Judul : Ecotourism in Cyprus in Winter
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Ecotourism in Cyprus in Winter
10, 11, 12 January 2014
We spent three days in southeast Cyprus in mid-January. Around this time, the famous "Alkyon Day" occurs: the true silence of winter with spring-like conditions. At 1/1 the temperature in Oroklini (a beach resort 7 km east of Larnaca) is 20°C. What it's like to escape cold Europe...
Although most of our time will be spent in Oroklini - I would like to take this opportunity to discuss ecotourism in the area with Larnaca as a base. Developing ecotourism in a stable region like southeast Cyprus is certainly a challenging concept. I mean all in Ayia Napa and such. To know who would have thought that this field still had a chance to save itself from overdevelopment?
Well, maybe... Nature tourism might replace the growing monopoly on mass tourism. In my opinion, the main thing is to seriously plan to save "natural areas" and protect landscapes. The protection of natural areas makes this tourist area attractive, dynamic and lively in terms of tourism development. Oroklini, near Larnaca, is a good example of "rejuvenating natural beauty" on a congested beach (see : http://www.orokliniproject.org ). However, Oroclini is a unique project for birds and their habitat – perhaps tourism can act as a catalyst for conservation and restoration or broader biodiversity planning . The Oroclini Life project is a pioneering first step. They do a great job here and I think it's a real boost to the tourist picture in the wider area (Oroklini/Pila Beach - Larnaca). Tourism must be a partner in preserving the environment.
Now it's more practical.
Of course, in southeastern Cyprus there are many natural tourist attractions in winter - and if we want "alternative ways to develop tourism", we need a lot of attractions. We need to turn accessible nature into tourism.
Let me tell you what we experienced by focusing on "landscape":
1) We stayed in a hotel near Pella near the Dhekelia Sovereign Base area. Beautiful long sandy beach and clear water (warmer than the Saronic Bay in Athens). Perfect for running and walking on the beach in the morning. Very close to the best place for local birds: Lake Oroklini.
2) Lake Oroklini is a little paradise for bird watching. Birding and/or walking (easy to explore in depth) with only two parking spaces. Since this is a "small area of wetlands", almost all kinds of birds can be easily found. Fortunately, once fenced off, the hardness is limited. It's beautiful. It's easy to spot over 30 bird species on a brisk walk in the middle of winter. (Here we hunted for three days, but it was difficult for the boy to keep his binoculars away from the birds.)
3) Lake Achina is a natural water phenomenon, namely a reservoir located on an artificial plain. Full of birds - in fact, always birds. We have over 30 waders, winter waterfowl, stocky eagles (very rare to see this species in Cyprus in the middle of winter!!!)
4) Potamos liopetri. This is a great place for photography and beach walks. Real attraction.
5) Paralimni Lake. Although I didn't visit it this time (I heard the water level was low) - it's easy access from Agia Napa, Leopetri or Cavo Greco. The Polish Silk Aquarium is always full of life and benefits. Easy walk from the road to marshy beach.
6) Cavo Greek. Spectacular views of the rocky hills of Cap Cavos. The lilies are in full bloom on the rocks - what a strange thing to see and smell!
7) Larnaca salt lake. The magnificent sunset is the highlight of the old Sultan Hala Mosque. All this within a few minutes flight from the nearest airport.
It should be noted that this ecological "survey" is clearly incomplete. My Faso husband and I were in Cyprus for work (BirdLife Cyprus). We met Melpo Apostolidou, Iakovos Tzortzis, Athina Papatheodoulou and Lefkios Stergiou with BirdLife. Thanks to our friends who took us on a side trip.
Some pictures from the trip. Most of these images are from Oroclini. And you'll see us "succeed" in the mud (pulling the fried nets and taking the bus). But the views and weather are great - and the journey from Oroclini to the nearest wildlife area is a breeze. The cape with the monkey-winged egret (among dead tilapia) and the capers from nearby Lake Ashna (the village church is also from the occupied city of Achna, clearly reminding us of our presence in ... Cyprus).
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