Pissouri, Paphos and Limassol
One of the first things that people tend to picture when they think about Cyprus, is a life of long sunny days and stunning shorelines; while it’s true that Cyprus beach life and the year-round sunshine are certainly some of the big attractions for holidaymakers, it’s the rich Cyprus history that often captures the heart of many first time and returning tourists. That said however, there are many other things about Cyprus that bring joy to both the locals and many visitors that flock to this magical Mediterranean jewel every year, too – so let’s look at some of the island’s many dimensions.
A little about Cyprus and its natural attractions
The area of Pissouri and the Paphos region are abundant with organic beauty and beautiful landscapes, populated by a diverse range of flora and fauna. The rolling, verdant land is home to many colourful orchids and the richness of the soil provides wonderful growing conditions for many other flowers, trees and a multitude of crops. Nature lovers can wander tirelessly in the foothills of the majestic Troodos Mountains, and a stroll along a Cyprus beach may even present a glimpse of nesting Griffon vultures.
Explored by foot, by bike or horseback, Pissouri and the surrounding villages are at once captivating and inspiring, with the azure seascape and lush forests giving way to natural wonders like Petra tou Romiou, the alleged birthplace of the legendary Goddess of love, Aphrodite, and manmade wonders such as Byzantine and Orthodox churches, which display fine examples of religious frescos.
Cyprus – history around every corner
With an accessible location and many resources, it seems that nearly every culture in the world has at some time chosen to settle in Cyprus. History books show that civilisations such as the Egyptians and Romans once called Cyprus their home – and the physical evidence of these influences remain to this day. Replete with archaeological attractions, Paphos is the ideal place to visit if you want to learn about Cyprus’ history.
When you stay at our Columbia Beach Resort, you’re in the ideal position to explore the island’s interesting past; from the Kouklia excavations, to well-preserved mosaics and engaging museums, you can walk right through the ages until you’re ready to emerge from Cyprus’ history and return to modern life once more.
Traditional charm meets contemporary trappings at our resort and hotel, so why not come along and combine total luxury with the incredible history of Cyprus? Beach bars and blue flag ratings for cleanliness will provide the ideal environment for both adults and children, or you can head off into the sunset to learn about Cyprus from a more historical perspective – the choice is yours.Sculpted into the landscape of Pissouri, Columbia Hotels & Resorts takes great pride in its home space, fiercely respecting the full force of its natural beauty and charm. And our eagerness to be able to intimately acquaint our guests with the village and its surrounding area is palpable.
Pissouri’s rolling, lush hills fuse with the sapphire, clear waters of the 2km-long, Blue Flag-honoured Bay – upon which Columbia Beach Resort is poised – making for a majestic sight to behold.Nestled into the mountain’s side is the village, alive with familial generations of different backgrounds and cultures.
Quaint and intimate as it may be, Pissouri village’s administrative area is in fact the third largest in the Limassol district, with some 1,100 inhabitants. And as remote and secluded as the village is, it is still only a mere 30 minutes from both Limassol and Paphos, thus affording visitors the best of both worlds.
Of course, with verdant vineyards, fresh orchards, and wildly growing flowers, visitors need not venture far in search of activities and entertainment. Further to dedicated nature trails — upon which you may stumble upon citrus fruits, olive, carob and almond trees, and, of course, ripening grapes — our in-house cycling centre affords an up-close-and-personal discovery of the village by bike, whilst our water sports centre — situated on the Bay — is on hand to introduce you to the thrills of the calm Mediterranean Sea.
Petra tou Romiou – Birthplace of Aphrodite - Pafos
According to legend, Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty, rose from the waves in this strikingly beautiful spot.
A typical little village where you can also visit an ecological olive mill and an olive oil museum, buy authentic products and enjoy a Cyprus coffee, al fresco.
The House of the Olive – Oleastro
A complete olive oil unit, Oleastro consists of an olive oil museum, a working ecological olive mill, a store specializing in olive oil and a coffee shop, amidst the organic olive grove.
A pleasant drive to Vouni Village, will give you the opportunity to visit the only Cyprus donkey farm on the Island. A cultural escape for all the family.
Ideal for a stroll or enjoying an authentic Cyprus coffee and sweet in it’s square, while chatting with the locals.
A wine producing village, with the Monastery of the Holy Cross. A traditionally preserved village with a wine press known as Linos has been restored in an old house. This village offers you the opportunity to meet wine makers and taste the local cuisine in one of the ample stone built restaurants available.
Kolossi Castle - Limassol
A fine example of military architecture, originally constructed in the 13th century and rebuilt in its present form in the 15th century.
Kourion Amphitheatre - Limassol
A magnificent Greco-Roman amphitheatre originally built in the 2nd century, now fully restored and used for select musical and theatrical performances. Visit the Kourion Museum to see the collection and finds from the archaeological sites, exhibited in a beautiful old manor house.
The Tombs of the Kings - Pafos
A large necropolis lying about two kilometres north-west of Paphos harbour, in Cyprus. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC, are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials up to the third century. Archaeological excavations are still being carried out at the site. The tombs are cut into the native rock, and at times immitate the house of the living.
Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates - Limassol
God of woodland, Apollo was celebrated here from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.C.
Mosaics of Paphos
Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite's legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Mycenaean's in the 12th century B.C. The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs mean that the site is of exceptional architectural and historic value. The mosaics of Nea Paphos are among the most beautiful in the world.
Limassol has grown from the ruins of its ancient history, offering visitors insight into antiquity through a modern lens; it has also blossomed in more recent years, emerging from its cocoon as an industrial centre and busy shipping port (the third largest in Europe, in fact), into a butterfly of culture and cosmopolitanism. With its serene setting along the coast,
Paphos is the muse that travellers have long searched for: a mythological labyrinth that has interwoven with modernity. With its roots growing deep into the island’s western coastline, Paphos has masterfully evolved over the years from a small seaside village into a touristic hotspot that tenaciously protects its traditional identity. Alive with archaeological fi nds, Kato Paphos – the bustling centre of town – is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site (thanks to its ancient mosaics, 1st century Odeon, and Medieval Castle), whilst Ktima – Paphos’ old town – is a maze of crooked streets, and demure houses demonstrative of traditional architecture.