Some culture courtesy of UNESCO

Nea Paphos Travel Blog

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Walking into the UNESCO World Heritage Site
After wandering around the Fort, we headed back up the harbour to the vast UNESCO World Heritage Site containing much of Pahos' magnificent architecture. The first, and most pleasant surprise is that the whole site is incredibly cheap to get into, no more than a few euros to get in. The other point to note is that they aren't big on signs, labels or anything to actually let you know where you are and what you're doing. That said, it makes it more fun to scramble round the architecture in a state of blissful confusion.

The first thing that caught my attention was some sort of ruin that looked like a great big cave. I quickly gambolled off in that direction, fully intent on climbing in, on and over it to my hearts content. A cautionary hand on my shoulder by the GF stopped that dead in my tracks - but not to worry, the scrambling and climbing came later on!

Shortly into the site we came across the House of Dionysus.
A ruin of some kind. I really wanted to climb in.
We didn't know it at the time mind, due to lackage of signposts, but then that could be because we went into the exit as opposed to the entrance... The House of Dionysus includes mosiacs first laid down in the villas of the rich in the third century AD, and include some brilliant depictions of Dionysus and Ganymede wending their way to Olympus on the back of an eagle. Well, I guess that tops business class... Dionysus is one of my favourite Greek gods, mainly as he is credited for inventing booze and having a general predilection to party at all times... Well, if you're a deity then you can do what they want! The mosaics were really beautiful and it was amazing how well they'd been preserved and the colours they retained. However, as we didn't really know what was going on (dammit should have bought the guide book) we ventured back out again into the searing sunshine and meandered on.
Inside the House of Dionysus looking at the mosaics.


A lighthouse was in the distance and we made for that - even though I doubted that it was a World Heritage wonder. It wasn't, but there were some great views from the high ground above the sea, and the contrast between the nice shiny lighthouse and the burned out car and pile of rubbish next to it was, to say the least, interesting.

Shortly past the lighthouse we found Odeion, a partly restored ampitheatre, again a well old structure built in the second century AD. As a venue for drama it would be magnificent, and we spent a little while sitting and watching the world go by. Coincidentally, while we were sipping our water and I reapplied the sunscreen (again) we met two more English tourists who shared our names and my girlfriend's birthday.
You can see Dionysus on the left of this one.
Talk about small world!

After sunning ourselves and having a chat, we picked another dust path and wandered on. The final sight of our wanderings came into sight, the ruins of Saranda Kolones, a Byzantine fort built in the seventh century. As the site is completely open (to hell in a hand basket with English health and safety rules that sap the fun out of monuments) I took the opportunity to climb, trip and stumble around the ruins. What was most impressive was the two huge archways, still standing despite earthquakes and other damages over time. I found a small tunnel, and took my opportunity to climb in. It went down, and then steeply fell away into a massive hole that I narrowly managed to avoid falling head first into! It was great fun and tired, flushed and in need of more sunscreen I flopped down throughly impressed with myself. The GF raised an eyebrow and asked if I had enjoyed myself. As if she needed to ask.
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Walking into the UNESCO World Heri…
Walking into the UNESCO World Her…
A ruin of some kind.  I really wan…
A ruin of some kind. I really wa…
Inside the House of Dionysus looki…
Inside the House of Dionysus look…
You can see Dionysus on the left o…
You can see Dionysus on the left …
The oldest mosaic.
The oldest mosaic.
A random lighthouse in the middle …
A random lighthouse in the middle…
View back to Pahos
View back to Pahos
Looking up at the lighthouse
Looking up at the lighthouse
The Odeion theatre
The Odeion theatre
The Odeion ampitheatre
The Odeion ampitheatre
Trying to do something arty with t…
Trying to do something arty with …
A look back across the site
A look back across the site
The Saranda Kolones Byzantine fort…
The Saranda Kolones Byzantine for…
The ruins of Saranda Kolones
The ruins of Saranda Kolones
It was amazing how the archways we…
It was amazing how the archways w…
Saranda Kolones Byzantine Fort (ru…
Saranda Kolones Byzantine Fort (r…
I did climb down this, until the G…
I did climb down this, until the …
Nea Paphos
photo by: andytite