By Leila Thanopoulos 

Interviews from the locals in town 

After being selected as Europe’s cultural capital, a huge spotlight of opportunity shines over Paphos to showcase its beauty. We had a chat with three young ladies born and raised in the heart of Paphos, who shared their thoughts on their city and how it’s evolving.

Marina Spanou left Paphos five years ago to study abroad, upon moving back home recently, she sees a city that is in the midst of restoration. 

“Every time I returned to Paphos to visit my family and friends last year, I saw something different. The city has started holding events, building new roads and architecture, including the main theatre. I am definitely proud and happy to be back. The mosaic art, the sea, and the unique plants at Akamas are a must see. I just hope the city will be ready on time so that the visitors get the full experience.”

Thea Evlavi works in the tourism industry, says more young people than ever are interested in learning more about the cultural aspects of Paphos, such as art, dance, and poetry.

“I have realised what an amazing childhood I was blessed to have in Paphos. I remember the loud and busy summers, as well as the peaceful days of long walks by the beach and picnics up in the mountains. I love the beautiful coastline, the lighthouse, the medieval castle, and the harbour! It’s /home! The fact that the sea and the mountains are so close to each other makes it so special and beautiful. You can go for a swim and in five minutes be on top of a mountain having a nice meal.”

Stella Paloungou has been around town from the very start up until now.

 “I remember Paphos being one of the less busier cities of Cyprus, there were less buildings and less traffic. There are monuments of culture and art scattered everywhere, showcasing the deep history of the city, such as the tombs of the Kings, and Aphrodite’s Rock. The European Capital of Culture is one of the most important events in the world, and thus, very important in helping Paphos to improve its image and attract more tourists. They have begun reconstructing the traditional centre of Kennedy square and the theatre. I personally loved the idea of an open art museum in lower Paphos. For me, Paphos is the ideal city. A combination of quiet and noisy, ancient and modern, mountains and sea.”

Despite their various thoughts on Paphos, they all agree on three key things.

  1. Young people need to help stimulate a progressive Paphos by bringing a modern air to the city
  2. The people of Paphos are some of the warmest and sociable characters in Cyprus
  3. There is something in the atmosphere that brings calmness to the soul