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Petra tou Romiou – Birthplace of Aphrodite
Petra tou Romiou, or Aphrodite’s Rock, stands to be the birthplace of the goddess of love, Aphrodite or also known as Venus in Roman mythology. Aphrodite is said to have emerged from the sea foam with her long flowing hair covering her modesty. The myth goes that she was carried on the waves by a shell onto this beach. This is where Cyprus gets its nickname of being the island of love.
Aphrodite is a prominent figure within mythology and perhaps is Cyprus’ most famous myth. She is also very important within art, notably the most famous depiction of her would be Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, within the Italian Renaissance, where she is seen to be rising from the sea foam on her shell.
The momentous rock formations on one of the island’s most beautiful coastlines are also linked with another legend which states that Digenis Akritas, the Byzantine hero, brought the rocks here in order to prevent the Saracens Arabs (7th-10th c.) away. And so, ‘Petra tou Romiou’, or ‘rock of the Greek’ comes from the hero, Digenis.
Not to be Missed
The beach located at Petra tou Romiou is more for relaxing and chilling on the smooth pebbles, so take cushions and soft beach towels as there is a minimal amount of sand! There is a small kiosk at the car park before you go down the steps to the beach. The beach is more inclined to attract families and beach lovers who would like to unwind away from the busy crowded beaches with loud music and water sports. Adrenaline junkies can be seen climbing the largest of the rocks while others dive off the goddess’ rock into the deep glistening Mediterranean Sea.
Legend has it that if you swim around Aphrodite’s Rock three times, then you will have eternal youth, beauty, true love, fertility and good luck. So get swimming!
Petra tou Romiou is located in Kouklia on the southwest coast of the Paphos district and can be seen from the highway while driving home from Limassol at sunset. The beach is neighboured by the world famous 5 star Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort and Spa Residences. The hotel is one of Cyprus’ most luxurious resorts and is known for combining authenticity with the modern. It is also a popular spot among celebrities such as Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney’s wife Coleen.