It was the weekend and what could have been more interesting on this beautiful sunny day but to take a lovely drive to the Baths of Aphrodite and the beautiful coastline along the north of the island towards Argaka.We had friends visit and of course you can’t come to Cyprus without finding out about some of the Greek Gods especially Aphrodite the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty who plays a very large part of Cyprus mythology.
There are 2 well-known locations to visit when following in the footsteps of Aphrodite:-
- The birth place of Aphrodite and
- The Baths of Aphrodite
1. Aphrodite’s mythical birthplace ‘Petra tou Romiou’ is an interesting geological formation of huge rocks along one of the most beautiful coastlines on the island, located on the southwest coast of the Paphos district. It is about 15 minutes drive from Paphos Airport and 45 minutes from Coral Bay.According to the legend, the Ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty – Aphrodite – was born of the sea-foam here. Legend tells that she rose from the waves and was escorted on a shell to this particular beach.
The giant rock formations, which are seen at the same location are linked with another – more recent – legend which tells that the Byzantine hero Digenis Akritas heaved them there to keep the Saracens Arabs (7th-10th centuries) at bay. The name of Petra tou Romiou (‘rock of the Greek’ in Greek) comes from the hero.
It is said that in certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With imagination, this momentarily looks like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape. Other popular myths tell that swimming around the rock three times will bring various blessings, including eternal youth and beauty, good luck, fertility and true love.
2. Our trip with our friends took us to the Baths of Aphrodite with its natural grotto and its botanical garden. It can be found past the fishing harbour of Latchi and towards the tip of the Akamas Peninsular.
According to legend, after swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Bay, Aphrodite used to bathe in this pond, shaded by an old fig tree amidst lush greenery and surrounded by idyllic landscape with sweet-smelling wild flowers. It was here that Aphrodite met her beloved Adonis for the first time. Adonis was hunting in the Akamas forest when he stopped at the spring to quench his thirst. He was struck by the sight of the naked goddess bathing in the crystal waters. Aphrodite and Adonis were instantly bewitched by each other’s extraordinary beauty.
Continuing from the pool used by Aphrodite you can follow one of the nature trails, one of which takes you along the coast back towards the restaurant near the car park.
Back in the car again and we head back towards Latchi and then onto Polis. Taking the coast road which runs along the north of the island to Kato Pygros we decided to go for lunch in a little coastal village called Argaka. We stopped at a restaurant right on the sea front called Santa Barbara. What more could you want to watch the world go by….. Amazing sea views, a cool drink and some lovely food