Akrotiri Peninsula For Pink Flamingos, Cats & Salt
Where Is It?
The Akrotiri peninsula is West of Limassol and if you look at the map of the island, it is the bit at the bottom that sticks out.
It is a very large area currently known as a Sovereign Base area and classed as British.
What is there?
If you want to see a little more about the base below is the arrivals video for new personnel to the base. It has some great arial shots of the peninsula and the base itself, and the flamingos on the salt lake when they arrive.
I have included it as part of the real cyprus because, even though it is not a tourist venue, you can't miss the fact the base is here and part of the peninsula area, so if you visit the village and the salt lake at least you have an idea of what goes on behind the gate.
Visitors of course cannot enter, unless you are a current serving member or past serving member of the military with an escort and prior permission through the local RAFA (Royal Airforce Association).
Photography is forbidden but as you can see someone managed to get the main gate.
I don't think the military mind their front door on camera, just be careful and use your common sense.
Brings back happy memories for us, as the sovereign base areas were our home for a number of years.
If you would like further information about the history of the base then you can click here for further information
Akrotiri Environmental Education & Information Centre
What Is The Centre For?
The centre informs visitors of the unusual nature and the ecological importance of the peninsula area.
The centre, which encourages children to visit has interactive displays and computer programmes in English.
How Do I Find It?
Any good map will show you how to get to the village. As previously mentioned, the peninsula is the bit of the island that sticks out at the bottom.
The Centre is situated on the main road of the village.
From Limassol, follow either the new port road, towards Zakaki, Asomatos and the village, or the Lemesos - Paphos highway, and proceed to Akrotiri through Kolossi.
From Paphos, follow the Paphos - Lemesos highway, and take the exit for Erimi.
Then proceed towards Erimi, Kolossi and on to your destination
What Is There To See?
An Exhibition Room
A variety of exhibits are found in this room, about flora, fauna, habitats, geology, archaeology, culture and tradition.
There is a display with fossils from the area, a satellite image of the Peninsula, television showing different elements of the area, touch screen computers, and exhibits from the traditional basketry at Akrotiri village.
In the same room a library exists, with a variety of books and other printed material, as well as a study area
A Projection Room
In this room, short presentations are offered to the visitors, with interpretation of the Akrotiri Peninsula creation, and other information regarding the different important elements of the area. This room is also used for other projections, presentations and lectures
An Observation Kiosk
This is on the roof of the building, with spectacular view of the Salt Lake and Lemesos. Visitors can admire the area, and observe with binoculars offered, different birds in the Salt Lake.
7 days a week from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm
It doesn't cost a thing and parking is free
All the facilities conform to international standards for disabled persons with wheelchairs, apart of the observation kiosk where other arrangements have been made.
Thanks to RAF Akrotiri (ex serving personnel website for the text about the educational site in the village.
If you would like to visit the site then click here
Want to read more about The RAF Base, Click Here
Akrotiri Salt Lake
Akrotiri salt lake, usually dry in the summer is a unique corner of the island.
Apparently 70 percent of the bird population, both resident and migratory are found here.
Turtles of the green and loggerhead variety can also be found nesting here.
A whole colony of flamingos can be seen here when the lake fills up when the rains come in the winter.
Migrating birds of all kinds use this area as a stopover both to and from Africa.
It is not suprise that the emblem of the base is the Flamingo and their montly magazine is called The Flamingo.
Top Tip For The Area
Do not attempt to drive across the salt lake, particularly in the summer. It looks very dry on the top but the sublevel can still be wet and you can get stuck in places.
Many a person has been caught out by this, there are signs so please adhere to them for your own safety.
If You Go On A Sunday...
.. If it is not too windy you will find a bunch of RC Aircraft (radio controlled) enthusiasts.
The salt lake is the perfect location for them for take off and landing for their aircraft.
The beginning of this video gives you clear shot of the lake when it is dry and you can see towards Ladies Mile beach and the sea and Limassol.
The village is not really a tourist spot during the day but there are a couple of nice places to eat in the evening.
In the village itself..
In the centre of the village you will find Polis Restaurant. Run by Polis (Poly), a local akrotiri man who works on the base during the day.
This restaurant has been open for many, many years and serves basic kebab food and salad. Nice rustic setting but a very small restaurant so booking might be a good option.
Local wines also available and the famous Kokkinelli Wine, usually only drunk by the service people from the base. You might find a bottle or carton in the supermarket labelled as sweet red wine....
.. but you certainly won't find it in many other restaurants past the base areas.
Personally we like it very much.. but it is not for everyone.. and you can get very drunk on it. and it gives you a terrible hangover.
Where Do I Find The Restaurant?
In the middle of the village
How Do I Contact The Restaurant?
Tel: 00357 2595 2303
Evening only as Polis works during the day on the base
Another favourite for us is found on the Akrotiri Strip as it is affectionately known.
The road from the base to Kolossi village is just one long road.
We have known Chris for over 25 years, as boy and man. He used to help out his father and now he runs the restaurant and has a beautiful daughther of his own, who may well take over when dad has had enough.
Again, simple fare but very well cooked. Kebab food plus Kokinnelli.
Our favourite choice in the evening when we are in Akrotiri.
The advantage of this restaurant is the fabulous view over the salt lake and across the Limassol.
How Do I Find The Restaurant
You can't miss it. It is the restaurant with the coca cola sign and Chris Kebab on.
Parking available next to the restaurant or opposite on the other side of the road.
How Do I Contact The Restaurant
Tel: 00357 2595 2562
Evenings only Tuesday To Sunday. Closed on Monday.
The Monastery Of The Cats
A brief video capture of the monastery.
To find the monastery, head up towards the base, and take a left at just before Ryans Restaurant.
Head down the dirt track road and you will find the monastery on the right hand side. You can't go inside but you won't miss the cats.
In greek it is called Agios Nikolaos ton Gaton, and it is no coincidence the eastern tip of Akrotiri penisular is called Cape Gata.
Ladies Mile Beach
I love this video of Ladies Mile Beach.
It charts a day in the life of a group of young cypriot friends, 1 day in the summer, having fun and doing what young people do.
It shows off this lovely flat long beach, with great shallow waters.
Perfect for families with children and not crowded at all and if you like to keep your feet on the ground in the water, then this is the beach for you.
This beach falls into the Sovereign Base area of the Akrotiri peninsula but is enjoyed very much by local cypriot families, particularly at the weekend...
...and by everyone for dog walking and running as it is just you and the sea as you head along waters edge for about 3 miles.
During the week you nearly have the beach to yourself.
How Do I Get To The Beach?
If you come from Limassol along the coast road, the beach is signposted as you head past Orphanides Supermarket on the way out to the peninsula and Kolossi.
You take a left and head down past the the back of the port and reach the rocky end of the beach.
If you keep travelling along you hit the sand about a mile or two along.
The salt lake is on your right now.
If you are coming from Paphos, you need to head for Kolossi and Akrotiri villages, along the "strip" towards the beach, turn off left just before the base and Ryans Restaurant.
Head on along the road, past the monastery for the cats and keep going. Keep going till you hit the med!
Anywhere To Eat?
Yes, by all means bring a cold box and a picnic, but you will find several tavernas along the beach for lunch and a drink.
Some are even still open in the evening, but because they are in the base area.. they have specific licensing hours so check if you want to stay on for the evening to watch the sun go down.
Sundays are particularly busy at lunchtime in the summer with cypriot families.
Weather In Akrotiri
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