Paphos Points of Interest

The Tombs of the Kings

The ‘Tombs of the Kings’ is the impressive necropolis that is located just outside the walls, to the north and east of Paphos town. It was built during the Hellenistic period (3rd century B.C.) to satisfy the needs of the newly founded Nea Paphos. Its name is not connected with the burial of kings, as the royal institution was abolished in 312 B.C., but rather with the impressive character of its burial monuments. The ‘Tombs of the Kings’ was the place where the higher administrative officers and distinguished Ptolemaic personalities as well as the members of their families were buried. The necropolis was continuously used as a burial area during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (3rd century B.C.-beginning of 4th century A.D.). There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that the first Christians also used the site for their burials, while at the same time the site constituted an endless quarry. Squatters established themselves in some of the tombs during the Medieval period and made alterations to the original architecture.

The existence of the site was already known from the end of the 19th century by Cesnola, who severely looted the tombs. In 1915-16 the then curator of the Cyprus Museum, Markides excavated some shaft tombs, while the honorary curator of Paphos Museum Loizos Philippou started clearance work in a few others tombs in 1937. But it was in 1977 that systematic excavations were undertaken by the Department of Antiquities, which brought to light eight large tomb complexes.

Most of the tombs are characterised by an underground, open aired, peristyled rectangular atrium completely carved into the natural rock. Columns or pillars of the Doric style supported the porticoes, which surrounded the atrium. The burial chambers and the loculi for single burials were dug into the portico walls. It seems that the walls were originally covered with frescoes although today only small fragments are preserved. The tombs’ architectural characteristics directly relate them to Hellenistic prototypes from Alexandria, Delos, Pergamon and Priene.

District Paphos
Telephone 26306295
Opening hours

for Public Holiday opening hours see home page

Winter hours (16/9 – 15/4 )
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 17.00 

Summer hours (16/4 – 15/9)
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 19.30
(last ticket issued at 19.00)

Admission €2,50
Accessibility Entrance: The ticket area and the archaeological site are wheelchair accessible ( view only from above)The Department of Antiquities informs you that visit to archaeological sites are always undertaken at the visitor’s own risk.
The Paphos mosaics
Paphos Mosaics

Paphos Archaeological Park (also Kato Paphos Archaeological Park) contains the major part of the important ancient Greek and Roman city and is located in Paphos, southwest Cyprus. The park, still under excavation, is within the Nea Pafos (“New Paphos”) section of the coastal city.

Its sites and monuments date from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages. Among the most significant remains so far discovered are four large and elaborate Roman villas: the House of Dionysos, the House of Aion, the House of Theseus and the House of Orpheus, all with superbly preserved mosaic floors, especially an Orpheus mosaic. In addition, excavations have uncovered an agora, asklipieion, basilica, odeon, Hellenistic-Roman theatre, and a necropolis known as the “Tombs of the Kings”.

Nea Paphos is one of the three components forming the Paphos archaeological complex inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980 for its outstanding mosaics and ancient remains, as well as its historical religious importance.

The most important monuments at the site are:
The House of Dionysos: This rich building belongs to the Greco-Roman type where the rooms are arranged around a central court, which functioned as the core of the house. It seems that the house was built at the end of the 2nd century A.D. and was destroyed and abandoned after the earthquakes of the 4th century A.D. The House of Dionysus occupies 2000sq. meters of which 556 are covered with mosaic floors decorated with mythological, vintage and hunting scenes. At the House’s entrance these is a pebble mosaic representing the mythical sea-monster Scylla that belonged to a Hellenistic building found below the later Roman one.

The House of Orpheus: It belongs to the type of the wealthy Greco-Roman Houses with a central court similar to the House of Dionysus. It dates to the late 2nd /early 3rd century A.D. The building´s main room, the reception hall, is decorated with a mosaic floor depicting Orpheus among the beasts. The next room´s mosaic floor bears two panels, one representing Hercules and the Lion of Nemea, and the other an Amazon with her horse.

The Villa of Theseus: The villa was built in the second half of the 2nd century A.D. over the ruins of earlier houses of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods and was in use until the 7th century AD. The villa’s large size, it consisted of more than 100 rooms, suggests that the building was the residence of the governor of Cyprus. Many of the rooms and three of the four porticos around the central court are covered with mosaic floors with geometric motifs. Three rooms in the south wing of the building are embellished with mosaic floors with human representations, all belonging to different phases. The oldest one is the mosaic representing Theseus and the Minotaur, dating to the very end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th century A.D. with obvious later restorations, probably made after the earthquakes of the middle of the 4th century. At the end of the 4th century A.D. a new mosaic depicting Poseidon and Amphitrite was added to a room, which probably served as a bedroom. Finally, at the beginning of the 5th century, a mosaic floor was laid in the reception room, of which only a part is preserved today and depicts Achilles´ first bath.

District Paphos
Telephone 26306217
Opening hours Winter hours (16/9 – 15/4 )
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 17.00 

Summer hours (16/4 – 15/9)
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 19.30
(last ticket issued at 19.00)

Admission €4,50
Accessibility Partly accessible to wheelchairs following the directions given by the site´s staff. (route not marked).
Special Parking Space: available (marked)
Special rest rooms: available (marked)
Odeon: access to free wi-fi
Palaipaphos - Kouklia

The ancient town of Palaipaphos is located within the limits of the modern village of Kouklia, situated close to the mouth of Diarizos river, 16 kilometers east of the modern town of Paphos. The site of Palaipaphos and its surrounding area are linked to an ancient cult associated with the “Great Goddess”, the goddess of fertility, who was worshiped in Cyprus since the Neolithic period. The Mycenaean, who settled on the island at the beginning of the 12th century, adopted the local goddess of fertility and erected a sanctuary in her honor. According to tradition, Kinyras, the local legendary king, was the founder and first High Priest of the sanctuary. Another legend, however, mentions Agapenor, the king of Tegea in Arcadia, Greece, as the founder of the city and the sanctuary. Palaipaphos remained the largest rural and religious center of western Cyprus, from the beginning of the Geometric period until the end of the Classical period. When the last King of Palaipaphos, Nikokles, moved his capital at the end of the 4th century B.C. to the newly- founded Nea Paphos, some 16 km to the west, the town retained some of its importance thanks to the continuation of the cult at the temple of Aphrodite. During the Roman period it became the center of the newly established ‘Koinon Kyprion’, (the ‘Confederation of the Cypriots’), which dealt with religious affairs and the cult of the Roman emperor and controlled the island’s bronze coinage. The religious and cultural activities at the sanctuary of Palaipaphos ceased in the 4th century A.D. with the rise and spread of Christianity throughout the island. During the medieval period Palaipaphos, which was renamed Couvouclia, regained some of its prosperity when it became the center of local administration and was used as the headquarters of the royal official who directed and controlled the sugar-cane plantations and refineries in the Paphos area.

District Paphos
Telephone 26432155
Opening hours

for Public Holiday opening hours see home page

Winter hours (16/9 – 15/4 )
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 17.00 

Summer hours (16/4 – 15/9)
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 19.30
(last ticket issued at 19.00)

Admission €4,50 [the price includes entry to the Local Museum of Palaipaphos (Kouklia) ]
Accessibility Wheelchair accessible
Special rest rooms: available (in the Museum)
Ethnographic Museum of Geroskipou

The Local Ethnographic Museum of Geroskipou belongs to the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and is housed in a traditional 18th century building, known as the “House of Hadjismith”. This building belonged to Andreas Zimboulakis, a rich and educated man who was appointed British Consular Agent for western Cyprus and was responsible for the provisioning of the British troops. The name Hadjismith derives both from Zimboulakis’ close relations with the British Admiral sir Sidney Smith and to the fact that a member of this family had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The “House of Hadjismith” is a grand house by the standards of its time and was originally part of a larger complex of buildings. It is listed as an Ancient Monument and has been restored by the Department of Antiquities. It has been an ethnographic Museum since 1978 and it contains a large and diverse collection of exhibits originating from all over Cyprus and representing the daily life, the various crafts and activities and the different expressions of Cypriot folk art during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

District Paphos/Geroskipou Village
Telephone 26306216
Opening hours

for Public Holiday opening hours see home page

Winter hours (16/9 – 15/4 )
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 16.00 

Summer hours (16/4 – 15/9)
Monday – Sunday: 9.30 – 17.00

Admission Free entrance
Accessibility Non wheelchair accessible.
Archaeological Museum of Paphos

Paphos Archaeological Museum is a museum in Paphos, western Cyprus. It contains items ranging in age from the Neolithic to 1700 AD, with five rooms showcasing exhibits dating from the Neolithic era to the Middle Ages. Most of the artefacts found unearthed in Palepaphos (Kouklia), Nea Paphos and Marion-Arsinoe (Polis), and also from Pegeia, Kisonerga, Lempa, Pano Arodes, Salamiou, Akourdalia, Pomos, Kidasi, Geroskipou and other places. The collection includes skeletal remains recovered from 31 tombs near the eastern seafront of the ancient city of Nea Pafos in 1980.

District/Address Paphos/ Griva Diyeni (Ktima)
Telephone 26955801
Opening hours

for Public Holiday opening hours see home page

Monday: closed
Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 – 16:30

Closed on Public holidays

Accessibility Entrance: Ramps
Wheelchair accessible WC
Parking space (marked)

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