The peninsula of Akamas, located at the northwest extreme of Cyprus, is the country’s most important National Park, which due to its diverse and fragile biodiversity is protected within the network of nature protection Natura 2000. It has a large variety of flora with many species endemic to Akamas such as cyclamen, turban buttercups, alyssum, Cyprus tulip, many species of orchid, yellow gorse and white rock rose. Lara Bay is one of the beaches in that area where the endangered Caretta Caretta turtles choose to lay their eggs and great efforts have been made for their protection. Other vulnerable species which inhabit the peninsula include bats and monk seals. Akamas also has some gorges the most famous of which is Avakas Gorge which attracts many hikers, especially during the summer. Unfortunately, for years there have been many efforts to bend the regulations regarding its protection in favor of the tourist industry with plans for opening canteens and paving roads for cars changes which will have a disastrous impact on the local flora and fauna.
Larnaca Salt Lake
The Salt Lake of Larnaca is a complex of four lakes three of which are interconnected and is located next to the International Airport of Larnaca and consists of one of the most important landmarks of the area. Being home to 85 different species of water birds it is one of the most important wetlands of Cyprus and it is protected under various protection schemes including Natura 2000 and was named an Important Bird Area. The Salt Lake is an important stop for many migratory birds including the greater flamingo which chooses the location to spend the winter. The lakes have water only during the winter months and it dries up during the summer. The Hala Sultan Tekke, one of the holiest of Islamic shrines is located at the bank of the lake adds to the breathtaking scenery.
Troodos UNESCO Global Geopark
The Troodos UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the center of the island and covers an area of 1.147 km2 which is about 12% of the total area of Cyprus. Within the area of the Geopark, there have been declared 50 geotopes, 11 abandoned mines as the most important geological and mining elements. The various itineraries of the park are of geological, ecological, and cultural interest due to their scientific and educational value, their rarity, and aesthetic appeal. Throughout the park, there are informative signs with texts and maps to facilitate the experience of the visitors and to explain in the simplest possible way the complex geological history of the area. The Troodos UNESCO Global Geopark joined the European and World Geoparks Networks in 2015 as it is recognized as a unique World Heritage Site, combining the fascinating geology and unique natural environment of the Troodos Mountains area with their unique traditions.