Paphos Archaeological Park (Nea Paphos)

Paphos Archaeological Park (Nea Paphos)



4.8/5 Pros

  • Huge and very interesting excavation site
  • Full of interesting mosaics and structures
  • Good directions and documentation

Even if you visit Cyprus due to the nice climate and the beaches only, you might make it to Nea Paphos. The Paphos Archaeological Park, how the place is exactly named, is maybe the key and most well-known archaeological site on the island. While my wife and I visited the Paphos (or Pafos, how it is sometimes spelled as well), we just had to have a visit. Here are my thoughts about the place.


Paphos Archaeological Park – Location & Admission

Paphos Archaeological Park is the very Southwest end of Paphos. You can easily reach it by local bus, as the main bus station is just steps away from the entrance to the large area. Alternatively, you may find a slot on the large parking lot in front and around the area (which might take a bit of time during peak time). It is a large open space with just a few roofed areas. Thus, I do not recommend to visit the place in very warm and sunny conditions. There are solely some water dispensers, see below, but now major nutrition sites.

In winter months (mid-September to mid-April), Nea Paphos is open from 8:30 to 17:00. In summer months, the park is closing later, at 19:30. Adult admission is 4.50 EUR and does not include the Tombs of the Kings site, which I will review separately. There is also a multi-day ticket, which covers all sites run by the Department of Antiquities in a given time frame (one day ticket: 8.50 EUR, one week ticket: 25 EUR).


Paphos Archaeological Park – The Visit

Excavations at Nea Paphos started in the early 1960*s. I read that the site only covers about a fourth of the area of the original historic city. The site is rather well structured, the signs in Greek and English are clear. Even if you are very quick, you will spend some two hours in there. Most of the area is open space. Just some of the key exhibits with mosaics are protected against the sun and the weather.

There is a lot of documentation along the key sights (and also less well-known parts of the excavation site). Especially the former villas with the rich mosaics like the Villa of Theseus are amazing to explore. The state of the ruins and mosaics is absolutely striking. The key exhibits is likely the House of Dionysos, which is one of the roofed sections of Nea Paphos and full of rich and colorful floor ornaments. One part of the outdoor space also features a former Byzantine Castle, Saranda Kolones, which is thought to have been built in the 7th century A.D. and used some of the historic structures.

Rather on the edge of the grounds, you also visit a lighthouse (which is obviously not as historic as the remaining ground). Next to it, there is a lovely Hellenistic theater. In this area, it is also very interesting to explore the nowadays flora on some of the more shadowy parts of Paphos Archaeological Park.


Paphos Archaeological Park – Services

The services at Nea Paphos are rather limited. There are a few snack stations with water and soft drink machines available. These are very helpful (and cheap), as you are naturally rather exposed to the sun for a longer period.


Paphos Archaeological Park – My View

Indeed, Paphos Archaeological Park is an iconic site. Even though Kourion Archaeological Park has been my absolutely favorite excavation site in Cyprus, this place is really close. The mosaics are absolutely impressing and the documentation and directions work very well. I absolutely loved being there, even though the heat is a natural factor you just cannot neglect.


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