The district of Paphos ranks among the most attractive holiday destinations in Cyprus, thanks to its historical and archaeological wealth, its picturesque landscape and the untouched beauty of the Akamas peninsula – all wrapped in the legend of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty. Indeed, Paphos was known as Aphrodite’s playground long before the tourism industry discovered it and trekking in Paphos became popular.
Although the majority of holidaymakers are drawn to the summer sun and warm Mediterranean, travellers who enjoy exploring their destination on foot tend to prefer the low season when temperatures are cooler. Whether your holiday agenda includes easy strolls along the coast or proper hikes in the hills, the Paphos district has it all.
The promenade, stretching from the Paphos Castle towards the Amavi, is likely to be a part of your daily routine, even in summer if you plan it early in the day or after sunset. If you have decided to rent a car, make sure to seek out the nature trails in the district, as they are bound to lead you to beauty spots you will otherwise miss.
A good place to start is the coastal path that begins at Aphrodite’s Rock (Petra tou Romiou) and takes you westwards, for the most part parallel to the seafront, between the glittering blue and the old Limassol-Paphos road. With limited up and downhill sections, the complete trail will give you an invigorating 4-hour walk – almost two hours each way. Carry a snack or refreshments with you and the hilltop picnic site en route will be the ideal place for a break with an amazing sea view.
The Ezousa walking trail is another popular route among nature lovers. Starting at the Environmental Information Centre of Episkopi, this circular 8km trail brings you back to your starting point after you enjoy the greenery of the Ezousa Valley.
There is no doubt, however, that the network of trails in the Akamas nature reserve ranks among hiking enthusiasts as the focal point of Paphos, with route lengths ranging from 2.5km to 7.5km. Although they are rated moderate to difficult, every step will reward you with the peninsula’s abundant endemic flora and fauna. If you’ve come prepared for some hiking in Paphos, you are likely to have read about the wonders of the Avakas gorge in particular. While hiking shoes and sticks are always recommended and helpful, the Avakas trail in particular calls for reliable footwear that will allow you to master the challenging and rocky terrain that can be very slippery.
However, even the less experienced hikers should not be put off: Remember, you can always walk as much or as little as you like before turning back, and the distances in Paphos are short, so you’re never too far from your hotel. Especially if you’re visiting in the spring or autumn, take a break from the seaside and venture into the green heart of Paphos. You’ll be happy you did!
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