Sightseeing day, and our last full day on Cyprus
Thursday: On our seventh and last full day on Cyprus, we decided to go sightseeing. First on our list was Petra tou Romiou (“Rock of the “Roman”) aka Aphrodite’s Rock. To get there from Limassol, we followed A6 westbound for 50km and then got on B6, which we followed for 1,6km to the parking lot.
Aphrodite’s Rock is a big tourist attraction, and the place was packed with tourists. We went straight down to the beach through a tunnel which was not really designed for people passing each other.
The area was quite nice. And it was nice for swimming, but not for snorkeling. The water wasn’t very clear and there was nothing to see under the water.
We didn’t stay long, but decided to visit the top of the rock before we left. Not really sure if it was allowed or not, but there were no signs saying we couldn’t.
Sanctuary of Apollon Ylatis
19km after getting back on the road, we left the A6, and got on to B6 eastbound. And another 19km later, we arrived at the Sanctuary of Apollon Ylatis.
Starting to get hungry, we weren’t really motivated for a lesson in Roman history. Thus, we just strolled around as indifferent tourists and observed the restoration of this old sanctuary. A shame, really. On a good day, this could have been interesting.
But we got to do some posing, as indifferent tourists do…
Limassol Salt Lake
15km later (B6->F628) we arrived at Akrotiri, close to the Limassol Salt Lake. We had hoped that we could have a nice time by the lake, but access was forbidden on the side we were on.
We also tried to find a place where we could by lunch, but this part of the town looked desolate. Apparently, most of this area belongs to the British military.
To sum up, the day hadn’t been too great. Except for Aphrodite’s Rock – which was well worth the trip. Hungry and uninspired (these two things often go hand in hand), we got back on B6 and stopped by a kiosk near Ypsonas – in the outskirts of Limassol.
My plan for turning the day into a really good one was to hike Papavounos (477m) – which looked like a short hike from the 3rd Limassol industrial zone. We weren’t supposed to do any hiking today, but this would hardly count as one. Anne did an excellent job as a map reader, and from the March 25 road, we turned onto the road leading up to the industrial area.
The road ended by some kind of factory, and we could see a gravel road going in the right direction. We parked on the pavement and headed out.
We followed this road for 1,2km. The road now turned away from the top, but there was a farm near the top and a road leading up to it. This road would have been a natural choice had it not been for a small herd of goats that seemed very nervous about our presence – AND – a dog barking.
Not knowing if the dog was on a leash or not, we decided to do the final 300 meters off-trail. Which could have been a painful ordeal – given the bush and the fact that we had shorts on. But, we managed to find a reasonably good route and could finally “claim” Papavounos.
The dog was still barking, so I was more than happy to get out of there. We followed the same off-trail route and returned to the car 41 minutes (and 3km) after leaving it.
Hotel Londa and more snorkeling
Back at our hotel in Limassol, we went straight into the water. This wasn’t snorkeling heaven by any measure, but far, far more interesting than in the waters by Aphrodite’s Rock. And, our small friends were still present…
We even saw a specie that we hadn’t seen before.
It was actually quite fun to follow the small shoals. They were not intimidated by us, but they didn’t let us swim with them…
Eventually, we called it a day and slowly started thinking about the day after and our departure.
I was now (almost) driving like a local, we knew the airport rental car area by now and there was no damage to the car. As such, everything would hopefully run smoothly. Which it did.
We had a very good week on Cyprus. The hiking was nice, the weather great, the people friendly and so on. The only thing not so great was the rental car, but it did the job. The biggest surprise was the efficient airport. I would have expected chaos and queues, like we’ve seen on the Canary Island and on Greek islands. But not in the Larnaca airport.
I would not mind coming back…
Pictures (Canon 80D/ GoPro) from the day: