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The Natural Pearl of Cyprus – the Avakas Gorge (video)

No other place on Cyprus may boast such variety of natural monuments and such beauty as the Akamas peninsula, which is almost untouched by civilization. A road running along the shore leads here from Paphos.

First, we pass a turn to Coral Bay and Paphos Zoo (Bird Park), аnd later take a turn following the signposts.

A bit of Paradise

Having driven a bit further, we understand that we are really on a beautiful peninsula with deserted shores and empty beaches. We are driving further along a road near the sea until we see the Viklari signpost.

 

ТавернаТавернаТаверна

By the way, there is an unusual tavern here – its ceiling is made of twisting grapevines and palm fronds, and the floor is covered with a dark local stone. The host has created the gates from natural (and even underwater!) treasures and stones, аnd constructed a corridor from unusual flowers and exotic plants.

Mountains on the one side, the sky blue sea on the other, what a wonderful place to eat. Only one dish is always served here, but it is worth coming just for that – the freshest meat on a skewer with jacket potatoes .

And of course, you will be offered a village salad, seasonal fruit and various drinks. Almost all fruit and vegetables are grown near to the tavern.

But we will drop into the tavern on our way back, now it is time to walk to the gorge, which is located nearby. Look out for the Gorge signpost, and in a kilometer or so you will find yourself in a very unusual place Avakas.

 

Unique Beauty

This natural route was discovered not so long ago, its existence was only known to the local shepherds who did not dare to go down the gorge because of its inaccessibility, and which is located on the depth of 70 km.

Just imagine: this clandestine gorge had been hidden in the Laon plateau for hundreds, or may be millions of years! The mountain river Avgas, called so because birds liked to lay their eggs here (an egg is avga in Greek), flows freely into this gorge endowed with grandeur and beauty.

The region is rich in wonderful flora – pines, the Mediterranean cypress, gorse, wild fig, and olive trees, century-old oaks, ferns, many different flowers and fauna.

At the end of spring or beginning of the summer months luxurious oleanders, decorate the area with their pink flowers. A seemingly calm spring, which has turned the rock of the Avakas peninsula into a unique natural monument, is running from under their roots.

Mountain baby goats, foxes, rabbits, partridges, night owls and many species of reptiles find shelter in the vegetation of Akamas.

In some places the gorge is 100 meters high, whilst its width varies from 1 tо 10 meters. The stream gets wider and wider, and then you come to the gorge itself. So pretty with the light playing on the water and stones.

There is a giant stone, which seems to be stuck between the giant walls of a wonderful grotto, right above your head, but don’t worry it is quite safe and makes for a wonderful photo opportunity!

 

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Inside

Ущелье АвакасThe gorge lures us further and further inside, to its coolness and secrets. We enjoy the quietness within the walls, which is only rarely broken by the cooing and the occasional wings beating of the wild doves.

Chalk and coral colored limestone walls with water running down their slippery surfaces arching walls all create an iridescent shower of unusual beauty, under which tired travelers often refresh themselves happily.

If you still have enough energy, you can undertake the next route – into the gorge. This route is about 3 kilometers long, needs good shoes and is not for the faint hearted.

Turtle Beach bay

Lara beacWe decided to move on elsewhere and go deeper into the Akamas. After travelling for about 10 kilometers, we found a small signpost to Lara, follow this and you will arrive at the famous Turtle Beach bay.

It is here where the ancient sea turtle — the Green Turtle (Cheloniamidas) and the ordinary large-headed Loggerhead Turtle, which has another unusual name – ‘karetta karetta’, can be found. (sometimes)

It is not often that you will meet the turtles on the beach – they are scared of people, foxes and wild cats. Only small fences around turtle nests and tiny prints on the sand remind us of their presence.

But maybe you will be lucky enough to meet one of these unique creatures! It is time to leave the beach, with a wishful glance back to the sea still hoping to get a glimpse of one the large turtles.

Акамас

See You Later!

If you want to appreciate the island fully, feel how beautiful it is, enjoy the untouched beauty of natural reserves, you must undertake the fascinating jоurney along one of Cyprus’ most magnificent places of Cyprus – the Akamas peninsula.

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