Aphrodite's Bath in Neo Chorio, Cyprus

Baths of Aphrodite

The Baths of Aphrodite (Loutra tis Afroditis) is a small grotto nestled in a botanical garden and nature trail on the western side of Cyprus. Located on the edge of the Akamas Peninsula, the grotto is shaded by an old fig tree and its waters come from a natural spring that flows down the rock.

Historically, the fig tree is associated with the worship of mother goddess figures such as the ancient Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, who took the form of the divine fig tree called Xikum. Ancient Cypriots believed Aphrodite to be a mother goddess and the patron deity of Cyprus, so it makes sense that this cavern protected by a fig tree is sacred.

Local lore holds that Aphrodite would bathe in this grotto after trysts with her lovers. It is here that she is said to have met Adonis when he ventured to the pool for a drink after hunting. Legend states that the waters of this lagoon possess magical qualities, granting beauty and fertility to those who bathe in them. However today, visitors are prohibited from swimming here.

A trail to the west of the baths takes you to a large oak tree said to be a favorite lounging spot for the goddess of love. This part of the trail is 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from the grotto. From this point, the path splits into two walking routes named “Aphrodite” and “Adonis.” Both trails are approximately three miles (5 km), which is about a two-hour walk.

The pathway and baths of Aphrodite are close to the coast, during your walk take a moment to relax in the flora and fauna as you gaze out towards the lush Mediterranean Sea.

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