Duration: Half Day
A holiday in Cyprus will not only open your eyes to breathtaking landscapes, golden beaches and lush mountains, it will also reveal a wealth of historical treasures which will take you back in time to many revolutionary and turbulent eras, as early as the 8th century BC. One of the most prolific periods in Cypriot history took place under the rule of the Roman Empire from 58 BC.
This tour will take you to the famous Archaeological Park in Kato Pafos, where you can explore fascinating ancient sites and monuments from prehistoric times through to the Middle Ages, with many of the remains dating back to the Roman Empire. A first century amphitheatre, Frankish castle, Roman houses and beautiful Roman mosaics are just some of the archaeological highlights in this exciting open air museum.
Located near the harbour, Kato Pafos is part of the beautiful Paphos Town in the south west of Cyprus. Because of its important historic and architectural value, the whole town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980, which includes the Archaeological Park, one of the most exciting archaeological sites on the island. Once the ancient city of Nea Pafos, the park hosts a myriad of historical ruins which are a delight to explore. Important monuments include the Odeon, a first-century amphitheatre which is still used for cultural events today; Agora, an ancient Roman marketplace of which only the foundations and parts of the columns remain, and the 12th century fortress of Saranta Kolones (meaning “forty columns” in Latin), which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1222. You will also find the remains of Paphos’ ancient city walls, St Paul’s Pillar and many other interesting ruins.
A highlight of the tour is seeing the exquisite Roman mosaics that line the floors in four Roman villas, houses of the Greek Gods, Dionysos, Theseus, Orpheus and Aion. The intricately designs depict scenes from ancient Greek mythology, including Theseus killing the Minotaur, Hercules and the Lion of Nemea, the Achilles’ birth and the Four Seasons, and are considered to be among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. Discovered by accident in the 1960s, these lavish mosaics indicate that this was once a place of great wealth.
Wherever you look, you can easily conjure up images of local Cypriot life under the Roman Empire: horses and chariots riding down the wide streets, the market place bustling with stall holders, people clapping and cheering in the Odeon and wealthy Romans relaxing in their luxurious villas. This tour enables you to step back in time and capture a glimpse of ancient times.
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