Cyprus is known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in...

Cyprus is known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and for good reason. The islands stunning beaches, majestic mountains and world-class nightlife make it a mecca for sun worshippers and adventurers the world over.

What many people don't know is that with Cyprus holidays, you are heading somewhere steeped in history. The mythical lore of ancient gods and goddesses extends right to the edges of this incredible island. This is the stuff of legend, kept alive for centuries and loved by both residents and visitors booking some time in the sun.

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Cypriots love to tell the story of the Pentadaktylos or the five-fingered mountain in Kyrenia. This distinctive mountain formation is believed to be the result of a lowly villager who fell deeply in love with the queen. He summoned the strength to ask for the queens hand in marriage to which she replied with laughter and disgust. In response to his query she sent him on an impossible journey to retrieve water from St. Andreas in Karpaz.

Much to the queens surprise, the man returned triumphantly with the expectation of a royal wedding. When the queen refused to follow through, the angry villager threw the water on the ground, picked up a handful of mud and threw it at the queen. She ducked out of the way leaving the mud to crash against the mountain, creating a shape that came to be known as the Five Finger Mountains.

Today, the Five Finger Mountains provide hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds with a demanding physical challenge, rewarded by the scent of wildflowers and truly legendary views of Kyrenia from the top of the summits.

One of the most well-known mythical sites on Cyprus is the curious geological formation of Petra tou Romiou. Located off the southwest coast in the Paphos district, this natural site is linked to the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

Legend has it that this stunningly beautiful spot is where Aphrodite emerged from the waves and the foaming sea and was escorted to a rock that was henceforth known as the Rock of Aphrodite or Petra tou Romiou . It is believed that in certain weather conditions the waves rise and break to form a columnar shape that dissolves into a pillar of foam.

For those with an imagination, this natural process can look strikingly similar to a breath-taking deity rising from the sea. Aphrodites Rock is still one of the most visited places on the island, with swimmers keen to test out the belief that looping the rock 3 times will bring you true love. Add to this the attraction of the warm waters and nearby beach and it's popularity is not surprising.

The island of Cyprus is also believed to be the birthplace of Aphrodites lover Adonis as well as the mountaintop home of several of Greek mythology's major players. The highest peak in the Troodos mountains is believed by many to be Mount Olympus where Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena and Artemis all resided. The hidden vineyards, valleys and villages of the Troodos massif are certainly a favourite with visitors still, and several painted Byzantine churches in the area have been awarded with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

There have also been rumours of the nearby location of the underwater city of Atlantis over the centuries. Most recently in 2004,a US researcher claimed to have found evidenceof man-made construction on the seabed just off south-eastern Cyprus. After scanning the seabed with sonar technology, Robert Sarmast stated that his findings meant that the island may be merely the top of an ancient mountain where Atlantis once stood.

Whatever you believe, there are certainly enough fascinating stories to make trips to Cyprus even more enthralling. From the ancient gods to the modern-day tourists, the island has changed dramatically over time, but the myths and legends have remained very much alive.

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Posted in Home Post Date 11/24/2019


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