Nature Trails in the Polis area, Cyprus

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Interested in doing some nature trails within the Akamas area.It will be hot so any advice on where to walk and best time of the day to go out.

If you have a car you can get closer to some walks without an initial slog in the heat.

For Cyprus walks in the hotter summer months an EARLY start is recommended ie 7am or earlier!

You can still do the main nature trails on the Akamas – either drive to the Baths of Aphrodite for the Adonis and Aphrodite trails or Smigies picnic site (beyond Neo Chorio village) for the 2 shorter nature trails of Pissouromoutti and Smigies trail.

But if you don’t start early you will find it too tiring – there is little shade on the first 2 trails so if starting later, go for the walks from Smigies which have some shade at the start/finish but not when sitting on top of the mountain!

A good alternative to these nature trails is to head for Stavros forest station – take the road towards Lysos from Polis and keep going through amazing forest scenery for around 40 minutes in total to get there.

There are two good nature trails with the Horteri trail the longest – around 7km, 2.5 hours walking – and it’s in shade much of the time so good to walk even in summer. You can find details about the trail on my Horteri trail page.

The Forestry Department has created a number of nature trails within the state forests in various parts of the island, from Cape Gkreko in the southeast to Akamas peninsula in the west.

These have been carefully designed to cover areas of rich natural vegetation and cultural interest. They have been landscaped on gentle gradients and are, as a rule, circular so that all age groups can easily use them.
In many cases, there are signposts in place, to indicate the starting point of the trail, as well as flora and geology features along the route.

Although walking in Cyprus can be enjoyed throughout the year, the recommended seasons are during late Autumn (November) and spring, when the Cyprus rural and forest areas are at full bloom.

Degree of difficulty of trails
All nature trails are divided into 3 categories according to the degree of difficulty, as follows:

Category 1: Easy trail, with gentle gradient. Suitable for all ages and state of fitness.

Category 2: Medium degree of difficulty, suitable for adults in generally average to good state of fitness. Sudden changes in gradient (uphill and/or downhill), and/or course along narrow or rough terrain.

Category 3: High degree of difficulty. Route with difficult terrain such as sudden changes in gradient (uphill and/or downhill), course along particularly rough and/or slippery, and/or narrow, and/or steep terrain. Suitable for adults in generally good to very good state of fitness.

Adonis (Circular) – Pafos District, Akamas Forest

Aphrodite Nature Trails (Circular) - Pafos District, Akamas ForestGPS coordinates of the starting point: Lat: 35.056063 Lon: 32.345565
GPS coordinates of the ending point: Lat: 35.056063 Lon: 32.345565
Altitude of the starting point: 35m
Altitude of the highest peak: 319m
Altitude of the end peak: 35m
Starting point: 400m before the Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite).
Length: 7.5km
Estimated duration: 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty rate: 3Aphrodite (Circular) - Pafos District, Akamas Forest Map

Points of interest: This trail offers beautiful views of Polis Chrysochous, the Paphos Forest and the Akamas peninsula. The path runs past Pyrgos tis Rigainas (Queen’s Tower) and connects with the Smigies trail at Kefalovrysia (where there is a fountain of non­ potable water), and with the Afroditi trail at Pyrgos tis Rigainas. Also noteworthy is the 500 ­year­ old oak tree, which is located near the ruins of the tower. To return full circle, the trail follows the main road that connects the Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite) with Polis for about 400 metres. At the starting point of the trail you can visit the Botanical Gardens of Akamas.

Flora: While hiking you can study the endemic plants: Cyprus Bosea (Bosea cypria), Shrubby knapweed (Ptilostemon chamaepeuce var. cyprius), Entire – Leaved Horehound (Acanthoprasium integrifolium), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana var. tenuifolium), Cyprus Golden ­ Drop (Onosma fruticosa), Cyprus sage (Phlomis cypria var. occidentalis).

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.

Birds: Wood pigeon, partridge, Cyprus warbler (endemic), Cyprus wheatear (endemic).

The forest of Akamas serves as a resting point for many migratory birds.

Reptiles: Cyprus viper, Cyprus lizard, Black whip Snake.

Aphrodite (Circular) – Pafos District, Akamas Forest

GPS coordinates of the starting point: Lat: 35.056063 Lon: 32.345565
GPS coordinates of the ending point: Lat: 35.056063 Lon: 32.345565
Altitude of the starting point: 35m
Altitude of the highest peak: 333m
Altitude of the end peak: 35m
Starting point: The Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite).
Length: 7.5km
Estimated duration: 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty rate: 3cyprus-paphos-polis-walk

Points of interest: Of special interest on this nature trail are the Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite), where, according to legend, the Goddess of Love and Beauty used to take her baths. You will also pass by the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigainas (Queen’s Tower), which are believed to belong to a Medieval monastery. Also noteworthy is a 500­ year­ old oak tree, which is located near the ruins of the tower. Along the trail you can enjoy excellent views of Cape Arnaoutis, Polis Chrysochous and Pafos Forest. There are two non­ potable water fountains along the trail; one near the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigainas, and another between the Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite) and Kakoskali. The trail connects with the Adonis trail, whilst at its starting point you can visit the Botanical Gardens of Akamas.

Flora: While hiking you can study the endemic plants: Cyprus Golden – Drop (Onosma fruticosa), Cyprus sage (Phlomis cypria var. occidentalis).

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.

Birds: Wood pigeon, partridge, Cyprus warbler (endemic), Cyprus wheatear (endemic).

The forest serves as a resting point for many migratory birds.

Reptiles: Cyprus viper, Cyprus lizard, Black whip Snake.

Avakas Gorge (Linear) – Pafos District, Akamas Forest

Avakas Gorge Nature trails (Linear) - Pafos District, Akamas ForestGPS coordinates of the starting point: Lat: 34.920499 Lon: 32.337698
Altitude of the starting point: 47m
Altitude of the highest peak: 45m
Altitude of the end peak: 45m
Starting point: Avakas Gorge, following the Agios Georgios Pegeias – Toxeftra road for 2.5km and heading east from where Toxeftra Bay begins.
Length: 1.2km
Estimated duration: 45 minutes
Difficulty rate: 1 – 2

Points of interest: The Avakas Gorge Trail is located in the homonymous gorge, within Pegeia state forest with the end of the trail located inside the gorge. It follows the course of the Avgas River, from where the gorge gets its name and resulted from constant erosive activity on the erodible, sloping limestone rocks composed of loams, chalks, reef and grain limestone and bentonitic clays. The gorge is also a Natura 2000 area. The trail firstly follows a dirt road (closed to private vehicles) through an open valley, then takes you into the gorge. In its last section, the trail is in the stream, in which water usually flows throughout the year. The route through the gorge is characterised by thick vegetation and a particularly attractive, shady and moist environment.

Flora: While hiking you can study the indigenous plants: lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus), Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea), terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus), thorny broom (Calycotome villosa), common smilax (Smilax aspera), oleander (Nerium oleander), storax (Styrax officinalis), and the endemic endangered Akamas centaury (Centaurea akamantis).

Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:

Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog. Birds: Cyprus wheatear (endemic), Cyprus warbler (endemic), scops owl (endemic), partridge, little owl, kestrel, wild pigeon.

Reptiles: Stellion lizard. Amphibians: Marsh frog, iridescent frog, tree frog.

For many more trails in Cyprus