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Cyprus Walks

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Walk 1: Kato Pafos Historical Tour

This short circular walk explores the lower town of Kato Pafos, which contains some of the most impressive archaeological sites on the island. The walk takes in the picturesque harbour area with is colourful fishing boats and the old fort at the harbour entrance. Then through the Archaeological Park with its ancient Mosaics and Roman remains and back through the old town to the harbour.

Distance 3 miles (5 km). Duration approx two hours (or longer if exploring the sights in detail).

1 Paphos Harbour

Pafos harbour is a very pleasant place, still in use by local fishermen. The harbour way is lined with restaurants, shops and bars. From the quay you can take a glass bottom boat tour of the bay or go on a fishing trip.

Walk along the Harbour towards the small fort at the end.

2 Paphos Fort

Originally there were two forts guarding the harbour entrance. The oldest one, out on the old breakwater, has become a ruin with just two lumps of rock remaining. The other, built by the Lusignans to defend the town against pirate raiders still remains and is open to the public. One can see excellent views of the harbour from its battlements.

Return along the Harbour side to the entrance of the Pafos Archaeological World Heritage Site, on the left just after the last restaurant.

3 Paphos Archaeological Park

This next section of the walk takes you through the site and its antiquities. There is a small modest charge to enter. Go through the entrance and walk up the steps to the small gallery at the top. You may wish to enter the gallery and read about the latest discoveries at the archaeological site. You can also purchase guides here that explain the various sites in detail. However, there are a plenty of interpretation panels situated at each point of interest as you walk around.

Walk around the back of the gallery, along the path to The House Aion, this is the start of the mosaics, which leads on to the The House of Theseus and then to the House of Orpheus.

4 Mosaics

The mosaics cover a large area across the site, with many of the most spectacular mosaics displayed in covered buildings. The House of Dionysos contains the most extensive range but it is well worth visiting all of the other houses on the site.

From the House of Dionysos take the path east until you reach the ruins of an old fort.

5 Saranta Kolones

This is a fascinating place to scramble around, with numerous dungeons and arches. The name Saranta Kolones means 40 columns. A large number of the original 40 grey stone columns can still be seen lying around the site.

From here take the road northeast towards the light house.

6 Roman Odeion Theatre

The most distinctive ruin is of the Roman Odeion theatre which has been partially restored. In front of the Odeion is the agora or marketplace but only its foundations and a few columns remain. This high vantage point provides excellent views across the archaeological site and the town.

From here take the route east, but as the entire site is fenced it is necessary to follow the signs for Leoforos Apostolo Pavlou to find an exit. Turn left at the end of the avenue and walk along Leoforos Apostolo Pavlou about 250 metres until you reach a side road, forking to the left.

7 Agios Lamprianos

At the road fork you will find a number of rock-cut chambers. These can be viewed easily from the pathway.

Walk along the road further north until you reach a hotel that is brightly adorned with Greek and Roman frescoes.

8 Roman Hotel

The Roman Hotel is a fascinating building, resembling a Greek Palace. The hotel's decor is based on ancient Greek Myths and the exterior, many public areas and even the bedrooms are adorned with frescoes. The main hotel site (further to the west) was built on grounds where three tombs with frescoes from the Hellenistic period were found.

Return to the main road (Leoforos Apostolo Pavlou) and walk back south towards the Harbour, using the left hand path. As you walk along you will see many rock-cut chambers on the left. Many of these were used as refuges for Christians during the Roman persecutions.

9 Agia Solomoni

The Agia Solomoni catacomb is easily recognisable from the tree outside, which is adorned with handkerchiefs tied by visitors, in hope this action will cure their ills. The catacomb is still used as a church to this day and has an altar in an underground chamber.

Carry on the main road south and take the second road on the left, then at the next junction go right then take the next left and walk down the hill.

10 Frankish Baths

Here you will find a medieval building which was built during the Lusignnan period and used as a public baths serving over 100 people daily.

Take the road down the hill until you reach another excavated site, bounded by a metal railing fence.

11 St Paul's Pillar

This site contains the interesting church of Chrysopolitisa in one corner, where mass is still held. Many columns punctuate the site but it is just one small stump of a pillar marked by a plaque, situated to the left of the site, that most people come to see. This is where St Paul is alleged to have been given 39 lashes on the orders of the Roman governor who objected to his preaching Christianity. In the afternoon when the tourist buses arrive an actor dressed in robes often walks around the site re-enacting parts of Paul's Bible passages.

Now wander down the hill south towards the sea front, through the side streets with small shops and arcades, then turn right and walk along the promenade and back to the Harbour.

Walk 2: Ayia Napa Walk

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This area of Cyprus has developed into the one of the most popular tourist resorts on the island.
Distance 4 miles (6.5 km). Duration 1.5 hours.

1 Seferis Square

The large square in front of the monastery is a pleasant place to sit. In the evening there are stalls selling copper goods and jewelry. At the end of the summer there is a festival of music and dance that takes place in the square.
Enter the monastery courtyard.

2 Ayia Napa Monastery

The monastery is by far the most impressive sight in the town, a very peaceful place now used as a conference centre. The building, which was fully restored in 1950, was founded by a Venetian noblewoman on the site of cave where an icon of the virgin Mary had been found.
Pass through the monastery courtyard, through an archway onto a path. The path leads to a road heading to the sea, when it meets the main coast road (Nissi) turn left, then turn right at the end of the road towards the Harbour.

3 Harbour

The Harbour still retains some of its old character. Small fishing boats are moored alongside larger tourist ships that take visitors on cruises around the surrounding area. There is a long fine sandy beach to the east that often becomes crowded in peak season.
Walk to the rear of the harbour taking the path west that leads to the fun park and beach hotel, then turn south towards the sea.

4 Agriculture

Take notice of the red fertile soil in this area. Until recently this whole area was used for agriculture, the main crop being potatoes, now much of it has now been developed into hotels and holiday resorts.
Walk across the scrub land towards the sea you will see a small beach on the left. Follow the track down towards the beach and take the path that runs along the shoreline. The sea in this area is accessible but the shoreline is very rocky. After about half an hour's walk from the Harbour you'll find the beach improves as you head west. Now take the track which rises gently left on to the headland.

5 Headland

From this vantage point here there are extensive views. To the east lies Cape Gkreko, to the west a stretch of rocky coves, and in the distance the promontory of Nissi beach. The headland contains the typical spiky rocks of the area.
From the headland walk on the track which bears left leading into a sandy cove, once known as Sandy Bay. You can either return the way you came or head through the grounds of the hotel on to the main road (Nissi). Follow the footpath on the right hand side of the road.

6 Leoforos Nissi

The route now passes some apartments on the left, covered in bright borgainvillaea in late summer. On the right you will see more agricultural land, some may still have steel windmills used for irrigation. Further down the road the shops and cafes begin again.
After about 500 metres turn left to return to the town square.

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