Almost anyone coming to Cyprus as a tourist visits Petra Tou Romio also known as the Aphrodite’s rock, the place where Aphrodite was born out of foam. If you are not interested in mythology, you can still visit this place for its scenic beauty.
You can go to Aphrodite’s rock from the highway between Limassol and Pafos. The exit then goes for a while along the sea before coming to the parking for the actual place. You then cross the road through a under-bridge and come out onto the beach where you can see the actual rock.
Just as you reach the sea, you will see few viewpoints where you can stop and enjoy the work of nature on the limestone cliffs.
If you have the energy and time, you can do a bit of exploring. Just before the first viewpoint, there is a narrow path down to the beach. If no path exists, just scramble down. Then, keep going to the left until see rock formations. They are beautiful and you can spend hours climbing the cliffs and going inside the small caves formed by the cliffs.
If you are not the kind who enjoys climbing all the rocks, just sit back and enjoy the beautiful sunset on this beach.
The annual spring flower festival happens in the yermasogia area near the parking lot. The parking lot is converted into a flower show and there is a parade (a smaller version of the limassol carnival) on the the beach road, with flowers being the theme
The tradition is for the kids on the float to throw the flowers to the onlookers. The people on the side of the streets are very eager to catch the thrown flowers. Probably, they are owners of flower shops and they just want to stock up on the flowers . Even Anith managed to catch some flowers. More photos from the parade…
When i came to Cyprus in 2001, the first year was spent on visting all the regular touristy places like the Baths of Aphrodite, Rock of Aphrodite, Polis etc. After that, i started googling about Cyprus and started getting info on off-beat places like Avakas Gorge, Kelefos bridge etc. After a few years, i realised that Cyprus had something to offer in every nook and corner and hence i started visting every place marked with a brown board: A brown board is used in Cyprus to signify something of touristic interest. This “Giant Oak tree” was on one such board.
On the way to troodos from Limassol, around a 100 metres beyond the laneia police station (the only police station on the route), you will find a brown board saying “Giant Oak Tree – 400 m” pointing into a small lane towards the right. You can take your car inside this line and will be surprised to find big apartments built a little further down this lane. After few metres, the board points towards the left. It is better to park the car here and walk the final stretch as taking the car down this part would be a little difficult.
We went during Spring and the whole area was filled with all kinds of colurful flowers. We spent around 15 minutes at this place taking photographs from various angles. Anith even tried, though unsuccessfully, to climb the tree.
Harish and Anith took many of my photos and put them on top of a Cyprus Map as a collage. Must have been lot of work. This is the photo which is currently the wallpaper on my laptop. You can find a higher resolution picture (2.5 MB) here.
An earthquake of magnitude 4.5 on the Richter scale shook Cyprus on August 25th (Tuesday). The epicentre was pretty close to Limassol, occurring near Amathus. But, nothing much happened because of this, just that people were shaken up a bit!
In fact, Cyprus is very close to a highly seismic zone. There is a major fault running through (or very near to) Cyprus. You can actually see the fault. If you go to lady’s mile beach (on the road from My Mall), you turn right at the T-junction to go to Akrotiri lake whereas to the left, the road stops. If you wade into the beach from just to the right of the t-junction, you should see a drop of a feet or so on the sea floor within a few metres from the shore. This is a faultline. This goes in a diagonal direction towards the sea , so goes further in as you go on lady’s mile beach towards Akrotiri. I accidentally noticed this. Once i was snorkelling close to the shore (close – very close as i dont know the ABCs of swimming) and i drifted off a bit. Suddenly, i saw the sea floor much deeper than i would have liked it to be. I panicked and waded towards the shore. Then i noticed the sharp drop on the floor.
Cyprus has had its share of mild earthquakes before. In the late 90s, there was a medium intensity earthquake, the effects of which can be seen on some of the old residential apartments on the beach road. I hope that there are no after-shocks of this earthquake, except the artificial ones to be created by the Israelis!!
Cyprus has never ceased to amaze me. Even after 7.5 years of exploring Cyprus, i still manage to find new pristine places that i have not seen before. For many, the only waterfall in Cyprus is the Kalidonia waterfall. Few others know Milomeri and even fewer have heard of Mesa Potamas waterfall. To my surprise, i came across this Chantara Waterfalls and i can definitely say that this is the most beautiful waterfall in Cyprus, unless there are more hidden gems like this!
Also known locally at the Handara waterfalls, this waterfall is easily accessible by road (earthern road). The beauty of this fall is because of the split in the main falls because of the huge rock in the middle. This offers numerous photographic opportunities to try out the slow-shutter technique to bring out the silky flow of the water.
This falls is located between Phini Village (or Foini Village) and trooditissa monastery. Phini Village is just a short drive from Kato Platres. Once you reach the village, you will see a clear signboard for handara waterfalls. This is a 2 km drive on earthern road. The road was a bit bad, but we managed it in regular family cars. If you are coming from the other side, drive to trooditissa monastery (this monastery is not open to public), cross the parking lot (the end of the parking lot if marked by an arch) and continue on the earthern road. The moment you leave the parking lot, the road becomes earthern. Keep going towards foini/phini (taking a left at one junction) and you will come across this waterfall right on the road.
The adventurous ones might dismiss this waterfall because of its accessibility through road. But, don’t worry, even they have lot to explore here. Once you gather the courage to clamber up the side of the waterfall (a path visible to the left of the waterfall) and then jump over some rocks, you reach the top of the fall. It was extremely slippery at the top and my camera had some close calls. Once you are at the top, you are rewarded with two more small waterfalls. We wanted to climb to the top of the third one to see if there are more, but it proved to be too slippery for us to continue! We spent more than an hour exploring the place and taking lot of photographs. I would give a big thumbs-up for this place and rate it as one of the must-visit places in Cyprus.
There are many abandoned villages in Cyprus, some of which were abandoned during 1974 conflict and many abandoned due to natural reasons like landslides or earthquakes. You can find many such villages in the Pafos mountains. Mathikoloni is relatively closer to Limassol and is considered by many to one of the more beautiful ones to explore.
We had been to Mathikoloni many years ago. So, we decided to check out the place again 2 weeks back along with Harish and Anith. Actually the plan was to just stopover at Mathikoloni and drive through a mountain road to Akrounta near Yermasoyia dam.
To go to Mathikoloni, you have to take the Agios Athanasios exit on Jumbo/Linopetra roundabout. You cross the Agios Athanasios and climb towards Mathikoloni which is around 11kms away. Once you reach the village, take a right from the main road and go into the village. Keep going on this road and you will cross the new settlement and at the end of the road, you will see dirty signboard marked as “Akrounta – 5 km”. This road is pretty narrow and it is difficult to take a U-turn at any point. The road starts as being paved and it is paved for most of the distance. You drive down into the valley and there you have lot of photo opportunities with lot of greenery and mountains on both sides of the road.
Even Akshara (who has become a veteran of road trips now!) seemed to enjoy this drive down the narrow lanes. My mom, on the other hand, held on to the seat very tightly in the hope that the slope would lead to another road
After a while, the paved road gives way to earthern road which at points looks pretty bad. But, rest assured that this road is definitely navigable and you (whether you drive or not) will enjoy this short road trip. The road finally leads to Akrounta (Don’t turn towards Spitali) which is just a few kms north of Yermasoyia.
Few questions from a Cyprus quiz i conducted at my place of work recently. Leave your answers in the comments. Answers will be updated in a week’s time.
- Who is the current president of Cyprus?
- What are the Migratory birds which come to the salt lakes during Spring?
- Leonardo da Vinci came to Cyprus in 1481, and returned to Italy with an piece of embroidery from this village, which he donated to the Duomo Cathedral in Milan.Which village?
- Where is the sculpture park in Limassol?
- A British general used to take his horse for a daily morning walk along this stretch. This place takes its name from this horse. Which place?
- How do we better know Chionistra in Cyprus?
- Which is the highest village in Cyprus?
- Which is the oldest monastery in Cyprus?
- How do we better know Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou?
- Which is the second largest island in the Meditteranean?
- “Born out of Foam” translates to what in Greek?
- Major-General Peter Young, the commander of a peace force, in 1964, did something with a coloured pencil which lead to this thing. What ?
- Where can one see a Giraffe in Cyprus?
- Which is the highest trekking/walking trail in Cyprus?
Yermasoyia Dam (or Germasoyia or Yermasogia) is one of the few reasons one could use to justify living in this beautiful island of Cyprus (and particularly Limassol). It is around 10 mins (lesser now because of the flyovers) from anywhere in Limassol and yet, it is so different. The moment you take the yermasoyia exit (the first one from Larnaca/Nicosia side), you leave the hustle-bustle of the city behind and enter the narrows streets of Yermasoyia village. Small streets running up the sides of the hills, orange farms in the valley below – you wouldn’t realise that the city is just a minute behind you.
There is a road on top of the dam which you can drive across. This will take you behind the dam.
Many people just visit the dam, stop on the road on top of it, click a few photos and then drive back. But, the best part is hidden behind the hills on the other side. The road across the dam climbs over the hill and goes down towards the village of Phinikara (Finikara). In Spring and particularly after a drizzle, this place comes alive with greenery and lots of yellow flowers.
Yermasoyia also looks great in rain, if you manage to cover yourself and still enjoy the view. Under the cover of mist, the far-away mountains and the valley present a pristine sight
There are also small walking trails near the parking place on the other side of the hill(dam). You cross over a small valley and then there is a hillock with a small hut on the top. It is a short climb to the top. Also, there is a small 15 minute trail circumnavigating this hillock.
Yermasoyia dam has overflown in the past and it becomes a major attraction when it does so. The overflowing water form a nice set of waterfalls on the side of the village and for the adventurous, it presents some interesting rock-hopping.
i went there last week and the water level is pretty compared to the emptiness of last year. Also, with the hint of rain in the air, it is a great place to visit now!
Forget the beaches, forget the half-naked Britishers, leave the shores and head out to the countryside. It is spring in Cyprus and this is when Cyprus is at its best. A cool breeze, a bright-but-not-hot sun, green grass, wild flowers, a light drizzle – it is paradise out there.
Over the next few weeks, I shall be writing posts which concentrate on seeing the best of Spring in Cyprus. Road-trips, picnic spots, small treks and the like. The past few weekends, I have been doing just that and there is no reason why you also should out there doing the same
You could go on a trek…
or visit the rose gardens in Agros village…
or go in search of fields of yellow flowers…
or catch the dawn/dusk sun for some wonderful photo ops….
or go in search of white flowered almond trees…
or go into one of the hundreds of orange farms …
or hope that Yermasoyia dam gets lot of water and it overflows (with water and greenery!)…
To catch all the posts on the best of springtime in Cyprus, visit Spring in Cyprus