Once in a while it’s nice to play a tourist in your own home destination.
Especially since in Cyprus we are spoiled with lots of historical sites and places of interest, that one can barely dream of visiting while on holiday.
Winter boredom drives me to Sanctuary of Aphrodite, a historic site set in the Kouklia village, with spectacular sea views (as you would expect).
Palea Paphos was one of the oldest pilgrimage centres thanks to its Sanctuary of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility. As you will see from the pictures, there is not much preserved from the original site of the temple apart from a few stones and an outline of the original building.
The Aphrodite cult was first established in Cyprus around 1500 BC and the town of Palea Paphos is thought to have sprung around the temple built here and dedicated to the Goddess.
This beautiful historic site is easily accessible both from the highway and the B6, a short drive away from Limassol & Paphos.
The entrance to the site is in the middle of the village and after paying a modest entrance fee, you are free to roam through the site. Even at the end of December, the weather was fabulous and views to die for. The main building pictured was not the temple but some rich inhabitant’s mansion. It hosts a number of rooms exhibiting the artefacts found on site. Which you are free to read about it once you get there, so I won’t bore you with the details here =)
Kouklia village is also a lovely sight in itself.
We ventured for a coffee in the local tavern and watched the world go by. As any other Cypriot village, the charm of the village life coupled with beautiful sunshine and plenty of fresh food produce makes you appreciate the simple things in life.
If you wonder whether it’s worth driving up here just to see the sanctuary, I would probably say no – if you have a limited time and you’re on holiday. If you live here or spend more than one week browsing around Cyprus, I think it’s a lovely place to visit and reconnect with a bit of history.
Paphos: Recommended Tours & Experiences
- From Paphos: Akamas Highlights and Blue Lagoon Relax Day
- From Paphos: Troodos, Paphos Forest, Kykkos, and Omodos Tour
- Paphos: Wave Dancer Boat Sunset Cruise with BBQ and Swimming
- Paphos: Luxury Cruise with Lunch and Open Bar
- Paphos: Half-Day Jolly Roger Pirates Cruise
- Paphos: Village and Mountain Buggy Safari
- From Paphos: Guided tour of Limassol with Rock of Aphrodite
- From Paphos: Nicosia Sightseeing Tour with Hotel Transfer
- Cyprus: Troodos Mountain Food & Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch
4 thoughts on “Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palae Pafos, Cyprus”
Your photos are gorgeous! I was there in Jan 2020 and you captured the very best of the site. I’m going to make a point of going there again to see it in better light, and a different season. Kouklia has a number of good tavernas too, so that’s another reason to visit.
Thank you Natasha! I’m not very familiar with Kouklia, better check it next time.
Your photos are beautiful.
Did you need to get permission to take photos at this amazing location?
thank you for the nice words. In most places you’re allowed to take photos without any restrictions. Some churches and monasteries do not allow the use of flash photography, that’s all. Lucia