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september

28sep8:30 pmConcert Music system 1990-2020: Phaedrus Kavallaris - 70 years

30sep8:30 pm"Libertango" music concert

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Nature

Pafos inspires an appreciation of nature

The huge variety of plant and animal life and the beautiful unspoilt scenery in the Pafos region make it a delight for those who love nature.

The flora of Cyprus – A botanist’s paradise

There are almost 2,000 wildflowers in Cyprus, of which 140 are endemic. Considering that the total number of wildflowers in Europe and the Mediterranean is no more than 2900, the island of Cyprus is a floral and herbal paradise.
A great number of its flowering plants have pharmaceutical properties with widespread uses, while a number of herbal products and essential oils are processed and sold locally.
The rich mythology associated with Cyprus is intricately interwoven with its flora, especially in the tales featuring Aphrodite.
Flora are also depicted in many ancient mosaic floors in Pafos, and nowadays a number of festivals are held in the spring to celebrate wild flowers. The red “Tulipa Cypria” grows in the Akamas area, and the “Sun-Eyed-Tulip” in the Polemi area.

A large variety of wild flowers grow in the Pafos area, some of which are very rare. Among common wildflowers which can be seen almost everywhere, are the following:

Lapsana/Sinapsis alba/Charlock, with rows of small, yellow flowers.

Similloudi/Chrysanthemum coronarium, has yellow flowers resembling daisies.

Lales/Anemone coronaria/Crown or poppy anemone. They grow in a variety of colours.

Xinidin/Oxalis/Cape Sorrel.
With yellow flowers.

Arkoscordos/Allium neapolitanum/Wild Garlic has white flowers.

Rasin/Calycotome villosa/Prickly broom. Α thorny bush with an abundance of pretty, yellow flowers

Ksistarka/Cistus sp./Rock Rose.
White or pink flowers.

Kapparka/Capparis spinosa/Caper. Its eye-catching flowers are white with a pink stamen.

Rare, wild flowers include a species of wild red tulip (Tulipa Cypria) and several kinds of orchids (orchis).

Among the shrubs common to Cyprus are Mersine/Myrtus communis/Myrtl

Natural Beauties

The Pafos district claims some of the most beautiful parts of the island. Here are some places not to be missed:

Petra tou Romiou

This is a large rock on the southern shore of Cyprus that, according to legend, was thrown against pirates by Dighenis Akritas, a legendary Byzantine hero. The view from the clifftop on the old road to Lemesos at sunset is so majestic that it is no wonder that this spot is believed to be where the goddess Aphrodite rose from the waves.

Kantarkastoi

This is a coastal locality with a rocky, rough beach and sea-grottos created by erosion. The grottos are grouped around a small bay. Rocks scattered in the sea give the scene an almost unreal magnificence. It is located north-west of Pafos, near the small island of Agios Georgios tis Pegeias (Geronisos). There are small sea-grottos further to the east towards Coral Bay and to the west towards Akamas.

Lara


This is a coastal locality with a rocky, rough beach and sea-grottos created by erosion. The grottos are grouped around a small bay. Rocks scattered in the sea give the scene an almost unreal magnificence. It is located north-west of Pafos, near the small island of Agios Georgios tis Pegeias (Geronisos). There are small sea-grottos further to the east towards Coral Bay and to the west towards Akamas.

The Akamas Peninsula

This lies to the west of Kantarkastoi towards the Akamas peninsula. The spot is secluded, wild and imposing, with a magnificent sandy beach in the small bay. Turtles nest in the area, in particular the endangered Chelonia mydas (green turtle).

Read more about Akamas Peninsula

The Avakas gorge


An impressive gorge, about 2 km long, between 3 and 10 metres wide and over 80 metres high at its deepest point. It is crossed by the river of the same name, which flows into the sea between Cape Drepano and Lara. The gorge is accessible along a country road going through the village of Arodhes. It is particularly imposing when viewed from the bottom of the gorge, but getting there can be a challenge.

The Fontana Amorosa (Love Spring)


An enchanting locality in the Akamas peninsula with a fresh-water spring. It is a rocky small bay surrounded by rich wild vegetation. It is one of the most alluring spots in Cyprus, although not easily accessible by land. Its name is attributed to the Italian poet of the Renaissance, Ludovico Ariosto.

Smighies

Another beautiful spot in the Akamas area lies to the west of the village of Neo Chorio, through which it can be reached. The vegetation is luxuriant. Legend has it that in this place the mythical Byzantine hero Dighenis Akritas was reunited with Rigaina, a beautiful and mysterious queen of Cypriot legends and traditions. The ruins of a medieval watch-tower found on the top of a hill in the area to the west of Smigies, is supposed to be the Rigaina’s castle. From this summit, especially in the afternoon, there is an excellent view of the whole Akamas peninsula.

The Baths of Aphrodite

This special place can be reached through Polis Chrysochous. It is a limestone rock with a shallow cave. Water springs from the rock, falling gently like rain-drops into a small pool.
All around the vegetation is so luxuriant that both the spring and the pool are constantly shaded. This spring is the mythical place where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty and Love, used to bathe.

Stavros tis Psokas

Α mountain locality in the Pafos forest where a Forestry Department station is situated with an enclosure for mouflon, an endemic subspecies of wild sheep, which also roam wild in this area.

The Cedar Valley

Located in the Pafos forest, it is traversed by the road which joins the village of Panagia with the monastery of Panagia tou Kykkou. The exceptional beauty of the valley lies in its imposing endemic cedars.
Three other interesting places, especially for photographers, are the remains of three old bridges: Skarfos bridge lies between the villages of Evretou and Sarama and was built in 1618. Kelefos bridge crosses the Roudia river to the northwest of the village of Agios Nikolaos, while the Roudia bridge lies over the river Xeros, east of the village of Vretsia.

Environmental Centers

The Pafos region is proud of the environmental protection centres at Episkopi, Salamiou and Kritou Terra, all working to conserve and protect the precious natural heritage of the area and educate visitors and local people to take a responsible approach in their interaction with the region.

Episkopi Information centre is surrounded by a botanical garden where the significant plants of the area, organised in thematic groups (habitats, endemics, bulbs, rare plants) can be seen. It also gives visitors the opportunity to source information about the flora and fauna of Cyprus, nature trails throughout the island as well as information about other areas of natural beauty.

The Environmental Study Centre at Kritou Terra is an ideal place to study the natural environment: offers a wide range of educational programmes such as forest and freshwater ecology, landscape processes and the impact of tourist development on the environment.

Salamiou is found in the eastern part of Pafos district, in a protected Natura 2000 area. The area enjoys a eco-system, and is very well placed to offer on-site environmental education programmes.

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