It is the westernmost part of Cyprus, which includes the peninsula and the forest. Due to its special appearance, it is considered a distinct micro-region of the region of Cyprus. Much of the area is identified with the Akamas Forest. On its southern and eastern borders, is Lara and the private land of the villages of Inia, Drousia, Fasli, Androlikou and Neos Chorio.
In the past, magnesium mines operated in the Akamas area. Today, the visitor can discover several of these mines which have been abandoned for many years. Near them, still stands the remains of the furnaces, which were used for the on-site processing of the ore. The mines were still in operation during the British occupation but were abandoned at the beginning of our century.
Rainfall: The average annual rainfall of the area is between 450 and 600 millimeters. Since the area is surrounded by sea and gets the rainy westerly winds the humidity is relatively high.
Vegetation: The current vegetation of the area is rich and is dominant by trees such as pine, wild olive and carob. The varied shrub vegetation includes the spruce, the pernia, the latzia, the tremithia and the ladano, among many others. Many wild flowers grow in the area, which in spring, together with the bushy vegetation, present a real array of colors. The rasi, the xistarka with white and pink flowers, a wide variety of laledes, the cyclamen, especially around the Baths of Aphrodite, the rare tulip of Akamas, the similludin, the tears of the Virgin, the daisies, the lilies, are some of the flowers, which one can meet in the spring in Akamas.
Many foreign herbalists come every year, even with organized trips in recent years, to study the wildflowers and other vegetation of the area.
There is insufficient evidence for vegetation in Akamas before the 19th century. However, it must have been dominated by dense and rich vegetation with about the same trees, but has suffered greatly from the uncontrolled grazing of goats, fires and logging for domestic and other purposes.
Wildlife: The ancient writers who mentioned, at various times, the Akamas area, talk about the existence of interesting wildlife, which consisted of horses, donkeys, wild goats and snakes.
Today goats graze in the Akamas area, while one can also find donkeys that move freely. There are also foxes, lots of snakes and other reptiles. Of course, the image is completed by various species of birds, both endemic and seasonal visitors. There are few shepherds now in the area.
Akamas Cape: It is the westernmost cape of Cyprus. It took its name, according to one version, from the mythical hero Akamas, who founded the city of Akamantida there. In medieval times, the cape was known as the cape of Agios Epiphanius, while during the period of Venetian rule, it was known as Arnaoutis.
Akamas Forest: It is the westernmost forest of Cyprus, on the Akamas Peninsula, which includes some 42,861 skales (1 skala = 14400 sq.m.) of public land. In addition to a very rich bush vegetation, the main forest trees are pine, wild olive and carob. Within this area, there are about 117 private plots of land, with a total area of about 884 skales. Most of the Akamas forest is low shrubland, while the actual forest occupies only 8,238 skales.
Akamas Peninsula: The Akamas Peninsula is the westernmost peninsula of Cyprus and includes that part, which extends from the south of the Baths of Aphrodite, to the east. The Akamas Peninsula, which is naturally surrounded by sea on three sides, is not identified with the Akamas Forest or the Akamas region.
Tradition and legends: Several areas in the Akamas that demonstrate its history and heritage. Today there is no settlement there. But there are the remains of many churches, which tradition raises to 101. Most today, are known as place names, or are in ruins.
The Akamas region must have suffered great damage due to the raids, mainly by the Arabs. On the western shores of Inia, some high isolated rocks, known to the locals as Karavopetres, rise into the sea. According to tradition, when pirates, especially during the years of the Arab invasions, but also later, landed in the area, somewhere here, they moored their boats, before raiding the villages, monasteries and chapels. This is also explained by the fact that in this area, there are no more villages that should have moved inland. According to another tradition, somewhere here in the area, was the monastery of Panagia Vlou.
The whole area of Akamas is full of legends. Many place names, combined with geomorphological phenomena, speak of the loves of Regina with Digenis, of Aphrodite with Adonis. Such places are the Baths of Aphrodite, the Stone of Digenis in the Two Rivers, the Cave of Regina, the Vounin of Regina, the Tower of Regina and others. This was natural, since Akamas, with its dense forest, its fragrant environment, the wildness of its landscape and its picturesque and romantic relief, met all the conditions for the placement here of the “kingdom” of its great goddess. Love.
Amorosa Fountain: Regarding the Amorosa Fountain, many do not agree that it should be identified with the Baths of Aphrodite. The Amorosa Fountain is much higher on the Akamas Peninsula than the Baths of Aphrodite. Maybe still, some research should be done and maybe today’s vegetation is not the main factor for comparison with what is written. After all, the water from the limestone rocks, can be subject to the centuries, some differentiation, as of course the natural vegetation, which is constantly threatened by many dangers. But the descriptions of various writers and travelers about the Fountain of Love show that the Amorosa Fountain is very similar to the current Baths of Aphrodite.
There are three versions of the name of the area:
- From the name of the mythical hero Akamantas, who founded there a colony, and a city, Akamantida.
- From the derivative α and the verb κάμνω, that is, akamotos (= uncultured) precisely because it is not cultivated.
- From the derivative α and the verb καίω, meaning akaos (= that does not burn), because according to tradition, it was the only area of Cyprus that had not been burned by extensive fires of the Saracens.