The Akamas Peninsula in northwest Cyprus is one of the most beautiful places on the island. It’s also one of the least inhabited places, making it a paradise for hikers, 4x4ers and boaters! There is no main roads, just dirt tracks and footpaths along with an extensive range of wildlife, crystal clear bays and endless beautiful landscapes to explore! Here are 10 tips for exploring the beautiful Akamas Peninsula by car.
Rent a 4×4 or Quadbike
We hired a little Suzuki Jimny for our time in Cyprus which was the perfect car for exploring! We hired one when we were in Paros on the Greek Islands a few years ago and loved it so much! It is the perfect little car for adventuring.
Just ensure that you have the proper insurance before taking your car offroad!
Don’t attempt to 4×4 if you’ve never driven off road
The road is fine for experienced 4x4ers or at least those who have driven off road a few times. We often go offroading in our Ute at home, but still found that there were a couple of fairly sketchy parts on the track! I would hate to think what it would be like for those who’ve never driven off road.
Once you get down to near water level near Manolis Bay and the Blue Lagoon, the path is fine. The worst parts are going up and down the very pot-holey steep hills (next to very steep drop offs).
We definitely recommend starting early! Start your day with a Cypriot or normal coffee (whichever takes your fancy – learn more), a good breakfast and then jump in the car and go! The Blue Lagoon was almost empty when we arrived, but by mid-morning it was filled with so many boats and people which took away from its beauty. So definitely start early and make the most of your day. The Blue Lagoon and Manolis Bay were our two favourite places in the Peninsula.
Take your time
Plan to spend the entire day in the region, it is so beautiful and you’ll eventually have to drag yourself out of the water. Be mindful that whilst it looks like small distances, it is quite difficult to know how long it will actually take. The drive can actually take quite while as the track isn’t in good condition and you will also want plenty of time to stop and admire the breathtaking views!
Take a GoPro or waterproof Camera
One of our biggest regrets of our trip was leaving our GoPro at home! We didn’t expect to need it as we spent most of our trip in the Middle East where we only swam a few times. In addition, the water in Cyprus was about 100x better than we’d ever imagined! If you do have a GoPro or waterproof camera, be sure to pack it because you definitely won’t regret it and will get some great photos and underwater footage.
Pack (and wear) water shoes
Water shoes of today are not the clunky, unstylish things that they used to be! This was our biggest regret in Cyprus and particularly in Akamas was that we didn’t bring or buy water shoes. The beaches on the Akamas Peninsula are rocky (not sandy) and when visiting the Peninsula from the road, there will be times when you have to clamber across rocks, down small cliff sides and across very painful rocks to get into the water.
We wore our havaianas (thongs/flip flops) and being an Australian, I am used to wearing them everywhere but they were definitely not a smart choice of footwear whilst exploring the Akamas Peninsula. There were plenty of places to buy shoes in Cyprus however most looked like a cheap knock-offs from China and so we’d definitely recommend purchasing some in advance and bringing them with you!
Your feet will thank you and you also won’t look incredibly un-dainty trying to get in and out of the water!
Take your snorkels and explore underwater
As we spent most of our trip in the Middle East we didn’t pack our snorkels and flippers from home as we didn’t want to lug them half-way around the world only to use them a couple of times. We purchased cheap sets in Latchi and they were one of the best purchases we made in Cyprus. If you are just travelling to Cyprus for your holiday and have a pair at home (as well as room in your luggage) then we definitely recommend packing them.
The water in the Blue Lagoon was some of the most magical we’ve seen on our travels. There is such a beautiful world below the surface with curious, colourful fish everywhere you look. We had so much fun snorkelling and spent so much time face-down in the water that we ended up with sunburned backs. It was however, totally worth it!
Be wary of boats when swimming and snorkelling
It’s important to just keep an eye out whilst swimming and snorkelling for boats. Some little coves and bays are super quiet, whilst others are packed! We were really surprised to hear that people can hire a boat for the day with just a car licence, which is exciting for them, but may prove scary for others in the water! Just keep an eye out and you’ll have a safe and amazing time in the water.
Pack a picnic and take plenty of water
There’s no shops once you leave Latchi, so we packed plenty of snacks and water to see us through the day. There’s some gorgeous places to stop and have a picnic too so make sure you grab all your favourite snacks!
Leave nothing behind
Like anywhere you visit, make sure you leave nothing behind. The Akamas Peninsula is such a beautiful, unspoiled part of the world and we hope it will stay that way! Whilst there are some rubbish bins around, we took our rubbish back in our car so we could pop it in the bins at our hotel so that there was no chance it would blow away and end up in the ocean.
If you aren’t keen to explore by road then you can always hike the Aphrodite Trail, hire a boat or jump on a charter boat tour for the day!
This post was written in collaboration with Decathlon.