Cyprus, the multilayered Mediterranean island near the Middle East has long been a favoured holiday destination for nature lovers. Alike the history, this birthplace of Aphrodite is world famous for its warm sunny days, sparkling lagoons, sublime stretches of sand, rugged wine-growing regions, dramatic cliffs and wonderful scenery. The island offers visitors a splendid holiday destination packed with extraordinary sights, exquisite cuisine and unforgettable experience with a generous dose of romantic ancient legends to spice up your vacations.
Regardless of your interests, age or budget, this ‘Jewel of Mediterranean’ is littered with an array of natural wonders to wow your throughout the year. One of the most compelling natural landscapes in the island is a truly pictorial Akamas Peninsula that makes the northwest tip of Cyprus. This thick, uninhabited region of hills and rocky shores instantly attracts adventurers and nature lovers.
A meeting point of three continents, Akamas with its dirt tracks and natural pathways, is amazing for walkers, mountain bikers and off-road drivers. Covering an area of approx 230 square kilometers, Akamas is a world away from the booze-fuelled strips of Cyprus’ party towns.
If you visit Cyprus, you must visit this extraordinary landscape. This place of spectacular scenery has a lot to discover.
Unlock the Unspoiled Wonder of Nature
With extremely diverse flora and fauna, this cape at the northwest extremity of Cyprus has unique geology. From narrow deep valleys, stretched sand dunes, caves and islets to rugged coast, natural trails and gorges such as that of Avakas, Akamas is a canvas for real geological and physiographical mosaic. Further, the distinctive biodiversity, the ecosystems and the habitats add more colours to this magnificent painting of nature.
For visitors interested in rich flora and fauna, Akamas offers an unparalleled endemic wealth. There are over 530 indigenous plant species including the 35 endemic species. The rich fauna of the region includes over 160 varieties of birds, 12 types of mammals, 20 reptile species and approx 16 types of butterfly that includes the endemic Glaucopsyche paphos butterfly. If you are lucky, you might get a chance to see Mediterranean seal and sea turtles breeding on the remote Akamas shores.
Another interesting thing that zest up the beauty and charm of Akamas is its ancient association with gods and warriors. The peninsula is named after ‘Acamas’, a Greek warrior and son of Theseus, who had a love for faraway lands, and arrived here after his victory at the mythical Trojan war.
Similarly, an interesting story about this unspoiled land explains that ‘Aphrodite’, the Greek goddess of love used it as her playground. Legends has it that after swimming in the clear bay water, she used to bathe in a pool of freshwater running out of a mountain spring down the sides of a shady grotto overhung by a leafy fig tree in the most westerly part of the island. The pool is now called the ‘Baths of Aphrodite’. It is where Adonis fall in love with Aphrodite.
You can almost feel their love story in the Aphrodite Territory amid the scents of flora, the rustle of leaves and the lush valleys with ancient tracks. Walk through these tracks to discover the timeless beauty of the peninsula. While Aphrodite Trail and Adonis Trail are the most popular tracks, Smigies Trail, Pissouromouttis Trail and Kathikas Trail are other wild walkways to enjoy the nature at its best.
This once a firing range of British Army is also associated with another legendry story. The ruins of ‘Pygros tis Rigainas’ or the Queen’s Castle echoes the love story of Rigaina, the Queen of Cyprus and the mythical Byzantine hero Dhigenis Akritas.
Satiate Your Wanderlust for Wilderness
Akamas offers a host of energetic pursuits to engage the visitors. The peninsula is gaining popularity as a coveted destination for nature lovers and adventure travelers.
The spectacular scenery of the peninsula offers visitors welcome respite from the heat. From beaches that are wild and windswept to those that are family-friendly and packed, you have a stretched coastline to bask into the sun and enjoy every conceivable water sports from scuba diving to skimming and wind surfing.
For more adventure, head to the interiors where densely planted vineyards and sweeping valleys offer a wealth of options such as hiking, cycling, biking, snorkeling, camping and even winter skiing.
You can drive on the Akamas by renting a 4WD or a jeep safari. If you are a highly active outdoor enthusiast, explore the land on foot or by bicycle to closely and calmly observe the marvelous beauty. For a faint of heart, you can also opt for an excursion in glass bottomed boats that run from Paphos and Lakki. If you are interested in archeology then wreck dive in Akamas to experience some artifacts of Roman pottery on the seabed.
Stay Close to Nature
When it comes to a place to stay in Cyprus, visitors are spoiled for choices. However, most tourists want an up-close and personal option that is comfortable and closer to nature. That’s where the private villas such as Panorama and Oceania Villas come in the scene.
Just a few kilometers from the breathtaking Akamas Peninsula, these tranquil villas offer a plethora of choices to make your stay the most wonderful and memorable one. For instance, Panorama Villa is located just on the edge of a high cliff, and designed in a way that you can enjoy both the wilderness and the urban beauty of Cyprus from here. What’s better then swimming in the outdoor pool or sun-bathing on the wooden deck while gazing the unspoiled beauty of Akamas.
From lounging on balmy beaches to hiking across the forest paths or discovering the legendry settlements, Akamas offers a world of amazing experiences. Adding to it the Cypriot hospitality at the Panorama Villa is a guarantee that you will plan for a return trip.