Make Akamas a Chapter in Your Book of Travels
The island of Cyprus… a Treasure to be explored…from the traditional charm of its towns and villages, to the cosmopolitan nature of its larger cities and seaside resorts, Cyprus is truly an island of many facets. Coral Bay in Pafos (Bay of Maa), a stretch of coast, has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful in all of Cyprus. Towns such as Peyia and Ayios Georgios have consequently become a favourite with visitors from all around the globe! Then there’s Polis and its neighbour Latchi, rated among the most scenically beautiful locations on the island, not only because of their sweeping views of Chrysochous Bay, but also their proximity to the Akamas Peninsula National Park.
If you’re looking for the thrill of a Safari Adventure, start at The Akamas Peninsula – a preserved national park that leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller! An area of natural wilderness with dramatic coastlines and sandy coves. A place where you can truly appreciate the beautiful unspoilt scenery that Cyprus has to offer, walking the many nature trails, taking a boat trip along the coast to swim off secluded beaches or simply exploring the varied plant and animal life.
The Akamas National Park lies on the west coast of Cyprus, a truly pictorial part of the island. It has an area coverage of 230 square kilometres containing valleys, gorges and wide sandy bays. The wildlife diversity is crucial for the ecology in the Mediterranean. In this spectacular environment there are 168 varieties of birds, 20 different reptiles, 16 species of butterfly and 12 different mammals not to mention its very rich variety of fauna.
Visit the awe-inspiring Avakas Gorge. A true wonder of nature, Avakas Gorge is nearly 3 kilometres long, carved out of limestone rocks reaching up to 30 metres high. The gorge’s rough, narrow track over the stream that formed this marvel over thousands of years is ideal for thrill-seeking trekkers who are in for taking on challenging routes! Pools of water, slippery stones, and larger rocks mix together to create an exciting experience for the adventurous trekker. As the track gets narrower you will find yourself practically walking through the stream beneath the gorge! Discover a wide range of trees and flowers including imposing pine trees, cypresses and oaks, beautiful wild flowers, as well as extremely rare plants like the endemic centauria akamandis that can only be found in the canyon. Challenge yourself in spotting a fruit bat in the gorge, known in some areas as the “flying fox”! The stunning fauna of the area includes foxes, falcons, night owls, reptiles and much more.
Next stop - Lara Beach! An off-road trip to a deserted heaven! Famous for being a Caretta Caretta (Loggerhead) and Green Turtles breeding ground, Lara Beach is an untouched paradise of deep blue waters and golden sand. A true jewel of nature, Lara Beach is the last remaining breeding ground of green turtles in the Mediterranean. It is truly amazing to experience the moment the eggs are hatched, and these new-born creatures find their way to the sea for the first time. You’ll also be thrilled to meet the rest of the wildlife in the area, including wild goats, birds and even monk seals!
Don’t miss the Baths of Aphrodite. Experience the beauty of natural spring waters falling into a calm, shallow, caved pond, surrounded by an idyllic landscape of trees and flowers. Let your imagination travel back to antiquity, when according to the legend, Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, used to bathe in the cool waters of the pond, after her swim in the Bay of Polis. Here, Aphrodite met Adonis, her great love, when he stopped for some water while hunting. They both fell in love at first sight, stunned by each other’s extraordinary beauty! The myth has it that if you bathe in this pond, you will be given eternal youth. Explore the Aphrodite Natural Trail. Ideal for adventurous hikers, with slippery and narrow paths. Walking along the trail, you can’t miss the ruins of the legendary Pyrgos tis Rigainas (Queen’s Tower), which used to be a medieval monastery, along with the impressive 100-year-old oak tree that stands proudly next to it.
Pure Adventure, the Akamas Peninsula magnifies all human emotions. The World is a book. If you’re travelling to Cyprus this summer, make Akamas a Chapter in your book of travels!