Petra tou Romiou

Kouklia, Cyprus

Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite's Rock, is a sea stack in Paphos. The combination of the beauty of the area and its status in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite makes it a popular tourist location. According to one legend, this rock is the site of the birth of the goddess Aphrodite, perhaps owing to the foaming waters around the rock fragments. Another legend associates the name Achni with the nearby beach, and attributes this to it being a site where the Achaeans came ashore on their return from Troy.

Excavations have unearthed the spectacular 3rd- to 5th-century mosaics of the Houses of Dionysus, Orpheus and Aion, and the Villa of Theseus, buried for 16 centuries and yet remarkably intact. The mosaic floors of these noblemen's villas are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mainly depict scenes from Greek mythology.

The present name Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Greek) associates the place with the exploits of the hero Basil as told in the Digenes Akritas. Basil was half-Greek (Romios) and half-Arabic, hence the name Digenes (two-blood). Legend tells that Basil hurled the huge rock from the Troodos Mountains to keep off the invading Saracens. A nearby rock is similarly known as the Saracen Rock.

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Kouklia, Cyprus
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User Reviews

Nathalie DS (15 months ago)
Beautiful sight but not much around to do. Avoid the hottest hours of summer as there is literally no shade anywhere. Cross from the cafe to the beach through an underground passage, don't cross the highway!
David Benn (15 months ago)
This used to be called Aphrodite's rock. And legend had it that if you swim around it you will have everlasting love. I swam round it in 1967 and have now been married for 46 years, maybe there's something in it. There is a small gift shop and tavern at the other side of the road where you can park for free and a tunnel under the road for safe access. Well worth a visit if only to throw a few pebbles into the sea.
Aris Vidalis (16 months ago)
This is an iconic place in Cyprus. A place from where you watch beautiful sun sets especially in late autumn. And nice for swimming. The seawater is usually turbid though because of the southwestern winds. There is always a crowd here but it doesn't feel too crowded.
Ірина Менчинська (16 months ago)
Unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to climb on the rock - the beautiful view will appear for you! Before the trip better to take good shoes for your comfortable climbing.
Ling Lin (2 years ago)
One of my favourite spot in Cyprus. Much quieter than the commercial beaches full of tourists. Turquoise water and the sea stack are gorgeous, absolutely wonderful to enjoy a good afternoon there.
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