According to legend, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, rose from the waves in this strikingly beautiful spot.
The Greek name, "Πέτρα του Ρωμιού" (Petra Tou Romiou), is associated with the legendary frontier guard of Byzantine times, Dighenis Akritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay with amazing strength. It is said that he threw this large rock into the sea destroying the enemy’s ships.
This spot was a place of pilgrimage for the entire Hellenic world. Aphrodite’s presence seems to have drawn other divinities and notable mortals to Pafos.
Petra tou Romiou can be reached from the Lemesos-Pafos highway when you take the exit to Kouklia. Actually, a brown sign (brown signs mark points of interest in Cyprus) with the name of the spot will direct you to the exit you need to take. Then you will drive along the coastal road and the rock will be a few minutes past the Sanctuary of Aphrodite.
There are a couple of viewpoints that you can take photos from and if you wan to actually get down to the beach where rock is you will have to drive further down the road and turn right to park outside the snack bar. Then, take the stairs down to the beach, walk through the narrow tunnel and there you are.
The beach is not really ideal for swimming but lots of women like to take a dip for fun and pretend to be Aphrodite being born from the waves. The water is coldish but there are beautiful colorful pebbles and plenty of room to sunbathe, so one could spend some time here.
Kelefos Bridge is an excellent example of a single arch medieval Venetian bridge built between (1489–1571) when copper was mined in Cyprus and traded with Egypt for silk and gold.
The demand of quality trading routes resulted in construction of dozens stone bridges in mountains, used for camel trails connecting distant mines in Troodos Mountains with the islands ports.
Kelefos Bridge spans the Dhiarizos river in the mountains of Paphos. It is located at the borders of Phini, Agios Nicolaos and Pera Vasa close to the Arminou Dam. This one arch stone bridge has 10.70m span and 10.7m width.
The Troodos Mountains rise up like a gentle giant over the western part of the island. The highest peak of the range, Mount Olympus, is also the highest point in Cyprus.
Mount Olympus, which takes its name from the famous home of the gods in Greece, cannot be missed as it is visible for miles around thanks to a large white round radar station near the peak.
Troodos is a popular summer destination for tourists and locals alike since the average temperature here can be around 15 degrees lower than in Lefkosia. Camping and picnic spots get very busy during the peak of the summer season.
Nature lovers can enjoy long walks along the many trails laid out in the area by the Forestry Department. The paths are easy to follow and are the best way to admire the beautiful flora and fauna of the area.
Accommodation facilities, souvenir shops, tavernas and coffee shops are all available at Troodos village.
Troodos also has many visitors during the winter months, mainly between January and March, when skiers flit about on the slopes of Mount Olympus.
The mass of rock with makes up the central upper Troodos arose some 100 million years ago. The oldest part of the mountains is surrounded by a ring of younger rocks.
The remoteness of the Troodos Mountains and a strict forestry policy have ensured the preservation of a large forest area in the central part of Troodos. The dominant tree is the Aleppo pine, which accounts for about 90% of the total stock.
Because of its remote nature, Troodos has been a place of refuge since early times. Byzantine churches and monasteries have survived over the centuries, including the period of Ottoman rule, almost undamaged. This is why nowadays there is a wealth of Byzantine art treasures in the Troodos area.
The Troodos area receives a relatively high level of precipitation (three times more as on the plains). In the winter months the areas above 1400m get covered with snow.
• Troodos is the largest mountain range on the island
• Its highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952m
• Troodos has the best-managed island forest in the Mediterranean
• A resort for all seasons: a summer retreat from the high temperatures of the plain and a winter resort for those who enjoy skiing
Look Out For:
• It is recommended to check the piste conditions before heading to Troodos, just in case there is not enough snow. The Cyprus Ski Federation posts the information about lifts and slope status here: http://www.cyprusski.com/main/default.aspx?tabid=4
• Although the nature trails are easy to follow some can be as long as 10km; therefore make sure you wear comfortable shoes and have bottled water with you