Avakas Gorge in Akamas, Cyprus
The road to the right looks bad, but is accessible to ordinary cars, though a bit tricky at times with one side being a steep drop to the canyon floor. That is me, guiding a friend through the rocky terrain. But, things have improved over the past few years maybe because of the running of E4, the European long distance trail close to Avakas. The road condition is still the same, but there is a parking lot near the start of the walk with picnic benches and running water. But, it is good that the roads have not been paved because it is this remoteness which adds to the beauty of this place. From the parking lot, it is around a 30 minute walk to the gorge.
The first time we went to Avakas, we walked for around 20-25 minutes and didn’t see anything resembling a gorge. We saw a couple coming back and asked them about it. They said that they had been another 100 metres, but didn’t see anything and hgence were walking back. But, we decided to press on. We didn’t drive over a 100 kilometres from limassol for nothing. At probably the 110th metre, the gorge started!
If you are going in winter/spring, be ready to walk in flowing water, as the gorge is actually a river and when we went there few weeks back, it was quite slushy in places and we had to do quite a bit of jumping around in order to save our shoes from the water.
The evening sunlight and the spring colours gave some very good photo ops.
The brave have lot of opportunities to get adventurous and try their rock climbing skills on the steep slopes of the gorge.
Once you enter the gorge, the light reduces drastically and it can get a bit cold too. The highlight of the gorge is a huge stone stuck between the walls of the gorge. This is the place which is often photographed and shown whenever Avakas gorge is referred to. The photos below are of the same place during various trips (different seasons, different times of the day with no manipulations of the photo) and you can see the effect of the light in these photos.
Though the walk is actually only about a 30 minutes, we spent almost 2 hours as we stopped at every possible photo opportunity.
From avakas gorge, only a short drive away is the famous lara beach. Lara Bay is famous for its nestling turtles (though I haven’t seen any of them). It is a big sandy beach, in contrast to the beaches in limassol and paphos.