Whether an adventure seeker or nature lover, or simply a photographer or artist in search of that picture-perfect moment, the Akamas Peninsula is bound to enchant you. With its rugged coastline, crystal-clear bays, impressive flora and fauna, this unspoiled locale of Pafos is a rare gem that exudes outstanding beauty, timeless tranquillity and visual breathlessness.
An area of untamed beauty and home to rare endemic plants that include the Cyprus orchid, tulip, crocus and wild anemones dotted across the landscape, the Akamas Peninsula is a botanist’s paradise. The soft, golden beaches of the Akamas Peninsula are important nesting grounds for green and loggerhead turtles, whose numbers have increased largely due to the successful conservation project at Lara Beach. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists both the loggerhead turtle (caretta-caretta) and the rare green turtle (chelonia mydas) as endangered species. According to the IUCN, the number of green turtles nestling in the entire Mediterranean area varies from 325 – 375 annually.
The island of Cyprus, including the area of the Akamas Peninsula, is renowned across Europe as one of the 22 areas of endemism, and one of the only three European areas that are home to several restricted-range species of birds.
Flora and Fauna
Covering an area of approximately, 230 square kilometres, and located on the western tip of Cyprus, the Akamas Peninsula is an area of renowned beauty unaffected by development. The area’s uniqueness centres on its incomparable ecology. From impressive flora and fauna, rare endemic plants, foxes and bats, to snakes and reptiles, and various species of birds that pass through the Akamas Peninsula on their migrations, this magnificent paradise is truly a natural masterpiece.
Of the 128 plant species endemic to Cyprus, the following 39 are in the Akamas Peninsula:
Plant species of Akamas
Alyssum akamasicum, Anthemis tricolor, Arenaria rhodia ssp. cypria, Asperula cypria, Astragalus cyprius, Ballota integrefolia, Bosea cypria, Carlina involucrata spp. cyprica, Carlina pygmea, Centaurea akamantis, Centaurea calcitrapa ssp. angusticeps, Centaurea veneris, Crocus veneris, Cyclamen cyprium, Euphorbia cypria, Gagea juliae, Gladiolus triphyllus, Helianthemum obtusefolium, Odontides cypria, Onobrychis venosa, Onopordum cyprium, Onosma fruticosum, Ophrys kotschyi, Ophrys lepethica, Origanum majorana, Ornithogalum pedicellare, Phlomis cypria var. occidentalis, Pterocephalus multiflorus ssp. multiflorus, Ptilostemon chamaepeuce var. cyprius, Rubia laurea, Scutellaria cypria var. elatior, Sedum cyprium, Sedum porphyreum, Senecio glaucous ssp. Cyprius, Taraxacum aphrogenes, Teucrium divaricatum ssp. Canescens, Teucrium micropodioides, Thymus integer, Tulipa cypria.
The Akamas Peninsula is also an important area of diverse habitats, some of which include pine and juniper forests, Maquis forest, gorges, sand dunes and cliffs.