From Aphrodite’s Bath up the Aphrodite Trail
Nov 24, 2018
|Legend has it that the Goddess Aphrodite was born in the sea off Cyprus and later spent time on the island with her lover Adonis. So much here is named for the goddess that if the phone book were like my home town’s there are surely even listings that spell it as AAAphrodite’s (pizza, hair salon, car repair) just to be in the front pages.
Our drive from Paphos out to the Akamas Peninsula ascended through dry, hilly terrain that reminded me very much of the Kamloops area in British Columbia. It only flattens out again very near the seaside resort town of Polis.
The peninsula is the westernmost and least-inhabited part of Cyprus and the area offers a great many walking options through the Akamas Forest.
We chose the Aphrodite/Adonis Trail combination as the terrain and distance/time details for these two options were appropriate for splitting up our travelling group of four.
The trail head starts at a botanical garden. Once in to the gates we took a pretty, paved walkway to small pool of water known as the Bath of Aphrodite. From there we exited the garden and followed a nature trail up and inland through the pine forest.
About an hour later, the nature trail splits into the Aphrodite Trail and the Adonis Trail. It’s a pretty spot, this junction, with a 500-year-old oak tree, an old stone fountain and the foundational ruins of Pyrgod tis Regina (Tower of the Queen).
The Aphrodite Trail continues to the 370m peak of Moutti tis Sotiras. From there it begins a steeper switchback descent that provides stunning views out over Chrysochou Bay. Car to car, it was a 7.9 kms walk.
On the drive back, we took a detour up to the hill town of Dhrousha. The old stone buildings were as pretty as one might expect. Lending much to the charm of the place was our coming upon two elderly yiayias (Greek for grandmothers) in their traditional black dress and black lace headscarves as they walked slowly along the narrow street. Then, not two minutes later, we drove past an Greek Orthodox priest talking to someone outside the town’s stone church.
The drive continued through hillside farms that were every bit as terraced as those we have seen in China. Before descending we had great views of the broad valley which was dotted with farm houses.
Really gorgeous non-strenuous walking day. For a tougher option I suggest doing the Aphrodite Trail in the opposite direction we did it - and then after descending from the summit continuing along the Adonis Trail for a combined distance of approximately 12 kms.