Best time to visit Cyprus

Baby Turtle Watching in Cyprus

Enjoy watching turtles in their habitat and volunteer to help with their preservation

Best time: June–September

Baby Turtle Watching
Baby Turtle Watching
Baby Turtle Watching
Baby Turtle Watching
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Even though turtles may seem very protected in their shells and can live for 80 years, most of the different species are listed as endangered. There are several reservation territories in the north of Cyprus that host volunteers every year to help the well-being of the turtles.

Two kinds of turtles reach the sandy beaches of Cyprus from June till September—Loggerhead and Green turtles. In June and July females lay eggs about three times, and August-September is the period when tiny hatchlings dig out their nests and try to reach the protection of the sea. Both of these processes take place during night time and can be easily ruined by any odd sources of noise or light, so be very careful in order not to intrude too much into the turtles' lives.

Also, you can volunteer in the reservations. People help to protect turtle nests from foxes by placing special aluminum cages around them or by creating "hatcheries," that are basically fenced off parts of the beach where eggs are transferred and re-buried.

Where to watch turtles in Cyprus

The best places to spot turtles in Cyprus are scattered along the sandy beaches of North Cyprus. Both the Loggerhead Turtle and the Green Turtle nest on Alagadi beach near Esentepe east of Kyrenia. This place also hosts the Alagadi Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Centre, which provides informative visual displays and where volunteers can talk you through their preservation activities. Throughout the nesting season, Alagadi beach is closed to the public at night; however, you can join a small group tour under the supervision of the Marine Turtle Conservation Project, which has to be booked in advance.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Cyprus for turtle watching?

The sea turtles known as Loggerhead and Green can be observed in North Cyprus during their nesting season between June and September. It is during this period that Alagadi Beach and other beaches become their hatcheries. You can watch nature take its course as females lay eggs, while hatchlings hatch and make their way to the sea in August and September. It is important not to disrupt their nesting by encroaching on their living space. Show more

Where are turtle reservations located in Cyprus?

Several conservation centres throughout North Cyprus, including the Alagadi Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Centre, help preserve sea turtles. These spots are situated among sandy beaches and beautiful scenery, and that's where tourists can view Loggerhead and Green turtles. The reserve operates as an educational platform, providing information on turtle care, and duties for the preservation area. Visitors can engage as volunteerists or make any donations for turtle care sustaining the conservation centre's efforts. Show more

How can tourists volunteer to help protect turtle nests from foxes?

There are several volunteer programs at the conservation centres and reserves in North Cyprus. These opportunities allow tourists to protect sea turtle nests from foxes by positioning aluminum cages around them and by building fences around hatcheries. Volunteers can also raise awareness about the preservation of sea turtles and consider making donations to support conservation efforts. These actions facilitate the protection of these endangered species and their habitats. Show more

What happens during the turtle nesting season in Cyprus?

The turtle nesting season between June and September at sandy North Cyprus beaches is a spectacular time. Both Loggerhead and Green turtles come here to dig nests and lay eggs. As the season progresses in June and July, females lay eggs about three times, and in August and September, tiny hatchlings emerge from nests, digging their way into the sea. It is vital to observe nature in an uninvasive way, so beaches are closed at night, allowing small group tours for the Marine Turtle Conservation Project. Show more

What specific preservation activities are done by the Alagadi Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Centre in Cyprus?

Alagadi Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Centre in North Cyprus operates as an informative platform, hosting volunteers while protecting turtles. The research center monitors the migratory patterns and nesting behavior of the Loggerhead and Green turtles. Preservation activities involve protecting nests from foxes, moving eggs to hatcheries and relocating them to preserve the environment. The facility also rescues sea turtles who are injured in conflicts with fishing boats and conducts research on the ecological role and behavior of turtles. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin