The Akamas peninsula, a promontory and cape just after Latsi harbour, is one of the most inspiring places for appreciating nature. Named after the mythological son of Theseus, a Trojan war hero, the peninsula covers an area of about 230 square kilometres and has been designated a nature protected area.
Crisscrossed with nature trails with romantic names like ‘Aphrodite’ and ‘Adonis’, and dotted with picnic sites, the area is one of the most beautiful places on the island for walking and cycling, providing spectacular views of pine clad cliffs plunging into turquoise waters interspersed with hidden sandy coves, such as the so-called blue lagoon at Fontana Amorosa.
It is a unique area both geologically and because of its diversity of flora and fauna, with numerous endemic plants. Of particular importance is the fact that the area constitutes the easternmost point where many European plant species can be found. There are 530 indigenous plants here, of which about 35 are endemic, out of a total of 127 endemic species throughout Cyprus. Here you can spot rare endemic plants, such as the Cyprus tulip, crocus and cyclamen, while some, such as Alyssum akamasicum and Centaurea akamantis, have taken their name from the area itself. Here geologists can marvel at majestic rock formations derived from millions of years old oceanic crust. The area is also a must-visit for birdwatchers as there are several endemic bird species and hundreds of migrating birds passing through. The sandy beaches of the Akamas, such as the one at Lara on the western side, are some of the few places in the Mediterranean where sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in May, thanks to the lack of habitation, and are strictly protected until they hatch 12 weeks later and head towards the beach.