When you think of Cyprus, what pictures cross your mind? Maybe its vast coastlines, with the golden beaches and the emerald, crystal-clear waters. Sure, Cyprus is a paradise for summer vacations, but it has a lot more to offer than that. It’s a country with a long history and tradition, whereas the breathtaking natural environmentmakes this country the home for unique species. So, to take the most out of your trip to Cyprus, have a look at the following 5 unique things you can see or taste (!!) on this gorgeous island:
- The Cyprus Tulip
Yes, you heard that right! There is a unique tulip in Cyprus that distinguishes from the common tulip. This rare and beautiful flower blossoms in only three areas in Cyprus, and more specifically on Akamas, some areas of Pentadaktylos and Kormakitis. If you happen to schedule a trip near those areas in March or April, keep your eyes open for this remarkable flower. Keep in mind though that, as enlisted among the rare species, it is strictly protected, thus do not attempt to gather some as a souvenir. Yet, you are free to take pictures!
The traditional village Geroskipos, with a name that it is believed to mean “Holy Garden”, is the place that is famous for a traditional Cypriot delicacy that has been offered in houses and coffee shops as a treat for more than 100 years.In essence, a loukoumi is a small cube-shaped soft sweet that contains gel of starch and sugar. It is dusted with ice sugar and comes in a variety of flavors, while some premium editions contain walnuts, hazelnuts or chopped dates. If you happen to pass through the village using the Limassol-Paphos road, make a stop to taste this different sweet. Be warned, though: no one can eat only one!
- Rare sea turtles
It seems that the sea turtles love the beaches of Cyprus too! Two rare and under protection species, the Green Turtle (CheloniaMydas) and the Loggerhead (Caretta-Caretta) sea turtle lay their eggs in Cypriot shores. Lara, Toxeftra, and Chrysochou Bay are among the beaches that these rare creatures prefer to lay their eggs and breed. Non-profit organizations that act in Cyprus in order to save turtles for extinction are constantly educating tourists and locals on the matter.
- The agrino or the Cyprus mouflon
Another rare endemic animal of Cyprus is the agrino, which is a subspecies group of wild sheep. Their population number only 3,000 animals and became nearly extinct in 1997. It is the biggest animal in Cyprus, found mostly in forests of Paphos region, and an indispensable part of Cyprus’s natural heritage.
- The flower Centaurea Akamantis
Centaurea Akamantis is a very rare flower that blossoms in only one area: in Akama (hence the name Akamantis). If you want to find it, you need to be patient and athletic because it is very rare and it grows in narrow crevices between rocks. The good part is that it blooms from May until November, so you have plenty of time to look for this exquisite flower.