European Capital & Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism

Discover the European Capital & Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism initiative, a groundbreaking EU initiative that recognizes cities at the forefront of sustainable and intelligent tourism. Explore how these capitals lead the way in green innovation, smart mobility, and sustainable travel practices, setting an example for destinations worldwide.

A unique and immersive destination

Go on a journey with us to discover Pafos, an enchanting coastal city on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. With its rich historical legacy, stunning natural beauty, and warm climate, Pafos has become a beloved destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a sports enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, Pafos has something extraordinary for every traveler. This alluring city effortlessly blends ancient archaeological wonders with sustainable and digital initiatives, offering visitors a unique and immersive experience.

As the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, the city carries an air of mystique and legends. With its captivating architectural marvels and profound historical importance, Pafos stands as a testament to the island’s rich cultural heritage. Beyond its archaeological wonders, Pafos also boasts a charming old town with narrow streets lined with carefully preserved original buildings. The quaint area also offers cafes, boutique and artisans’ shops, and traditional taverns where visitors can meet the locals, interact with arts and crafts, or savor authentic Cypriot cuisine.

Beyond its archaeological wonders, Pafos also boasts a charming old town with narrow streets lined with traditional Cypriot houses adorned with colorful bougainvillea. The old town is a delightful place to wander, offering quaint cafes, boutique shops, and traditional taverns where visitors can savor authentic Cypriot cuisine.

Pafos, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023
Pafos, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023.

Pafos is also paving the way for Europe to become a sustainable, digitally immersive tourist destination. Pafos and Seville, Spain, are the 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, awarded by the European Commission for their innovative initiatives to improve the sustainability and accessibility of their tourist experience. Read on to ensure you are making the most of your visit.


For history and mythology lovers, one of the city’s most iconic sites is the Pafos Archaeological Park, a sprawling UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases an impressive collection of ancient ruins. Within this vast complex, visitors can explore the awe-inspiring remains of Roman villas, stunningly preserved mosaics depicting mythological scenes, ancient amphitheaters, and the renowned Tombs of the Kings—a necropolis carved into the solid rock.

The UNESCO Archaeological Park app is an exemplary measure implemented by Pafos to allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s rich history. This tool has informative videos, audio guides, infographics, and 360 tours, all accessible in multiple languages. Smart QR-coded signs have been set to replace static information signs throughout the city. This initiative offers the opportunity to share more dynamic and detailed information while eliminating visual pollution.

UNESCO Archaeological Park in Pafos
UNESCO Archaeological Park in Pafos.


Enjoy the fresh air and stunning scenery by bike for a fun and low-carbon method of exploring the area. Pafos offers a wide range of cycling paths for all abilities that cover 600 km with 12 dedicated routes for visitors. These routes pass through streams, forests, villages, and historically significant sights. Additionally, these routes have QR codes along the way to provide information and enrich the cycle experience. Whether you are looking for a self-guided tour or a challenging mountain biking holiday, Pafos has a unique and suitable cycle route to get you there.

Pafos, cycling routes in Cyprus.
Pafos and its scenic cycling routes in Cyprus.


For those who prefer a more mobile-friendly way to explore the city – fear not! Visitors who travel by car will still enjoy a hassle-free experience. Pafos’ Smart Parking Project is another example of using digital tools to improve the city’s everyday life:  it aims to optimize the city’s parking management by informing app users of when and where to find free parking spaces to save time and fuel.

Discover Pafos and experience the intersection of natural beauty, sustainability, and innovation. To learn more about the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition and Pafos’ smart practices, watch this video.

Pafos, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023
Pafos, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023.

Best Practices from the 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism Competition

Learn from the smartest destinations – To find out more about other smart measures that cities put forward in their applications to become the European Capitals of Smart Tourism, visit the initiative’s website or download the Best Practices 2023 Report here.

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