One of the main attractions of the ruins of Kourion is, without doubt, the large and very impressive amphitheatre from the 2nd century BC.
Although it was originally built as a theatre, it is believed that at some point in time it was used mostly for gladiator games.
What can be seen now is an imposing curved auditorium that includes additions and renovations made during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and which seats some 3000 spectators. The stage currently only preserves its foundations, but it originally rose to the full length of the auditorium.
Today the amphitheatre is a venue for cultural events that include music and theatrical performances during the summer months.
Almost all the site is wheelchair accessible: small bridges and passageways (Kourion site´s western part can be accessed via a special entrance that can be opened by the site´s guards). Special parking space and special rest rooms available (marked).
• A completely restored Greco-Roman theatre where musical and theatrical performances take place today
• Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean in an impressive and magical ancient setting
Look Out For:
• The whole archaeological area of Kourion attracts lots of visitors, so it is recommended to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon if you wish to avoid the crowds
• Wear comfortable shoes and have a bottle of water with you if visiting in the summer months, as the site is rather large and there is some walking and climbing involved
• You will need about two hours if you wish to visit the entire complex
• Check out the calendar of events to attend one of the many cultural performances that take place at Kourion theatre. Watching a Shakespeare’s play or listening to a classical music concert on such a venue is an experience not to be missed
Pafos Castle history goes back to the 13th century, and as many of the UNESCO World Heritage sites around the island it reflects the rich cultural heritage of Cyprus.
Although small, this magnificent stone walled castle built on the harbour is a definite must-see for visitors to Pafos.
It has an arched bridge that connects the castle to the harbour itself. Although the castle has very few windows (no wonder it was used as the Ottomans as a prison), the view from the top platform is absolutely stunning and from here you can admire Pafos at its best.
It is a beautiful sight to enjoy on the background while having a meal or a snack at one of the many coffee shops and restaurants found at the harbour.
• Pafos Castle is listed in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites
• It is one of the main landmarks of Pafos, and used by most visitors as a background for their holiday pictures
• It is the site of the “Pafos Aphrodite Festival”, which bring a famous opera to Cyprus every year during the month of September
Look Out For:
• Pafos Castle is closed to the public between August 24 and September 8
CyHerbia gardens and nature park is situated in the village of Avgorou, and includes a beautifully landscaped herb garden, woodland area with the endemic trees and shrubs of Cyprus, and the first and only maze (2000 sq.m.) of the island.
At CyHerbia Gardens we grow all kinds of Mediterranean herbs organically and make the most delicious teas which not only taste great but help you stay healthy too, as well as address possible health problems. We distill our own essential oils and make fragrant soaps and other herbal products. The herb gardens, maze and woodland are now open to the public. HERB GARDEN. Take a stroll round the 9 theme gardens which make up our Main Garden. Using your handy guide, you can see which herbs are used in the production of our herbal remedies.
TEA ROOM. Try out our refreshing herbal teas and relax in the breezy shade, overlooking the gardens. You can read about the therapeutic actions of herbs in one of the many books we have in our library for you to use. Herbs and many other herbal products such as creams, salves and tinctures are on sale in the Tea Room, feel free to browse the selections.
DISTILLATION ROOM. Witness the process of essential oil distillation as the plant essences are extracted in the distillation room. You will be enchanted by the wonderful aromas released during the process.
CYPRUS MAZE. Try to find your way out of the only hedge maze in Cyprus. You can have an elevated view if you can find your way to the observation tower, maybe it will help you in your quest?
SANCTUARY WOODLAND. Take a leisurely stroll around the island in our Sanctuary Woodland, designed using the Cypress trees as the outline. We have many species of birds taking refuge in our trees and shrubs, and are nesting in many places. The trees and shrubs are indigenous to Cyprus and have been used for centuries in various traditional food products, furniture and other household uses.
ENTRANCE to CyHerbia: adults 5 euros, children 3 euros. Under 5's free.
41A Charalambou Evagorou Street, 4107, Agios Athanasios
Ο Ιερός Ναός του Αγίου Κοσμά του Αιτωλού (κοιμητηριακός ναός) είναι κτισμένος στη νότια είσοδο του κοιμητηρίου του Αγίου Αθανασίου στη Λεμεσό και είναι ο πρώτος ναός αφιερωμένος στον Άγιο Κοσμά των Αιτωλό στην Κύπρο.
Ο Άγιος Κοσμάς, ο Αιτωλός καταγόταν από το χωριό Μέγα Δένδρο της Αιτωλοακαρνανίας, κι έζησε στα ασέληνα χρόνια της Τουρκοκρατίας.
Σε ηλικία είκοσι ετών πήγε στο Άγιο Όρος, όπου σπούδασε σε σχολή και στη συνέχεια εκάρη μοναχός και χειροτονήθηκε ιερέας στη Μονή Φιλοθέου του Αγίου Όρους.
Τα θαύματα, που με τη δύναμη του Θεού επιτέλεσε εν ζωή και μετά το θάνατό του είναι αναρίθμητα.
About 6km from Kyrenia, driving inland, the village of Bellapais occupies a sloping natural terrace overlooking the sea. The village came to fame thanks to Lawrence Durrell’s book ‘Bitter Lemons’, where he describes life in Cyprus based on the three years he spent on the island in the 1950s.
The key attraction of the village is the Bellapais Abbey, which is spectacularly built on a rocky hill that is illuminated by night.
You approach through a promenade of palm trees that give a rather exotic touch to the otherwise Gothic ambiance.
Except for the western arcade, where the vaulting has gone missing, the 14th century cloister is almost intact and decorated with carvings of human and monster heads on the corbels. South of the arcade, the 13th century church used by the Greek Orthodox community is open to visitors.
The interior of the church is almost as the Greek Cypriots left it before fleeing during the Turkish invasion of 1973. The carved pulpit, the “templon”, and the bishop’s throne are all hardly visible in the dim glow of five chandeliers. It is believed that several Lusignans kings were buried beneath the floor.
A stairway outside leads to a rooftop fortification that offered the best vantage point for the ruined chapterhouse to the east of the cloister and also leads to a small treasury, atop the church’s north aisle and the upper-storey dormitory of which only one wall survives.
On the north side of the cloister, a Roman sarcophagus once served the monks as a washbasin before they had their meals in the splendid refectory. Here, six bay windows offer a spectacular view of the sea which is 30 metre below, at the end of the cliff on which Bellapais Abbey was built.
• History meets 13th century Gothic beauty at this spectacular abbey
• Bellapais inspired Lawrence Durrell to write this in his famous book ‘Bitter Lemons’: “Bellapaix, even in ruins, was a testimony to those who had tried, however imperfectly, to grasp and retain their grip on the inner substance of the imagination, which resides in thought, in contemplation, in peace.”
Look Out For:
• The abbey has not been in the control of the Republic of Cyprus since the Turkish invasion of 1974. Please read the related section in our Visitor Guide about visiting Turkish-occupied areas on the island.
• If you have a car, note that parking can be difficult. There is a small parking lot about 70 m past the abbey building down to the left by a large carob tree.