An attractive pebble beach, 9km or so west of Kouklia (and technically in Lemesos district), Petra tou Romiou, is where, according to legend, Aphrodite rose from the sea and came ashore (which may explain the sanctuary nearby). The Greek name refers to a different myth: Digenes Akritas, also known as Romios (or, more disappointingly, Basil), was the Byzantine hero of an epic song. He killed bears, lions and dragons with his bare hands, and leapt from Cyprus to Asia Minor, gaining purchase by grabbing the Five Finger Mountain near Kyrenia. He once vanquished some foes by throwing huge rocks at them, one of which is the biggest of those on the western tip of Petra tou Romiou.

Whatever its origins, Petra tou Romiou is an iconic vision of limpid sea and picturesque rocks. The beach is best accessed from the B6 – park next to the café opposite, then use the underpass beneath the road. Though you sometimes wouldn’t think so, climbing on the rocks is not allowed, but their shade is highly prized by visitors. As befits the birthplace of Aphrodite, love-hearts marked out with pebbles dot the beach and the surrounding low cliffs.

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