The Legend of Akoursos

Published 16th of May, 2017

Akoursos is a little village situated above Coral Bay, nestled in the hillside. It is off most people's radars and most visitors are probably tourists still searching in vain for the "suitable for all vehicles" road that will take them to Aphrodite's Water Baths. The other week we drove through there just so we could explore the hills behind it. While passing through, we couldn't help but notice a striking cave, embedded high up a cliff face. We decided to investigate...

The Cave in the Cliff

01_the_cave

The first thing that struck me about the cave, was that there was no obvious way in. So, was it just a freak of nature, or had humans played a part in it's appearance?

Cave Close Up

02_cave_closeup

As you drive up the road to the top of the hill, you will get many views of the cave. From this angle we were able to see quite far in. It certainly looks as though humans have had a hand in shaping the cave; given the regularity of the walls and floor. The apparent lines below the cave look man-made as well. However, they just follow the striations of the rest of the cliff.

So, how did people get to the cave, and why? Was it a back entrance to an old hilltop fort?

The Cave From Above

03_from_above

There is no evidence of any ruins above the cave. So unless the cave runs for some distance, we can rule that out.

At this point, I turned to the search engines. A search on "Akoursos caves" revealed the following snippet taken from the Fitzgeralds Website:

"Only a short distance to the north, along the windy road that curls up the hills there is a plateau to the rear of a mosque. This plateau, named Laoni tou Tsakrii (Hollow of the Fight), was made famous by being the central battle ground between two rival Kings. Here King Rose-Petros, defending the village of Akoursos, defeated the aggressor, the King of Inia. However upon walking away from the slain King of Inia King Rose-Petros was shot in the back by an avenging archer of King Inia's troop. King Rose-Petros was later buried in the Cave of Ammpa which lies to the top a cliff whereas King Inia was buried in Cave Papadimantra which now is home to herds of goats. Time, it would seem, favours the benevolent.

Here There Be Goats

04_goat_cave

So, the cave was an old burial chamber, if you believed the stories. It did actually tie in with the cave we passed on the way up to Akoursos. Was this where the bad king of Inia was buried?

Map of the Area

05_initial_map

And that would have been that. A very short blog article, and no real answers. However, we also appealed for help on the forum, and Max, one of the regulars, came to our aid. He pointed us to a Youtube clip which he thought we would find interesting...

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