This is a story of how a local Cypriot fell into the biggest tourist trap on the island and a warning for any unsuspecting “tourists” visiting Cyprus. Guilty me, I didn’t know much about this place before visiting. After a family friend visited us from Poland, she wanted to visit Paphos for a day trip. Completely unaware, on our way back home from Blue Lagoon in Paphos, we thought It would be nice to see Adonis Baths, since there was a big hype about it. You can read about it in guidebooks, see signs on the streets mentioning it, advertisements everywhere – you get what I mean.
The story behind Adonis Baths
According to the Greek mythology, Aphrodite – the Goddess of love and Adonis – the God of beauty and desire were madly in love. It is said that the citizens of Paphos are descendants of the two lovers.
Artemis, the Goddess of hunting was envious of their love and was trying to find a way to kill Adonis. The first two times, Adonis was really lucky but the third time, a man distinguished as wild boar fatally wounded him. He returned back to the baths, where he died in the arms of Aphrodite. And that’s the legend that inspired the creation of this place.
Getting to Adonis Baths
The road was a dead trap for my little car and If I knew that It was that bumpy, steep and dangerous, I would never go there. My little Aygo hasn’t forgiven me yet about this nightmare and is not ready to repeat the same journey any time soon (or ever!). There is even a misleading sign before entering the road which says ” Suitable for all cars”, biggest lie of all times! If you check out reviews on tripadvisor, you will even read some horror stories on how this road even damaged some cars.
Arriving at Adonis Baths
Once we arrived there and safely parked my car, we proceeded to buy tickets. I almost had a second heart attack when the owner told us it costs €9 for each of us , total €27 for this waterfall! We drove all the way there and thought It would be such a waste of time If we didn’t make it in.
“Why is the ticket so expensive, what’s included in it?” – asked my mom the owner in complete surprise.
“There’s so much to see here, we have hundreds of tourists every day that enjoy the beautiful waterfall of Adonis and we have some really interested statues of Greek Gods and even a museum.”
We didn’t want to disappoint our friend, so we decided to visit this place hoping it is as interesting as the owner described.
The moment we realized we fell into the biggest tourist trap in Cyprus
According to Urbandictionary, (my ultimate favorite “say it as it is” kind of dictioanary) defines tourist trap as:
“A place specifically designed to attract stupid tourists and take their money. It’s like taking candy from a baby, that’s how easily they fork it over.”
And that’s exactly what I realized then.
The entrance through the house/museum which was built by the humble owner of this place was featuring photos of himself hung everywhere of his career as an actor. You could also see some old furniture that I’m not sure what exactly represent at this point. Is this supposed to be relevant to the Baths of Adonis, is this really a museum with “antiques”or has he used his grandmother’s furniture to create this “folk art” vibe and enrich the visitor’s experience?
When we made it to the hyped up waterfall, we had to sit down for at least 2 minutes to survive the last and almost “deadly” heart attack. The pond was completely manmade and we could tell the water was anything but clean. It felt really uncomfortable walking in the little pond and could definitely not bring myself to swim or enjoy this place.
We visited quite late, at 6ish and so we were the last people to visit probably along with two girls who wouldn’t stop of the “magical” place. I don’t blame them, what else could you possibly do in this place than take a photo? Let this €9 at least justify that instagram photo If nothing more, right?
What locals are saying about “Adonis Baths”
Half a year later, I checked what the Cypriots are saying about this place and wasn’t really surprised. In Cyprus we have a “little” fb group where we talk shit about places we dont like we write reviews. Here’s just a few things Cypriots are saying:
“We asked some policemen about this place and said that Adonis Baths don’t really belong to the owner but the plot close to it belongs to him and he blocked access by putting an entrance to this place. When we arrived there and found out about the price we left without getting in. Such a big scam for this price”
“A shepherd we found in the area some years ago before the place was so popular and didn’t have an entrance ticket told us it was just the place where shepherds took their sheeps to drink water and rest. It is up to each one to judge how this place turned into Adonis Baths.”
The political party of environmentalists have even been debating with COT (Cyprus Organization Of Tourism) about the rename of this place from “Mavrokolimpos” to “Adonis Baths” purely for economical reasons of the owner and have managed to remove the name of “Adonis Baths” from the official map of Cyprus.
Why I hated this place – and why you should think twice before visiting
The owner is a great marketeer – used storytelling and a little natural water pool in the middle of nowhere to create the historic “Adonis Baths” and charges €9 for ¨maintenance of the environment” as it is mentioned on the ticket. As a Cypriot I’m ashamed by how this guy turned this place into a tourist attraction and has been taking advantage of tourists for many years.
There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Cyprus that are beautiful, natural and free of charge! You can take a day trip to Platres or Troodos and explore the endless nature trails. There’s also Akamas in Paphos, where the water is crystal clear and beautiful.
The highlight of our trip
You would probably laugh If I tell you what our friend said she liked the most about this trip. She said that the most interesting part of little journey was the part that she saw the goats wandering aimlessly in the area before we arrived to Adonis Baths. At least the goats were real, an authentic part of our Cypriot culture!
P.S I might even accept some hard criticism by writing this blog post but I have always wanted to be honest with my readers about everything that I love and hate in Cyprus. It´s totally up to you to decide whether it´s worth it or not to visit.