The Tombs of the Kings or “Τάφοι των Βασιλέων" in Greek are situated in the Paphos district. More specifically they are located two kilometres northwest of the Paphos harbour. The Tombs form a large necropolis site which has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tombs are unique due to its courtyard architecture which seems to have also been affected by the Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians believed that the dead should lay in tombs that resemble houses and this is exactly what the Tombs of the Kings replicate.
People across the world who love archaeological sites should visit the Tombs of the Kings as is one of the main attractions in the town of Paphos as well as one of the most amazing archaeological sites on the island.
The Tombs cover a distance of about 1.2 square metres. As the name suggests, one would think that is a burial ground for kings, however no kings have actually been buried there. It is actually the resting place of 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats who died in Paphos between 3 B.C. and 3 A.D.
The tombs were used by the first Christinas , while some of them were used during the Medieval period after being altered accordingly. At the same time the area was a timeless quarry.
The Tombs of the Kings were pillaged by thieves from the 19th century and more specifically by the American Consol in Larnaca Luigi Palma de Cesnola. Excavations began during 1915-16 and continued with interruptions from 1937 until 1951, while in 1977 the continuous archaeological excavations of the necropolis began, until 1990.
There are various types of tombs in the area: simple carved in the rock, chamber tombs that are made up of a path and one or two chamber tombs and tombs with a patio. These are the most impressive tombs and are made up of a large underground yard and are held up by limestone Doric columns. The chambers are carved on the side of where the pathways are. A wooden ladder has also been added for easier access.
There is also evidence that brings to the conclusion that these tombs had iconographies on them with the standard of the Macedonian tombs, which is where the Ptolemais were from.
Many of the tombs feature Doric columns and frescoed walls. In addition, there are still archaeological excavations being carried out at the Tombs of the Kings site and due to the ongoing excavations the Church of Paleoekklisia, which depict Byzantine frescoes has been discovered.
Cyprus Department of Antiquities
16 September- 15 April
Monday – Sunday 08:30-17:00
Closed on 1st January , Easter , 25th December
Summer hours :
16 April – 15 September
Monday – Sunday 08:30:19:30
During the following dated the archaeological site is open as follows :
6th January 08:30 -17:00 , 25th March 08:30 - 17:00 ,
Green Monday 08:30 – 17:00 , 1st April 08:30 – 17:00 ,
Good Friday 08:30-19:30 , Good Saturday 08:30-19:30
Easter Monday 08:30-19:30 , 1st May 08:30-19:30
Whit Monday 08:30-19:30 , 15th August 08:30-19:30
1st October 08:30-17:00 , 28th October 08:30-17:00
24th December 08:30-17:00 , 26th December 08:30-17:00
The archaeological area is accessible for people in a wheelchair.
Transactions can only be made with cash
20 % Discount for groups of over 11 people accompanied by a certified tour guide.
Weekly tickets are available for 25 euros
Three day tickets are available for 17 euros
Day tickets are available for 8,50 euros
Tickets are available at any museum or archaeological site that is operated by the department of antiquities.
2,50 euros per person
Children up to the age of 14 – free
Students – free with student card
Soldiers – free with uniform
People with icom cards and unemployed – free
50% discount to people who receive public assistance, to people from large families and retired people with card presentation.
Tickets can be bought at the entrance of the Tombs of the Kings or any other museum or archaeological site that is operated by the department of antiquities.