The Great Outdoors
North Cyprus offers relatively unspoiled natural beauty. Its considerable ecological diversity gives visitors and locals alike the chance to discover everything from vibrant orchids to wild sea turtles.
Take time to explore the golden sand beaches and sweeping mountain vistas.
This charming island is truly a nature lover's paradise.
Although small in size, North Cyprus is home to nearly 2.000 distinct plant species. The ecologically diverse island is a hotspot for nature lovers and professional botanists alike. The North Cyprus Flora is characterised by mountainous pine forests that melt into coastal grassland, providing nature lovers with endless possibilities for exploration.
Of course, you can’t go to North Cyprus without taking time to see the stunning wildflowers. Springtime is the peak season for flowers; however, the tempered Mediterranean climate makes every season colourful in North Cyprus.
February to May
North Cyprus comes alive in the spring months with wildflowers blanketing the rolling countryside. The first flower to bloom is the Oxalis Pes-Caprae, also known as the Bermuda Buttercup. Much to the dismay of local farmers, these bright perennials will paint the hillsides yellow until the end of May.
Next, Anemones will unfold their pedals in shades of white, pink, and light purple. As legend has it, these ‘windflowers’ sprang from Aphrodite's tears as she mourned the death of Adonis.
Alongside the anemones, wild Gladioli will begin to fill the bright green meadows. Their purple petals are generally associated with Easter time and local villagers call them ‘anastasi,’ or literally ‘resurrection.’
The stars of spring are the orchids. North Cyprus is famous for their beautiful and diverse blooms of orchids.The island has over 46 different species with some being easier to find than others. The easiest to find are the Giant Orchid and the Pyramidal Orchid.
Perhaps the most famous orchid is the Cyprus Bee Orchid. Named for its impressive mimicry, this brightly coloured flower gives off a subtle vanilla scent to attract male bees and wasps. The Bee Orchid is the only endemic orchid to Northern Cyprus.
The luckiest of petal-peepers will spot the rare Cypriot tulip. Its bright red flowers are becoming rarer each year and the protected status is a testament to their value on the island.
June to September
As the heat of Summer sets in, the field wildflowers retreat to the mountains. Waves of Turban Buttercups blow in the breeze–a scarlet blanket punctuated by pale pink cyclamen and narcissi.
In the towns, wildflowers give way to the fragrant citrus trees laden with cream and orange blossoms. Pomegranate trees begin to bloom, offering a stark red contrast to the bright blue North Cyprus sky. Olive trees also bloom in the summer and their delicate white flowers give off a rich, sweet scent that will linger into the fall.
October to January
Fall is often characterised by rust coloured leaves and the earthy smell of decay; but, not in North cyprus. As fall begins, the autumn Crocuses bloom as vivid purple and white patches dotting the mountainside. Cypriot sage, Rock Cress, and Cyprus Cyclamen take hold in the shady corners and rocky crags of the surrounding landscape.
North Cyprus is home to an eclectic blend of wildlife. Thanks to habitat diversity and mild climates, an abundance of species can thrive on this island. The rich ecosystems offer an oasis to wildlife that has attracted travellers from around the world.
Perhaps the most thrilling visitors to stop in North Cyprus are the Caretta Carettas and Green Sea Turtles. Each June, mating pairs arrive on the beaches to lay their eggs. Come July, nests will begin to hatch and continue to hatch into august. Most known watching spots are heavily protected allowing turtles to hatch uninhibited by curious tourists.
North Cyprus is a hotspot for bird lovers and autobahn experts.There are over 347 different species of birds that take residence on the island. Most of these species are transitory, making the shoulder seasons of March to May and August to October the best times to catch sight of exotic Orioles or the charismatic Warbler.
When it comes to native birds, the Great Cuckoos, Mountain Swifts, Rock Swallows, and the Diurnal Owl are just a few species that call the Island home. Hummingbirds, Kingfishers, and Flamingos are all happy to pay a visit along their migratory journey.
Grasslands and woodlands offer ample habitats for the foxes, hares, and hedgehogs that call North Cyprus home. They share their natural habitat with a dwindling population of wild sheep called Mouflon. Unfortunately, the Mouflon were over hunted to the brink of extinction. Today, only 200 breeding pairs remain in existence, making them a rare sight to visitors.
The fauna of North Cyprus also includes a large population of wild donkeys. The donkeys live predominantly in Karpaz National park and their habitat is heavily protected.
With the abundance of wildflowers, it may come as no surprise that butterflies are an important part of the fauna of North Cyprus. Over 50 different migrant species pass through North Cyprus each year. Among them is the delicate Cleopatra Butterfly and the bold Swallowtail. These graceful insects can be found floating lazily through strawberry tree patches and wildflower meadows in the Spring.
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