A while back, while still in Cyprus, my in-laws from Finland came for their regular visit and it almost felt like we had run out of things to show them.
Until we remembered – there’s always quad-bikes, the Blue Lagoon, and Akamas!
And that’s exactly what we did.
If you ventured out to Akamas, you must have passed this place on your way – Lara Restaurant.
First Stop en Route to Blue Lagoon: Lara Beach & Restaurant
The first time it was pointed out to me in Lonely Planet guide, but it took a while until I actually got to see it in person.
The restaurant sits on top of a small cliff, right next to the sea with direct access to the beach. It’s not a fine dining place, as you might have guessed, but a very unusual and natural place that lets you enjoy the best scenery while sipping a cold drink.
On our drive, the weather was rather strange – the sun seemed to have taken a day off and left us only with grey-looking sky.
It did take it’s a toll on the pictures, but certainly not on our mood.
The entrance to the restaurant is closely guarded by this little fella.
He had a little donkey baby running around greeting everyone coming in and trying to get a free back-rub out of every visitor.
The restaurant was surprisingly empty (we came mid-week), which means we could pick the best seats in the house.
And there were plenty to choose from.
We ordered a small snack and a glass of wine before moving to the beach to freshen up in the water and do a little picnic of our own.
We parked our ponies by the beach and settled in for a little picnic.
As soon as we popped the bottle open, a big boat full of tourists parked right next to us. Not that the beach isn’t big enough for everyone, but that certainly made our stay a lot shorter.
We made our way to the last crowded beach on the island – Lara beach.
At Lara Beach
Even though the access to the beach is through a web of dirt roads, most people on rented cars happily make their way there. In addition to a few lucky ones who found this hideaway, some turtles will also keep you company.
The hatchery on the beach is another reason that draws people here.
The turtle nests are clearly marked and protected, with information about the turtles‘ journey to the sea displayed on information boards.
After a quick look around, we made our way to the Blue Lagoon.
How to get from Lara Beach to Blue Lagoon?
Well, there aren’t many routes.
We took the shortest one (right across the peninsula), packed with adrenaline, the same one as on my last trip here. Of course, I didn’t take my lessons from last time and didn’t remember what a hell of a road it was.
The travel time with a quad-bike (DO NOT attempt to drive with a normal car across the peninsula) took around 30 minutes.
At one of the turns, we were stopped by a family coming from the opposite directions, warning us of a little creature crossing the road. I’ve never seen a chameleon before and didn’t even know they live in Cyprus.
Take a look below, isn’t he handsome?
Here is the first picture of the Blue Lagoon as we approached from the hill.
The view never gets old.
Refreshments were unpacked, legs stretched and water tested.
You could happily float here the whole day without trouble.
As the evening approached, we packed everything ready to head back to Paphos, taking the civilized main roads this time.
Akamas is one of the most beautiful parts of this side of the island, even in the middle of the summer when everything else seems to be burned and yellow, Akamas is always welcoming you with unspoiled nature and serenity.
If you need a little more inspiration on what to do here, you can take one of the hiking routes (like I did here), do a little camping in the nearby camping site (still on my wishlist!), chase some goats (done), or enjoy one of the long stripes of beaches in Latchi (preferably with good company and wine).
Leave out the Baths of Aphrodite (waste of time) and head to nature instead.
Even the Goddess herself would approve.