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Aphrodite's legendary birthplace in Pafos, Cyprus.
© Alexander Tolstykh / Shutterstock

Birthplace of Aphrodite

The Birthplace of Aphrodite is one of the most beautiful beaches near the city of Pafos, where locals can enjoy swimming with their families. In the water one can see the enormous rock where legend says Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was born from the ocean.

In the myth of Aphrodite’s birth, the beautiful Goddess of Love emerges naked from the water around Cyprus. She had just been created from the foam of the sea caused by Cronus castrating his father Uranus and throwing his genitals into the water. Although Aphrodite had originally begun drifting towards the Greek island of Cythera, the wind blew her towards her spiritual home near Pafos.

According to local legend, it was on this particular beach - near the temple built at Palaipafos (Old Pafos) to worship her, as early as the Bronze Age, that she arrived, and this is why it is now known as the Birthplace of Aphrodite.

The Birth of Venus (1486) by Sandro Botticelli – Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The Birth of Venus (1486) by Sandro Botticelli – Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This stretch is one of the most beautiful along the southwestern part of Cyprus, with the coastline meandering along, creating coves and points. From the pebbly beach at the Birthplace of Aphrodite, you can see dramatic white cliffs in the distance. Closer to the shore, large rocks jut out from the water.

One of these rocks has been named Aphrodite Rock - partly because of the foam that is being formed at its base, which brings in mind the story of the deity’s birth. A local story is that anyone who swims around the rock will be blessed with eternal beauty.

While some visitors come to the Birthplace of Aphrodite for the scenic views, it is also a popular swimming spot. Tourists and locals head to the beach on warm days to enjoy the sunshine and refreshing water. There is a parking lot, shop and restaurant. As this is one of the utmost romantic spots on the island, it is very popular for wedding proposals.

The beach is about a 25 minute drive from the harbour of Pafos and is close to the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, which is part of the World Heritage site. It means it is easy for you to combine a visit to the two locations.

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Birthplace of Aphrodite