Most vacationers visit Cyprus for the island’s sunny weather and paradisiacal beaches. One does not necessarily think of hiking and active vacations in Cyprus. Yet the third largest island in the Mediterranean offers a wide range of hiking opportunities. Meanwhile, there is a large hiking network with signposted routes in Cyprus, all named after Greek gods. You can expect spectacular coastal hikes over steep cliffs, hikes along gorgeous beaches or mountain hikes over the peaks of the Troodos Mountains. However, a popular attraction in Cyprus is the Avakas Gorge, located in the southwest of the Akamas Peninsula. A hiking trail leads through the narrow gorge, which is only 2 meters wide in places and has rock walls over 30 meters high. The gorge was formed by the small river Avgas, which turns into a raging torrent after heavy rainfall. I don’t want to deprive you of this attraction of Cyprus. Therefore, I present you my personal circular hike through the Avakas Canyon in this blog post. In fact, a great adventure that I will never forget. I hope you enjoy reading my travelogue and I’m glad you came across my travel blog.
My hike through Avakas Gorge in brief
If you click on a link below, you will go directly to the corresponding section of the route. It starts from the parking lot of Avakas Gorge. The first section of the route resembles a botanical garden and presents a variety of native plants. This is followed by the attraction of the hike: rock walls over 30 meters high that form a narrow gorge. Shortly after, the gorge becomes much more open, but the cliffs rise all the higher into the sky. The last section of the gorge is characterized by forest and boulders that must be climbed over. Outside the Avakas Gorge, a hiking trail runs back across the plateau in the hinterland. At the end of this route, beautiful viewpoints of the blue coast of Cyprus await you.
In total, the hike is 7.1 kilometers long (from parking lot No. 3) and I needed about 2.5 hours. The route does not have a significant slope, so no extraordinary condition is required. However, you have to be very careful inside the gorge. Stones can fall into the gorge, the rocks at the bottom are slippery and when the weather changes, the small stream can become a raging torrent. Do not go to Avakas Gorge after heavy rain or when there is an increased chance of rain. However, waterproof hiking shoes are mandatory even if it is dry. The trails are rocky, unmarked and often not clearly identifiable. You should have a GPS map with you in any case. There are no refreshment stops or drinking water on the hike, so you should take enough provisions with you. I have marked the route and all important points on the map.
7,1 km (from the entrance)
↑↓ 288 m
Parking lot Avakas
unpaved, slippery, falling rocks
If you’re looking for more information and tips on hiking in Cyprus, check out this blog article.
How to get to Avakas Gorge
Travel by car
The starting point of the circular hike is one of the three parking lots located on the way to the gorge (see map). Parking there is free of charge. However, the road from White River Beach is no longer paved. There are potholes and stones on the road. With a normal car you can only drive very slowly. At that time, I parked at parking lot no. 2. Parking lot No. 3, which is located directly at the entrance, should only be approached with a suitable car. The drive from Paphos to Avakas Gorge takes about 30 minutes.
By bus to the canyon
Direct arrival by bus is not possible. From Paphos bus line 616 goes to the church Agios Georgios in Peyia. Just before the terminus at the Sunset Restaurant is the bus stop Ag Georgiou Pegias 9, which is the closest to the Avakas Gorge. However, the walk to the entrance is 3 kilometers. You can find more information on the website Cyprus by Bus.
Alternatively, those who do not have their own car can rent a quad for a day to get to the gorge.
If you want to learn more about traveling by car or public transportation in Cyprus, check out my travel blog about Cyprus.
My hike through Avakas Gorge
I park my rental car at the empty parking lot No. 2, put on my hiking boots, and make my way 500 meters towards the entrance. It is early in the morning when I start my hike. The low sun shines warm soft light on the mountains in the background. A wide, deserted trail awaits me shortly after entering the Avakas Gorge Nature Trail. Today I am probably the first to hike into the gorge.
Everywhere along the way grow different trees, bushes, flowers and other plants, whose names can be found on small signs. The first 500 meters resemble a botanical garden. In general, the area around the Avakas Gorge is characterized by a great variety of plants. For example, there are pines, fig trees, cypresses or juniper berries.
The hiking trail becomes narrow and winds along a small stream through bushes and trees. Boulders lie on the ground and tree roots crisscross the path. The section is not difficult to master, but still very varied and exciting. At every corner there is something new to discover. I get closer and closer to the rugged rocks. A last sign warns of falling stones in the gorge.
Short Facts for your Trip
For hiking in Cyprus, I recommend you to travel between March and May or between September and November. In summer it is too hot for that. During the months of December to February there is a high rainfall, so the risk of flooded hiking trails in the Avakas Gorge is high. In general, you should not hike in the gorge when it is raining. Another advantage is that there are few tourists in the low season. And the gorge is a very popular travel destination in Cyprus.
The attraction of Avakas Gorge
I stand in front of gigantic rock walls that rise steeply to the left and right of me. The further I hike into the gorge, the closer the rock walls come. At the narrowest point, the Avakas Gorge has a width of only 2 meters. Water collects on the bottom. The only path leads through it. In my experience, you should have waterproof shoes with you here.
I slowly feel my way forward over the wet, slippery stones. Searching for a foothold, but only grasping wet-cold rocks. These radiate a coldness and dampness that occupy the entire space. Due to the rock walls, there is a dead silence in the narrowness of the Avakas Gorge. Suddenly, a loud noise that almost scares me to death and makes me flinch. Just the flapping of a pigeon’s wings shooting up from a hole in the rock right next to me. At first, I thought a boulder was crashing down on me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened in my life. Stupid pigeon.
No matter where I look, I only look at steep, damp rock faces. It seems as if I were completely isolated from the outside world. Trapped in the superiority of nature. An oppressive feeling spreads. For the first time I consider turning back instead of hiking further into the gorge. It feels like I am alone in the most remote place on earth. In reality I stand alone between 30-meter-high rock walls, because I hoped not to meet anyone else in the gorge early in the morning. Goal reached, so onward.
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Deeper and deeper into the Avakas Gorge
The rock walls slowly move away from each other again and the gorge opens. Instead, the rocks now rise much higher into the sky. A dull sound. Goats run along the slopes, kicking rocks loose that roll unchecked into the Avakas Gorge. Take cover! A crowing and buzzing sounds from above. Hundreds of birds fly along the rocks, looking for their breakfast. This passage opens an up-close scene of nature in the morning and leaves me enthralled. Nevertheless, I have to watch out for falling rocks here and continue my hike briskly.
The last section of the Avakas Gorge
The spread of the gorge continues, and the rock walls start rising more gently. A hiking trail follows, which again leads through bushes and crosses the stream. I often have to climb high boulders to continue my way. Often it is not clear where I can best continue. After some time, the gorge makes a right turn. From there the trail is rather easy and after one kilometer I reach the exit of the Avakas Gorge.
Circular hike across the plateau above the Avakas Canyon
I climb a staircase and reach an open field. In the distance stretch the mountains of the hinterland, in front of me are two benches to rest and cows grazing in the pastures. There are several options for continuing the hike. Either hike the same way back through the Avakas Gorge (6 km in total) or take one of the two trails above the gorge. The first route is very long and takes you northwest to Lara Beach (16 km total). I choose to hike the alternative south along the canyon (7.1 km total).
The trail is not very easy to find. It leads uphill over pastures and narrow paths, which, however, often divide. My GPS map helped me a lot here. You’re walking right when you think you’re not. After 500 meters you should reach a stony road that leads you further uphill to the right.
If you prefer to travel in a group, there is a possibility to join a guided tour. You don’t have to worry about transportation, excursion planning, or food, but you can completely focus on the beauty of Avakas Gorge. I recommend booking a tour through Get Your Guide portal, where countless activities around the world can be booked easily and safely.
Viewpoints of the bays of Cyprus
The stony, dusty road soon leads me to a plateau where there are several goat stables. Here I encounter free-roaming goats lying peacefully under the trees seeking shade. A section follows that winds downhill through small trees. The path is not particularly spectacular, but you are rewarded the whole time with a view of the sea. After 2.5 kilometers I come back to the entrance of the Avakas gorge. In the meantime, it is full to bursting because the Avakas canyon is a popular travel destination. More tourists are hiking towards me from parking lot No. 1 and 2. Good that I started so early. At the end I jump at Toxeftra Beach into the cool water and relax afterwards at the sea.
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Conclusion on Avakas Canyon
I really liked the route overall. Those who appreciate wild nature will love this circular hike. In fact, the path through the Avakas Gorge is a highlight in itself. The hike doesn’t have a lot of elevation changes and isn’t very strenuous, but it does require a lot of concentration at times. Because the rocks on the ground are slippery, stones can fall into the gorge, and sudden rainfall can turn the small stream into a raging torrent. Do not hike into the gorge when it is raining or after a heavy rainfall. Watch out for goats walking on the slopes who push stones down the canyon. No relevant hiking experience is needed to complete the route, but respect for heights should be present. In any case, waterproof shoes should be worn. The circular hike is 7.1 kilometers long and takes about 2 to 3 hours. However, it can be shortened by walking back the same distance at the end of the gorge (6 km). I was at Avakas Gorge in November, in the off-season. It was sunny and still around 24 degrees. Inside the gorge it is cooler and protected from the sun. I didn’t meet a single person, but I also started very early in the morning. At the end of my hike, the parking lots around the gorge were packed. I highly recommend this attraction. For me, Avakas Gorge was an absolute highlight and experience of my Cyprus round trip.
Hotels and accommodation near Avakas Gorge
The best starting point for the hike is the region around Peyia. You can find a selection under this link* Especially on the coast there are many hotels, but they concentrate on package tourists. Nevertheless, it is possible to find a suitable accommodation directly at the beach. More and especially cheaper accommodation is available in the hinterland of Peyia.
I hope you enjoyed my travelogue about Avakas Gorge. On my Cyprus Blog I show you other beautiful travel destinations in Cyprus and share valuable tips and experiences for your trip to Cyprus. Did you like my blog post? Was I able to help you? Then I would be happy if you recommend my travel blog, leave a comment, or follow me on Instagram. Thanks for reading and have fun on your vacation in Cyprus.
The references marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called commission links. If you click on such a referral link and buy something, I get a small commission from the provider. For you, the price does not change! I see it as a small thank you for my work and look forward to any support.