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.By EM Berns – The Mythical Story and History of 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.
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.
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!
(Greek: Πάφος [ˈpafos]; Turkish: Baf) 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!
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.
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.
|Petra Tou Romiou||34°40’0″ N and 32°37’60” E|
|Paphos||34°46’36.44″ N 32°25’28.24″ E|
|Paphos Medieval Castle||34°45’8.99″ N 32°24’17.99″ E|
|Polis||35.04° N, 32.43° E|
All that being said about the myth of the goddess of love, Cyprus over the years has become a dream wedding destination. 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…. 😉
52 CommentsAdd Yours →
amazing! I love to visit this place.
Thank you Sheilazc! Hope to see you soon here. Thanks for reading my articles.
Hey Cyprus is an island I need to know 😍
Hi that’s good to know! You may find interesting articles here and feel free to get in touch. 💕
hey! Vinnenroute.. amazing page.. so impressive!
Hello Sheila, I really appreciate big time for visiting and I am inspired to get better on this. 😉
We visited Greece and I would love to return to that part of the world to spend time in Cyprus. Your pictures are beautiful! The photo of Petra Tou Romiou reminds me of a similar rock formation called “Land’s End Arch” in the Sea of Cortez, at Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico.
Cyprus has not been a popular destination to all yet this is a very beautiful place. A lot of tourists are visiting here for the seas and mountains. Glad you’re coming back soon. Oh that’s cool il check Cabo San Lucas. Thanks for dropping by ❤
Wow amazing photos, I would love to visit Cyprus.
Great historycal facts about Afrodita, lovely beach..
Hi! thank you so much. Paphos is a very beautiful city in Cyprus. Many holidaymakers stay there to enjoy the beach, ancient ruins, the old town and so much more. 😉
Wow! Gorgeous – I would love to visit this place!
Yes, it is truly a wonderful place to explore. Hope you can visit here soon. Thank you.
Very informative! Thanks for sharing
Hi! Thanks for dropping by!
Interesting article! Cyprus is still on my wish list, I hope to travel there soon!
Awesome! Cheers to future travels 🥂
What a very interesting read! Thanks for sharing
Hello! Glad you enjoyed this read. Thanks for dropping by! 💕
I learned so much about the history and origin of these places in your post, so informative. It’s like a mini virtual tour – would appreciate it since we cannot go outside anymore till things get better. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Hello Sakshi! thank you so much I’m glad you enjoyed this tour. 😉
Wow amazing….hope to visit as soon as possible, really interesting blog post
Thank you! Cyprus is looking forward to revive the tourism soon. For the time being we are taking careful steps.
My cousin lives on Cyprus and I was planning to go eventually!!! Did not know that “aphros” means foam!! That’s really cool!!
Thousands of words are from Greek origin. Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie? Hope you’ll visit Cyprus when you can. Take care! 😉
Cyprus looks very interesting. I have heard a lot about this country. Will plan to visit it soon
Wish you a memorable travel to Cyprus soon! Thank you 💕
[…] Further Reading: Cyprus, A Mythical Island of Love […]
[…] Paphos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus. The airport, Paphos International airport (PFO) is the second-largest airport is operating charter flights. This city is famous for Rock of Aphrodite, believed to be the birthplace of the goddess. Furthermore, the city included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and national treasures of world heritage. […]
[…] in Cyprus we are now in the second phase in easing restrictions. More business sectors are open including […]
[…] are Greek Cypriots! Yes, Greek culture, Greek mythology, and legends… Cyprus is the birthplace of Goddess Aphrodite! Do I have to say more? Umm yes, Greek food or say Cypriot food. Aha, your tastebuds are excited […]
What a great tour with related information on Cyprus. I’ve never been but look forward to getting there in the future, post pandemic. Thanks for sharing,
Hi, thanks for the read. I wish you a pleasant trip here after COVID and please share your travel story. 😉
I enjoyed my visit to Paphos but would’ve been nice to see opera there too.
Note down the Aphrodite festival, I hope that opera will be back again this year 😉
I have not yet been to Cyprus and love this insider look at the beautiful destination.
Thanks Charles, I think you will love exploring Cyprus. Cheers!
Thank you for sharing the legend of Aphrodite! We knew about Aphrodite’s rock but not about the Aphrodite festival and all the other Aphrodite related things…
Thanks for dropping Carina. A Greek mythology to inspire your travels 😉 And yes the festival is definitely to look forward to!
Such a great post. We were thinking to visit Cyprus once is possible, I guess you have convinced us. It’s Europe but sometimes this amazing island seems to be out of the radar, no more now!
Current history of Cyprus (Greek-Turkish) is also very interesting with the forbidden areas, ghost towns & Buffer-zones.
Thanks for sharing such an amazing summary!
Yeah, Cyprus is quite out of the radar or even underrated. I have also written about the occupied side. That part is very interesting too. Cheers to your Cyprus holiday in the future. Thank you!!!
Really enjoyed seeing Cyprus from your perspective but don’t understand why more people haven’t visited here. Maybe we can in the future since we enjoy off the beaten path places.
Hi thanks for dropping us. As you can see, Cyprus is rarely on the list when you search for Europe’s top destinations. Not only Cyprus as there are several European cities that are travel gems. I’m glad to hear that are considering visiting Cyprus and a lot of unbeaten paths here. 😉
Cant’ wait to visit Cyprus one day! So much to see and do for a history junkie like me 🙂
Superb! Looking forward to hear about your Cyprus travel story. 😉
I knew about Aphrodite’s legend but I never made it to this part of Cyprus. Well, all the more reason to visit again 🙂
Of course, another trip needs to be arranged! Cheers 😉
Always love to read about Cyprus! It’s so interesting learning about Aphrodite!
Loved learning more about Cyprus in this post! I would love to see an opera at the festival. Those types of environments are always fun for a show 🙂
That sounds like a good trip in time for the Aphrodite festival! 😉
Isn’t Greek mythology just wonderful. So violent, such crazy tales. Nice piece on Cyprus. That outdoor opera would be lovely to attend. That’s the kind of events I enjoy while travelling.
Thanks, John! Opera is a must-see in Paphos and I hope to watch it again! 😉
[…] Further Reading: Cyprus, A Mythical Island of Love […]