During our research on Cyprus we repeatedly came across pictures of a gorge on the internet. It was clear that the Avakas Gorge belonged on our to-do list for the stay in Cyprus.
Approach to Avakas Gorge
We drove with the rental car from Paphos to the gorge. The Navi showed us the way, which at first led along really good roads. At one point we could stop directly at the cliff and enjoy the magnificent view over the coast.
The road then became worse and finally narrow, single track and a gravel road. It went steeply downhill into a small bay where a restaurant was located. About 300 meters further on we finally reached a car park and the navigation system said “destination reached”. So we got out and walked into a valley.
There are two routes to the Avakas Gorge.
Path 1: Following the sign to the restaurant “The Last Castle”, the first path is uphill (there were even people who drove this path by car). At the restaurant the path goes downhill until you are finally at the entrance to the gorge. With a normal rental car I would not drive along here by car. A 4×4 jeep should have no problems and can park in a car park directly at the entrance to the gorge.
We walked and it was dusty and exhausting.
Route 2: From the car park you walk along a footpath right next to the road to the restaurant in the valley. The path is a bit longer, but not so exhausting.
After about 30 minutes you reach the “entrance” to the gorge. (Here you will also find a toilet house, which was surprisingly clean during our visit).
Signs point out possible rockfall. It is also important to note the water in the valley. In case of rain the otherwise so contemplative stream can turn into a torrential river. You should therefore think carefully about when to start the hike.
Hiking through the gorge
You are not alone in the Avakas Gorge. But during our visit it was still quiet. The hikers enjoyed the beautiful nature and were busy taking pictures and watching. At some places we were made aware of things we might have overlooked. Once a woman even claimed to have seen a wild mouflon in the steep face. Unfortunately, we didn’t discover it despite our glasses.
The flora in the Avakas Gorge was in beautiful bloom when we were there. Pines, cypresses, juniper berries, wild fig trees also Centauria akamantis, a native plant that only grows here, everywhere you could discover something interesting. The water was splashing and birds were singing. Every now and then a lizard passed by us and disappeared in the dense green. If you take your time, you can discover many colourful butterflies flying around between the plants.
At some places you have to cross the river. There are no bridges, only stones lie in the water. So you should be a little bit sure-footed, or hope for the friendly help of hikers. In winter or when there is a lot of water the path is not recommended!
The path through the gorge becomes narrower and narrower. The rock walls are getting closer and closer together. I looked up carefully and hoped that no stone would fall. It would not have been possible to avoid it here.
Suddenly the path disappears completely and you are standing in a gorge only a few metres wide, with vertical rock faces rising up to 250 metres. You can only move forward very slowly, you have to climb over boulders and again and again over/through the water. Although this part of the gorge is only 500 metres long, it takes time to walk along it.
We did not hike to the end of the gorge. The rock walls coming closer and closer gave me the feeling of being crushed. So we preferred to walk the other way round.
We were comfortably on the road for a good 3 hours, took pictures in between and simply enjoyed the time.