It's billed as the place to see when you visit Paphos and during our one-week stay there, my wife and I decided to give it a go.
"My wife playing Indiana Jones."
Just a couple of kilometres from Paphos Harbour, it's very easy to get to. You catch a regular service bus from the harbour bus station (No 615) and the driver invariably has to stop there because so many people want to visit. The fare is €1.50.
A World Heritage Site, the entry fee is €2.50 and it's well worth it, but there's a curious anomaly which doesn't strike you until you actually go through the turnstile. The gents' toilet is outside the site, while the ladies' is inside. Gentlemen, if you need the smallest room, call before you go in or plan on waiting until you come out. Ladies, hang on until you get through the turnstile.
I'd read up on the place before we visited. Set on the cliffs with fabulous views out over the sea, there is no snack bar and when the sun is shining, it is very hot. Take plenty of bottled water with you. And if you're at all worried about meeting grotesque, mummified bodies, don't be. There are no bodies on the site.
There are eight identified tombs and you meet the first one a hundred metres in. Following the paths is fairly straightforward, but access to the actual tombs is usually down steep and uneven steps. I'm not severely disabled, but I am bad on my feet and walking with a stick, I found the access quite difficult.
"The First tomb seen from the path."
I managed the first tomb, but only with difficulty and I needed my wife's reassuring hand to get back up the steps on the way out. I found a way into the second tomb which avoided the steps, but it was across rough and uneven ground. After that, I had kept to the smoother pathways and contented myself with pictures taken from above. Even the path into a large, amphitheatre was too steep for me. I could have got down but I would have struggled to get back up.
"I had to be content with pictures taken from above."
The site's publicity material says that it is wheelchair accessible, and they're probably right with regard to the pathways, but I could see no way in which you could get a wheelchair down into the various tombs.
The size of the place came as quite a surprise, too. It is vast and I needed to rest quite often. There were benches here and there, but not many, and I often found myself sitting on low wall above a tomb entrance.
It took us about an hour and half to get round the site. It should have taken longer, but so many of the actual tombs were inaccessible from my point of view. Despite the difficulties, however, it was well worth the small entry fee if only for the fantastic photograph opportunities. And for a mystery novelist, it's brilliant. I'm already planning a Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery in Paphos, and the Tomb of The Kings will make a great setting for at least one chapter.
For more information on The Tomb of The Kings, check out the official page on the Cyprus Department of Antiquities website
For more information on the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries, visit the official STAC site at: http://stacmysteries.com/