Tombs of the kings - A stunning archeological site

The Tomb of the Kings is located on the outskirts of Paphos, near the town of Kato Paphos, in the southwestern coast of Cyprus. The site is located in an area of natural beauty, surrounded by lush greenery and set against a backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. 

The tomb area is easily accessible by car or bus and is a popular stop on tours of Paphos. It is situated just 2 km from Kato Paphos and 8km from Paphos International Airport. The site can also be reached by foot or bicycle if visitors prefer an active mode of transportation.

inside of tombs of the kings

History

The origins date back to the late Hellenistic period, around the 4th century BCE. The necropolis was used for the burials of the Paphian aristocracy and high-ranking officials. The tombs, cut into solid rock, were elaborate and adorned with intricate carvings and frescoes. The name "Tomb of the Kings" is a misnomer, as it is unlikely that royalty was buried at the site. Instead, the name is believed to have originated from the grandeur and impressive nature of the tombs.

During the Roman period, the necropolis continued to be used for burials and was expanded to include underground tombs. The site was abandoned in the early Christian era and fell into disrepair. The tombs were rediscovered in the early 20th century, and since then, efforts have been made to preserve and restore the site.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1980, the Tomb of the Kings was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was recognized for its outstanding architectural and artistic achievements and for its important role in shedding light on the funeral customs and beliefs of the ancient Paphians. The UNESCO listing also recognized the efforts made to preserve and restore the site.

Getting to Tomb of the Kings

Several bus routes run from Paphos to the Tombs, and the journey takes around 15 minutes. Taxis are also available for transportation to the site. The nearest airport is located about 15 km away. 

Cost

The cost of entry is €4 for adults and €2 for children under the age of 18. Students and senior citizens are eligible for a discounted rate of €2.

Operating Schedule

The Tomb of the Kings is open every day of the week except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The site is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm in the winter and 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in the summer. It's recommendable to check the schedule before the visit since it may be subject to change.

tomb of the kings from the outside

Accessibilities

The archeological site is accessible to visitors with disabilities, and ramps have been installed to make the site more accessible. Wheelchair access is available to all parts of the site, and visitors with mobility impairments are able to visit the tombs with the assistance of a guide.

Accommodations

Paphos is a popular tourist destination, and there are many accommodation options available for visitors to the area. There are several hotels, guesthouses, and apartments available for rent in Paphos, as well as camping and caravan parks.

Fun Facts

  • The tomb has been named one of the most impressive ancient necropolises in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • The tombs were originally built as an underground burial chamber but are now open to the sky.
  • The intricate frescoes and carvings that adorn the tombs are believed to have been made by artisans from Alexandria, Egypt.
  • The site is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Paphos, Cyprus, as it is considered an important testimony of the ancient city of Pafos and its development over the centuries.
  • The tombs have undergone extensive restoration works to preserve the frescoes and carvings, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the artistic achievements of the ancient Paphians.
  • Paphos was the main seat of the cult of Aphrodite and the city where the goddess was born. In addition, it was once believed to be the tomb of Aphrodite's companions and family.

About Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos is a coastal city located in the southwest of Cyprus. The city has a rich history, dating back to ancient times, and has been an important cultural and religious centre throughout the ages. 

In addition to its rich historical heritage, Paphos is also a popular holiday destination known for its scenic beaches and mild Mediterranean climate. The city offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including water sports, hiking, and wine tasting, and is a tourist hot spot all year round.

Nearby sights and attractions

The Tomb of the Kings is located near several other popular tourist attractions in Paphos. The Paphos Mosaics, located in the town of Kato Paphos, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring well-preserved Roman mosaics. 

The remains of the ancient city of Kato Paphos, which include the Odeon, the Roman Governor's Palace, and the Agora, are also located nearby. Visitors can also take a boat trip to the nearby Akamas Peninsula for swimming, hiking, and wildlife watching.

Travel tips for Tombs of the Kings, Paphos

Visitors should wear comfortable shoes, as the site is rocky and can be uneven in places.

  • It is recommended to bring a hat and sunscreen, as the site is open to the sun.
  • Photography is allowed at the site, but flash photography is prohibited.
  • There is a small gift shop on site selling souvenirs and refreshments.

FAQ

Is Tomb of the Kings worth visiting?

Answer: The Tomb of the Kings is considered a must-see attraction in Paphos and is particularly worth visiting for its intricate carvings and frescoes, as well as its historical significance as an ancient necropolis.

Who is buried in the Tomb of the Kings?

Answer: The Tombs were likely used for the burials of Paphian aristocracy and high-ranking officials, however, it is unlikely that royalty was buried at the site.

How old is the Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus?

Answer: The origins of the site date back to the late Hellenistic period, around the 4th century BCE.

Is Paphos Greek or Turkish?

Answer: Paphos is located in the Greek-speaking southern part of Cyprus.

How much is it to get into the Tomb of the Kings Paphos?

Answer: The cost of entry is €4 for adults and €2 for children under the age of 18.

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