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Paphos European Capital of Culture 2017

The city of Paphos has been named the European Capital of Culture in 2017 – Pafos2017.

A multitude of events will take place throughout the year to celebrate this accolade and a list of the planned activities can be found below. The theme of the year is ‘Myths and Religion’ and the aim is to engage with travellers from around the world and to invite them to experience Paphos and its surroundings.

Think theatrical and dance performances, music concerts, art and design exhibitions, poetry and literature, cinema on the beach, street shows, local wine and cuisine fusions, traditional artistries, guided tours round the regional communities and more...

Behind the events is a vision to strengthen European and international ties whilst striving for artistic excellence.


  • Opening ceremony - 28th and 29th January 2017:

Inspired by the programme thematic ‘Myth and Religion’, invoking narratives from the history of Paphos, the opening ceremony will convert the heart of the city into an Open Air Factory. Music, dance, theatre, shows and many other parallel events will take place throughout the city, giving locals and visitors a taste of what will follow throughout the year.

  • Open air music - The Travelling Stage - January to December 2017:

A multi-cultural Pafos2017 legacy programme, that symbolically and literally bridges continents, cultures and music. The Travelling Stage will present a series of mainly musical performances from around the world, each of which will combine high artistic quality with the freedom and spontaneity of street shows.

  • Open air music - Tours and Traces – January to December 2017:

With the collaboration of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Cyprus Hotel Association, tours and traces is a programme of excursions for locals and visitors to the island. The excursions will be packed full of knowledge, innovation and adventure and will include special walks through Paphos and its surrounding communities.

  • Open air gastronomy - Paphos, Garden of Tastes - February 2017:

A culinary project for locals and visitors will convert Paphos into a ‘Garden of Taste’ and will culminate in a vast open-air gastronomic festival.

  • Open air dance - Mind your Step - March 2017:

Mind your step is project by the Limassol Municipal Dance Centre which involves partners from Italy, Ireland and Cyprus, and builds bridges of dialogue between urban space and modern dance. It will involve - among other actions - a symposium with artists and urban development experts as well as a series of dance performances in the city centre.

  • Open air gastronomy - Bridging Tastes - May 2017:

Students from various countries, studying at the Hotel Institute in Paphos, will exchange their local recipes, memories and taste experiences. The students will also meet professional chefs working in Paphos and create new dishes with them. The result of this interactive process will be presented to audiences in various open-air celebrations of food and wine across the city.

  • Open air theatre - Lysistrata - May 2017:

Lysistrata is a theatrical performance inspired by the comedy of Aristophanes. The show will take place in a Roman villa, with beautiful mosaics, situated in the famous UNESCO Archaeological Park of Paphos.

  • Open air theatre - Monodrama Festival - May 2017:

The first official International Monodrama Festival of Paphos will take place in May 2017 and will include internationally acclaimed performances, as well as local productions resulting from the Monodrama Platform of 2016. The Monodrama Festival is destined to become a legacy programme of Pafos2017 and aims to place Paphos on the international map.

  • Open air music - One touch of Venus and others - May 2017:

This show, inspired by Ogden Nash's famous musical One touch of Venus and other compositions by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, will be performed by the famous German singer and actress Ute Lemper and the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. The concept will take place at the Paphos Castle Square.

  • Open air art - Eco Art - May to August 2017:

An open air art show, combining of ecology and art, which will take place on the Akamas Peninsula, one of the most beautiful areas of the island. Artists from Cyprus, Europe and the Middle East will be invited to Paphos to work together in the Akamas area and produce site-specific artwork from sculptures and paintings, to videos and installations. The show will be free and open to all nature lovers.

  • Open air dance - Contemporary dance festival - June 2017:

This festival presents a series of contemporary performances by major European dance companies and will be premiered in the official programme of Pafos2017 under the motto Linking Continents, Bridging Cultures. It will be presented at the Paphos Castle Square.

  • Open air dance - Spatial Counterpoint - June-July 2017:

The urban landscape of Paphos will be the source of inspiration for an array of Cypriot choreographers and dancers. Their compositions will be performed in unusual locations across the city.

  • Summer highlight - 01 July 2017:

Inspired by the programme thematic World Travellers, the event will take place at Paphos harbour where travellers have arrived throughout history. Fleets of boats, fire in the sea, underwater surprises, light shows, digital media and music are just a few of the activities that will take place during this spectacular event.

  • Open air theatre - Trojan Women - July 2017:

A contemporary play inspired by the ancient Greek drama 'Trojan women' by Euripides. The production will be directed by the famous Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos and performed by a multinational group of actors. The set design is by the famous Greek artist Jannis Kounelis and the play will be staged in the Paphos Ancient Odeon.

  • Open air art - On Target - July to September 2017

A target is a universal and dynamic image. For this contemporary art exhibition artists from past and present war zones from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Cyprus will be invited to Paphos for 10 days to create original artwork including performances, video art and interactive activities with the audience. This art show will take place at the Paphos Municipal Art Gallery.

  • Open air music - Moon and Stars - August 2017:

Moon and Stars is a platform of high profile performances and events. World famous artists will perform in evocative open-air locations of the Paphos region including Petra tou Romiou, the birthplace of the mythical Aphrodite.

  • Open air cinema - See Fest - Cinema on the beach - August 2017:

An innovative platform of summer open-air cinema on the beach. Open and free for all, locals and visitors, screening quality films from all over the world. All one needs is a lounge chair, a swimsuit and a bag of popcorn.

  • Open air art - The many faces of Venus - September to December 2017:

An international exhibition, organised by the A.G. Leventis Gallery in Nicosia in collaboration with Pafos2017, will bring art-treasures from leading European Museums to the island for the first time, illustrating myths and legends intimately linked with Venus, goddess of love, and her birthplace, Cyprus. The exhibition will dwell on the multi-faceted stories surrounding Venus as they are told in the West, through art and text, after the Renaissance and through to Modernism.

And many more events throughout the year.

To book this itinerary, or discuss a tailor-made alternative, call one of our Sunvil experts on:

020 8758 4758

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