Akamas Peninsula is located on the western angle of Cyprus in Paphos and it is considered as one of the most popular places to visit. The name Akamas originates from an Athenian warrior, the son of Theseus who after the Trojan war he came at the peninsula.
In addition, Akamas Peninsula covers about 230 square km and includes beautiful valleys, breathtaking gorges and sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. It is a unique area, both geologically as well as geographically with regards to flora and fauna that is found in the area. It is also worth mentioning that it is considered as one of the greatest areas of Cyprus, an area of great natural beauty as it is unaffected by development.
At Akamas peninsula, nearly every single geological formation of Cyprus can be found, including narrow deep valleys, caves and sea caves, islets to gorges such as the popular Avakas gorge, resulting in a real geological mosaic. Because of that, the area is gifted with unique biodiversity, habitats and ecosystem. The exclusivity of the Akamas peninsula for Cyprus is focussed on its valuable ecology.
Akamas Biology and ecology
It is amazing, if you consider the variety of flora and fauna living in this relatively small area. Foxes, snakes and other reptiles as well as many types of migratory birds can be found as well as rare endemic plants grow at Akamas.
In Akamas area, the following Wild flowers can be found: cyclamen, turban buttercups, alyssum (alyssum akamasicum, endemic to Akamas) Cyprus tulip, and many species of orchid, yellow gorse and white rock rose. In Cyprus, there are 128 endemic plant species. 39 of them are found in Akamas peninsula: Alyssum akamasicum, Anthemis tricolor, Arenaria rhodia ssp. cypria, Asperula cypria, Astragalus cyprius, Ballota integrefolia, Bosea cypria, Carlina involucrata spp. cyprica, Carlina pygmea, Centaurea akamantis, Centaurea calcitrapa ssp. angusticeps, Centaurea veneris, Crocus veneris, Cyclamen cyprium, Euphorbia cypria, Gagea juliae, Gladiolus triphyllus, Helianthemum obtusefolium, Odontides cypria, Onobrychis venosa, Onopordum cyprium, Onosma fruticosum, Ophrys kotschyi, Ophrys lepethica, Origanum majorana, Ornithogalum pedicellare, Phlomis cypria var. occidentalis, Pterocephalus multiflorus ssp. multiflorus, Ptilostemon chamaepeuce var. cyprius, Rubia laurea, Scutellaria cypria var. elatior, Sedum cyprium, Sedum porphyreum, Senecio glaucous ssp. Cyprius, Taraxacum aphrogenes, Teucrium divaricatum ssp. Canescens, Teucrium micropodioides, Thymus integer, Tulipa cypria.
The animals which can found in Akamas include fruit bats, shrews, hedgehogs, foxes, snakes, lizards, Griffon vultures, Cyprus Warblers, and Cyprus Scops owls. Vulnerable species include bats, magreonk seals and sea turtles. You can find more about some of them by visiting our cyprus fauna section.
At Lara Bay a turtle hatchery can be found, where the eggs are protected. Europe has identify the Akamas area as one of the 22 areas of endemism in Europe, and is also one of only three European areas holding two or more restricted-range species of birds.
The Akamas beaches are very important as being the last large unspoiled coastal area, and one of the very few important sea turtle nesting areas in the Mediterranean. The Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta-caretta) and the rarer Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) nest at Akamas with the Green Turtle depending on the Akamas beaches for its very survival in this region. According to IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) the Loggerheads are considered "vulnerable" species and the Green Turtles are considered as "endangered species". Nevertheless, IUCN specifies the the annual nunmber of Green Turtle nesting females in the entire Mediterranean could be as low as 325-375.