Our website uses cookies. These are small text files which your web browser stores on your computer. Cookies are used to identify your computer to our server and store your website preferences. Cookies do not contain any personally identifying information.



Julia Buckley follows in the footsteps of Aphrodite

“It’s just a pond,” she’d said at reception. Perhaps something got lost in translation, because from where I’m standing, this ‘pond’ looks more like a grotto, fed by its own mini waterfall — so simple and perfect that it’s worthy of its place in Greek mythology.

I’d come to Cyprus on a yoga retreat, knowing little about it other than the scrap of trivia I’d retained from a lesson in primary school — that the island is, according to legend, the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. I was here to find myself, I’d told myself, ignoring the guidebooks at the airport. I didn’t want to leave Zening Elia Village — the retreat in Latchi, on the northwest coast — so I didn’t want to know what I was missing out on.

But then, at reception, I’d happened to notice a bus timetable listing the ‘Baths of Aphrodite’. Supposedly, I was told, it was the rock-pool where Aphrodite had bathed, and where her lover, Adonis, stumbled upon her mid-wash.

Although the girl at reception insisted that a boat trip around the nearby Akamas Peninsula would be more appropriate than the pond (and she should know — she was actually called Aphrodite), my interest was piqued. On my last day, I woke up at dawn and hopped on the bus.

The path leads through a herb garden and skirts the side of a lush canyon — enormous eucalyptus trees springing up from the depths below and gnarled olive trees clinging to the side. As it heads downhill, I hear the sound of running water.

This is no mere pond, it turns out, but a grotto sized perfectly for two, filled with crystal-clear water and fed by the spring that spills from the rocks above and over a mossy branch, splitting into a line of jets like a fancy rainfall shower head.

It’s set deep in the cliff face, framed by giant dolmens and shaded by the leaves of the fig trees, weaving a lattice of branches across the top. There’s even a soundtrack — the gentle cooing of birds nesting overhead, and the muffled clunks of bells worn by mountain goats scuttling round olive groves on the spectacular headland above. I can’t imagine a more appropriate bathtub for the goddess of love.

Legend has it that any woman who drinks or bathes in the water here will enjoy eternal beauty, but there’s a strict no-swimming rule (when I kneel down, a resident pigeon fixes me with a steely glare, ensuring I comply), and the water’s marked as not drinkable — not that that stops me gulping down a handful.

It tastes as sweet as I’d expect Aphrodite’s private supply to be, although the eternal beauty part could prove more of a challenge. Having said that, when I fly home, my friends are convinced I’ve never looked better, and although I’m sure it’s all the meditation at Zening, a tiny part of me hopes it’s the magic water. I hedge my bets and plan a return trip to both.




Content Notice: Every care is taken in compiling the contents online and in print. However destinationsguide.co.uk and the publisher assume no responsibility for consequences resulting from the publication of, or use of, any of the information contained online/in print. While every care is taken in the accuracy of the information compiled, it is strongly advised the visitor/reader double checks all travel advice with the respective tourist boards/embassies/government offices before acting on any information.

If you would like to contact us with any concerns about any of the content on our website, or report any inaccuracies or notify us of any copyright issues, please send us an email on editorial@aplmedia.co.uk with the url of the article or page and details of the issue. We will respond to any enquiries within 21 days and endeavour to correct any mistakes as soon as possible.

Destinationsguide.co.uk is published by APL Media Limited, Unit 310, Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL. www.aplmedia.co.uk

Editorial enquiries t: +44 (0)20 7253 9906 e: editorial@aplmedia.co.uk

Sales enquiries t: +44 (0)20 7253 9909 e: sales@aplmedia.co.uk

Company no: 3393234  |  VAT: 701391176  |  Registered Office: 30 City Road, London EC1Y 2AB  |  Copyright 2014 APL Media Ltd. All Rights Reserved.