Paphos Archaeological Park

If there is one attraction that should tempt you away from your holiday villa in Paphos with swimming pool or shady verandah, it has to be the Paphos Archaeological Park. Located in Kato Paphos the lower part of town, the Park includes discoveries dating from prehistoric to medieval times, but it is the famous Roman mosaics that are the star attraction at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Roman Mosaics at Paphos

Mosaics in Paphos Archaeological Park In the 1960s, a farmer was ploughing his field when he unearthed the first of many Roman villas found on the site. These villas were home to the elite of Roman society, living in the then capital of Cyprus. Their wealth and social status was revealed in the magnificent mosaic floors they commissioned for their homes, five of which have been fully excavated.

The House of Dionysos is named after the god of wine, whose image decorates the mosaics in this second century AD villa.

The House of Theseus dates from the same period, and its geometric mosaics are almost modern and jazzy in their design. One mosaic depicts Theseus defeating the Minotaur, while another showing the birth of the warrior hero with the vulnerable heel, Achilles.

The House of Aion dates from the 4th century and shows famous myths such as the great god Zeus appearing to Leda as a swan, and a beauty contest between Queen Cassiopeia and some fairly depressed looking Nereids.

The House of Orpheus has a mosaic depicting the musician charming the animals around him, and the House of the Four Seasons is named after the subject of its pretty floor decoration.

Visiting the Mosaics at the Paphos Archaeological Park

The Park covers a vast area beside the harbour in Kato Paphos, and there is not much available shade in the heat of the day. So, if you have rented one of our Kato Paphos villas, you should leave in the cool of early morning and be at the park when it opens. Just drive your Paphos Villas hire car to the large car park besides the entrance, and grab a shady parking spot.

More to See at the Archaeological Park in Paphos

If you plan to see more than just the mosaics (and there's lots more to see), make sure you bring plenty of cold water from your Paphos holiday villa fridge, plus a snack or two.

The Odeon is a small amphitheatre which hosts music and theatre during the summer months. Just nearby is the Roman agora, or market place. You can still imagine traders from all over the Mediterranean setting up their stalls under the arches and selling good from all corners of the Roman empire.

Not much remains of the Asklepeion, a sanctuary dedicated to Asklepios the god of medicine, but your ticket does cover a visit to the Saranda Kolones fortress, just by the exit to the car park. On the way back to your Paphos villa, make a detour to the Tombs of the Kings, underground chambers cut from the solid rock as burial chambers for high ranking officials in the 3rd century BC.