Aphrodite and ‘Petra tou Romiou’
2nd May 2019
So legend has it that Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, was born in Cyprus. Petra tou Romiou which is also known as Aphrodite’s Rock, is a sea stack in Paphos. It is located off the shore along the main road from Paphos to Limassol. Both the beauty of the area and its status in mythology makes it a popular destination for visitors.
According to legend, Aphrodite’s Rock is a part of the lower body of Uranus. The fairly gruesome legend says that Cronus ambushed his father Uranus (because his mum Gaia told him to) and cut him below the waist with a scythe – not nice! Uranus, as he tried to escape by flying away, lost parts of his lower body including his boy bits into the sea (these are the rocks now seen sticking out of the sea)…. A white foam then appeared from which Aphrodite arose.
Local myths range from any person who swims around the Aphrodite Rock will be blessed with eternal beauty or apparently 3 times round and you will find true love or eternal life depending on which version you listen to. But the sea in this region is generally quite rough with strong undercurrents so you need to be pretty keen to try it!
You are not supposed to climb the rock itself but you do see youngsters flinging themselves off into the sea. Depending on your kids’ tendencies you may or may not want them to see this! But you can park just across the road and walk through the small stone tunnel to the stoney beach, then enjoy the view of the historic stone against a beautiful backdrop of the blue Mediterranean Sea.
Cool off in the sea or climb to the top of one of the cliffs for a panoramic vista of the rock and the rough landscape. It does get busy at peak times so might be best to go early or go late for a good sunset.
There is also a cafe, restaurant and bathroom facilities.