With more than 1800 varieties of plants and flowers, this rich variety is an enormous attraction to visitors. For botanists, we recommend a visit to the North Cyprus herbarium.
From February through to early summer the landscape comes to life with the colour of the wild flowers. As the island warms up to in April and May you will see Jasmine, Mimosa, Hibiscus, followed by Bougainvillea and Roses.
Despite the heat and lack of rainfall in the summer, you will always be able to see the hardy varieties of Anemone, Rock Rose and flowering Thistle. From November and December, as the first rainfall for some months arrives, so do the Anemones, Cyclamens, Narcissus, Hyacinths, Iris and Orchids.
Amongst and 35 species of orchid, the Ophrys Kotscdhyi is unique to Cyprus. The Orchis Simis or "monkey orchid" is recognisable by its unusual petal shape and formation which causes it to look uncannily like a tiny monkey. Specimens have been found growing just over the road from Kantara Haven, flowering between February and April.
Pine, cedar and conifer forests provide cooling shade in the mountain areas of Besparmak ("five finger" mountains) where Kantara is situated. Carob, Olive and Almond groves cover extensive areas of the mountain foothills, and Citrus groves are predominant in the west of the island.
As well as many indigenous species of bird including the Crested Cormorant, Scarlet Vulture, Kestrel, Rock Partridge, Turtle Dove, Rock Swallow, Crested Skylark, Magpie and Cyprus Warbler to name but a few.
During spring (March to May) and again in late summer (August to October) up to 300 species of birds can be seen in Northern Cyprus on their migratory route between Europe and Africa. Examples include Griffon Vulture, Hirundelle, Golden Oriole, Pochard, and the Cyprus Red Wheatear.
The Society for the Protection of Birds in Northern Cyprus, KUSKOR can advise you of the best places and times for bird watching (Tel: +90 392 815 7337).
Both species indigenous to the Mediterranean, the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta Caretta) are known to lay their eggs on the beaches of Northern Cyprus between June and November. Their nests are monitored by conservationists, and clearly marked on the beaches so they are not disturbed. For more information, contact the Turtle Protection Society. (Tel: +90 392 815 2496 / 815 5135) or the
As many as 250 wild donkeys roam the Karpaz national park area. The rarer ginger coloured donkey is unique to Cyprus.
Foxes, hares, and the long eared hedgehog inhabit the island. The Moufflon is an indigenous wild mountain sheep, thought at one time to have been hunted to extinction.
For animal lovers, a trip to Northern Cyprus is not complete without a visit to the in the Besparmak mountains.