UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cyprus
UPDATED APRIL 2020. Cyprus, 1 of 49 countries in Europe, and the third-largest island in the Mediterranean is quite difficult to define. Half the island is under rule from the Greek Cypriot government and the other half under rule from the Turkish Cypriot government. Although Turkey are the only country to internationally recognize the Turkish Cypriot contingent as a country (and therefore not 1 of the 197 OFFICIAL countries in the world), there is a quasi-border you need to pass to go between the two. This beautiful, small island is home to 3 Cyprus world heritage sites.
SO what are the 3 UNESCO Cyprus world heritage sites in Cyprus?
1) Choirokoitia (or Khirokitia):
With Choirokoitia, the ruins of this first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cyprus might not match its two counterparts in terms of size but if we consider their age, it’s mindblowing. Originating from the 7th to 4th millennium BC, this Neolithic settlement site has contributed massively to our current understanding of human society both now and in the past.
Tourist Information about Choirokoitia
Choirokoitia opening hours: Opening hours are 8.30 am to 5 pm every day of the week (until 19.30 in the summer months).
Choirokoitia Entrance ticket is €2.50.
Where is Choirokoitia? Choirokoitia is a 30-minute drive from either Larnaca or Limassol.
How do you visit Choirokoitia? Book a tour, picking you up from Larnaca, to Choirokoitia here with Get Your Guide.
2) Painted Churches in the Troodos Region:
The 2nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cyprus is great collection of churches and monasteries which contribute to 10 monuments in total which have been added to UNESCO’s precious list. Its their paint jobs that really draw the crowds though, with detailed paintings covering entire indoor buildings, depicting life and religion from the Byzantine period, from around the 11th, 12th and 13 century.
Tourist Information about the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region
Painted Churches in the Troodos Region opening hours: The hours are restricted to Tuesday to Thursday 10 am to 1 pm. Official hours are here.
Painted Churches in the Troodos Region Entrance ticket is free!.
Where are the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region? The churches are a is about an hour drive from either Larnaca or Nicosia and 30 minutes Limassol.
How do you visit Painted Churches in the Troodos Region? Tours are hard to come by, but you can book one HERE picking you up from Latchi, Polis, or Paphos!The only other way is to rent a car and drive!
Paphos, the city itself, is all a UNESCO world heritage site. Within Paphos city itself, the ancient ruins are dating back to the 12th century BC, this is the birthplace of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite! The lower section of the town, Kato Paphos, is home to all its cultural treasures. It also hosts the House of Dionysos and the House of Theseus, which are two huge ruins of Roman villas known throughout the world for their (intact) ornate mosaics. Further down the village is the Tomb of the Kings, where you can visit some amazing tombs complete with the best views imaginable for a dead person, breathtaking!
Tourist Information about Paphos
Paphos opening hours: Opening hours are 8.30 am to 5 pm every day of the week at the Tomb of Kings.
Paphos Entrance ticket: The entrance fee to the Tomb of the Kings was 2.50 euro and Katos Paphos was a separate fee of 4.50 euro
Where is Paphos? Paphos is a tourist city in the west of Cyprus.
How do you visit Paphos? You can walk around the city yourself, no need to book a tour for this one.
THOUGHTS ON THE CYPRUS WORLD HERITAGE SITES?
Personally, when I travel to countries, I make an effort to check out their UNESCO world heritage sites, and with Cyprus being small, it’s easy to visit all 3 Cyprus World Heritage sites, even if you’re only staying for 5 or 6 days. I think Paphos is probably the most impressive visually, but actually in terms of the level of importance for humankind, I’d say Choirokoitia wins that. And then, for a great day out, it’s the Painted Churches that win! Hope you guys enjoy the trip!
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