When to visit Paphos for the annual events and festivals

Monday, 19 March 2012 12:13 PM

Booking a Cyprus hotel is a great choice for a sunshine break, and one that also lets you discover rich cultural attractions. Head to Paphos and you'll find a wealth of archaeological treasures, as well as some fantastic annual festivals.

Indeed, the city boasts a host of fun yearly events, which include everything from fine operas to celebrations of beautifully-crafted wines. To discover some of the best festivals to attend during Paphos trips, read our guide.

Paphos Aphrodite Festival

Typically taking place every September, the Paphos Aphrodite Festival is among the most famous and best-loved. Comprising performances of opera, the event is held outside the city's medieval castle in celebration of the goddess of love and beauty.

A different opera is chosen each year, with 2012's performance scheduled to be Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, which, as you may have guessed, is based on Shakespeare's Othello. This performance has particular significance for Cyprus, as the action unfolds at its Castle of Famagusta.

Produced by the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre, this show is set to meet the festival's usual high standards. If you're planning to attend during a family holiday, you should note that, while children are welcome, they must be at least seven years old to attend.

What's more, tickets are available online and can be collected either at the venue on the day or posted to your home, so remember to plan in advance if you hope to go! This year's performances will take place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of September.

Dionysia Festival

If you consider yourself something of a wine buff, attending the Dionysia Festival is an absolute must. This three-day event dates back to the 1960s and is held in honour of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.

It will be no surprise, then, that the festivities are heavily focused on the region's fine wines - but these are not the only attraction. The event is enlivened by everything from traditional Cypriot dance to local arts and crafts, so you can expect to have a full, exciting and varied day out when you come here.

This festival is situated a little outside of the city itself, in the village of Stroumbi. It is generally held towards the end of the summer and, if you attend on the last day, you should be able to see a dance contest, with the winners crowned Miss Grape and Star Dionysia.

Paradise Jazz Festival

Should music be your passion, make sure you head to the Paradise Jazz Festival. This year's event will take place in July and August, with final dates yet to be confirmed.

Held at the city's Paradise Place, it's the ideal way to see live jazz and blues performed - and there is certainly an eclectic mix of shows to watch. While including plenty of traditional acts, the festival also gives a stage to musicians who have made their own instruments out of recycled materials - and who use them to perform tunes of their own composition.

This is just a handful of the annual festivals that take place in Paphos. Among your other options are Koumandaria Festival - another event ideal for wine lovers - and the Anthestiria Flower Festival. Indeed, there are so many to choose from that it is well worth doing a little forward planning before booking your trip to make sure it coincides with any events that catch your eye.

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