On an island that has a land mass of some 9,251 km² and a total indigenous population of fewer than 1.2 million people, you can be sure of one thing; there is plenty of empty space. From the Troodos Mountains to the Akamas Peninsula National Park near Paphos, huge tracts of land have been identified as areas of outstanding natural beauty and protected as such.
One of these many unspoilt areas is the Cavo Greco National Forest that lies in a substantial tract of land adjacent to the Coast between the Protaras and Ayia Napa resorts. While the park is loosely described as “a forest” it is actually more of an open space populated by low lying trees and shrubs. The towering cape itself is situated at the southernmost end of the park and affords stunning views and some spectacular sunsets.
A walker’s paradise
There are tons of things to see and plenty to do at the park and virtually every area can be accessed by one of the nine easy nature walks/cycle routes along well constructed and maintained paths. The Aphrodite Nature Trail meanders through the beautiful landscape some 2km and takes in one of the most stunning stretches of coastline in the South East of the island. Cavo Greco is one place where you will want to rest-up often to take it all in and there are plenty of benches for doing just that located along the trails at the many viewpoints.
Crystal clear waters and spectacular sea caves
The waters off the Cape are among some of the clearest in Cyprus which makes them popular with both seasoned scuba divers and snorkelling enthusiasts alike. The coastline is predominantly limestone and volcanic rock (cooled magma) making it particularly spectacular below the waterline. During the hot summer months, locals and some intrepid tourist will often be seen diving and jumping off the limestone cliffs into the rocky pools some 30 feet below.
The rugged coast between Ayia Napa and Protaras is peppered with natural sea caves. While a few are accessible from the park, the best way to see them is via one of the many boat trips out of the Ayia Napa Harbour. Some of these subterranean marvels extend as deep as 140 feet into the rock and swimmers can access them during calmer seas. There have even been occasions when particular low tidal levels have made it possible to walk into some of them although this is rare as the Med isn’t a tidal sea.
Natural rock bridges and spectacular arches
The Kamara Tou Korkaka or “arch” in English is the most impressive natural arch on the Island and along with the “love bridge” is a prominent feature of the park. Lovers have been standing on the bridge for years and making their wishes at sunset on the six metres of natural structure that nature has spent a few million years working on.
Ayioi Anargyroi Chapel
The pretty little Ayioi Anargyroi Chapel is built on the solid rock above the legendary Hermits Cave which is dedicated to twin brothers and revered saints Cosmas and Damianos. They were doctors who reputedly healed without accepting any payment.
The cave is accessed down a couple of flights of steps cut into the rocks and it is reputed that the water running inside Hermits Cave is Holy and has healing properties. The church itself has been a popular spot for wedding photographs over the years due to the stunning scenery and dramatic coastal backdrop.
The Cape Greco Environmental Centre
From lectures and exhibitions to aquariums, a coffee shop, and a souvenir shop, the Cape Greco Environmental Centre is the perfect place to stop off after a hard day trekking and sightseeing around the park. The centre itself has been innovatively designed with its surrounding environment in mind. In respect of this, it has been awarded an architectural design award and facilities include a media and education area.
Picnics and paddling
A short walk from the Ayioi Anargyroi Chapel brings you to the park’s purpose-built picnic area where there are even places to fire up your own BBQ. If packed lunches or cooking don’t appeal to you, however, the fabulous Konnos Bay and beach area are only 5 minutes up the road (in the car) or a steady walk along the coast from the park. The bay often plays host to some celebrity yachts in the summer months and it is a great place for snorkelling, bathing, or simply relaxing after hard days trekking around the Cavo Greco National Forest.
For friendly and helpful advice concerning places to visit in Cyprus, or to book your holiday there, please contact us at Cyprus Sun Holiday Rentals, or call us on 00 357 2383 1194.