Pafos at a Glance
Text: Christina Skordi
01 - A dip in the sea
The inhabitants of Pafos have a special relationship with the sea. Most swim year-round. One of the most beloved beaches is the Municipal Baths. With a view of the Medieval Castle of Kato Pafos, bathers enter the sea by diving from a dock. For locals, it’s a convenient means to take a quick dip and have a warm shower, before heading into work (some as early as 6:30 in the morning!)
02 - Local wines
In recent years, residents of Pafos have been filling their glasses with local wines thanks to the blossoming and ever-increasing popularity of Cypriot wineries. Two reasons for this surge in popularity are the bio wines produced by the wineries Tsangarides and Vouni Panayias wineries. The indigenous grape varieties Spourtiko, Lefkada, Morokanella (baby cinnamon) and Maratheftiko are responsible for these wines’ very unique taste and fine aroma, all of which are greatly enjoyed and appreciated by locals and visitors alike.
03 - The Fabrica hill
Situated exactly opposite the Mall of Pafos, the archeological site atop Fabrica hill is truly something to behold. While gazing upon the remnants of the ancient theatre here, one that dates from the 4th century BC and is recorded by history to be one of the largest such structures on the island, it is no small wonder that such a small settlement could entertain upwards of 5,000 people! One can find the remnants of conquerors and civilizations waiting to be discovered there.
04 - The modern face
The last civic project in Pafos was the building of the city’s first Lyceum (High School) in 1960. At this time Pafos’ economy was entirely dependent on income from neighbouring villages, the inhabitants of which flocked to the area’s businesses in the morning, but cleared out by the afternoon. This prolonged economic vacuum resulted in a complete lack of development in the city centre until 2017, the year Pafos was designated the European Capital of Culture. Civic projects returned, some in the form of complete restorations to historic sites and buildings. Ibrahim’s Khan, a structure in the heart of Old Town with ties to ancient mercantilism, witnessed a complete renovation. This initiative attracted new businesses such as café and bars, which in turn attracted younger crowds, breathing new life into the city’s neighbourhood.
05 - Around the mountain villages
Among the many villages to visit in the mountainous parts of Pafos, Statos and Ayios Photios are of exceptional note. The distant past remains present in these villages, and time seems to stand still. The seven neighbourhoods and lovely little chapel of Ayios Kirikos are of great interest in the village of Letymbou. Worth noting is the fact that there is only one other chapel dedicated to this saint, this being on the island of Ikaria.
06 - Agios Agapitikos
Agios Agapitikos is a unique, small cave in the northeastern part of town. In a tradition that dates back to ancient times, lovers in waiting come here to light a candle in hopes of finding a soul mate.
Photo: C. Nikolaou/Cyprus Alive
07 - On the hill of Mousallas
Thanks to the panoramic views, the best spot to tune into Pafos and become acquainted with the city’s layout, is the hill of Mousallas. At Muse café kitchen bar, one can enjoy the most beautiful sunset view in Pafos. The hill is also home to the Ethnographic Museum of Pafos. Created by archeologist George Eliades and residing within his own personal home, the museum contains a unique collection of ancient artefacts and other Cypriot treasures. Among these is a rock carved tomb dating from the Hellenistic period. The spouse of Mr. Eliades, Mrs. Chryso, still resides in the home-turned-Museum to this day.
08 - Natural Beauty
The Kannaviou Reservoir is ideal for those that love taking excursions in nature, and is definitely worth exploring the area’s unmatched beauty. The reservoir’s uniqueness lies in its narrow shape which makes it possible for visitors to enjoy panoramic views of the valley filled with water. Only 40km away from the city of Pafos, it is built on the course of the Ezousa river.
09 - Around the purlieu
The gentrification of the Turkish-Cypriot region of Mouttalos has yet to come to fruition, but the development of the area is on the horizon. Still recovering from the 1964 riots and Turkish invasion of 1974, Mouttalos; (in spite of these hardships); still has its charms. Stop into Ta Perix, a one of a kind taverna for its innovative Greek cuisine and vegetarian dishes. Their lovely courtyard is ideal for summer dining.
10 - A night around the neoclassicals
Adjacent to the Public Gardens and City Hall, this neighbourhood is immediately identifiable by its neoclassical school buildings. New lighting in the area has make it especially impressive to see at night. Compliments of Koutourou, the area is known for great food with unique, gastronomic twists on traditional Cypriot cuisine (a must stop).