Monday, 19 May 2014

Explore the Akamas Peninsula...with your dog

On the coastal road leading to Fontana Amoroza from the Baths of Aphrodite
I love this part of the island and would be very happy to spend more time exploring around here. This is the second time we've visited Akamas; last year we hiked the Aphrodite trail, this year we hiked the Adonis trail, as well as spending some time exploring the northern part of the peninsula. Both times we visited the Akamas area it was very early in the season (April this year) and there were very few people around. Also the weather was perfect for hiking; some of these paths would be very hard work in the heat of the Cypriot summer!


The day that we just bimbled along the coastal path from the Baths of Aphrodite, I was just recovering from a cold and was feeling quite unwell. I had in mind a very short, easy walk to the first small beach I remembered seeing from the path when we were following the Aphrodite trail last year. We didn't have much of a plan, except to walk a bit, enjoy being by the sea, and let Sage have a run around.


We followed the path along past where we had previously turned up the mountain for the Aphrodite trail, and shortly afterwards found a way down to the sea. 


Around this point I had a little run in with a group of people speeding through the wildlife on quad bikes. It seemed like an organised trip, which makes this even worse in my opinion. They came by us really fast, whipping up the dust in our faces. Of course we held Sage and got out of the way fast, but I wonder whether the wild animals in the area have the same chances of survival? I wish the CTO would get on the case to preserve one of the last remaining areas of natural beauty on Cyprus' coastline, and restrict the areas where vehicles are allowed to go. Everyone should be entitled to enjoy Cyprus' wildlife, but if the goal is to race through trying to go as fast as possible and make as much noise and dust as possible - doesn't seem like you need to be in an area of outstanding natural beauty, destroying it for everybody else.... gurrrrrumpf.



Anyway...
There are a few small pebbly coves along here. While we were here there were a couple of groups of walkers and families, but not too many that it felt busy. 


I was very tempted by the sea here, but was trying to get over my cold; it probably would have helped, but I wasn't feeling brave..







Inevitably, our short, easy walk became something quite a bit longer. I have inherited my Dad's trait of always wanting to see what's around the next headland, just going on to the next cove.... and around this patch of coast each time we got around the next headland, there was another inviting looking path or beach or something to tempt me on further.

We didn't get all the way to the tip of the peninsula, I would like to do this whole walk sometime when not feeling unwell. I found some dive companies and boat tours that operate around this coast during the summer months (which could mean it gets a bit busy and hard to have your dog with you in July/August time), which listed some of the points of interest along this stretch. 

After the small beaches, we came to an area of eroded limestone pinnacles and a bit further on was a small cave. 

All along this path you had fantastically blue water to one side, the high Akamas peak to the other side, and in between was a small strip of meadow-land full of massive goats and not much else.



We walked as far as the so-called Amphitheatre. This is a historic limestone quarry, which resembles an amphitheatre due to way the rock was removed. Huge square blocks hewn from the stone has left rows of smoothed stone, separating the quarry from the sea.


Again, we had the whole area to ourselves, and it would have been perfect for swimming had the water just been a little bit warmer (or if I was just a little bit braver!)




Have a look at this map and description of the various points of interest around Akamas by the Cyprus diving group - WeHeartDiving.com  

I already mentioned that this area may be quite a bit busier in summer. I should also note that there is a serious lack of shade, so if your dog is sensitive to heat, better to go early or late in the day (or better still, visit in April-May when temperatures are not too hot).

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