Sites and Monuments

Testaments to Cyprus’ turbulent history can be found all over the island. Long coveted by foreign powers due to its strategic position at the crossroad between three continents, the island is like a huge open air museum where you can see evidence of the passage of the various conquerors and rulers that controlled it through the ages.

Marvel at the spectacular views from cliff top spots where the ancient Mycenaean Greek settlers built temples to their various gods, with pride of place to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Watch a performance in a Roman theatre still in use today, or admire the fabulous mosaic floors that once adorned the villas of Roman noblemen when the island was a distant outpost of the Roman Empire.
Discover hidden away in the pine forests, Cyprus’ painted churches with their colourful frescoes on walls and apses, ten of which have been put on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Petra tou Romiou – Rock of Aphrodite

This interesting geological formation of huge rocks off the southwest coast in the Pafos (Paphos) district forms one of the most impressive natural sites of Cyprus associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

According to legend, this strikingly beautiful spot is where Aphrodite rose from the waves and the foaming sea and was then escorted on a shell at the rocks known as ‘Rock ofAphrodite’ or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek. The Greek name, Petra tou Romiou, “the Rock of the Greek”, is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay with his amazing strength. It is said that he heaved a huge rock into the sea, destroying the enemy’s ships.

It is said that in certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With imagination, this looks for just a moment like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape. The site is on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

Region : Pafos
Address:  Pafos

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Kourion Archaeological Site

One of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island, Kourion was an important city kingdom where excavations continue to reveal impressive new treasures. Noted particularly for its magnificent Greco – Roman Theatre, Kourion is also proud home to stately villas with exquisite mosaic floors and an early Christian Basilica among other treasures.

Originally built in the 2nd century B.C., Kourion’s awe – inspiring theatre is now fully restored and used for musical and theatrical performances. The House of Eustolios, consisting of a complex of baths and a number of rooms with superb 5th century A.D. mosaic floors, was once a private Roman villa before it became a public recreation centre during the Early Christian period. The Early Christian Basilica dates to the 5th century and was probably the Cathedral of Kourion, with a baptistery attached to the north face. The House of Achilles and the House of the Gladiators also have beautiful mosaic floors. The Nymphaeum, dedicated to the water nymphs, is an elegant Roman structure.

The 2nd century A.D. stadium is located outside the main Kourion site, about 1kilometre to the west on the right hand side of the road to Pafos. Also impressive is the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, situated about 2,5 kilometres west of the ancient city.
Note: Partly accessible

Tel: +357 25 934 250

Region: Lemesos

Address: Kourion, Lemesos

Operating Hours: Daily: 08:00-17:00 (November – March), 08:00-18:00 (April – May, September – October), 08:00- 9:30 (June – August)

Operating Period: All year round

Entrance Fee: 4,50 Euro. There is a reduction of 20% for groups of visitors consisting of more than ten persons. The Director of the Department can issue special entry cards for a period of one day for €8,50 for a period of three days for €17,00 and for a period of seven days for €25,00.


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Kykkos Monastery

The Monastery of Kykkos, the richest and most lavish of the monasteries of Cyprus, is found in the region of Marathasa. It is situated on a mountain peak, at an altitude of 1318 metres northwest of Troodos. Dedicated to Panagia, it possesses one of three icons attributed to Agios Loukas the Evangelist. The icon, covered in silver gilt, is in a shrine made of tortoise shell and mother – of – pearl that stands in front of the iconostasis.

The monastery was founded sometime between the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the12th century, during the reign of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118 AD). Unfortunately the monastery burned down several times and nothing remains of the original structure. Blessed with divine grace, Cypriot hermit Isaiah miraculously cured the emperor’s daughter of an incurable illness. As a reward, he asked for the icon of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) kept at the imperial palace at Constantinople. Though grieved at the prospect of losing his precious treasure, the emperor sent it to Cyprus with fitting honours together with funds to pay for the construction of a monastery where the sacred relic would be kept. At the hermit’s request, the emperor’s representative in Cyprus Manuel Vutomites also endowed the monastery with three villages. As the gift was later confirmed by imperial charter, the monastery is considered to have been established by imperial decree.

The first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, served here as a novice. At his own wish he was buried on the summit of Throni, 3 kilometres west of the monastery, and not far from his native village of Panayia. The monastery produces zivania and a variety of other alcoholic drinks and holds religious fairs on September 8th (Birth of the Virgin) and August 15th (Dormition of the Virgin).

Tel: +357 22 942 435

Region: Hill Resorts, Troodos

Address: Troodos

Operating Hours: The Monastery and the Museum are open daily: November – May: 10:00-16:00, June – October: 10:00-18:00

Operating Period: All year round

Entrance Fee: Entrance fees for the Museum: 5 Euro (3 Euro for Groups)


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Tombs of the Kings

The “Tombs of the Kings” are situated close to the sea in the north western necropolis of Pafos (Paphos). They owe their name to their size and splendour – some probably belonged to the Pafian aristocracy, and not because royalty was buried there. They are rock cut and date to the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. Some of them imitate the houses of the living, with the rooms (here the burial chambers) opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.

Note: Wheelchair accessible (view only from above)

Tel: +357 26 306 295

Region: Pafos

Accreditation: Unesco World Heritage

Address: Pafos

Operating Hours: Daily: 08:00-17:00 (November – March), 08:00-18:00 (April – May, September – October), 08:00- 9:30 (June – August)

Operating Period: All year round

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Entrance Fee: 4,50 Euro. There is a reduction of 20% for groups of visitors consisting of more than ten persons. The Director of the Department can issue special entry cards for a period of one day for €8,50 for a period of three days for €17,00 and for a period of seven days for €25,00.