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near Pégeia, Eparchía Páfou (Cyprus)
The Avakas Gorge Trail is located in the homonymous gorge, within Pegeia state forest. You can park your vehicle in the designated parking area.
To get there, follow the Agios Georgios Pegeias
– Toxeftra road for 2.5 km and, where Toxeftra Bay begins (signposted), head east and follow a narrow unpaved road for about 900 metres.
The Avakas Gorge Trail follows a linear route of 1,200 m (2,400 m return). The end of the trail is located inside the gorge and follows the course of the Avgas River, from where the gorge gets its name. The trail’s first 700 m have a degree of difficulty of 1 whereas the rest of the trail has a degree of difficulty of 2. There are no significant inclinations, and the small degree of difficulty derives mainly from the crossings of the river and the slippery stepping stones. It is advisable to wear helmets when you are inside the gorge, since in some areas there is a risk of falling rocks, particularly on and after rainy days.
At first, the trail follows a dirt road (closed to private vehicles) through an open valley. Then, the trail 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.
Flora: Indigenous plants: lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus), Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea), terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus), thorny broom (Calycotome villosa), common smilax (Smilax aspera), oleander (Nerium oleander), storax (Styrax officinalis), and the endemic endangered Akamas centaury (Centaurea akamantis).
Fauna: The main species of fauna found in the area are:
Mammals: Fox, hare, hedgehog.
Birds: Cyprus wheatear (endemic), Cyprus warbler (endemic), Scops owl (endemic), partridge, little owl, kestrel, wild pigeon.
Reptiles: Stellion lizard.
Amphibians: Marsh frog, iridescent frog, tree frog.