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27jul9:00 am4:15 amFULL DAY EXPLORATION OF THE AKAMAS PENINSULA

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Hiking

Pafos, Nature at its best  

The weather in the region of Pafos plays an important role in allowing visitors and locals alike to venture all year round onto nature trails and tracks ideal for keen walkers and trekking groups. The area is an unspoiled paradise for bird watchers, with a bird list of 378 species including the francolin, kestrel, Cyprus red-footed falcon, the protected Griffon vulture, even great spotted cuckoos. Some visitors also catch sight of the richly coloured kingfisher.

Commune with nature in a region that is one of the best kept secrets of the Mediterranean. Pafos is an inspiring place for appreciating the countryside: the variety of plant and animal life and the beautiful unspoilt scenery are a delight.

Walking holidays in Cyprus are increasingly popular for holidaymakers who wish to get away from the more conventional holiday pursuits of sun, sea and sand.

For hikers who wish to stroll around the historic centres of the main towns, there are a wide variety of guided and self-guided tours to choose from throughout the year.

 

Whether you prefer a short stroll or an exhilarating hike, there is a wide variety of options.

The striking views of the Pafos or Troodos mountains and the rugged beauty of the Akamas peninsula are the most popular areas for walkers. The nature trails, introduce visitors to the flora and fauna of the island and take them through pine forests and past natural springs into picturesque villages with traditional stone houses and historic churches.

Hiking Routes

Aphrodite Nature trail

STARTING POINT

The Aphrodite Trail, situated in the Akamas state forest, begins at the famous Baths of Aphrodite. To get there, follow the coastal road of PoliChrysochous – Neo Chorio and turn right about one kilometre before the village of Neo Chorio following the signs for Baths of Aphrodite. You can leave your vehicle at the Baths of Aphrodite car park.

 

DESCRIPTION

The trail is circular and for about 2.5 km coincides with the Adonis Trail, up until the historical location of Pyrgos tis Rigainas (Tower of the Queen). This section of the trail is rocky and on an uphill slope. According to local legend, this is the route that the Cypriot goddess, Paphia Aphrodite, used to follow, after taking her bath, to reach her tower and rest under the huge oak tree that still exists today. The trail then continues in a north-westerly uphill direction until Moutti tis Sotiras, from where it follows a downhill route toward the Baths of Aphrodite. Along the trail you will find interest points relating to local

plants, shrubs and trees (e.g. lentisk, wild sage, Cyprus golden-drop, strawberry tree, juniper) and to geological formations, such as limestone layers (kafkalla) and serpentinites. The trail also includes a stone water fountain and drinking

water springs (one near the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigainas and one between Baths of Aphrodite and Kakoskali). It offers an impressive panoramic view of Chrysochou Bay, Pafos forest and the rocky islets of Chamili and AgiosGeorgios at Baths of Aphrodite. Nature and beauty meet legend and history at Baths of Aphrodite and Pyrgos tis Rigainas!

 

SERVICES

There is a café-restaurant and kiosk in the Baths of Aphrodite area, where you can enjoy

the Cypriot cuisine, rest and get information about the Akamas Peninsula. You also have the opportunity to walk around the small botanical garden that holds specimens of the peninsula’s rich flora.

 

Flora: The endemic plants you may see include the Cyprus Golden–Drop (Onosmafruticosa), Cyprus sage (Phlomiscypria var. occidentalis).

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.

Birds: Wood pigeon, partridge, Cyprus warbler (endemic), Cyprus wheatear (endemic).

The forest serves as a resting point for many migratory birds.

Reptiles: Cyprus viper, Cyprus lizard, black whip snake.

Adonis Nature trail

STARTING POINT

The Adonis Trail, located in the state forest of the Akamas Peninsula, starts at the Baths

of Aphrodite, a beautiful natural pool where according to local legend the goddess of beauty Aphrodite would take her baths and meet her lover, Adonis. To get there, follow the coastal road of PoliChrysochous – Neo Chorio and turn right about one kilometre before the village of Neo Chorio following the signs for Baths of Aphrodite. You can leave your vehicle at the Baths of Aphrodite car park.

 

DESCRIPTION

The trail is circular and for about 2.5 km coincides with the Aphrodite Trail, up until the historic location of Pyrgos tis Rigainas. This section of the trail is rocky and on an uphill slope.

According to local legend this is the route that the Great Goddess of Cyprus, Aphrodite, used to follow, after taking her bath, to get to her tower and rest under the huge oak tree that still exists today. The trail then continues southeast, crosses the beautiful area of Kefalovrysia and completes its circular path by returning back to Baths of Aphrodite. At Kefalovrysia, the Adonis Trail connects with the Smigies Trail.

Along the route, there are interest points with information regarding endemic and indigenous plants, shrubs and trees like juniper, strawberry tree, myrtle, terebinth, Cyprus bosea, lentisk and the cyclamen, while the area’s most dominant vegetation is maquisshrubland. The view from the trail offers breathtaking views of Chrysochou Bay, Pafos forest and the coast of the Akamas Peninsula. Drinking water springs can be found at

Pyrgos tis Rigainas and at Kefalovrysia.

 

SERVICES

In close proximity to the Baths of Aphrodite you can find a café-restaurant and kiosk where you can rest and get information about the history, mythology, flora and fauna of the area. You can also walk around the small botanical garden and discover the rich flora of the Akamas Peninsula.

According to one version of the legend…

King Kinyras and his companions arrived in Cyprus from Cilicia. He founded the city of Pafos and married Metharme, the daughter of Pygmalion.

He had two sons: Adonis and Oxyporos.

 

Flora: While hiking, you will see many endemic plants: Cyprus Bosea (Boseacypria), Shrubby knapweed (Ptilostemonchamaepeuce var. cyprius), Entire – Leaved Horehound (Acanthoprasiumintegrifolium), Sweet Marjoram (Origanummajorana var. tenuifolium), Cyprus Golden ­Drop (Onosmafruticosa), Cyprus sage (Phlomiscypria var. occidentalis).

 

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.

Birds: Wood pigeon, partridge, Cyprus warbler (endemic), Cyprus wheatear (endemic).

The forest of Akamas also serves as a resting point for many migratory birds.

Reptiles: Cyprus viper, Cyprus lizard, black whip snake.

Smigies Nature trail

STARTING POINT

The Smigies Trail includes two circular routes that begin and end at Smigies picnic site, where you can leave your vehicle. To get to the starting point you must cross the village of Neo Chorio and follow the 3 km-long agricultural road that passes by the chapel of Agios Minas and leads to Smigies.

 

DESCRIPTION

The first common part of the two routes, which is about 1 km long and begins at Smigies picnic site, crosses the slopes of the Peana mountain top, where the Department of

forests has a fire look-out station, and offers an amazing view of the peninsula’s west coast (Lara Bay, Karavopetres, Geronisos). The trail passes by the look-out station and follows the mountain-ridge road, which leads to Cape Arnaoutis. About 200 m after the crossing that leads to the Peana lookout station, the two routes split. The long route

follows a course right of the mountain-ridge road and ends up in the beautiful area of Kefalovrysia where it meets the Adonis Trail. At this point you can choose to change course and trail and end up at Baths of Aphrodite. Otherwise, maintain course heading east and, passing through the old Magnesia metal quarry, the trail will end up in the location of Pampela where the two Smigies routes meet. The short route follows a course

right of the mountain-ridge road, crosses the beautiful area of Skoteini and quickly ends up at the locality of Pampela, thus decreasing the length and duration of the trail to about 1/3. From Pampela, the two routes follow a joint course for about 0.5 kilometres, along an old forest road with panoramic views toward the north-eastern beaches of the peninsula (Chrysochou Bay) and Pafos forest, and end up at Smigies picnic site, which is also the trail’s starting point.

Along the trail you will find numbered interest points with information relating to the area’s main plants, shrubs and trees, such as rockroses, juniper, wild thyme, terebinth, prickly burnet,wild sage, carob tree, strawberry tree, lentisk, and sweet marjoram.

 

SERVICES

Smigies picnic site, with a capacity of 600 visitors, has drinking water coming directly from a spring, and sanitary facilities. Lighting fires is permitted in designated areas.

Flora: Endemic plants: Thyme (Thymus integer), Cyprus germander (Teucriummicropodiodes), Cyprus Golden – Drop (Onosmafruticosa), Entire – Leaved Horehound (Acanthoprasiumintegrifolium), Sweet Marjoram (Origanummajorana var. tenuifolium).

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.

Birds: Wood pigeon, partridge, Cyprus warbler (endemic), Cyprus wheatear (endemic).

The Akamas forest serves as a resting point for many migratory birds.

Reptiles: Cyprus viper, Cyprus lizard, black whip snake.

Pissouromoutti Nature trail

STARTING POINT

The trail is located on the Akamas Peninsula, inside the state forest that is included in Natura 2000, the European network of protected areas. This circular trail begins and ends at Smigies picnic site, where there is also a car park. To get to the starting point, you must cross the village of Neo Chorio and follow the 3 km-long agricultural road that passes by the chapel of Agios Minas and leads to Smigies.

 

DESCRIPTION

The trail follows an upward incline until the top of the hill, called Pissouromoutti, which is where the trail gets its name from. A downward circular course around the hill then takes you back to the end of the trail. There are many points of exceptional view along the trail, but the most impressive view is from the top of the hill. Here, you can seamlessly enjoy nature all around you (toward the south coast: Tzioni, Geronisos, Lara, AgiosGeorgiosPegeias, and toward the north coast: Chrysochou Bay). The trail passes through tall and short shrubby vegetation consisting mainly of juniper, lentisk, terebinths, rockroses, wild thymes, prickly burnets, and gorses. Part of the trail passes through a pine forest that offers shade on warm summer days, making the walk particularly unique and enjoyable. Some parts of the trail pass by areas that were burned in a large fire that occurred in the summer of 2012.

 

SERVICES

Smigies picnic site, with a capacity of 600 visitors,has drinking water flowing directly to the area from a spring, and sanitary facilities. Lighting fires is permitted in designated areas.

 

According to mythology…

The Akamas Peninsula is characterised by rich archaeology and history, but also by mythology intertwined with tradition and legends, created and developed over the centuries by people’s imagination. According to mythology, this is where the ancient gods Adonis and Aphrodite flirt. Adonis chases after Aphrodite and they end up reaching the top of the mountain at nightfall. Hence the name Pissouromoutti (pissouri = darkness, moutti = tip). The chase is over when Adonis catches up with Aphrodite a bit further down and they ‘unite’ in the area that is now

calledSmigies (smigo = to unite).

 

Flora: Indigenous plants: Phoenician juniper (Juniperusphoenicea), lentisk (Pistacialentiscus), terebinths (Pistaciaterebinthus), rockroses (Cistuscreticus, Cistusmonspeliensisetc), wild thyme (Thymus capitatus).

Avakas Gorge Nature trail

STARTING POINT

The Avakas Gorge Trail is located in the homonymous gorge, within Pegeia state forest. You can park your vehicle in the designated parking area.

To get there, follow the AgiosGeorgiosPegeias

– Toxeftra road for 2.5 km and, where Toxeftra Bay begins (signposted), head east and follow a narrow unpaved road for about 900 metres.

 

DESCRIPTION

The Avakas Gorge Trail follows a linear route of 1,200 m (2,400 m return). The end of the trail is located inside the gorge and follows the course of the Avgas River, from where the gorge gets its name. The trail’s first 700 m have a degree of difficulty of 1 whereas the rest of the trail has a degree of difficulty of 2. There are no significant inclinations, and the small degree of difficulty derives mainly from the crossings of the river and the slippery stepping stones. It is advisable to wear helmets when you are inside the gorge, since in some areas there is a risk of falling rocks, particularly on and after rainy days.

At first, the trail follows a dirt road (closed to private vehicles) through an open valley. Then, the trail takes you into the gorge. In its last section, the trail is in the stream, in which water usually flows throughout the year. The route through the gorge is characterised by thick vegetation and a particularly attractive, shady and moist environment.

 

Flora: Indigenous plants: lentisk (Pistacialentiscus), Phoenician juniper (Juniperusphoenicea), terebinth (Pistaciaterebinthus), thorny broom (Calycotomevillosa), common smilax (Smilax aspera), oleander (Nerium oleander), storax (Styraxofficinalis), and the endemic endangered Akamas centaury (Centaureaakamantis).

 

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.

Birds: Cyprus wheatear (endemic), Cyprus warbler (endemic), Scops owl (endemic), partridge, little owl, kestrel, wild pigeon.

Reptiles: Stellion lizard.

Amphibians: Marsh frog, iridescent frog, tree frog.

Ezousa Nature trail

Points of interest: The Environmental Information Centre houses exhibitions as well as showing documentaries about the natural environment and biodiversity of the surrounding area.

 

There are excellent views along the way but the most impressive is from the “Rock” on which the village church, dedicated to Saint Ilarion the Great, is built. Here, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Ezousa Valley below. From this particular point, visibility extends to the Pafos forest and the Troodos mountain range. The trail crosses the Ezousa Valley where lush vegetation, especially Oriental plane trees and Oriental alder, offers shade to travellers on hot summer days, making the walk a very pleasant experience.

 

Flora: You will see these indigenous plants: Cyprus cyclamen (Cyclamen cyprium), Bosea (Boseacypria), Oleander (Nerium oleander), Oriental alder (Alnusorientalis), Oriental plane tree (Platanusorientalis), Oak tree (Quercusinfectoria), Locust tree (Ceratoniasiliqua), Terebinths (PistaciaTerebinthus), Kermes oak (Quercuscoccifera), Spiny broom (Calicotomevillosa).

Feel Free to Contact us

Address: 7, Athinon & Alexandrou Papagou Avenue,
Tolmi Court 101
P.O. Box 60082, 8100 Pafos, Cyprus

Email: info@visitpafos.org.cy

Tel: +357 26811500

Fax: +357 26811501


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