An adventurous route back to Paphos takes you east of Lara beach, along a dirt-track climbing
steeply inland to a point on the ridge road between Fasli and Drouseia/Ineia.
The largest part of the area is covered with a unique natural Para-Mediterranean ecosystem
where the bushes and shrubs alternate with phrygana or garique, maquis and open
pine forests. Of particular importance is the fact that the area constitutes the eastern
most point where many European plant species can be found.
Akamas is a promontory and cape at the northwest extremity of Cyprus with an area of 230 square km.
Ptolemy described it as a thickly wooded headland, divided into two by summits rising
towards the north. The peninsula is named after the son of Theseus hero of the Trojan
Wars and founder of the city-kingdom of Soli. Up until the year 2000, the peninsula
was used by the British Army and Navy for military exercises and as a firing range.
Under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment, the British army was allowed to use the Akamas
for exercises for up to 70 days a year. At the southern end of the peninsula is the
town of Pegeia and on its northeast side the town of Polis.
Due to the mountainous nature of the peninsula there are no roads running through its heartland
though tracks can be found with care.
Visitor attractions in Akamas include a loggerhead turtle sanctuary and the
Baths of Aphrodite where the goddess is said to have bathed, near Polis.
As the area is therefore relativley inacessable there is a large diversity of flora and fauna.
Indeed the European Environment Agency noted that it was one of only 22 areas of endemism in
Europe. This however looks like it may be threatened by tourist development in the future
and organisations such as the Cypriot Green Party, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth
are looking to protect it.