A Morning Well Spent In Cape Greco National Park
However long you plan to stay on the east side of Cyprus, don’t leave without having experienced Cape Greco National Park. Its intriguing nature trails linking sea caves, pine trees and historical monuments can be explored by foot, bike or car and offer enough adventure opportunities for a few hours or an altogether unforgettable morning. Below, we suggest a schedule full of sights waiting to be discovered.
8 AM: It’s hard to imagine a better start to the day than a morning dip at a quiet beach before a hiking tour. Konnos, one of the most splendid beaches in Cyprus, is an ideal location to undertake this. Looking out over the impressive coastline, it offers a preview of the scenery yet to come. Start your day lying on the golden sand or swimming around the sheltered rocks, from which waves are kept bay. The beach itself is accessible by car, bicycle or foot and there are many cafés and restaurants just a short walk away.
10 AM: Whether you are interested in church interiors or just want to enjoy a beautiful view and a drop of holy water, a visit to the Agoi Anargyroi is essential. The chapel is dedicated to the brothers Saint Cosmas and Saint Damianos: two doctors who healed numerous people during their practice around 300 AD, without accepting any payment – a virtue which led to them being named Anargyroi (from the Greek Ανάργυροι, ‘the silverless’). From the church there are some steps leading down to the bright blue sea with a little spot where, according to church mythology, holy water runs.
11 AM: 1 km from the chapel you’ll find one of the most famous scenes associated with Cape Greco: the Korakas arch. Located at the park’s northeast tip, this natural bridge is worth a pitstop. In past decades it was so often visited (and walked on) that today it is fenced off to avoid further erosion.
11.30 AM: To wind down and brush up on a bit of history between the natural sights, stop by the Cape Greco Environmental Center. The beautiful architecture of this building, located at the northern tip of the park, houses three aquariums, skeletons and a small makeshift cinema, in which you can watch informative recordings or listen to lectures about the geological history of the Cape Greco area. Experienced staff also teach courses to school students and whoever else is interested in quenching their thirst for more knowledge.
1 PM: The Cape Greco National Park is not only popular for cyclists, hikers or roadtrippers. The region is also a favourite for snorkelers, with many caves around the coastline, from Ayia Napa to Cape Greco. The Palace Caves and Smugglers Caves are deep passages leading into the cliffs, which are only accessible from the sea. In some parts, the water is very deep, so those brave enough may be tempted to end their Cape Greco morning with a 10-metre cliff-dive into the deep blue sea.
2 PM: Having ended your morning at Cape Greco, it’s time to treat yourself to a long lunch – either in one of the surrounding taverns, or, if you have other plans for the afternoon, back at the nearby SENTIDO Sandy Beach.