Follow in the footsteps of Aphrodite, the Ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty, and protectress of Cyprus, and discover the archaeological sites dedicated to her ancient cult as you wander through layers of history, culture and mythology.
Cyprus has always been considered the ‘Island of Aphrodite’, and no other place in the world can boast of being the birthplace of the Goddess of Love and Beauty. In the 8th century BC, Homer mentions Aphrodite as ‘Kypris’ and ‘Golden Aphrodite’, whilst there are many myths connected to Aphrodite that possibly originated on the island, including those concerning Aphrodite and Hephaistos, Aphrodite and Ares, and Aphrodite and Adonis.
We begin our journey at Amathous. One of the significant ancient city-kingdoms of Cyprus where, according to mythology, Greek hero Theseus left the pregnant Ariadne to be attended by local women. It was also an important site of worship of the Goddess Aphrodite-Astarte. There are various, rich archaeological finds at the site, including the Agora, the public baths, the Temple of Aphrodite, early Christian basilicas and several tombs. Also at the site is the Temple of Aphrodite, sat atop of a hill at the Acropolis of Amathous.
Then we head towards the great “City-Kingdom”, Kourion, to discover the ancient city with its famous Greco-Roman Theatre and buildings of the Roman period with beautiful mosaics. The archaeological remains of Kourion – which was one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity – are of the most impressive on the island, and excavations have unearthed many significant finds, which can be viewed at the site. The city-kingdom was built on the hills of the area, and overlooked and controlled the fertile valley of the river Kouris. According to archaeological finds, evidence suggests that Kourion was associated with the Greek legend of Argos of Peloponnese, and that its inhabitants believed they were descendents of Argean immigrants. The once-flourishing kingdom was eventually destroyed in a severe earthquake in 365 AD.
The magnificent Greco-Roman theatre – the site’s centrepiece – was built in the 2nd century BC and extended in the 2nd century AD. The theatre has been restored, and is now used for open-air musical and theatrical performances – mainly during the summer months – making it one of the most popular settings for high-calibre cultural events.
Then we will head toward our main attraction, Aphrodite’s mythical birthplace ‘Petra tou Romiou’. This is an interesting geological formation of huge rocks along one of the most beautiful coastlines on the island, located on the southwest coast of the Paphos district. According to the legend, the Ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty – Aphrodite – was born of the sea foam here. Legend tells that she rose from the waves and was escorted on a shell to this particular beach. Other popular myths tell that swimming around the rock three times will bring various blessings, including eternal youth and beauty, good luck, fertility and true love. If you want to swim you may, otherwise you will enjoy local handcrafted sandwiches.
Friday: 09:00 – 16:00
50 lucky people