Paphos Lighthouse Landmark – Cyprus
There are five lighthouses on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, but all the popularity goes to only one – the Paphos Lighthouse. Perhaps the reason for such fame lies in its favorable location in the area of the Archaeological Park of the city .
In comparison with other historical sites of the complex, the lighthouse is the youngest attraction, the age of which dates back to 1888. The history of the construction of the stone tower goes back to the period when the British owned the island. It was on the instructions of the latter from local materials that the lighthouse was erected. Its main role was to navigate and protect British ships arriving at the port of Paphos.
However, in modern days the tower has not lost its relevance and relevance – the lighthouse still serves as a reference point for lonely ships. The only difference: once upon a time a special caretaker who lived nearby was responsible for navigation (next to the lighthouse you can see its gatehouse and outbuildings). Nowadays, it has been completely replaced by an automated system that allows signaling white warning lights with an interval of 15 seconds: a modern solar photovoltaic system increases the luminous intensity and visibility from 7 to 17 nautical miles (one mile is equal to 1 km 852 meters). For the functioning of the Paphos lighthouse, however, like everyone else on the island, the Cyprus Port Authority is responsible.
The height of the Paphos lighthouse is 20 meters. An additional height of the structure is given by a 16-meter precipice on which it is located.
Museum in paphos lighthouse
The historical monument of the island has gone through more than one repair and restoration, but at the same time it has not lost its original appearance. During the last restoration of the tower, it was decided to open a museum. The idea was initiated by the Cypriot authorities, who believe that the sea is the main trump card of Cyprus, and the lighthouse is a connecting link and a reflection of this fact.
The Sea Museum opened its doors in November 2017. Along with the temporary exhibitions, there is a permanent exhibition entitled “Cyprus, the sea and lighthouses – eternal history”. Anyone can see it. A little tip: lovers of this theme should also visit the Museum of the Sea, located in one of the busiest and most popular resorts in Cyprus – Ayia Napa.
The important role of the Paphos lighthouse in the life of Cypriots is also evidenced by its widespread popularization. So, in May 2011, the Cyprus Postal Services Department issued a series of stamps depicting this landmark. The collection is complemented by stamps with lighthouses in Kiti and Cape Greco.
The cost of visiting the lighthouse in Paphos
To look at the tower, you need to get to the territory of the Archaeological Park. The entrance to the complex is paid and is 4.50 euros. The ticket office is located on the harbor side. The ticket gives the right to see all the attractions of the open-air museum. Do not forget to take your camera with you – a gorgeous panoramic view of the city’s outskirts opens from the observation deck. The park is open every day, the time differs depending on the season. So, from September 16 to April 15 (winter season), the complex is open from 08.30 to 17.00, from April 16 to September 15 (summer season) – from 08.30 to 19.30.
You don’t have to visit the Archaeological Park to admire the lighthouse. You can also look at the tower from behind the fence from the side of the city castle.
The peak tourist season is in April and October. The attractions are less crowded in other months.
At the height of summer, the average daytime temperature in Paphos is about 33 ° C, so it is best to visit the complex in the morning.
The Paphos Lighthouse is surrounded by historical monuments, the abundance of which simply scatters the eyes. It would be an unforgivable oversight not to take the opportunity and see at least some of them.
Of particular interest for lovers of antiquity is the city castle (and, in combination, the visiting card of the city), located to the west of the lighthouse. The structure served as a defensive fort and was built in the Ottoman architectural style in the 13th century.
From the side of the Archaeological Park, the lighthouse is adjoined by the antique Odeon – a semicircular amphitheater, which often serves as an arena for various cultural events.
How to get there
The architectural complex is located next to the sea coast in the area of New Paphos or, in other words, Kato Paphos. The Paphos World Heritage Site is easily accessible from different parts of the city. You will be guided by the lighthouse itself.
By public transport : from Paphos International Airport you can get to the park by bus number 612 (bus stop “Gavan” or Kato Paphos Main Bus Station). Frequency of transport departures – once an hour. You will get from the stop to the complex at an average walking pace in 6-7 minutes (you need to go to the northeast). Buses numbered 603, 610, 611, 615, 631 will also take you to the sights.