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Agios Kononas

This is hardly an abandoned village but more of an archaeological site, and even this has been excavated then covered over prior to any future research. At present there are only the church with it's nearby pilgrims' huts, a makeshift house and a goat farm. Things that may make it worth a visit are the remains of a marble mooring pillar in the bay below the village; the utter moonscape-like barrenness of the ex-British Army firing range to the north; and the fact that there are allegedly two other settlements to the south. Furthermore there is supposed to be evidence of Roman roads in this area. A detailed study of the area and it's history is provided in the publication: Ancient Akamas., Aarhus University Press, 1995.

Agios Kononas Pillar.
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Getting there

From Paphos drive north then bypass Coral Bay. Just before Agios Georgios take the coastal track up the Akamas peninsula. On the way to Agios Kononas you will pass some shallow caves on a hill on the left at locality Ermites (Hermits) and you may wish to visit these. Eventually you will arrive at a junction signposted right to Neokhorio. Carry straight on until the next junction at the beginning of the ex-British Army firing range. Here, turn right up the fire-break track towards Fontana Amarosa. After about one kilometre take the short rough track that leads to the church. Alternatively you can drive through Neokhorio to the Smygies picnic site. Just past the picnic site take the right-hand track then at the next junction turn left down the fire-break track.

Agios Kononas Church.
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Looking around

Apart from the church with it's pilgrims' huts and a large Quercus infectora (Oak) tree there is not much to see. But if you have travelled this far you may wish to explore the north part of the Akamas. You can drive back the way you came and visit some of the remote but littered beaches. Another choice is to take the track uphill at the back of the church. This will eventually join the main coastal track. From here you can take the left-hand turn at the next junction and the water tap up towards Neokhorio and Drousha. This will take you to the ridge track. A right-hand turn takes you to Drousha, Inia and Arodhes while a left-hand turn takes you to Smygies picnic site and Neokhorio. If you wish to explore further north, drive back to the fire-break track then turn left and downhill towards the coast. Take the next track to the right into the desolate wilderness where a surprising amount of plants huddle for existence against the salt-laden westerly winds. The tracks in this area can be treacherous, even in summer when there are no deep puddles, but if you persevere uphill you will arrive at a T-junction on the ridge track. A left turn here takes you on a sometimes vicious track to the lighthouse. This, by the way, is not a typical phallic structure but a single storey stone built structure with a photo voltaic cell powered light on the roof. Even if the lighthouse doesn't impress you the views back down the Akamas and out over Cape Arnouti are quite splendid. A quicker way of getting to the ridge track is to drive straight up the fire-break track. At the junction at the top you can turn left and take the vicious track to the lighthouse or turn right towards the Smygies picnic site and civilization. You can also go more or less straight on at this junction and head down a very steep hill to Fontana Amorosa, a wide bay where the pleasure boats from Latchi anchor for lunch and swimming. You can then travel on the tracks to Cape Arnouti, one of the seven capes on the Cyprus coast. The cape is bleak and desolate but just before you get there there is a pleasant tiny sandy cove which allows good swimming in warm shallow water. The obvious return route from here is to follow the coastal track to the Baths of Aphrodite and thence Polis.

Agios Kononas Church.
Click the small thumbnail picture on the page to see the full size picture.
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