Did you know that contact with nature has been shown to make us happier and decrease our stress levels? When you first think about Cyprus, you may not straightaway think of its natural habitat. But there is actually a great deal on offer. Whether you’re planning a wedding or a trip with friends, our guide to nature in Cyprus spills the Mediterranean island’s best-kept secrets, from moonlit turtle beaches to flamingo spotting picnics, meandering mountain walks to long days in the sunshine. Relax and enjoy the diversity of nature in Cyprus – it’ll be unforgettable.
Nature in Cyprus: Beautiful Beaches
The Limassol region, with its magnificent coastline, is dotted with a wide array of amazing beaches. There’s something for every mood here- from chilled out town-side sands to secluded natural retreats away from the crowds.
Avdimou beach, near Avdimou Village is reached via a wandering road through citrus and olive groves and is amazing for a family day out- a broad stretch of sand gently sloping into the sea, creating a shallow paddling playground for kids and parents. When the sun goes down, there are bars and taverns nearby to wind down with a cool drink and sand between your toes.
Governor’s Beach is also a shallow beach, halfway between Limassol and Larnaca. There are several nature trails winding their way through the hills behind, as well as an area of rocky shore perfect for exploring rockpools or snorkelling offshore.
Episkopi Bay offers something a bit different- with dramatic limestone cliffs and strong currents, this is the place to go if you want to feel the full force of nature in Cyprus. Swimming isn’t advisable on parts of the beach with strong currents, but the wind here makes this beach popular with kitesurfers.
The Mediterranean is home to the endangered green and loggerhead sea turtles. These graceful oceangoers come ashore to nest and lay their eggs at the beaches on calm summer nights. Volunteers ensure the baby turtles make it back to the ocean safely. They navigate by the moon, so can easily get turned around by bright lights such as streetlamps or car headlights.
You can see turtle nests at Paramali beach, as well as other areas in Episkopi Bay, but visitors are asked to respect the turtles by keeping their distance and allowing the young turtles to safely reach the ocean.
When evening falls, take a romantic walk to see Aphrodite’s Rock. According to legend, this place where the waves crash against the rock is the beach where the Greek goddess of love was birthed from the sea foam, riding to shore in a conch shell. The rock itself, known as Petra tou Romiou, is said to date from ancient times, when the Byzantine hero Digenis Akritas destroyed a fleet of enemy ships by hefting it into the ocean, smashing them before they could land.
Nature in Cyprus: Forests and Parks
The Troodos Mountains are one of the most noteworthy habitats for alpine plants in Europe. They are the perfect destination for hiking enthusiasts, or even just those looking for a closer peek at the beautiful black pine forests. The Geopark visitor centre hosts a botanic garden with information about the native species found in the area, as well as exhibits on the geology and rock types of the surrounding region.
Artemis Nature Trail
This 7km circular hike through black pine forests within the Troodos Forest national park orbits the peak of Mount Olympos, offering beautiful views in all directions. You might see foxes, hares and hedgehogs on your travels. Keep an eye out for some of Cyprus’s endemic plants, including Cyprus skullcap, Troodos sage, and Cyprus germander. You might even see an iconic Cypriot mouflon (wild sheep.) The circuit takes around 2.5-3.5 hours, perfect for a relaxed day trip.
For those after an inclusive nature experience, you can travel into the Troodos Mountains on a jeep safari which takes in vineyards, forests, mountain villages and the famous Kykkos Monastery.
Nature in Cyprus: Birdwatching
Cyprus is perfectly placed to sit and watch the world fly by. It’s situated at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, so it’s a stopover for many European migratory birds on their way across the sea. More than 365 species have been spotted here- both local species and those just passing through during migration season in spring and autumn each year.
Birdwatching hotspots in the Limassol area include the Zakaki marshlands, one of the only remaining breeding areas for the endangered Ferruginous Duck. Also unmissable is The Limassol Akrotiri salt lake, one of the major wetland regions in the eastern Mediterranean, populated in the rainy winter season with thousands of graceful pink flamingos. In 2015 they made the news- an ultra-rare black flamingo with a condition called melanism was spotted amongst all those pink feathers.
During migration season wading birds from across Europe pop in for a visit, including little egrets, demoiselle cranes and Kentish plovers. Local birdwatching tours and meetups can show you the best spots- or you can go it alone with a picnic basket and pair of binoculars!
Nature in Cyprus: The Perfect Getaway
For the perfect Cyprus trip, you need the perfect accommodation. Explore our handpicked selection of large Cyprus villas, and immerse yourself in gorgeous surroundings as you enjoy your retreat here on the island. For family get-togethers or a trip with friends, accommodation is available in our large villas with space for everyone in comfort and privacy.
With its beautiful natural surroundings, Cyprus is also a wonderful choice of location for your wedding. Our wedding expertise removes the stress from your shoulders- we offer comprehensive wedding and reception deals in one easy package. Contact us by telephone or email to start on the journey to your perfect day.