In southwest Cyprus lies Paphos, a modern town and sought-after seaside resort of this island situated in the eastern Mediterranean. The impressive Byzantine fort can be discovered during a walk around the port and provides a glimpse into the past of the Cypriot city. Occupied since the Neolithic period, the site of Paphos saw the rise of New Paphos during ancient times, which became the island’s capital until the 4th century BC, when there was a devastating earthquake. Important ruins bear witness to the cult of pre-Hellenic fertility deities and then the goddess Aphrodite, who, legend has it, was born in Paphos. By the sea in the lower town, the Kato Paphos archeological park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reveals many ruins of villas, fortresses, theatres and tombs that date back to the Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine periods. On this site with its undeniable architectural and historic value, the floors of the villas are decorated with rare mosaics, among the finest in the world.