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Happy campers at Limassol’s Governor’s Beach June 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Limassol.

If enjoying a twilight meal sat on a sandy beach and then stretching out beneath the stars to a symphony of crickets sounds like your idea of heaven, a camping vacation might just be for you.

In colonial times, Cyprus’ British governors frequented the beach area between Nicosia and Limassol now known as Governor’s Beach.

The trademark white rock landscape, numerous coves, sandy beach and crystal clear waters still make it a favourite among foreigners and locals alike. The Brits certainly knew how to pick a campsite but not so long ago, Governor’s Beach campsite had nothing to boast about apart from some army barrack look alikes and ugly sheds. There were no bathroom facilities and no regulations were applied or inforced. Within two decades the area has witnessed tremendous growth and development. The eyesore that was the camping site was given a facelift and can now truly be called a caravan and tent paradise. Corrugated iron sheds have given way to high tech fitted caravans and fairy tale log cabins. Well tended miniature gardens are in bloom all year round, even under the scorching August sun.

The Governor’s Beach, Kalymnos campsite is one of six licensed camping sites on the island. It is open all year round and has a capacity for 360 tents and caravans. The campsite is equipped with car parking, piped drinking water, a mini market, kiosks with tables and benches, barberque facilities and children’s play area.

The site is fairly divided into plots and quarters. Each quarter has its allocated public toilets, showers and washing facilities. All plots have electricity and plumbing provisions and the permanent or yearly caravan or cabin tenants have taken advantage of this to make their stay more pleasurable. You do still get to see a weathered tent erected here and there and more times than not, next to the amenities and laundry rooms for easy access. There is no sign of any mod cons in the vicinity of the tent, only colourful flimsy garments artfully decorating the nearby tree branches drying in the heat. Those opting for this type of accommodation are mainly young tourists travelling on a low budget and wanting to bask in the true character of the island or local young teenagers who want to experiment on their own.

The camping sites in Cyprus are licensed by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation. Other facilities available in camping sites include a snack-bar or restaurant. Fires are not allowed to be lit anywhere except in the areas provided for barberques and grills. A fire engine is permanently parked at the entrance to the camping site in case of an emergency.

It is obvious from the mature gardens and the elaborate patios that a lot of individual effort has been put into getting such stunning results. “This is our home now. We have plenty of time to kill so we both take pride in our new home and surrounding areas,” said a retired couple from Limassol. All sorts of pets are part of the camping site. Canaries or budgies are the favourite with the elderly as they are the ones living permanently at the campsite. Children, alone or accompanied, walk pet dogs while stray cats keep the mice and lizard population at bay. But beware, you may encounter lively monkeys atop the eucalyptus trees and unlike the drowsy koalas, these ones are ready for mischief. The monkey, alias Petros in Greek or Peter, was happy to move from branch to branch with ease and playfully pose for the camera. His mother was relaxing nearby and was more than happy that her son was “not vegetating in front of the TV or a computer screen.” In general, the majority of the children seem to be leading a carefree existence. The campsite offers a variety of attractions during the summer months, beach parties prime among them.

For some visitors, a beach’s amenities and attractions are important. Others feel that it is the seclusion and the chance to waste away the day on the sand that is the best part of the beach. No matter what you’re looking for, Governor’s Beach may be precisely the type of beach you will enjoy. A few of Governor’s beaches may hardly ever be crowded, while others are frequently crowded especially during the high season. The number of people at the beach is affected by a few things, including the time of year and day of the week. The same applies to the camping site. There are those that live permanently there, those who have their caravan or log cabin on a yearly basis but visit occasionally or the seasonals that only come during the two week August holiday.

“Nature really comes alive when you experience it first-hand. What better way is there to commune with the outdoors than to pitch a tent and take in the profound beauty of an Eastern Mediterranean island?” said a German reveller. It will certainly make a vacation to remember.

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