The Baths of Aphrodite are located in the north-westernmost tip of Cyprus. The Baths are situated on the Akamas peninsula, within a lush, mountainous landscape overlooking the magnificent crystal waters of Chrysochou Bay. This is one of my most favourite places on the whole island.
Mythological legend has it that Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, would bathe in the small pond of the mountain spring. This magical location is also where she met her lover Adonis.
The “loutra” (baths) are enchanting. They are a real treat for the senses. The sounds of the birds, crickets and the dripping water are soothing. The beautiful sight of the thick, lush green vegetation, the bold blue sky and the crystal clear waters are inspirational. The scent of the Mediterranean trees in the warm summer temperatures is meditative. The feel of the water is purifying.
The water itself is not potable but every time I go to the loutra I see women filling up empty bottles they have brought with them, with the water from the spring. I understand that they take the water home to wash their faces with the belief that the water has special healing properties and will provide them with eternal youth, in honour of the goddess Aphrodite. I cannot comment on the healing properties of the water, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is the softest, smoothest, sweetest water I have ever felt on my skin. It is incredibly refreshing.
A short hike through the nature trail is necessary if you are to reach the loutra, so dipping your bare toes into the small fountain beside the loutra is one of those beautifully simple sensations that produces happy moments of peace, tranquility and inner beauty. You will feel rewarded for making the trek.
There are many nature trails in and around the Akamas peninsula which will lead you to the Baths of Aphrodite. These are not however for the faint-hearted in the summer months. Cyprus is brimming with nature reserves and hiking trails, but inexperienced hikers would be better suited to doing these in the cooler months. The small trek from the plaza (car park, pavilion, kiosk, restaurant, restrooms) to the baths can be sufficiently challenging for some… but you will very quickly realise upon reaching the top of the trail that it was certainly worth the effort.
Considering the natural qualities and the nature reserves of the Akamas peninsula, this part of Cyprus is rough and rugged. I love the simplicity of it, but most of all I love the serene qualities of the Loutra tis Aphrodites… the baths of the goddess of love and beauty, who was born in Cyprus’ waters and made this beautiful island her home.