The salt spray and white sea foam crashing against Cyprus’ Petra tou Romiou – the ‘Greek’s Rock’ – carries you back on a voyage made from the sky to the sea eons ago.
Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of Love and Beauty, was born on this beautiful Paphos beach when Cronus, Zeus’s father, cut a piece of his own father, Uranus, the god of the sky, and threw it into the ocean. When the piece fell into the sea, the waters began to foam, and from the waves emerged Aphrodite, the most beautiful of the goddesses in the Greek pantheon.
Local folklore has it that the foam column that birthed beauty into the world seems to rise from time to time, stirring reminders of Aphrodite’s lingering presence on her birth island.
Another legend of the rock formations jutting out into the crystal-clear sea comes from Cyprus’s recent Christian history.
Basil, a Byzantine hero, known by his epithet ‘Digenes Akritas’ (Two-Blood Lord), was of both Greek and Arab descent. He had formidable strength and was one of the fiercest warriors, as recounted by the Digenes Akrites epoch poem that details his life and adventures.
One legend brought to us from Digenes Akritas says that, in an effort to protect Cyprus from invading Saracens, Basil hurled a large rock from the top of the Troodos mountain range at the invaders. The rock later became known as ‘Petra tou Romiou’, meaning ‘the Greek’s rock’.
A walk along the beach, with its magnificent rock formations and foaming clear waters, will surely carry you on a voyage through history.