Petra tou Romiou, an unusual geological formation of huge rocks off the southwest coast in the Paphos district and along the main road from Paphos to Limassol forms one of the most impressive natural sites of Cyprus associated with Aphrodite. There are numerous legends correlating this rock formation with Aphrodite. 4VIP Tour have this site on their agenda, as it is a site worth a trip to Cyprus on its own.
According to one legend, Aphrodite was born from the waves on the site off the coast of Cyprus. Hesiod, in his Theogony (circa 8th century BC), provides a dramatic account of the event. Cronus, son of Gaia, castrated his father Uranus on his mother’s orders because of Uranus’ infidelity, and his testicles fell into the sea. A cascade of effervescent white foam appeared from which a damsel of extraordinary beauty arose. This maiden was named Aphrodite who was then escorted ashore on a shell by the soft breezes of the Zephyrs to the rocks known as Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Greek) and also Aphrodite’s Rock.
According to another, this place is indeed the birthplace of Aphrodite. It is believed that she emerged from the sea at this bay. Aphrodite herself chose the famous rock to begin her life as a human. It is said that Aphrodite first traveled to the island of Cythera, but she found it too small and therefore reached Paphos and settled here. Whichever the legend, this is a popular site for an excursion in Cyprus.
The Greek version is different. The name, Petra tou Romiou, is Greek, meaning ‘the Rock of the Greek’, and is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Basil the Christian, as narrated in Digenis Akritas. Basil was half-Greek (Romios) and half-Arabic, hence the name Digenes (two-blood). A man of amazing strength, Basil killed bears, lions and dragons with his bare hands. In this case, he grabbed hold of the Kyreneia mountain range with one hand, thereby forming ‘Pentadaktylos’, the Five Finger mountain, while with the other hurled the huge rock from the Troodos Mountains at invading Saracens, destroying their ships and repelling them (7th-10th centuries).
Locals believe that in certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With fertile imagination, this looks like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape. The sea in this region is generally rough; tourists do not swim there. It is not permitted to climb the rock.
Homer's account of Aphrodite's birth is less dramatic. He said she was the daughter of Zeus and the fresh water nymph Dione, at whose bosom she would sometimes seek solace (Iliad 5.370-417).
There is a long narrow pebbly beach at Petra tou Romiou that extends to either side of the largest rock and its satellites. Do wear proper shoes if you intend walking this route.
Private car with driver for 3 hours
Cost based on 2-4 Person
Private minibus with driver for 3 hours
Cost based on 5-8 Person