Tombs of the Kings
Duration: Half Day
The beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus is an open air museum just waiting to be explored. The country is steeped with history, which dates back thousands of years over many prolific and turbulent eras, under the rule of many different nations. Hundreds of important archaeological sites have been discovered and preserved in Cyprus over the last century, and new findings are being uncovered every day.
One area of particular historical and archaeological value is Paphos, a beautiful town on the south west coast of the island and the capital of Paphos District. In fact, the area is so important that the whole town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980. This tour will take you to one of Paphos’ most famous archaeological sites − the Tombs of the Kings.
Unfortunately, the name “Tombs of the Kings” is misleading because there is no actual evidence of any royalty having been buried here. Even so, the grandeur and scale of this large burial site for local aristocrats and high officials is certainly worthy of its name. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, this impressive necropolis has been carved out of solid rock and is extremely well preserved.
You will find a maze of majestic mausoleums, columns, courtyards and chambers underground here, reminiscent of Egyptian architecture. Some of the tombs lead down into sunken courts, surrounded by beautiful Doric pillars. When the sunlight shines in, the area looks even more impressive. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture the light and shadows.
Some of the tombs were originally decorated with frescoes, and were used as dwellings or workplaces in the Middle Ages. Others tombs here date back to the Hellenistic period and early Roman period. There are many underground passages on the site, which lead to rooms with niches for individual corpses. Bodies resting here were dressed in expensive clothes and buried with wealthy grave goods, including jewellery and cosmetic boxes. The tombs have been casually explored for centuries, and the site was unfortunately looted of artifacts long before excavations began in the late 1970s.
Archaeologists have discovered a number of items here, however, including ointment containers, a myrtle wreath of gold and Rhodian amphorae. In one tomb, a child had been buried in a terracotta pipe. Archaeological excavations are still being carried out at the site today, but several of the main tombs are open to the public and you can explore the area at your leisure.
This mysterious tour is a fascinating way to explore ancient Cypriot history.
We don't currently have any holidays here unfortunately…
Why not call our specialists on 020 7644 1755 and we'll see if we can create you a tailored holiday.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 17:00 GMT
Related articles for Cyprus
Cyprus NewsBrowse all Cyprus News
The Telegraph has highlighted Paphos in Cyprus as a destination to visit, pointing out the best time to visit the island, and the top attractions and sights. With daily flights to Cyprus from various UK airports, a wide range of accommodation options, all-year-round sunshine, and beautiful landscapes, there's no better time to visit.
Rezidor will be making its debut in Cyprus with the opening of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence, Larnaca in 2017. The luxury hotel is currently under construction and will have 105 guest rooms and apartments, a fifth floor swimming pool, a spa and health club, gourmet restaurants, bars, and shops.
Initial estimates raised serious concerns over the impact of a decline in the number of Russian travellers booking Cyprus holidays, spurring the Mediterranean nation's tourism sector to look at ways to entice larger volumes of British and German holidaymakers. Revised figures however, indicate a less bleak picture from the Russian market as well as a notable improvement in other key source markets like Germany and the UK.