AKAMAS AND CHRYSOCHOU BAY
The main road north from Paphos takes you to Chrysochou Bay, which runs from the tip of the Akamas Peninsular in the west to Pomos Point in the east. The main villages of significance are Polis and the fishing harbour of Latchi. The more adventurous can find many fine undiscovered beaches, further to the east but most tourists head for the beach resorts on the coast near Latchi and Polis. Romantics, however, usually head further west till the road reaches a parking lot by the Baths of Aphrodite, in the heart of the Akamas National Park.
The Akamas National Park is a deserted unspoilt region of hills and rocky shores in the far northwest corner of Cyprus. This wild uninhabited region has spectacular landscapes and has become a habitat for several species of flora and fauna unique to the Mediterranean. The area is a haven for birds and other wildlife such as shrews, hedgehogs and foxes. Several species of snake and lizards are indigenous. Monk seals are also known to dwell in the sea caves around the coast. Many areas are now officially protected and only a few dirt tracks penetrate the peninsula. Safari style jeep tours of the area can be booked in the local towns and several nature trails have been established for walkers.
Avagas Gorge (image right), was formed over several millennia by the action of the river. It is one of the few accessible gorges in Cyprus, located it at the start of the Akamas peninsular and easily accessible by road. This is an idyllic place to visit, especially in the morning or late afternoon, when the light is magical inside the gorge.
Polis is a small, delightful, traditional town about a kilometer from the sea, built on the foundations of the ancient city-kingdom of Marion. The village square has been attractively pedestrianised, featuring a pleasant row of cafes and restaurants all selling good local produce. Polis has traditionally been popular with backpackers and there is a campsite due north of the town, close to the beach.
picturesque fishing village with a quaint harbour that boasts a number
of first class fresh fish tavernas. An ideal place for relaxing and
watching the pleasure boats. There are several fine sandy beaches,
perfect for swimming, with sun beds and parasols for hire. The area is
also popular for water sports like windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba
diving, surfing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, sailing, not to
forget fishing. There are also plenty of boat trips available from the
harbour. This is a place of beautiful scenery and provides an ideal
access point to the many nature trails around Akamas.
Other Places to Visit in the West
cool, peaceful and romantic place, where a small stream trickles into
a small pool beneath a canopy of trees. Legend tells that Aphrodite
bathed here before her marriage to Adonis. This is a lovely area and a
good starting point for exploring the many marked trails in the
region, such as the coastal path walk to Fontana Amoroza.
Located 8 km west of Polis. Open daily. Car Park and Free admission.
Bay is famous for its nesting turtles. With wide and often deserted
sandy beaches, it is now one of the few remaining havens for loggerhead
and green turtles to nest. The coast here faces due west, towards the
open sea, and the waves tend to be bigger than elsewhere on the island.
It can only be accessed via dirt tracks using 4x4s or by boat. The
Cypriot authorities have created a hatchery at Lara to try and ensure
that tourism does not frighten the turtles away from one of their last
Mediterranean habitats. The easiest access is by boat from Paphos or
Latchi. If are planning to use the beach in this area, take care to
stay well clear of any marked nests (see image opposite). It should
also be noted that Beach umbrellas are forbidden as they could damage
Location 27 km north of Paphos.
Agios Georgios (Pegeias)
Agios Georgios is at the southern edge of the Akamas region. Situated on the west coast, it is the perfect place to enjoy the most spectacular and often dramatic sunsets.
church of Agios Georgios is an ideal starting place for
walks in this area. It provides some of the most splendid sea views,
with the quaint
little fishing harbour below and the small island (Geronisos) just off
the coast. There are also some interesting sea caves (Thalassines Spilies) just to the south.
Located on the west coast, 18 km north of Paphos.
are two fine sandy bays here, separated by crumbling white cliffs. This
is the usual retreat for visitors staying in Paphos (were the beaches
are less than remarkable). The sea is usually calm and inviting.
Sun beds can be hired on the beach and water sports and para-gliding
available for the more energetic. Plenty of amenities and beach side
restaurants ensure that you can stay all day to enjoy the sun.
Located on the west coast, 10 km north of Paphos.
beautiful site is well worth a short detour from the main
Legend tells that it is here that Aphrodite met her lover Adonis. It
was their favourite place where they often bathed together. However, it
is also said to be the place where Adonis died in the arms of Aphrodite
being fatally wounded in battle. A statue of Adonis and Aphrodite
stands outside the entrance. The baths are located below a sparkling
waterfall shaded by trees, with high cliffs either side. The waters
here are deep and excellent for swimming. A plunge here is fabled to
make women look younger and more beautiful and to make men stronger.
Located 5 km north of Paphos near Pegeia. Open daily. Free admission.