Posts Tagged 'Turkey'

The Goddess of Love Came to Be in Paphos, Cyprus

All this and Aphrodite too.

All this and Aphrodite too.

Ancient finds are numerous within the islands and mainlands between Greece and Turkey. Paphos can claim to be one huge archaeological site with the endorsement of UNESCO labeled as a world heritage site.  It is here you can visit many points of interest, leaving time as your only limitation.

Along the southwest coast of Cyprus lies the city of Paphos, which originally was the capital in Roman times. It inhabitants date from 1400 BC. Greek Mythology is the basis of Paphos. This is where the legend of the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born. And it was Aphrodite, who in turn, had given the name Paphos to her only daughter.

Besides tales of Gods and Goddesses, Paphos also professes strong ties to the early Christianity period. Many relics can be found here intact; as its treasures have survived the numerous raids it experienced in 3000 years.

Today, Paphos has been revived on the strength of tourism and its ancient finds. The temperate weather, antiquities and the Mediterranean Sea only adds to an ideal vacation. A stay at one of the new vacation rentals that offer panoramic views of the sea and own beachfront such as a 1 or 2 bedroom unit at Cypria Maris is the perfect solution.

Legend states that Aphrodite emerged from the Mediterranean Sea. In Paphos,  two “official” places authenticate her existence. 
 
To examine one of these breathtaking sites is with a walk along the shore at the Akamas Peninsula. Before you know it, you will be in view of several beautiful rock formations in a natural grotto. This is where the mythological goddess Aphrodite was said to be born, upon the sea foam along the larger rock that juts from the sea. The rock is named Petra tou Romiou or The Venus Rock. Being a daughter of Zeus and Dione, she automatically was given a bona fide goddess title. 

The Baths of Aphrodite, at nearby Polis, are supposedly the “Fountain of Love” or Fontana Amorosa; being a few miles further into the Akamas Peninsula. The painting, “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, will immediately come to mind. Perhaps Botticelli observed the formations on a visit and obtained his inspiration of her “rising from the sea.”
 
Although the romantics will appreciate the story of Aphrodite, there are many more authentic historical sites to visit in Paphos. Some highlights in the archaeological hot spot are constantly evolving;  meaning that more than one visit to this historic island is needed.

Contrary to its name, the impressive Tombs of the Kings bear no true kings or royalty that are buried within. Rather the site is final resting place for those who lived and died in Paphos between 3 BC and 3 AD. The remains are of approximately 100 aristocrats who lie within tombs which are carved out of solid rock.  There are Doric pillars, fresco walls made as if it were for supreme royalty. The 100 tombs on the site cover a wide area, so make sure you take your walking shoes.

Reflect on the history in a relaxing vacation rental.

Reflect on the history in a relaxing vacation rental.

The Mosaics of Paphos were created during the Roman era rule of the island a mere 2000 years ago. Paphos did well financially under Roman rule, however, many of these villas were destroyed by a massive earthquake. The discovery in 1962 is still in its infancy and no doubt more will be unearthed during excavations. Many of the mosaics feature mythological scenes and are one of the best preserved relics to be found throughout the world.

As you can judge, Paphos is not just a beach resort and allows variety for all tastes. To truly enjoy your visit, split up the time between a relaxing day and an intensive one. There is no better way to achieve this than with a vacation rental to lay back, swim and enjoy the sea.

Romans, Pirates and a Lady – Kalkan, Turkey

A vacation rental with views of where pirates and Romans fought.

A vacation rental with views of where pirates and Romans fought.

It is only speculative as to when Kalkan was founded and even the locals dispute the time frame and who arrived first. Many will point out that their version is correct but one thing is certain; it is apparent that “Old Town” of Kalkan exudes with both Greek and Turkish heritage. History states that the town was previously known as “Phoenicus.”  It is a labyrinth of small cobblestone streets winding down to a picturesque harbor. Today the former ambiance exists but is now lined with roof terrace restaurants, offering spectacular sunset views on the waterfront and trendy harbor side cafes with friendly locals.

The harbor is revered from its past as being the only safe haven for ships during rough weather along the entire coast and beyond. In fact, Kalkan is a Turkish word meaning ‘shield’. It is this cove that housed and hid pirates from the Romans, whom they fought up and down the coast and the nearby Island of Rhodes. The entire region obtains the reputation as belonging to the pirates and the harbor’s strategic location helped pirates seize merchant ships and the goods they contained while sailing through these waters.

The Ogan 3 is a wonderful option as a vacation rental which can accommodate the whole family or a group traveling together, affordable in price with the unobstructed views of the harbor and the Mediterranean Sea. Escape the urban or fast-paced environment of daily life and instead crossover for a total tranquil diversion. An added bonus is obtained of sharing quality time with those who surround you. With averaging 300 days of sunshine a year,  relax by your pool and let your imagination take off releasing thoughts of pirates of the past and their battles.

With its clear, clean aqua color water and beach facilities, Kalkan has been awarded the highly desired European “Blue Flag” year after year. With an honor like that, you can be assured that the beaches are ideal for all types of water sports, diving and swimming.

Take a side trip to visit the nearby villages offering ancient ruins, plenty of documented history and other points of interest. Becoming a popular beach holiday destination for travelers who seek privacy as well as exploration; Kalkan has the charm of a tranquil fishing village. 

Sunny days and delightful beaches await you.

Sunny days and delightful beaches await you.

And who is this unnamed lady the locals speak of? They claim she was instrumental in placing Kalkan on the map 150 to 200 years ago. As the legend begins, the unnamed lady from the Isle of Meis, the sponge capital of the world, took the initiative and arrive in Kalkan with goods from her hometown to sell. She became so successful with her venture, that other entrepreneurs from Meis heard the news of her new found fortune, immediately moved to Kalkan and set up their businesses. The town soon became a small flourishing port filled with a growing population.

Whether this story is fact or not is irrelevant. Today Kalkan is a delight that presents itself with beauty, sunny days and tradition. It is interesting to note though that Kalian’s architectural style closely resembles that of the houses in Meis. You decide when you visit this gem of the Mediterranean.


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