A Visit to Agios Georgios

About 10 kilometres up the coast from Pafos is the town of Agios Georgios, a seaside town with an interesting past.

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About 10 kilometres up the coast from Pafos is the town of Agios Georgios, a seaside town with an interesting past. Gaze from the bluff across the harbour, Cape Drepano, and the neighbouring Geronisos island, and you can come to appreciate how the site drew interest across the ages. The island’s natural fortification was attractive to settlers in the Neolithic era. The porous stone of the cape was mined and shipped in the Hellenistic age, and the quarry later supported the building needs of Ptolemaic Alexandria. Archaeological investigations in the 1950s revealed evidence of an unfortified settlement and harbour active during the Roman and early Christian eras. Then, the harbour was the first stop on the sea route for transporting wheat from Alexandria to Constantinople. Stop at the archaeological site to see the remains of the sixth century basilicas (including columns and mosaics), baptistery, bishop’s quarters, bathhouse, and homes. This settlement was abandoned in the first half of the seventh century, when Arabs occupied Egypt and trading relations changed. The current town takes its name from the chapel of St. George, which was constructed in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Near it rests the modern Church of St. George and lodging for pilgrims. Aside from its historical interest, Agios Georgios has much to attract present-day visitors. The harbour accommodates fishing and yachting and includes a protected cove for swimming. The cape has a network of paths for beachcombing. And several restaurants offer light fare and a sea view.