Baby turtles at Lara Beach Baby turtles at Lara Beach

Lara Turtle Beach

Lara Turtle Beach is one of the  most special beaches in Cyprus. This area is part of the Akamas National Park. It is situated in the Akamas Peninsula in the northwest of Paphos and it is named as such because it is home to the Lara Turtle Conservation project, that is focused on protecting the endangered Green and Loggerhead turtles that breed on the island of Cyprus. People come from all over Cyprus both residents and holiday makers from Protaras and Ayia Napa, Paphos and Limasol to visit the beach.
In Summer, turtles make their way back across the Atlantic, into the Mediterranean and swim to Lara Beach at the western end of the island to lay their eggs. The Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta Caretta) and the rarer Green Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) nest every year on this unspoilt beach. The rugged beach is ideal for these shy creatures. You can see the Lara Turtle Hatchery directly on the beach - this is a small closed section where there are a great number of turtle nests. For safety, some of the nests are moved from other beaches where they may been in danger.
A protection society watches out for the turtles putting protective cages over the nests. Occasional organised tours by torchlight are held to watch the huge beasts hall themselves clumsily out of the sea and onto the soft sand. There is also a tourist information section, which highlights and explains the work that the Lara Turtle project does. Often visiting students from Europe spend some of the Summer there volunteering with and studying the project.
Lara Beach is a good quality beach. This long, shingly stretch of coast is totally free of development, so the only sounds you’ll hear are the crashing of waves and the calling of wild birds. Lara Beach is a good distance from a village or resort of any kind. Access to it is through a dirt road so it is best to rent a 4×4 for the day. You can also access this beach after a 5 kilometre walk from the end of the road at Agios Georgios. The area around Lara Turtle beach is unspoilt, only Monk Seals and Turtles populate this wilderness. During the whole breeding season, access to the beach is restricted after sunset in order not to disturb the sea turtle hatchlings. Loungers and umbrellas are also not allowed for the same reason. Out of clean, crystal waters and spectacular, unspoilt scenery, Lara Turtle Beach has nothing to offer. So bring your own mat and a picnic.
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