Whether you’re looking for the perfect honeymoon destination, a couple’s getaway, or an exotic wedding location, you can’t go far wrong with Cyprus. Not only is Cyprus beautiful, but the island also has a romantic lineage far older than the history of breaks for two.
Cyprus’s most famous claim to romantic fame is undoubtedly as the birthplace of the legendary Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. Rising from the sea foam off the coast of Paphos (which can be found on the main road to Limassol), Aphrodite, known as Venus to the Romans, was said to have been carried ashore upon a giant shell by Cyprus’s gentle sea breeze at the rocks of Petra tou Romiou. This is most memorably depicted in the seminal artwork Birth of Venus by Botticelli, but depictions can also be found in the preserved murals of Pompeii in the House of Venus on the Shell.
Aphrodite’s birth isn’t the only legendary connection the rocks of Petra tou Romiou can claim: the name Petra tou Romiou literally means “the Rock of the Greek”, originating from the story of Byzantine hero Digenis Akritas. Legend has it that the largest rock ended up out in the waters after Digenis threw it at Saracen ships to save the island. Using his amazing strength, Digenis is said to have reached back and grabbed part of the Kyreneia mountain range – this is also the tale of the creation of Pentadaktylos, the “Five Finger” mountain.
Cyprus also appears in one of the greatest love stories of all time; that of Antony and Cleopatra. After their controversial wedding, Antony was so enamoured with the gorgeous Egyptian queen and desperate to prove his undying love to her, he is said to have gifted Cyprus to her as a reflection of the queen’s own beauty. Although you too might be swept away by the island’s splendour on your Cyprus holiday, buying a gift of this size can be a tricky business, so don’t expect your partner to follow Antony’s example in this day and age.
These are a few of the romantic tales associated with this breathtaking island, but there will be none more romantic to you and your partner than the ones you create yourself. If you’ve already experienced the magic of Cyprus for yourself, why don’t you tell us about your experience in the comments? We’d love to hear your story.