Explore the Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus: A Historical Treasure Trove

Attractions | Updated: 04. Apr 2023

Nestled in the picturesque island of Cyprus lies a captivating historical site known as the Tombs of the Kings. Despite its name, no royalty was buried here; the name alludes to the grandeur and magnificence of the tombs. This article will guide you through the site's history and archaeological significance, providing a comprehensive guide to visiting this magnificent location.

The Archaeological Marvel of the Tombs of the Kings

The Architecture and Design

The Tombs of the Kings is a testament to the architectural prowess of the ancient world. With influences from Egyptian architecture and Hellenistic designs, the tombs showcase impressive examples of Doric columns and frescoes. The builders primarily used limestone and sandstone for construction, while vibrant frescoes adorned the walls, providing a glimpse into the lives of the elite buried within.

Notable Tombs and Discoveries

Among the many tombs at the site, some stand out for their unique features and fascinating archaeological finds. Among them are tombs featuring Doric columns and intricate frescoes, providing insight into the lives of the wealthy individuals laid to rest here. Throughout the years, archaeologists have unearthed various treasures, including jewelry, pottery, and sculptures that shed light on the funerary practices and beliefs of the time.

inside of tombs of the kings

Visiting the Tombs of the Kings: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Get There and When to Visit

Located in Paphos, the Tombs of the Kings is easily accessible by car, bus, or on foot. The site is open year-round, but the best times to visit are during the cooler months of spring and autumn. This will allow you to explore the tombs comfortably without enduring the scorching summer heat.

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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.

Tickets, Tours, and Nearby Attractions

Entry to the Tombs of the Kings is reasonably priced, and guided tours are available for those interested in learning more about the site's history and archaeological significance. 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. The Paphos region is rich in historical sites, so while you're in the area, consider visiting the Paphos Archaeological Park, the House of Dionysus, or the ancient Odeon amphitheater.

Tips for a Memorable Experience

To make the most of your visit, wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes as the terrain can be uneven. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, and water to stay protected and hydrated. Photography is allowed, but be respectful of the site and follow any posted guidelines. Lastly, be mindful of conservation efforts and avoid touching or disturbing the ancient structures.


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.

tomb of the kings from the outside

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.

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.

Conclusion: Unearthing the Rich History of the Tombs of the Kings

The Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus is a captivating site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Its grandiose architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in archaeology or the ancient world. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey through time to discover the hidden treasures of the Tombs of the Kings.


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.

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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.

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.

Franz Langstein
Hi! Ich lebe seit 5 Jahren auf dem wunderschönen Zypern und hoffe, ich kann dir mit meinem Wissen vor Ort den Urlaub oder gar das Auswandern erleichtern :-)
Your travel blog all about Cyprus.
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