March 21st, 2017
I invite you to have a look at the map of Cyprus – looks a bit like an electric guitar, don’t you think!?
You will notice 5 main points sticking out of the “body” of this guitar. Starting from Nicosia and going clockwise: The long Karpasia peninsula, Cape Greco between Paralimni and Ayia Napa, the Akrotiri peninsula next to Limassol, the Akamas National Park in northern Paphos district and Cape Kormakitis above Morfou/Guzelyurt.
Out of all of Cyprus’ physical attractions, Cape Greco/Cavo Greco is certainly one of the most popular. Part of the Natura2000 network as a protected National Forest Park, the area boasts limestone rocks rising high above crystal clear blue waters, sea caves, trails and paths that attract swimmers, climbers, divers, paragliders, hikers and cyclists year-round. Naturally, the area also attracts numerous birds, small animals and lizards and is the natural habitat of hundreds of different kinds of plants, almost 30 of which are either endemic or very rare.
A few thousand years ago, Cyprus was full of forests. The Cape Greco area could not be any different; the area was covered with Juniperus Phoenicea trees which are too strong for their own good. The locals cut them and used them in their homes and for industrial purposes. Unfortunately, the area is now mostly covered in lower vegetation, which makes exposure to the sun an issue between May-October.
Luckily for visitors, the large garbage dump that one would see (and…smell) from the top of the Monument of Peace locality in the direction of the Sea Caves has been properly covered.
If you think it doesn’t get windy in the area, think again. Up on the hill with the gazebo overlooking the Sea Caves in the distance, the wind can get quite strong, enough to knock your drinks to the ground. I’ve lost ceramic cups filled with tea this way, so I’d better be the “whistle-blower” for the rest of you!
A government-funded Environmental Information Center was built in the park a couple of years ago. I’m not sure I agree with the design of the outside space (tonnes of rocks encased in wire – seriously??) but I hope they’ve done a better job with the information inside! Check it out if you are in the area.