Sea, Sun, Sand, and Aphrodite
Cyprus….I am looking at my computer screen and when I say Cyprus the first image I have in my mind is the spectacular sunset I saw the moment I arrived at my hotel….
It is a proven fact that the best time to visit a place it is always offseason, and the trip I had in Cyprus has proven to me once again that there is no greater pleasure then enjoying the empty beaches by myself, or places which normally would be filled up with tourists. I came to the island with no expectations, but happy to have the closeness of the sea and some sun, and for me, this was enough. I wanted to see the sunsets so I chose the West side of the island, and also I knew that there I can find the birthplace of Aphrodite. Although she is not my favorite goddess I still wanted to walk on her paths and see for myself what is that she found so attractive about this island.
Since I had no expectation Cyprus seemed to want to amaze me…and the first surprise was the first sunset…I love sunsets! For me, the moment when the sun is saying farewell falling in the arms of the sea it is so mesmerizing. It was a sunset covered by clouds, but from place to place there were patches from where the light was breaking through the darkness spreading a golden light around. I felt like stepping into a Renaissance painting being incorporated in the golden light and shades of darkness which were composing that delicate image. At the horizon, where the sky seemed to collapse into the sea were the calm shimmers of the sea, and if I would not have heard the sound of the waves washing the shores I would have thought that I was dreaming …With this sunset, Cyprus put a spell on me and everything that followed was a continuous surprise for me.
I can say now, that my trip to Cyprus was like some pieces of a puzzle which were put together one by one transforming my trip in something to remember. The hotel which was chosen by chance just because it had a picture with a sunset proven to be the ideal place for me. Away from the madding crowd, as I like to say, placed in one of the cliffs on the shore, Vrachia Beach Hotel has a small bay in front of it and the Coral Bay on a side. Every morning I woke up so early, a thing I am not doing normally not even if my life would depend on it, just to enjoy my cup of coffee on one of the benches overlooking the sea. I went to bed hearing the sound of the sea and I woke up hearing the same sound and this made me so happy.I was the only crazy person wearing pajamas and sandals walking on a very rocky beach trying to keep a cup of coffee in some kind of equilibrium only to be closer to the sea.
But when mornings are starting with a cup of coffee looking at the sea and hearing its whispers you might think that it can`t get better than this but, I am telling you.. it can…and it did..And so with a map in one hand, the exploration of Aphrodite kingdom begin …
The Akamas Peninsula named after a son of Theseus, that stretch of land on the North-West of the island bores the mark of Aphrodite, but when I started my exploration I had no idea about this. So in my search for secluded beaches, I discovered a part of Cyprus not touched yet by the long claws of intensive tourism, preserving its natural beauty unaltered and in the same time I was walking on the kingdom of Aphrodite, and this made everything more magical….
Akamas Peninsula being a preserved area there are no roads only trekking routes from north to south or from west to east. Those routes can be walked but also to be able to reach the far north one might consider renting a jeep. The entrance is through Lara region which is the gate to a kingdom welcoming the nature lovers and the travelers which can appreciate its beauty revealing for them lots of unexpected features.
Probably the first surprise it is Avakas Gorge, carved by waters in the limestone bedrock it can reach 30 meters high, narrowing its path giving the impression that those walls might squeeze you any minute, and the same time one might think that this must be a secret passage to some unknown realm. Everyone with its own imagination…
But the west coast line of Akamas Peninsula offers new surprises, besides wild secluded beaches. Lara Beach it is a sanctuary for loggerhead turtles. also, the legend says that Akamas is the place where Aphrodite met Adonis therefore beside the Bats of Aphrodite in Loutra one might find the Adonis Baths, not very far, in the core of the peninsula. 6 km from Baths of Aphrodite there is Fontana Amorosa or Love`s Spring, the legend says that who drinks from it becomes overcome with youthful desire. Those 6 km are walked along the east coastline of Akamas offering a spectacular view over numerous hidden bays along the way.
Last but not the least it is Petra Tou Romiou or the birthplace of Aphrodite where the legend says she was born from the white foam of the sea.It was the love which created Aphrodite. The love between the Sea and the Earth, it was their passionate clash which gave birth to what was going to be the Goddess of Love..
I was looking for Sea, sun and sand and I found Sea, sun, sand and Aphrodite. In my search for secluded unspoiled beaches where I could sit for a chitchat with my beloved sea, I found a region which still stands bravely against the avalanche of tourists which are not always showing consideration towards nature. As always I let my instinct guide me, and I was right to do so.
I found the perfect place for me which made my vacation so wonderful. Once again life showed me that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places… I am never saying one vacation is more beautiful than other, or one place is more beautiful than the other because every vacation and every place have that something which is making it unique. It was an experience which now is written in my book of stories, a book which one day I will pass it on to the next Lonely Traveler…