Tomb 8, Tomb of the Kings, Paphos

Photo Essay: Tombs of the Kings, Paphos

Birthplace of Aphrodite, UNESCO World Heritage Site… The pretty port town of Paphos in Cyprus has many accolades to its name. In 2017, it adds one more: European Capital of Culture.

I lived in Paphos for a few weeks last November and December. Despite the fact that the entire old town was a ginormous building site in preparation for its European Capital of Culture status, I loved my time there. I mean, my Masters degree is in Greek archaeology, so give me a pile of old ruins to scramble around and I’m happy!

One of my favourite places in Paphos is the Tombs of the Kings, just north of Kato Paphos. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, these monumental underground tombs date back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and they’re carved out of solid rock. I went twice. Once with a friend, but I had to go back on my own to satisfy my inner Lara Craft and really spend time getting to know the site. I visited in the early afternoon, when the sun turned the tombs the colour of fresh honeycomb. Eventually, I’ll write a longer post about my time in Cyprus. Until then, here are a few of my favourite pictures from that trip for this week’s mini photo essay.

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Cenobio de Valerón, Gran Canaria

The Northern Route & the Guanches of Gran Canaria

Northern Gran Canaria is a leafy, mountainous landscape of craggy coastline, fertile valleys, deep gorges, and terraced hillsides planted with avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, figs and delicious little Canarian bananas. There are picturesque villages dotted around, their streets lined by colourful, colonial-style houses with traditional wooden balconies. Woven amongst this misty landscape, you can find evidence of pre-colonial Canarians, a cave-dwelling race of people known as the Guanches.

Gran Canaria is divided into a number of touring routes that visitors can take to explore the main sites on the island. Shortly after my arrival, I met up with a group of locals who were exploring Gran Canaria to see some of the Guanche sites on the Northern Route running between Agaete and Las Palmas. So I set off to see what I could discover about Gran Canaria’s aboriginal history and explore some of the archaeological sites in the north of the island.

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