Situated between the resort towns of Ayia Napa and Protaras in the far southeast of Cyprus, is a little slice of natural beauty called Cape/Cavo/Kavo/Capo Greco. Covering some 3.85 square kilometres, this peninsula provides a wide range of active opportunities including hiking, cycling, diving, fishing and swimming. Equally delicious when seen from land or water, this is another of one of those must-dos, when visiting Cyprus.
When tackling Cape Greco it’s probably best to think of it as four separate areas, each relating to a point of the compass. To the north is Konnos Beach and Cyclops Cave. The east consists of the cute Chapel of Agioi Anargyroi and Lovers Bridge. The south is the peninsula proper, including the radar station and Blue Lagoon. Whilst the west can be said to encompass the lookout, canyon and the sea caves of Ayia Napa.
Technically outside the Cape Greco National Park, the Cyclops Cave is directly accessible via a dirt track that we saw a 4WD vehicle had travelled to transport some scuba divers up to their diving spot entry point below the cave. Google Maps choose to send us, however, to a small suburban street from which we then walked roughly a kilometre along path with no signage, before finding our way to the right spot. Whilst the water below the caves looked particularly inviting, as you’d expect when scuba divers enter the water directly from the rocks for their dive, the cave itself is a bit of a let down.
Somehow, this cave became associated with the legend of Cyclops and Homer which we’ve described earlier. As I knew the tale about Polymepheus eating two of Homer’s men at a time better than the kids, I sent them both in for a photo snap unawares before I had a look around, just in case.
By all accounts Konnos Bay has a peach of a beach. We can’t vouch for it though as we never quite got there. A nice idea would be to catch some rays at the reasonably secluded beach of Konnos Bay before walking the 1.5 kilometres to Cyclops Cave, if so inclined, to break up your day. Otherwise, the cave itself is not really worth a separate trip.
Unless you’re hiking from the north or from the west then south, you’re most likely to arrive in the eastern part of Cape Greco National Park by car. As you drive in there is a visitor’s centre which houses an environmental museum (2 Euro entry) but given the compact nature of the area and informative guide this blogpost provides, its not really necessary to drop in. Simply keep driving down the road and take the left fork until you reach the Korakas Bridge (Kamara Tou Koraka).
Translated as the Love Bridge, this natural rock bridge tempts you to walk across, but the massive crack in the middle, as well as the fences and warning signs, are deterrent enough to leave well enough alone. While breathtaking during the day, this is a place most definitely that would benefit from being seen at sunrise, which should provide an almost magical setting. At some point nature will have her way so make sure you see it before it disappears for good!
You can walk around the other side of the natural bridge to get a different perspective and which also affords a pretty good photo opportunity without the sun washing out photos if you’re a bit leisurely like us and visiting during the middle of the day.
A couple of minutes up the asphalt road will take you to the Agioi Anargyri Church on the right, which is dedicated to Saints Kosmas and Damianos. You can gain access to see the pretty interior to have a look around before taking the steps down to a natural cave. It’s nice to know that the chapel is still functioning with wedding ceremonies and baptisms taking place regularly on site.
If you want, you can continue up the road until it terminates at a designated picnic spot with BBQ tables. I can’t remember whether it had facilities to actually BBQ, but it at least had somewhere to sit down and spread out if desired, although the views weren’t nearly as good as other parts of the park.
As you travel back from the picnic site continue left towards the peninsula instead of turning right back to the Visitor’s Centre. This will take you past the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon. While you’re pretty much guaranteed to not have the place to yourself (although it might be worth trying first thing in the morning), there’s a reason why it is so popular - it is so gorgeous!
On the drive through, you might also get lucky to see some crop circles like we did!
Heading further down the paved road will take you to the fenced off radar station. Here there are a couple of places where, if you’ve had sufficient foresight, you can take a perfectly safe dip in the Med.
Getting to the sites out to the west requires a backtrack past the visitors centre again, before taking a left and then the second road on the left again. This is quite handily signposted with a “Lookout” sign leading up the dirt track. Only a two to three minute drive will take you to a parking bay which has a handily located and well priced ice cream/coffee/fast food truck (there’s actually quite a few of these in the Park). The ice cream was the perfect bribe for the kids to make the five minute ascent up the hill to the lookout spot and Monument of Peace. The kids were also far too interested in their ice creams to notice the doves that make up the sculpture behind them.
Whether it was monument, the ice creams keeping the kids quiet or the beautiful views around us, we were fortunate to grab a few moments of our own peace in this serene place with its wonderful vistas. Off in the distance before Ayia Napa you can also see the sea caves. These can also be driven to, or for the super keen walked to from the lookout point. To get there by driving simply requires going back down the dirt track turning left and then taking another left in a couple of kilometres.
While I said that there is four areas to Cape Greco, it would be remiss to not include another popular way of seeing the Cape - by sea.
There are a large number of boats doing the Famagusta/Cape Greco trip lasting between 2 and half hours up until all day affairs if going further afield. There’s plenty to choose from including pirate ships, glass bottom ships, sailing ships and ships touting themselves as family friendly and a large number of sailing times so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding a berth.
Mostly in deference to the kids and shorter cruise time, we elected to go for the family boat trip with Captain Panikkos. Ten Euro per adult and 5 per child got us a 2.5 hour cruise with a swim, a couple of free drinks (wine and juice), a couple of biscuits, some rock melon and a handful or crisps. To be honest, I thought that was a pretty good deal.
In fairness, I think they’re able to charge such a low fare due to a few cost cutting measures……
The one down side the trip had, was that there was absolutely no commentary on what we were seeing. Thankfully we’d saved the trip until after we’d visited Cape Greco by land and done our own research beforehand. So, we were able to motor along merrily looking towards the land to get a different perspective of most of the sites we’d seen previously, knowing exactly what it was that we were seeing.
The highlight of trip, questionable wine aside, was a refreshing swim in the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Having previously thought it’d probably be too cold to swim in (and this is what prevented Veronica from jumping in), the brave swimmers who did venture in all agreed it actually was quite nice and we spent close to 15 minutes splashing around with our noodles, taking turns with the goggles to look at some of the fish below.
As you might’ve guessed we were quite enamoured with Cape Greco. As our time in Cyprus is slowly drawing to a close, we’ve found it a great place to spend a good amount of time away from the alluring beaches in the area in order to reflect back on our travels so far.