The Akamas Peninsula
Located in the west of Cyprus the Akamas National Park is possibly the most picturesque corner of the island. Covering approximately 230 square kilometers the Akamas peninsula is where you will find wild landscape, amazing natural beauty, deep gorges, and wide sandy bays. The diversity of wildlife is of outstanding ecological importance for the Mediterranean and the wide variety of fauna is certainly impressive. Here you can find 168 different varieties of birds, 12 different mammals, 20 different reptiles and 16 different species of butterfly.
The importance of the Akamas Peninsula is recognised far beyond the shores of Cyprus. The European Council has included the Akamas Peninsula within its Mediterranean protection programme and within Cyprus, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are campaigning hard for the Akamas Peninsula to be declared a National Park.
This impressive gorge is in the western part of the Akamas peninsula, about 20 km from Paphos. The linear trail through the gorge is approximately 2.5 km long with steep rocks on both sides reaching up to 80 metres in height with the narrowest point being just 3 metres wide. Deep inside the ancient gorge you will be amazed by the towering cliffs, rare plants and flowers, reptiles, wild mountain goats and delicate ecosystems.
This extensive and often near-deserted sandy beach requires a 4WD vehicle to reach it as it is accessed along several miles of un-surfaced tracks. Lara Bay is an extremely important turtle breeding ground as here you can find the green turtles and hawks-bill turtles. These turtles are on the endangered species list and Lara Bay is being made a safe haven for them as attempts are being made to provide safe sites for their egg laying.
Baths of Aphrodite
This shallow pool approximately 45 kms north of Paphos and approximately 6 kms from Latchi is an interesting spot to visit. The natural grotto features a caved pool surrounded by ferns and shaded by a fig tree. The water to the pool is supplied by a natural spring. According to mythology, Aphrodite used to bathe in this pond and it is here that she met her beloved Adonis for the first time. The waters here were believed to have special rejuvenating powers, and swimming here would guarantee eternal youth and beauty.
The Blue Lagoon
Accessible only by boat, the water in this small bay on the Akamas Peninsula is so clear you can see all the way to the bottom. The cool and tempting waters are great for a gentle snorkel.
Crisscrossed by rocky hiking trails, there are 3 official nature trails through the Akamas Peninsula, Aphrodite Trail, Adonis Trail and Smigies Trail. Hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of rock formations, huge gorges, limestone outcroppings, mis-shapen coastline and cliffs and boulders sculpted into odd shapes.