Upon hearing a city’s or places’ name, we instantly form a mental picture of the area, boiling down all we have heard about it to a distorted, at worst, or an oversimplified, at best, version of what the site is or stands for. Venice is full of overcrowded canals, London is teeming with expensive shops and Paris with romantic spots and lavish restaurants.
Such statements though, even when they scratch the surface of truth, are often as misleading as your image on a bronze mirror; and a place with a history of more than 4,000 years, like Paphos, is no exception. The only way to know such sites is to spend some time there and learn their secrets.
Moreover, since you plan on visiting Paphos shortly and get a glimpse of its wonders, why not learn few of its well-hidden secrets? That way your overall idea of this magical place will be much more profound and knowledgeable.
- The Secret Beach
There is a small, secret beach that only locals know about – and you of course!
It stretches opposite the Coral Bay in Paphos, where a small cove is formed, surrounded by towering rock formations. Secluded and barely visible, this natural wonder is the perfect place to lie down, enjoy your swim in the emerald and crystal-clear waters and finally discover what absolute relaxation is all about.
- Aphrodite’s Strange Birth!
The site known as Petra tou Romiou (the Stone of the Greek) is the legendary birthplace of the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, and is by far the most visited beach of Paphos, especially by couples. What is not generally known to the public is why Aphrodite was said to appear for the first time through the waves.
According to the ancient Greek mythology, Earth and Sky (Gaia and Uranus) were the first divine couple. However, Uranus was afraid that one of his children might try to usurp his throne, so he kept all his offspring imprisoned deep in Gaia’s soil. The younger one though, the mighty Saturn (or Cronos), conspired with his mother to dethrone the tyrant. He forged a sword, and when Uranus hugged the Gaia to make love to her, Saturn castrated him!
Ever since Uranus remains as far away from the earth’s surface as possible! As for his wound, the severed flesh dropped into the sea, giving birth to a deity of unparalleled feminine beauty. She was named Aphrodite, which means “She who surface through the sea froth.”
If nothing else, those ancients had a wild imagination, hadn’t they?
- Saint “Paul’s” Pillar
According to the legend told by the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Paul visited Paphos in 45 AD, in his first missionary journey, trying to convert the people of Paphos into Christians, and was tied to a pillar and given 39 lashes 5 times over. The same story claims this pillar still stands in the Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa Church.
While the Pillar of Saint Paul is considered sacred by many, the fact is that there is more fiction into this tale than history: according to our sole reliable source of Paul’s first missionary journey, the Acts of the Apostles, Paul did visit the island and succeeded in converting several people, but was not tied into a pole nor bitten during his stay in Paphos. While he was tortured and bidden many times because of his preaching, this never happened in Paphos. The famed legend was concocted several centuries later, during the Middle Ages.
Fascinated by these small secrets? There are plenty more out there! Join now our Paphos Segway tour and learn and see all there is to know and see in this place of wonders!