Cyprus Passion

The Baths of Aphrodite are located in the Paphos district, on the east side of the Akamas Peninsula. The ‘baths’ is about an hours drive from the Paphos harbour.  According to local legend, the ‘baths’ is the location where the Greek goddess of love and passion, Aphrodite bathed. The Baths of Aphrodite is a natural grotto shaded by an old fig tree. At the grotto, water gently streams down a rock wall and into a pool surrounded by moss.

In Greek mythology it is also the spot where Adonis (the male God of beauty and attraction) fell in love at first sight with Aphrodite.

Although the ‘Baths of Aphrodite’ was influenced by the grotto, the name technically refers to the larger natural area surrounding the region. The grotto makes up just one small part.

In the nature park you will see many plants and trees endemic to Cyprus. If you enter the Akamas Natural Reserve Park from the car park to the ‘baths,’ you’ll wonder through a botanical garden that hosts many indigenous plants of the area. The site is at its most majestic in spring, as all the native flowers are in bloom. Special guided tours can be organised if you wish to learn more about the site.

From the grotto there is a 2.5km track to the West. The track follows the legendary path that Aphrodite took to rest under a large oak tree after her bath. Here, the trail splits into two hiking routes, one called ‘Aphrodite’ and the other, ‘Adonis’. Both trails are about 5km in length and if you’re walking, take roughly 2 hours to complete. At the site, the Baths of Aphrodite also has a parking lot, shops and a restaurant.

The area is also home to lots of stunning geological formations. The walking trail along the coastline, provides magnificent views out to the Mediterranean. There are also swimming spots at nearby beaches, that provide the opportunity to rest and relax. Close by there is also the local Archaeological Museum of Marion-Arsinoe at Polis Chrysochous. The museum has some ancient artefacts that are part of the Route of Aphrodite. Its worth stopping by the museum to view these ancient artefacts.

In ancient times, the grotto inspired poet Athineos (170-230 A.D) who first refers to the site as the ‘Baths of Aphrodite.’ He also writes that the grotto is where Aphrodite falls a sleep with her husband Hephaestus and there is a plant named Silene which grows in the water.

So why not spend an afternoon soaking up all that the site has to offer? Endemic flora and fauna and coastal views, all whilst learning more about the Greek mythology of the Goddess Aphrodite.

More sightseeing in Paphos

Read also