Cyprus – The Island of Love


Written by Jules

January 25, 2021

Aphrodite – a bit of a feisty tart?

Aphrodite, synonymous worldwide with love and beauty was actually born here on our lovely little island of Cyprus. I’m not a huge history buff but I do love a bit of a legend.

Nearly everyone has heard of this famous Goddess and it seems she was quite a woman.

Aphrodite’s mythical birthplace ‘Petra tou Romiou’ is just down the road from Adventure Angels headquarters and is an interesting formation of huge rocks along one of the most beautiful coastlines on the island, located on the southwest coast of the Pafos (Paphos) district.

According to the legend, the Ancient Greek Goddess’ duty was simply to be beautiful.

She was the goddess of love, beauty, desire, passion, fertility, and sexuality. Legend says that she rose up from the Sea-Foam and was bought to the shore on a shell.

There are several urban myths surrounding the rock. Islanders claim that in certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water reminiscent of an ephemeral Aphrodite that dissolves into a pillar of foam. My favourite, although I’ve yet to do it myself, declares that:

swimming around the rock three times will bring eternal youth, beauty, good luck, fertility and true love!

The place-name in Greek, Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Greeks) actually has nothing to do with Aphrodite. It’s associated with Greek hero Digenis Akritas, who threw huge rocks at his enemies with those that missed landing in the sea and becoming the popular tourist attraction we know and love as Aphrodite’s Rock.

Here are a few fun facts about Aphrodite:

  • She was, of course, the Greek goddess of love and beauty and one of the 12 gods of Mount Olympus. Born from the foam in Paphos as the daughter of Uranus in the waters of Cyprus. However, many believe that she was the daughter of Dione and Zeus.
  • Did you know Aphrodite’s name is the origin of the word aphrodisiac? She is also referred to as the Lady of Cyprus and was called Acidalia, Cytherea, and Cerigo.
  • Aphrodite is the Greek equivalent to the Roman Goddess Venus. However, a key difference between the two figures is that Venus was also considered to be the goddess of victory. The two have also had both god and mortal lovers which they also had children with. Additionally, both goddesses have also been worshipped and celebrated throughout history with festivals and temples dedicated to each of them.
  • She was one of the 12 gods of Olympus and a bit of a tart it seems – Aphrodite had many male partners including Phaeton, Phaon, Butes, Anchises, Nerites, Ares, Dionysus, Hermes, Poseidon, and Adonis.
  • Aphrodite’s symbols include the swan, the dove, scallop shell, apple, mirror, and roses and her mode of transportation was a flying chariot pulled by sparrows. My chariot of choice has far more horsepower but each to their own.
  • Aphrodite had a girdle that was capable of making others fall in love with whoever wore it. Hera was known to borrow the belt on occasion.
  • A sculptor named Pygmalion fell in love with a sculpture he created, and Aphrodite made the sculpture come alive for him.
  • Aphrodite was the subject and model for the famous sculpture ‘Venus de Milo’. created between 130 and 100 BC and is considered one of the most famous ancient Greek sculptures. The sculpture is currently set as a permanent display in the Louvre museum located in Paris, France.
  • It also seems our lady is the original woman scorned. Turns out she has a bit of a temper: A man named Glaucus once insulted Aphrodite. She fed his horses magic water which caused them to turn on him during a chariot race, crushing him, and then eating him. The goddess is also said to have a short temper which would easily result in punishing those who would go against her. Due to her short temper and ill personality, Aphrodite would often seek revenge on those who did not please her.
  • While she was known for being the goddess of love and desire, there were a few men who rejected her. This led Aphrodite to mercilessly kill these men and their loved ones through tricks.
  • Aphrodite’s beauty is often depicted as being perfectly symmetrical which certainly hasn’t done us women any favours throughout the centuries. Throughout many artistic forms, she is always depicted as perfectly symmetrical and radiant. However, her image is not known for any distinctive features apart from an overwhelming beauty.


So with Cyprus being the Island of love and beauty, it is indeed an Island worth a visit. Chuck in a whole host of fabulous roads connecting all these lovely, beautiful places steeped in ancient history and it is indeed an Isle of biking heaven.

Credit: Astronomy: Venus in her chariot, drawn by doves. Engraving by C. Lasinio after Raphael, 1516. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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