After a leisurely breakfast of freshly made orange juice, fresh fruit covered in Greek yoghurt and coffee on the colourful terrace we decided to walk down to the bottom of the hill and onto the main coast road to catch a bus to the beach at Coral Bay for a spot of scuba diving. Ranked as one of the top ten dive sites in the world; there are many dive shops and instructors all along this coastline with many ship wrecks and sea caves offering divers some of the best underwater experiences in the world.
In the afternoon we decided to hire a boat to explore Cyprus from the water; you can hire a boat from Coral Bay or Latchi and sail around the Akamas peninsula, long said to be the jewel in Southern Cyprus’s crown. Largely unspoilt this gorgeous peninsula is home to Loggerhead sea turtles, fruit bats
, monk seals and a vast selection of rare flora and fauna. Wild flowers include cyclamen, turban buttercups, alyssum (alyssum akamasicum endemic to Akamas) Cyprus tulip, and many species of orchid, yellow gorse and white rock rose. It is one of only 22 areas of endemism in Europe making it a rare destination to explore and even David Attenborough filmed here in 2006.
We sailed around to the famous blue lagoon at Chamili Bay where the azure waters are so clear you can see the sea bed a hundred feet below and watch silver fish glinting past. The waters here were so warm and so salty that we seemed to float weightlessly and effortlessly. After our mid afternoon dip we sailed on to the sea caves at Manolis Bay that look almost lunar like with plenty of small pools with a pink tinge that mean moonlight here sparkles off all the rocks.
For details of hiring boats –
Information on Akamas peninsula click here –
After our delicious dinner we headed in the opposite direction of Bella Vista into Paphos town itself to sample the nightlife of Bar Street aptly named as it is a mainly pedestrianised road containing only bars and nightclubs. There’s a diverse range of different offerings from choice of music to the décor to the theme; from retro clubs with glitter balls and dance floors that light up to bars that seem as though they’ve been airlifted from the film Robin Hood complete with wooden turrets. We opted for Boogies so my friend could demonstrate her wonderful singing voice on the karaoke crowd and whilst we could have stayed until the sun came up we decided to head home before the dawn chorus began.
A short taxi ride up the road and we were back home in ‘Bella Vista’ Spanish or ‘Beautiful Views’ and that’s not a clever marketing ploy as they are really amazing from up here. When we arrived home the only sound was the noise from the crickets and a faint scent of jasmine and hibiscus in the air that blew in a warm obviously Egyptian breeze. The lights all along the coastline twinkled and reflected on the now very calm sea which seemed to completely merge into the star filled sky so it was impossible to tell where one began and the other finished until that was a cruise liner sailed UFO like across the sky!
It was hard to believe we were somewhere so peaceful when a few moments earlier we were in a busy town with noise and nightlife; we slept very well indeed.
Stepping out onto the balcony in the early morning light I’m reminded of something Monet once said “Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment” he’d certainly not be tormented here, Cyprus is one of the rare places where the light is perfect for painting or landscape photography at dusk and the break of dawn all year round.
The view this morning is breathtaking the bright blue sea seeming to merge with an even clearer sky lots of sail boats already making small waves as they make their way out of the harbour and down towards Coral Bay. Airplanes in the distance leave faint white trails across the sky over the sea on their way into Paphos airport only 10 km away. The sounds of distant mopeds whirring as they ferry their passengers to work in Paphos town can be heard over the hills like the buzzing sound of hungry honey bees.
The panorama this morning is very different from the one we had last night from the open sided restaurant where we enjoyed a gorgeous meal. Olivetto’s restaurant is located on the busy Tomb of the Kings road, a fabulous Italian restaurant popular with the residents of Kamares, Paphos’s answer to Hollywood’s Bel Air. Although it is a little pricey the service and food is amazing especially the lamb cutlets they cook on a volcanic hot stone in front of you however I opted for one of their celebrated steaks. We drank pre-dinner cocktails outside on the terrace with views of the sea and of the UNESCO protected Tomb of the Kings, the road’s namesake.
For more information on Tomb of the Kings see –