Thousands of years at your fingertips
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has an incredible history on its shores. The alluring coastal city of Paphos in the southwest is awash with ancient ruins. Not only will you be basking on the Blue Flag beaches in Paphos with miles of shimmering azure ocean at your feet, but you can also embark on a voyage of discovery around its necropolis.
Visiting the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ was magnificent and has been one of the most extraordinary €2.50 I’ve ever spent. You must allow a couple of hours to fully explore the underground necropolis and catacombs.
Where are the ‘Tombs of the Kings’
How to get to there
- By Air
Here are your UK departure options for Jet2 flights to Cyprus;
- Belfast (BFS)
- Birmingham (BHX)
- Bristol (BRS)
- East Midlands (EMA)
- Edinburgh (EDI)
- Glasgow Intl (GLA)
- Leeds Bradford (LBA)
- London Stansted (STN)
- Manchester (MAN)
- Newcastle (NCL)
Unearth the ‘Tombs of the Kings’Discover the breath-taking necropolis
Never underestimate what lies below the earth beneath your feet.
The ancient ‘Tombs of the Kings’, officially known as Kato Paphos necropolis (Tafoi ton Vasileon), dates from the early Hellenistic period (3rd-century BC) and through the Roman era. Burials continue to take place up to the 3rd-century AD.
Firstly, a bit of a spoiler alert as actually there are no Kings buried here. The name comes from the grandeur and majesty of the vast burial ground.
The cemetery was used for Paphos Aristocracy and their families, noblemen and local officials. The necropolis was needed for the principal residents of the Nea Paphos further south by the harbour. The incredible prehistoric ruins can be visited nearby Paphos Castle.
Carved out of solid natural rockExplore the burial chambers and crypts
Excavations through the generationsAnd the work continues
During 1915 and 1916, Markides, the curator of the Cyprus Museum, excavated some of the shaft tombs. However, the first major excavations were carried out from 1937 to 1951 by Loizos Philippou.
Fast forward a couple of decades and excavation of the necropolis commenced again in 1977 by the Department of Antiquities. An astonishing eight large tomb complexes were discovered, and work continues today on the site. It is overseen by the Department of Antiquities today.
Underground catacombs to discoverThe prosperity of the local aristocracy
Once again, there are no restrictions around the ancient ruins. You are free to go off and explore the hidden catacombs and passages for yourself.
There are burial chambers everywhere, tomb after tomb, some of which are deep underground. A few of the principal crypts excavated are very opulent and portray prosperity for their time.
Open-aired, peristyle atriums were built surrounded by pillars and Doric columns. The burial chambers and vaults were dug out in areas leading off the atrium. I found it inconceivable that these tombs were carved into the surrounding natural rock.
It is believed that the walls surrounding the burial chambers were initially covered with frescoes; however, little evidence of this remains.
There are similar ancient tombs found in Alexandria, Egypt, signifying the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.
Good to knowTips on visiting the Tombs of the Kings
The sites are partially wheelchair accessible.
The ‘Tombs of the Kings’ is open all year round, excluding some public holidays.
Summer entrance times: 16th April to 15th September, 08:30 - 19:30
Winter entrance times: 16th September to 15th April, 08:30 - 17:00
The entrance fee is €2.50
In my opinion, you will need to allow at least 2 hours to explore the ancient catacombs as it is incredibly fascinating.
Our video of 'The Tombs of Kings'
Venturing off with Jet2holidays to PaphosThe perfect way to relax and enjoy Cyprus
Jet2holidays offers several departure locations around the UK, we selected to hop aboard the Jet2holidays flight from London Stansted Airport. Stansted Airport is easily accessible by car from the M11 motorway. You can catch the Stansted Express rail link from London Liverpool Street, which departs every 15 minutes.
If you choose the driving option, you can book your car parking through the Jet2 Extras website, and you’ll also get a discount.
Our experience during our Jet2 flights to Cyprus was incredibly smooth and stress-free.
When you hop off your flight at your chosen destination, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that your hotel transfer awaits. Also included in your package holiday to Paphos, you’ll have a generous baggage allowance of 22kg and a hand luggage allowance of 10kg.
If you wish to make the whole in-flight experience even less stressful, you can pre-book your seats and meals for a charge.
Additionally, ensure you download the Jet2holidays app; it is effortless to manage your booking.
If your perfect break is relaxing under palm trees by the poolside of a stunning all-inclusive beachfront resort, we highly recommend the 5-star Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos with Jet2holidays.
The beautiful Olympic Lagoon Resort surpassed all our expectations, from the moment we stepped through the doors and observed the ocean view beyond until we said our final farewells to the ancient city of Paphos.
This was our first adventure on an all-inclusive holiday with Jet2holidays, so it would be a new and enjoyable experience all around.
Discovering more of Paphos
We were invited to Cyprus as guests of Jet2holidays to stay at the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos. However, all our views, opinions and personal experiences are our own.
Would we recommend a winter sun stay at the Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos with Jet2holidays? Unequivocally yes, we would return tomorrow. You instantly start to unwind and feel a wave of relaxation flow through you.
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