Nature Trails

Balos Lagoon Beach

A wonderful coastal boardwalk path runs along the Mediterranean on the western side of Cyprus, in Paphos. There are great views of the water, and several scenic and important sites nearby. The south end of the path starts at the Medieval Castle of Paphos, and goes for 3.6 km north to the Venus Hotel, for an out and back of 7.2 km (4.5 miles). Sites along the way include House of Theseus, the Paphos Mosaics, the House of Dionysos (restored Roman Villa), Odeon architectural ruins, and the Tomb of the Kings. Much of the route follows Lighthouse Beach (Faros Beach).

Samaria Gorge

The Avakas Gorge Trail is located in the homonymous gorge, within Pegeia state forest with the end of the trail located inside the gorge. It follows the course of the Avgas River, from where the gorge gets its name and resulted from constant erosive activity on the erodible, sloping limestone rocks composed of loams, chalks, reef and grain limestone and bentonitic clays. The gorge is also a Natura 2000 area. The trail firstly follows a dirt road (closed to private vehicles) through an open valley, then takes you into the gorge. In its last section, the trail is in the stream, in which water usually flows throughout the year. The route through the gorge is characterised by thick vegetation and a particularly attractive, shady and moist environment.

Elafonisi Beach

Of special interest on this trail are the Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite), where, according to legend, the Goddess of Love and Beauty used to take her baths. You will also pass by the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigainas (Queen’s Tower), which are believed to belong to a Medieval monastery. Also noteworthy is a 500­ year­ old oak tree, which is located near the ruins of the tower. Along the trail you can enjoy excellent views of Cape Arnaoutis, Polis Chrysochous and Pafos (Paphos) Forest. There are two non­ potable water fountains along the trail; one near the ruins of Pyrgos tis Rigainas, and another between the Loutra tis Afroditis (Baths of Aphrodite) and Kakoskali. The trail connects with the Adonis trail, whilst at its starting point you can visit the Botanical Gardens of Akamas.

Therisso Gorge

The Gorge of Therisso (named also Eleftherios Venizelos) is located near the city of Chania. You can go there by car. The main gorge is six kilometers long. The vertical cliffs are impressive and the lush vegetation has nothing to envy of the other Chania Gorges. The place deserves a visit, even with a vehicle, cobined with a visit in the historical beautiful village of Therisso, that is built at the foot of the White Mountains at an altitude of 580 meters, just 15 kilometers from the city of Chania. A visit here is something that will remain unforgettable to every visitor.

Lake Kournas

Lake Kournas is the largest natural lake in Crete and is located in an enchanting landscape, between the west slopes of the White Mountains and the fertile plane of Georgioupolis. It is located near the village Kournas, 2.5km south of the beach of Georgioupolis, 43km east of Chania and 20km west of Rethymnon. Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece, as the wider area of Apokoronas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year.

Lake Ayia

The Avakas Gorge Trail is located in the homonymous gorge, within Pegeia state forest with the end of the trail located inside the gorge. It follows the course of the Avgas River, from where the gorge gets its name and resulted from constant erosive activity on the erodible, sloping limestone rocks composed of loams, chalks, reef and grain limestone and bentonitic clays. The gorge is also a Natura 2000 area. The trail firstly follows a dirt road (closed to private vehicles) through an open valley, then takes you into the gorge. In its last section, the trail is in the stream, in which water usually flows throughout the year. The route through the gorge is characterised by thick vegetation and a particularly attractive, shady and moist environment.

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