Exploring the natural environment, fauna and flora is a unique educational experience for young and old travellers alike. Cyprus as a destination has, among many, two lakes of great ecological value and educational interest.
A visit to the island can be accompanied by a stop at Larnaca Salt Lake, which is a cluster of four lakes covering an area of 2.2 km². The main lake with its nature trail and birdwatching tower is known as “Alyki”, followed by Orphani, Soros and the airport lake. The lake has enormous ecological value and is considered one of the most important wetlands in Cyprus. As such, it has been declared a protected area under Cypriot legislation and in accordance with the European Habitats Directive. It is an important protected area (Ramsar Convention and NATURA 2000 network) and one of the most important habitats in Europe for waterfowl.
Flamingos stop at the lake as part of their migration route, arriving with the first rainy weather (usually in November) and staying in the lake until around March. The dark red algae that grows in the Salt Lake is the base of the food chain, as the small shrimp in the lake feed on it. In turn, this shrimp is food for flamingos and other migratory birds, which in total number more than 85 species.
Lake Voroklini is another site of great interest, as it is one of only seven natural wetlands in Cyprus. As such, the lake was designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the European Birds Directive and a Site of Community Importance (SCI) under the European Habitats Directive.
A total of 190 species of birds have been recorded at the site, but it is particularly important for two species that nest there, the Reed-billed Cormorant (Himantopus Himantopus) and the Gannet (Vanellus spinosus). Other migratory birds include herons, flamingos, several species of ducks, and the pelican, which is a rare sight on the lake for just a few days on its way to Africa.
In conclusion, choosing theme tourism based on the natural beauty of Cyprus can turn a carefree nature excursion into a learning journey for visitors young and old.The EduTourism project is implemented in the framework of the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme “Greece – Cyprus 2014-2020” and is co-financed by the European Union (E.T.P.A.) and National Funds of Greece and Cyprus.