A visit to Paphos Harbour area

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Middle East » Cyprus » Paphos
September 16th 2019
Published: September 17th 2019
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Monday - We decided to have a change of scenery so took a taxi to the harbour area of Paphos. We passed by the Annabelle hotel where we had stayed 30 years ago, it was completely unrecognisable due to recent extensive refurbishment.

Our friendly taxi driver dropped us close to the harbour, now completely pedestrianised with owners of cafes enticing you in for a coffee or drink.

With a temperature of 30 degrees it didn't take us long to be enticed!

Mr. M happy to sit & watch the different types of boats bobbing up & down but I took myself off to visit Paphos Castle.

The man in the kiosk asked me "How old" no he wasn't referring to the ancient castle but me! As a pensioner the admission was only 1.25 Euro.

Paphos Castle was originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour. It was rebuilt in the thirteenth century after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1222.

In 1570 it was dismantled by the Venetians.

After capturing the island, the Ottomans restored and strengthened it.

Throughout its time it has seen many uses, as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt during the British occupation of the island. More recently the castle serves as a backdrop to the annual open air Paphos cultural festival which takes place in September.

It was declared a listed building in 1935 and represents one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city of Paphos.

The view from the top of the castle spanned along the coast as far as our hotel & beyond.

It was soon time to head back to David and enjoy a cold drink.

Nicely refreshed I next set off to visit the Unesco World Heritage Archaeological Site.

They obviously appreciate recycled teenagers visiting as the entrance fee was once again reduced for 'pensioners'.

The park is still largely being excavated today.

The monuments and sites that are recognized as part of the UNESCO site date back to the prehistoric times. There are also several ruins that had been traced to the Middle Ages.

The site covers a vast area where a few key significant monuments have been excavated such as large Roman villas – there are four of them!

In the heat and with no shade I managed to visit 3

House of Dionysos

This villa is exceptionally rich and expansive. It measures a total of 200 square meters in land area and is known for its mosaic floors. These mosaic depict hunting scenes, vintage, and mythological creatures. This Roman villa was reportedly constructed around 2nd century AD. It consists of a central courtyard and the rooms are arranged around that central atrium.

House of Theseus

This large villa served as the home of the Roman governor and is split into numerous rooms that served official functions and for private use. The name of the villa is from the beautiful mosaic of Theseus that was found within it. This villa was built during the second half of the 2nd c. AD.

House of Aion

Only three rooms had been successfully excavated from this ancient Roman villa. The mosaic floor on this villa is where you will find the most exceptional works of Roman art during ancient times. It is also the one that is highly discussed by scholars. The wall of this villa had collapsed and was restored.

There were a few guided tours but it was easy to steer clear of them, although I did hijack one to hear about the histiry of these ancient ruins.

Very little shade but I managed to find a tree to shelter under for a shirt while, but It was soon time to head back and enjoy lunch beside the harbour. Mussels for David and pitta bread with dips for me all washed down with a cool beer and glass of wine.

We sat watching the works go by & enjoyed the hospitality of the owner.

An enjoyable time away from the hotel but we both need a dip in the pool so back to the hotel to cool off.

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