Situated on the southwest coast of Cyprus, Paphos was the capital of the island in Roman times. Legend has it that the city is built on the spot where the Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite, was born.
The city also has many connections to and relics from early Christianity. Over the centuries, it has survived numerous foreign incursions and raids, and even a devastating earthquake in the 4th century. It lost out to Larnaca as a major port in the Middle Ages and experienced a decline during the British colonial period, when development of this part of the island came to a standstill.
Today, Paphos is a popular seaside resort with a large population. The Ktima section of the city is the main residential area, while Kato Paphos is the playground of holidaymakers, built around the medieval port with its numerous luxury hotels, tavernas, and entertainment venues.
Most visitors to Paphos stay in one of the many hotels that dot the sandy coastline. The beach around the Rock of Aphrodite offers some of the best snorkelling in Cyprus, while Pissouri Beach and Kourion Beach are popular with water skiers and windsurfers. Paphos Municipal Beach is conveniently located close to the centre of town, and has a long promenade with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. Paphos also makes a great base for exploring the unspoilt beauty of the Akamas Peninsula, the Diarizos River Valley, and the Ezouza Valley.