Mandragora officinarum

Orchis punctulata


Ophrys iridicolor


Mosaic at House of Dionysius, Paphos

In the area of the Latchi hotel

Akamas Peninusula

Akamas coast

Wild flora and historic sights of Cyprus

Friday 16 – Friday 23 February 2024 (seven nights)

This tour will focus on wild plants, of which a large number are endemic, rather than gardens.  Spring comes early to Cyprus due to its southerly location; although weather is unpredictable, historically February has a lot of sunny clear days.  We shall also visit a couple of fascinating archaeological sites in the ancient city of Paphos – both of which are rich in plants also.  We will not be visiting the 1952m Mt Olympos, as warm sunshine on the coast is matched by snow on the mountains and the wonderful plants there come much later;  however, we will climb at least to 800m and this will give us spectacular scenery and many interesting plants.

The tour will operate from two bases, the first being in the town of Paphos. The hotel will be Axiothea ( It serves an excellent breakfast but does not have a restaurant, although it has many excellent eating places close by. It has double, twin-bedded and small single rooms. Some have “sea view” – ie towards the distant sea! – and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.  The second hotel is the Aphrodite Beach Hotel, Latchi. ( This is about 3km from picturesque Latchi village and so we have booked half board for the three nights there. All rooms are designed for double occupancy.

The cost will be £620 per person with a single supplement of £180. The maximum number in our group will be 20. The price includes accommodation, specialist guide, local transport, all meals except one, tips, and – if you use specified flights from and to London Gatwick – transport to and from the hotels. In Paphos we will book restaurants for three of the four evenings and one evening will be left free. Lunches will be picnics.

The MC representative will be Andrew Mayo, who had a house in Cyprus for 20 years and knows the country well. We are fortunate to have Dr Yiannis Christofides as our guide – author of highly acclaimed books on the wild flora of Cyprus.

You may wish to take additional days before and after the

tour. There are many excellent hotels on the coast in the area. Please make your own arrangements.

As always itineraries are dependent on the weather but the outline is as follows.
Day 1.  Arrival at Paphos airport and transfer to our hotel in Paphos. Opportunity to see the town.

Day 2. Visit the Paphos archaeological areas. The Tombs of the Kings and Paphos archaeological area are on the World Heritage list, but are also excellent areas for botany. We shall see perfect examples of garigue with plants such as the endemic Helianthemum obtusifolium, Thymus capitatus, Fumana arabica, Ornithogalum pedicellare and others. Cyclamen persicum grows in profusion in the cracks of the huge rocks. The beach area provides a sand dune habitat with its associated plants.

Day 3. Excursion up the Diarizos valley to 800m or more. Hopefully Orchis sezikiana, Ophyrs flavomarginata, Ophrys sicula and other orchids will be in flower. We should see the pretty Convolvulus coloesyriacus, Anchusa undulata subsp. hybrida and also other common Mediterranean plants such as Cistus, Pistacia, Quercus. We will end up in Omodos, a mountain wine village with characteristic architecture and a most impressive wine press.

Day 4. Excursion southwards to the Akrotiri peninsula with its salt lake. We expect to see flamingoes but also salt marsh plants, fields of Anemone coronaria, Romulea tempskyana and orchids such as Anacamptis syriaca and Ophrys levantina. Helianthemum stipulatum, with Cistus parviflorus.

Day 5. Transfer to Latchi via the Episkopi environmental centre and Pegeia forest. More orchids such as Ophrys levantina, Ophrys elegans, Ophrys iricolor, Ophrys sicula and Anacamptis morio should be in flower. We will also look at the specialist habitat of vernal pools and their associated flora. After visiting the Episkopi environmental centre we will look at the chasmophytes that grow on the most impressive cliff below the centre. Verbascum orientale, Polypodium cambricum grow here on the cliff, where peregrines nest.

Day 6. We visit the botanical garden at the Baths of Aphrodite and then walk along a beautiful coastal path on high cliffs with the sea below. We go through Pistacia lentiscus and Juniperus phoenicea maquis and then Pinus brutia forest with Arbutus andrachne. The route is lined with Cyclamen persicum. We will also see Anacamptis syriaca, Himantoglossum robertianum, Bellevalia trifoliata and B. nivalis amongst others.

Day 7. We walk into the fields above the hotel. We shall find many orchids, Cyclamen persicum, Bellevalia trifoliata, Lotus purpureus and other plants. Highlight of the day will be the impressive Orchis punctulata, found in Cyprus, southern Turkey and the Levant. We shall make a circular route via an area of rock pools with interesting plants and see some seashore plants.

Day 8. Transfer to Paphos airport. Possible excursion to nearby Mandria beach if time permits for beach plants such as Glaucium flavum, Eryngium maritimum, Echium angustifolium, Medicago marina, and Limonium sinuatum.


Cyprus is generally well served from the UK but there are limitations in a quiet month like February. For some parts of the UK it is within half term and so early booking would be advised.
Many will travel from Gatwick and this is the flight that will be met by a bus for us:
OUT: Friday February 16 EasyJet Dep LGW 07.10 – PFO 13.40
RETURN: Friday February 23 Easyjet Dep PHP 14.30 Arr LGW 17.20

At the time of writing very good (basic) prices are available

If you are not able to come from Gatwick Andrew will advise on transportation in Cyprus. The distance from Paphos airport to Paphos town is 14km.


MPG recently announced that members will not need to be fully vaccinated against Covid for overseas trips although the committees still strongly recommend that members should be. However, you can no longer assume that all members on our trips will have been vaccinated. Please note that the Terms have recently been revised so it’s essential to read the new Terms.

Cyprus is a member of the EU. Its currency is the euro and its plugs are the same as the UK.

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