Are you fascinated by marine turtles? Or are your children’s imagination buzzed with the arrival of the latest film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Feed your curiosity or your children’s imagination with an experience of real marine turtles.These gorgeous creatures are very selective about their breeding ground. Guess what? North Cyprus is one of their preferred locations…

North Cyprus is an area now world famous as a destination to see Loggerhead and Green nesting and hatching. The turtles are a protected species and also increasingly important for the tourist industry.

The Marine Turtle Conservation Project at Alagadi beach is in its third decade with an estimated 5000 visitors in recent years. The marine turtle is such an important creature to Cyprus that it has been used as the emblem of the North Cyprus tourism industry for many years. Nesting peaks in late June/early July, whilst the hatching season starts in mid- July.

Turtle hatching

The Marine Turtle Research Group, coordinated by Exeter University, carries out daily nest excavations, at dawn and at night and allows visitors to join night patrols when it is safe for the turtles. This is a chance for people like you and me to get up close and personal and watch these beautiful creatures.

Watching turtles under the supervision of the experts is the best way to see and help the turtles, as even visiting nesting beaches during the breeding season can seriously affect the turtles’ welfare. Some of the money provided by turtle tourism allows the research work and protection of the turtles’ environment to continue. The nesting beach at Alagadi is a specially protected area and closed to general public access between 22.00 and 08.00. Anyone who is there without permission will be escorted from the beach.
Marine Turtle swimming
If you are lucky enough to witness turtles hatching you will see hundreds of tiny baby turtles frantically dig their way out of their sandy nests and scuttle as fast as they can down to the open sea. Their first instinct is to head for the light and that used to only mean the moonlight on the sea, but over recent years the modern developments and their resulting light pollution have confused turtles causing them to go the wrong way, often ending in disaster for the turtles.
Northern Cyprus has quieter bays which are safe breeding grounds for the 300 green and 1000 loggerhead turtles that inhabit the waters of the Med. Today turtles nest on the sandy beaches of Alagadi, Girne, the Karpaz peninsula and in Famagusta Bay.
Turtle Beach location
Seeing this amazing spectacle will be a memory for you to treasure. Remember you will need to be in the right place at the right time and you will be directly contributing to the preservation of these truly fascinating creatures.
If you are interested in North Cyprus turtles. Direct Traveller can arrange visits to turtle beach during the hatching and breeding seasons.
Have you seen a marine turtle? What do you think of this amazing experience?