. According to ancient tradition, Aphrodite was born from the waves on this site off the
coast of Cyprus. It is said that in certain weather conditions, the waves
will rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar
of foam. With imagination, this looks for just a moment like an ephemeral, evanescent human
female shape. Homer`s account of Aphrodite's birth is less dramatic. He said, she was the daughter of Zeus and the fresh water nymph Dione, at whose bosom she would sometimes seek solace (Iliad 5.370-417).
In his Theogony (178-206), Hesiod provides the following dramatic account of the event
"Chronos took the great long jagged sickle; eagerly he
harvested his father's (Zeus') genitals and threw them all off behind....
The genitals...were carried for a long time on the waves.
White foam surrounded the immortal flesh, and in it grew a girl...
her name is Aphrodite among men and gods, because she grew up in the foam
Birth of Venus:
was then escorted ashore on a shell by the soft breezes of the Zephyrs at the rocks known as Petra tou Romiou. This myth is, of
course, most memorably depicted in Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" (on display in the Uffizi
Gallery in Florence). A much older rendering of the event can be seen in a fine mural at Pompeii.
Mountains and Forestry:
Troodos mountains is a medium drive from Pafos (Paphos), offering superb scenery for the serious walker and general tourist alike. You can ski on the snow slopes in the morning and then
soak up the Cyprus sun in the afternoon and then onto your villa pool side for a sunset evening. Nothing could be more dramatically different from Mediterranean beach life, than the impressive mountain range that
stretches across the centre of Cyprus and reaches up to 1.952 meters at Chionistra, the highest point of the Troodos at MountOlympus.
Admiring panoramic vistas and breathing the cool, pine-scented air makes a heady change from the coasts and plains, which are only a relatively short drive away. There's plenty to see in these mountains.
Moufflon have been protected for a number of years in a huge natural reserve in the magnificent Cedar Valley, and nowadays visitors can often see these timid creatures. Scenic walks to take, a great variety of
interesting birds and flora to be seen, waterfalls and special picnic sites, and above all, there are villages of immeasurable charm to wander round, or simply to dally in and observe the unhurried pace of rustic
country life. The mountain villages are absolutely charming and the people friendly and hospitable. Each village has a special crop, craft or product for which it is known - fruits such as cherries, apples or peaches, sweet
specialities like soujouko and palouze, wines, zivania, which is a highly
alcoholic wine by-product, rosewater, pottery, the list is endless.