Polis & Latchi, Paphos: Cyprus Travel Series
A favourite place for some snorkelling in Cyprus is Aphrodite’s Baths (or Λουτρά Της Αφροδίτης) near Latchi on the Akamas coastline. Akamas is the only large unspoiled coastal area remaining in Cyprus and one of the very few important sea turtle nesting areas in the Mediterranean.
Aphrodite’s Baths has a beach surrounded by coral and rocks that attract colourful and unique fish and shellfish. The beautiful water is one of the clearest in Europe, and gently gets deeper as you swim to the middle of the bay. You can either gently drift along taking in the rich coral and sea fauna, or free dive down to the deeper parts where you can see more rare fish.
The Polis/Latchi side of the island has the most picturesque and truly unspoiled beaches. Lara bay on the Akamas peninsula is sandy and spectacular however requires more effort to reach and either a 4 x 4 or buggy, as we’ve discussed in another Cyprus Travel Series article previously.
Latchi interestingly has a choice of all different types of beaches: pebble, shingle or sand (depending on your preference) on each sides of the town and many small coves as you travel along the coastline from Latchi towards the Akamas; which is a great place to stop for snorkeling!
Both the Loggerhead and Green Turtle nest on the beaches of this region; with the Green Turtle relying on the Akamas beaches for its species survival; making it a UNESCO protected area. The areas’ natural beauty extends to the surroundings outside of the water; beautiful cliffs and caves, all abundant with marine life makes for a great diving trip.
Latchi Dive Centre is located in the picturesque fishing harbour of Latchi, along with their Watersports and Boat Hire office. They have two further beachfront shops offering boat hire and water-sport equipment rental at La Plage and Anassa Beach.
If going unsupervised, we would recommend sticking to the edges or around the rocks, or use a float on the surface to advertise your presence, as the bay can be popular with inexperienced tourists driving rented boats.
Address: Latchi Lighthouse, Poli Crysochous, Paphos, 8830.
Hours: Mon-Sat 8AM–8PM.
Photo Credit: Nicolas Ktorides