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Cyprus: A Mythical Island of Love

Hello everyone!I’m back with a dose of Greek mythology. Who was your favorite god or goddess? I’m sure there is one great story that you remember. As for me, it is Aphrodite! So, let me tell you a story on why Cyprus is a mythical island of love….

The Birth of Aphrodite

Legends have spoken of several versions of the birth of Aphrodite, The Goddess of Love and Beauty. The goddess emerged from a seafoam to the waters of Cyprus. Hence, the origin of her name “aphros” means foam.

As told by Hesiod‘s Theogeny, one of the earliest greek poet, Aphrodite was born 2 generations before Zeus.

Aphrodite’s father is Uranos, the god of the sky, and she has no mother. Uranos reigned with his wife Gaia, the goddess of the earth. He hated his children and hid them in the depths of the earth, until Gaia, loathing her husband, devised a plan with her son Cronus. She equipped her son with a sickle and, when Uranos next came to sleep with Gaia, Cronus chopped off his genitals. The severed parts fell into the ocean and seafoam enveloped them. From this foam emerged from the sea a grown woman; the goddess Aphrodite. 

Shaking her long, fair tresses, the water-drops rolled down into the beautiful sea-shell in which she stood, and became transformed into pure glistening pearls. Wafted by the soft and balmy breezes, she floated on to Cythera and was thence transported to the island of Cyprus. Lightly she stepped on shore, and under the gentle pressure of her delicate foot, the dry and rigid sand became transformed into a verdant meadow, where every varied shade of colour and every sweet odour charmed the senses. The whole island of Cyprus became clothed with verdure and greeted this fairest of all created beings with a glad smile of a friendly welcome.

By EM Berns – The Mythical Story and History of Aphrodite

Or Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione

Zeus is the grandson of Uranos and the son of Cronus.  Her mother is a sea-nymph called Dione, who was the goddess of Love and Beauty. Dione, being a sea-nymph, gave birth to her daughter beneath the waves…

By EM Berns – The Mythical Story and History of Aphrodite

Cyprus, as the myth unravels, is the birthplace of Aphrodite, born on the southwestern coast in Pafos.

Petra Tou Romiou

A friend once asked me what is it in Cyprus? France has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Statue of Liberty; so how about Cyprus?

Petra Tou Romiou is visited by thousands of tourists all year round. This beautiful beach with 2 large rocks is known to be where Aphrodite comes to life. These two rocks were believed to be part of the shells which carried the goddess to this shore which is also popularly called Aphrodite’s rock.

Petra Tou Romiou

This is one of the most photographed places for its breathtaking views and the stunning blue beach! And true to that, when I started my blog it was the first photo I uploaded. It can be easily spotted on the coastal highway between Limassol and Pafos. A cafe provides a convenient stopover to the visitors and beach access is through an underground tunnel walkway. And yes, you can swim on this beach!

Petra Tou Romiou is also called Rocks of the Roman another myth about the story of hero Basil who is half-Byzantine and half-arabic. You can read about it in ancient origins.

Since I have shown you Petra Tou Romiou, might as well continue our journey to Paphos!

Paphos

(Greek: Πάφος [ˈpafos]TurkishBaf) Or Pafos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus. From Nicosia, it takes us about 1 hour and 45 mins, 150 km, taking the Limassol highway A1 then A6 to Paphos. You will pass by a tunnel that connects Limassol to Paphos.

Paphos International airport (PFO) is the second airport in Cyprus, after Larnaka (LCA); usually seasonal charter flights convenient for holiday-makers staying in Limassol and Pafos.

In ancient times around 700 BC, the worship of Aphrodite was introduced here in Paphos and from the archaeology excavations, it has been found out that the early Cypriots were worshipping the goddess before the Greeks came.

The surrounding area of Paphos has several attractions related to the goddess such as the Baths of Aphrodite, Sanctuary of Aphrodite (a world heritage), and Aphrodite Hills (5-star luxury resort).

And of course, the festival!

Paphos Aphrodite Festival

Since 1999 various opera shows were organized which has attracted remarkable tourist traffic from all over the world for this reason. Some of the previous plays were Aida, Othello, Zorba the Greek, La Traviata and Don Giovanni.

It was staged at Paphos’ Medieval Castle at the end of the harbor which gave a more dramatic effect that coincides with the setting of the play. Performed in Italian and translated in Greek, English, and Russian languages.

My first time to watch an opera show and I was filled with anticipation and thrilled to be there. When the orchestra ensemble started to play I immediately felt the goosebumps and the excitement just keep on rising. Overall, the show was magnificent and well-executed – kudos to the Bolshoi performers of Belarus! I was more than entertained and I highly recommend to anyone to visit Paphos for the next year’s festival. And yes, I will be watching more opera shows from now on!

  • Petra Tou Romiou
  • Paphos Harbour
  • Paphos Medieval Castle
  • Pegeia, Paphos
  • Porto Latchi
  • Porto Latchi Harbour

Paphos is another part of Cyprus that is widely visited. It is included in UNESCO’s list of cultural and national treasures of world heritage. You have great beaches, archaeological sites, old villages, museums, nature trails, resorts and a lot more. To plan your trip, take a look at the upcoming events, attractions and things to do in Pafos Region.

Poli Chrysochos

Heading further from Pafos, 40 km northwest end of Cyprus is the municipality of Polis, is a more laid back coastal town. Its fishing port is Latchi. Last Christmas day, we visited Polis it was an offseason then. The harbour was so serene and we had a nice lunch in one of the fish restaurants in Porto Latchi. This town offers great tasting fish dishes and usually jam-packed during the summer season.

Useful Information

Petra Tou Romiou 34°40’0″ N and 32°37’60” E
Paphos34°46’36.44″ N 32°25’28.24″ E
Paphos Medieval Castle34°45’8.99″ N 32°24’17.99″ E
Polis 35.04° N, 32.43° E
Paphos Buses http://www.pafosbuses.com/
Intercity Buses http://www.pafosbuses.com/

All that being said about the myth of the goddess of love, Cyprus over the years has become a dream w A few months ago, I attended a beautiful wedding. Couples around the world visit here for marriage proposals and for the ceremony – civil or religious. So many spectacular locations to choose from and options on how you want your special day to be…

So, are you feeling mythical now and thinking of visiting this love island? Or if you did, then share your memorable story, perhaps a romantic one…. 😉

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