Without a single doubt, one of the most gorgeous beaches on the island is Lara Beach, which can be found on the Akamas peninsula in Paphos, north of the city. This magical bay, houses the most magnificent sea-creature, the Caretta Caretta turtles, which are protected in the area. The famed turtle beach is actually a turtle sanctuary that protects the impressive Caretta Caretta turtles.
The long beautiful strip of bay is deserted as it is a protected area. Once visiting the beach you will have the pleasure of encountering the only inhabitants of the area which are wild goats, birds, monk seals (if you are lucky) and of course turtles. As a result of being a protected area, the beach and the trees are undamaged making it a small utopian paradise on the island. The golden soft sand and crystal blue waters are perfect for a dip!
In the past the Caretta Caretta turtles were made into turtle soup. Until recently these magnificent creatures were on the verge of extinction because they were killed by humans to become a delicious meal. It is the truth! Over 100,000 turtles were killed in the Mediterranean from 1920-1960. To make matters worse, manifold of turtles were caught in local fishermen’s nets or remote beaches were unexpectedly turned into crowded tourist attractions leaving the Caretta Caretta turtles homeless.
Fortunately, the Authorities of Cyprus soon recognised the urgency of the problem and declared specific beaches as protected areas, like Lara Beach. The declaration of protected areas offers the turtles safe refuges to reproduce and give birth.
Sea turtles give birth every 2 to 3 years, more precisely they lay eggs in Cyprus during the hot sunny summer months, from the end of May to early August. Astoundingly, each one gives birth to approximately 80 eggs in each nest and they only have babies when they are over 15 years old!
Once the eggs have been laid, which have an incredibly fragile shell, the turtles cover their nests with sand to ensure their protection before returning to sea. Approximately two months after, the eggs hatch at midnight. The moment they are hatched is truly touching and should not be missed! Those who have been fortunate enough to experience this marvel of nature have never forgotten it! The little turtles, slowly and steadily, head for the sea where their marine life begins!
On Lara beach, specialised cages have been set in the areas where the turtles lay their eggs in an attempt to protect the eggs before hatching. The cages are then reburied in the sand to ensure their safety. Great care has been put in the attempt to preserve the Caretta-Carretta turtle, and Lara Beach is the ideal location in Paphos to experience the magical birth. Do not miss it!
There a several ways to reach Lara Beach. You can either drive up there using a four-wheel as it is an off-road journey and adventure or you can catch a boat from Paphos to Lara beach, which is more idyllic if you want to travel by sea and enjoy the journey!
Do not miss on the opportunity to visit the beach; you will be dazzled by its natural beauty!