Akamas Nature Reserve and Blue Lagoon Paphos Cyprus

Akamas National Park Panorama – GeoTours

Cyprus is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited! It’s a stunning combination of the best of coastal Greece, Turkey, Sicily, and Malta. Vineyards, almond and carob groves, and gorgeous endemic flora grace the beautiful Akamas Peninsula. Cooler early-season temperatures (80s during the day and 60s at night), are perfect for the beach, and so far, there aren’t many tourists. After spending several months in Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan, I feel “liberated” and relaxed in Paphos.

Sacred Olive Trees Salamiou Troodos Region – cyprus-mail

I took a nine-hour daytrip to explore the famous Paphos Blue Lagoon and coastal parts of the Akamas Nature Reserve. Our group of about 25 was mostly European – Russian, Greek, Italian, French, British, and German. I was the only American, and there was a lively, fun Australian family – mother and father with two young children. Onboard, the crew served delicious local fruit and wine, juice, and fabulous mojitos made with fresh mint leaves and carob syrup.

Cliff View Blue Lagoon – Two Tall Travelers

The guide spoke in English and Russian and didn’t inundate us with too many copious details. It was a light, stress-free day luxuriating in the beautiful natural surroundings. Our exploration stops included:

Latchi and Blue Lagoon

The day was divided between swimming / snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon and exploring the coastal landscape of Akamas Nature Reserve. We departed Latchi Marina to begin a tour of our first stop, the spectacular Blue Lagoon!

After Blue Lagoon Swim

The alluring crystal-blue water was the clearest I’ve seen anywhere in the world! It’s cold when you jump in, but after a few minutes, the heavily-salted seawater is a totally refreshing experience. You might need a wetsuit for extended time diving or snorkeling, but temperatures increase and the Mediterranean Sea warms as summer progresses. After swimming and snorkeling, everyone was hungry, and the super-fresh seafood restaurants in Latchi didn’t disappoint. Finding healthy food during extended travel is a reoccurring dilemma, but thankfully, not in Cyprus. Fresh Mediterranean food is the best so far on this trip.

Latchi Fish Tavern – Restaurant Guru
Chrysochous Bay Coastal View with Troodos Mountain Backdrop
Baths of Aphrodite

After lunch, we took a short hike in nearby botanical gardens to enjoy exotic flora, like the Cyprus Bee Orchid, carnivorous Pinguicula Crystallina, and other rare plant species that aren’t found anywhere else on the island. Cyprus has some of the lushest vegetation in the world. The national plant is the perennial Cyprus cyclamen, endemic to the island.

Blue Lagoon

We stopped at the Baths of Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology) in a small garden grotto underneath the shade of an old fig tree. Aphrodite is said to have bathed in this water that “flows down a rock wall and forms a pool amongst the ferns and moss“. According to Greek mythology, she met her lover Adonis at the pool, where he had stopped for a drink. Adonis was born a mortal, but Aphrodite asked Zeus, king of the Greek gods, to make him the god of rebirth, beauty, and desire.

Baths of Aphrodite – chooseyourcyprus
Adonis and Aphrodite – http01greekmythology.blogspot


“Cyprus, known as the land of love, takes its place in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty.”


Aphrodite’s Birthplace in Paphos – World Heritage Journeys


According to the myth of Aphrodite’s birth – Venus Rising from the Froth of the Sea – the beautiful Goddess of Love emerged naked from seawater around Cyprus.” visitworldheritage


Polis Chrysochous

We stopped in Polis Chrysochous, a small village on the edge of the Akamas peninsula near Chrysochous Bay. Coastal views with the Troodos Mountains rising in the distance were phenomenal. From the Ottoman period (1571-1878) onwards, Polis became a mixed town, with “sizeable Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities“. The Polis area is well-known for its beautiful beaches.

Polis Chrysochous Beach – zandxvillas
Cyprus Map – Mapper
Cyprus Fig Tree – Rolandomio Travel

Founded in 1882 during the early years of British Colonial rule – 1878-1960, Polis Chrysochous is “one of the most historic municipalities in Cyprus”. The region is rich in local tradition. Antiquities “belonging to the Greek Kingdom of Ancient Cyprus” are often found in the area.

Paphos Cyprus Vineyard


“Cyprus has 140 recorded endemic plants and 5 flowers that only grow on the island.”  My Cyprus Travel


Edro III Shipwreck

Our final stop was at the Edro III Shipwreck and surrounding Peyia Sea Caves. Remains of the Norwegian cargo ship rest just off the rocks near a series of interesting sea caves. During a voyage to Rhodes Greece from Limassol, the Sierra-Leone-flagged EDRO III ran aground there on 8 October 2011 in heavy seas. The ship had nine crew members – two Egyptians and seven Albanians. A British Military helicopter operation successfully rescued the crew and airlifted them to safety.

Edro III Shipwreck

All diesel, hydrocarbons, and marine pollutants on the vessel were safely removed. A Cypriot marine salvage company made the hull watertight in 2013, but due to the danger involved, nobody is allowed on the ship. Several studies were conducted and attempts made to tow the shipwreck, all of which were abandoned due to the difficulty of the project”. Graffiti writers have tagged the deck and port side of the ship.

Baths of Aphrodite
Sea Cave Peyia
Sea Caves

The Sea Caves of Peyia are near the Edro III Shipwreck, Paphos Zoo, and a beautiful small beach with a cave that provides a secluded natural sun umbrella for beachgoers. The unusual cave formations take thousands of years to form. Seawater in this area is said to have special natural healing and rejuvenating qualities that swimmers can utilize while enjoying the scenery and calming sound of the sea.

Cyprus Carob Tree in June Wheat Field – fergusmurraysculpture
Troodos Mountains – cyprusfortravellers
Typical Akamas Peninsula House


Thalassotherapy is an alternative therapy that harnesses the soothing properties of the sea. The term comes from the Greek word “thalassa,” which means ocean.” MedicalNewsToday


Apartment Swimming Pool

Thalassotherapy “uses the power of the marine bioclimate, seawater, mud, seaweed, sand, and other substances like plankton, together or separately, to deliver a host of health benefits”. The process involves:

  • Swimming in the sea for 15+ minutes
  • Covering your wet body with moist white-sand-like clay found along the beach
  • Lying in the sun until the clay dries
  • Washing yourself in the sea

This treatment is said to result in “glowing, baby-soft skin and hair“. Another treatment involves lying on a warm stone in the full sun, while your body is still wet from swimming. Sounds like a hammam treatment to me!

Five Star Blue Lagoon Resort

It was a mellow day, and I felt tranquil at the end of the tour. Saturday, I’m joining a jeep excursion of the Avakas Gorge and Lara Bay Turtle Conservation Station. We’ll explore the isolated inland forest and hike several nature trails.

Panorama Akamas Peninsula


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