Written by Helen Epaminonda,
Last Modified: 9th May 2023

You might know Paphos for its temperate climate, beautiful harbour and ancient tombs. But there’s another place of outstanding natural beauty just a short drive away. Discover Akamas (Agamas), a peninsula just north of Paphos, along the western coast of Cyprus.

Qestern Cyprus is shaped rather like a rhinoceros’s head, in which case ther Akamas Peninsula forms the horn. It stretches for around 15 kilometres into the western Mediterranean.

Akamas is around 90 minutes drive from Paphos town, but most British and Cypriot people live in Peyia, a beautiful traditional village that lies closer to Akamas and which is about an hour away (29 km) or in Polis, which is also close.

blue lagoon, peyia

The waters of Akamas National Reserve Park’s Blue Lagoon

Akamas Peninsula

The Akamas area is divided roughly into two halves. One half is the Akamas National Reserve Park, set in the natural mountainous area and which contains huge amounts of biodiverse flora. The second half is the Akamas peninsular itself, which is protected from development just now, but could change soon. The peninsular has animal species and plants in their hundreds with a stunning backdrop of the blue crystal-clear Mediterranean waters and fantastic scenery.

You will find over 160 bird types in the peninsular, along with small animals like foxes, hedgehogs, vultures, and some species of owls. Actually, the peninsula’s claim to fame is that Sir David Attenborough filmed his programme on the fruit-eating bats living here in the limestone caves that are dotted in the sides of the peninsular (https://visitworldheritage.com).

The Akamas scenery spans from the coastline to has golden sandy beaches (unusual for a mainly mountainous area) and huge towering cliffs. It’s here that the green sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches.

Turtles on turtle bay, akamas

Newborn turtles making their way to the sea for the first time

Protect the turtles!

While the area currently has conservation status to protect the turtle eggs from inland predators, there are rumours that this status may be diminished due to new property developments popping up around the peninsular.

Members of the public make special trips to the peninsular to follow the hatching of the turtle eggs and the baby turtles making their way under cover of darkness to the waters for their first “swim”.

From the beaches you can take some brilliant nature trails across the ridged open spaces of the peninsular and up the mountains to arrive at the cool, thick green forests.

I suggest you take a jeep excursion if you find the temperature too hot to walk in the summer months, but if you go to the Akamas in the spring time when temperatures are lower – around 22°C, these nature trails are well worth it. You can also cycle or run along the paths to keep fit.

Many local athletes use the peninsular to prepare for the Olympics or other major competitions. You will also come across a number of gorges and the Avacas gorge is the most well-known. Its limestone is famous for many endemic plants like the Cyprus cyclamen, the Cyprus tulip and rare orchid species.

Akamas hiking trail

The view from a hiking trail in Akamas Peninsula National Reserve Park

Akamas National Reserve Park

Part of the peninsular is occupied by the Akamas National Park and covers an area of 230 km2. Along with the unique plant life, like strawberry trees and rare purple orchids growing among the rocks and the mouflon deer (the Cyprus national symbol) are the sixteen species of butterflies that you can see fluttering around.

This National Park also contains the shallow Blue Lagoon that has different shades of blue in its waters, and you can swim here or snorkel.

Then there is Aphrodite’s Baths. This is a pool of water found in a very peaceful, cool grotto-like cove. The water is clear, and you can bathe in it. Legend says, Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty took her baths here. There are nearby trails that take between two and four hours to complete. I followed the coast on these trails up to the mountains and it’s well worth it because you get a wonderful view of the serene blue bays below.

Akamas waves sea

Rocky Peninsula of Cape Lara in southern Akamas

Life in Akamas

British friends of mine who live in Polis tell me that Akamas is a wonderful place to live for an authentic Cypriot life. The villages nearby have a mix of traditional and modern influences, with all the amenities you would need.

There are properties available in Akamas, meaning that you can have this beautiful scenery right on your doorstep.

A three-bedroom semi-detached stone house with two bathrooms and with swimming pool in Neo Chorio, for example, is for sale for €270,000 and comes with title deeds.

Don’t forget we have thousands of homes across Paphos and beyond for you to browse on our Cyprus property portal.

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