The Akamas Peninsular Area Guide

By January 28, 2016Area Guides, Cyprus Taxi

Cyprus Taxi arrange taxi and mini bus transfers from both Paphos and Larnaca airports to the Akamas Peninsular.

The Akamas Peninsula, named after an Athenian warrior and son of Theseus, who arrived here after the Trojan War, is a unique area, both geologically and physiographically and with regards to flora and fauna.

Almost all the geological formations of Cyprus can be found here, from narrow deep valleys, caves and small islands to gorges such as that of Avakas, resulting in a real geological mosaic. For this reason the Akamas peninsula is endowed with a unique biodiversity, habitats and ecosystems.

In the Akamas there are about 530 indigenous plants, of which 35 are endemic, out of a total of about 142 endemic species, sub-species and varieties occurring throughout Cyprus. Some of these plants are endemic to the area. Alyssum akamasicum and Centaurea akamantis have taken their name from the area itself, while species such as Centaurea veneris, Tulipa cypria, Gladiolus triphyllus and many others are found either exclusively or mainly in the Akamas peninsula.

With regards to fauna, the endemic Glaucopsyche paphos butterfly can be considered the emblem of the area. Until recently the Mediterranean seal, Monachus monachus, bred in the inaccessible caves of the peninsula, while on the remote beaches of Lara, the sea turtles, Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas, continue to breed in large numbers.

The area has one of the favourite haunts of the mythological goddess Aphrodite. Legend has it that after swimming in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she would walk up the hill and bathe in a pool fed by a freshwater mountain spring dripping down the sides of a shady grotto overhung by a leafy fig tree, which has come to be known as the Baths of Aphrodite. It is here that Adonis saw and fell in love with her while hunting in the Akamas forest. The Italian poet Ariosto wrote a poem about the area and its waters which became known as the Fontana Amorosa.

The myth of Aphrodite lived on through the Middle Ages turning into the love story between the mythical Byzantine hero Dhigenis Akritas and the Queen of Cyprus known as Rigaina. The ruins of an old monastery in a clearing in the heart of the Akamas with a giant oak tree and a bubbling spring, is known as the “Pyrgos tis Rigainas”, or the Queen’s castle, and is linked to this love story.

Get to know the area on foot along one of the nature trails that cross the peninsula, such as those of Aphrodite or Adonis, offering marvellous views of the bay and the west coast and an opportunity to admire nature from close up. Stop off for a rest in the shady Smygies picnic site, a place associated with love and where Digenis met Rigaina. The area is ideal for cycling due to its numerous forest roads.

By hiring a boat or a boat trip in the nearby town of Latchi you will also be able to experience the Blue Lagoon which is the most popular place of Akamas. Blue Lagoon is also called Chamili bay and is the biggest bay of Akamas. The difference between this bay and others is that the waters are so clear and the colour within the bay is the brightest blue colour. This bay is all sandy and not so deep and therefore is one of the best places for swimming. In the middle of the bay there is a reef where you can enjoy snorkeling. Blue Lagoon is a stop for many tourists renting a boat and spending a relaxing day in the crystal clear waters in the lovely sunshine.

The Last Castle (Viklari Castle) is a very popular, open air restaurant, on a hill top overlooking the Akamas Peninsula. The view from the restaurant is reputed to be one of the best in Cyprus and you can’t fail to see why; surrounded by fruit plantations and with a breathtaking view of the unspoilt beaches and the deep blue sea.

The restaurant serves a perfectly cooked and delicious Souvla daily, consisting of pork and chicken served with a jacket potato or wedges, village salad and bread. It is a licensed restaurant and all other beverages are also available.

The restaurant is well shaded by flowering shrubs and vines providing a unique setting. There is plenty of seating with different arrangements and all of the table tops are large slabs of solid stone. There is no menu and visitors don’t expect one, which all ads to the charm and ambiance of the restaurant.

Should you wish to visit The Last Castle on a Saturday or Sunday we recommend you make a reservation.

CYPRUS TAXI

About CYPRUS TAXI

Cyprus Taxi Cyprus Taxi are based in Paphos Cyprus and offer a professional, reliable and affordable taxi service hire service throughout Cyprus. Our extensive taxi services include airport transfers, wedding transport, tours and excursions and mini-bus transfers. Please contact us at any time for further details.

Leave a Reply