North Cyprus 2017

2. – 11. March 2017  slo


While it will be still winter  and we only sensed the upcoming spring, you may be with us exploring the unspoiled nature of Northern Cyprus, where we will see some protected areas and learn about the different habitats of plants and animals, many of which are endemic. Just at that time they will bloom wild tulips and many orchids, the lagoon will observe aquatic birds, learn about halophytes of coastal dunes, mountains, ancient olive groves and walked among wild donkeys in the far northeast of the island. Rich impressions will be enriched by excellent local cuisine.

1. day (Thursday, 2. 3. 2017)

In the morning departure from Brnik airport. Flight to Istanbul and further to Erçan airport on Cyprus. Transfer to hotel, dinner and staying overnight.

2. day (Friday, 3. 3. 2017): The west

Soli Soli2 Lefke

Starting near Soli Ruins, the dirt road goes to through some citrus orchards. It passes through the Troodos foothills with thousands of spring flowers.  This area is very good for seeing the orchids in the spring. The climb is mild and goes all the way to the eco-village of Bağlıköy / Ambelikou. Ambelikou is a lovely village hidden in the valleys of the mountains. There are many restored traditional village houses. There is also a small coffee – shop in the village center on the trail. After the village the trail leads back down to ruins of Soli though the valleys. At the end of the walk, the trail passes through the Soli Ruins where it is possible to visit the Amphitheater, the Agora and the Basilica which is famous for its floor mosaics. We will visit the mining town of Lefke with examples of rich Ottoman and British Colonial architecture, home of the world leader of Islamic Naqshibendi sect.

3. day (Saturday, 4. 3. 2016): Agricultural areas with high natural value

  Zbiralnik za vodo Oljka Hisarkoy 395

Walk starts at a fresh water spring. The water is collected into an aqueduct and flows down through a lush green valley. This is a rare green valley with one of the few annual springs in North Cyprus. There are many aquatic and wetland plants growing along the aqueduct. The narrow winding trail follows the water course down the valley mostly shaded by tall pine trees. At the end of the aqueduct there is a big water tank to collect the water where it is used for a centuries old olive orchard. There are about 2000 olive trees with 400 of them over 500 years of age. Some of the oldest monumental olive trees are 800 – 900 years old and still bearing edible fruits. There is a cave near the orchard and a few ruins. The return of the walk is on a dirt track cut into the bank of a valley full of pine trees. In the afternoon, visit Akdeniz Royal Tombs and sand dune habitat on the seaside with a chance to see xeric and halophytic plants of Cyprus.

4. day (Sunday, 5. 3. 2017): Endemic and rare plants of Akdeniz – Nicosia

 tulipa cypria Quercus infectoria Ophrys kotschyi - Akdeniz Anthemis tricolor

Located in the Akdeniz SEPA, the trail passes through barley fields, the ideal habitat for the endemic tulips (Tulipa cypria) of Cyprus. During the flowering period in March, it is possible to see hundreds of the red tulips in the green crops. Another rare plant in North Cyprus is the Aleppo Oak (Quercus infectoria), once the dominant forest species of the western plains. This area is the largest of the four important oak areas in North Cyprus. Many other ruderal plant species, anemones and orchids grow in the area. The trail passes by a water reservoir with a chance to see seasonal water birds, and ends in the Maronite village of Kormacit, the Lebanese Arab Christian community with an endangered culture still surviving in this remote village. Visit Nicosia in the afternoon, the divided capital of Cyprus.

5. day (Monday, 6. 3. 2017): Mountain Endemics and Crusader Castle – Kyrenia

 Brassica hilarionis St. Hillarion Girne

From Ilgaz village the dirt track goes along the mountain to the next mountain village of Karmi. Karmi is a very well preserved village with restored original houses. The trail continues to climb up towards St. Hilarion Castle through canyons and valleys. St. Hilarion Castle is on top of a prominent rock outcrop, a perfect reserve area for 12 very specialist species of plants endemic to the cliffs of Kyrenia Mountains, such as the St. Hilarion Cabbage (Brassica hialionensis) or Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa). At the castle, the views of Kyrenia and north coast is truly rewarding. In the afternoon we’ll visit town of Kyrenia, old town, historic harbour, and the Kyrenia Castle.

6. day (Tuesday, 7. 3. 2017): Mountain Orchid Hunt

 Ophrys israelitica Orchis syriaca sele-sepet (2) lf 12

Alevkaya area has the best trails to see orchids in North Cyprus. It is possible to see up to 10 different species of orchids. Alevkaya trails is the oldest trail network in North Cyprus. The earliest trails were opened in 1995 by the Mountaineering Sports Association. The trail offers nice views of the Mount Pentodactylos which is the symbol of the Kyrenia Range Mountains. Passing through old-growth pine forests, it is possible to see many different aromatic Mediterranean herbs in the forest.  The abandoned Armenian Monastery is also on the trail. There is a chance to visit a herbarium. The trail allows observation of the change in vegetation from the humid north facing slopes of the mountain to the dry and hot south facing slopes, where the walk ends at a traditional Cypriot village of Kalavaç. Visit rural village of Çatoz (Serdarlı) where a local lady conducts a tour showing us some activities of traditional village life.

7. day (sreda, 8. 3. 2017): Famagusta Wetlands

 flamingos 1 Ostrogasta priba Famagusta

We will visit the ruins of ancient Roman capital of Salamis and walk 2 kms on the beach to visit wetlands of Famagusta. We will take a look on Gülseren Lake, Ayluka Lake with chance to see cattle egrets, spur-winged lapwing, silvery ibis, flamingoes. In the afternoon we will visit to the old town of Famagusta and see ghost town of Varosha (enterance forbidden), the former cosmopolitan resort, which was abonded after the Turkish invasion in 1974.

8. day (Thursday, 9. 3. 2017): The protected area Karpaz

 Samostan Divji osli Teucrium karpasiticum sredozemski galeb

Karpaz is a very special place with very little development and vast natural landscapes. Apostolos Andreas Monastery, one of the holiest place of the Orthodox on the island is the starting point of the walk. The trail follows mostly the paths made by the feral donkeys of Karpaz Peninsula. Although the juniper forests constitute a rare habitat in the rest of the Mediterranean, in Karpaz trails pass through large stands of these trees. It is possible to see the very local Karpaz endemic plant (Teucrium karpasiticum) and many migratory birds, including the locally breeding (once endangered) Adouin’s Gull. With an abundance of archaeological relics of the ancient Karpasia this trail offers the best of Karpaz nature and history.

9. day (Friday, 10. 3. 2017): Cyprus Rocks

Rdeca skala Ayios Philon Karpasia

Starting from the south coast of Karpaz peninsula the trail is right on the edge of water on unique sandstone rock formations of Neogene period. Up the hills the trail passes by Quaternary silts, gravels and very rare volcanic formations of pillow lava in the middle of this peninsula of sedimentary  rocks. The highlight of the trail is the mystery rock, a big boulder of unknown origin. Known as the Red Rock, it is only found in this spot without any other samples anywhere on the island, as if placed on top of the hill by the hand of a giant. Walking down through a valley with lush vegetation, the trail will end at northern coast, on calcarenite rocks where we’ll visit the Ayios Philon Church and the Roman Basilica within the site of ancient Karpasia city, one of the 9 city-kingdoms of Cyprus.

10. day (Saturday, 11. 3. 2017)

Transfer to the airport after early breakfast. Flight Erçan – Istanbul, Istanbul – Brnik.

GUIDED TOUR: biologist Tugberk Emirzade.


Price for the members: 1.350,00 € (11 people), 1.335,00 € (17 people).
Price for non-members: 1.485,00 € (11 people), 1.468,00 € (17 people).
The price includes: flight Brnik – Istanbul – Erçan and back (Turkish Airways), 9 x halfboard in 3* or 4* (breakfast, dinner) in a double room, lunch pakets, daily minibus transfer over the island, entrance fees, organization of the trip and guided tour, tax.
Discount: For a triple room we offer 70,00 € discount per person (only in case in of sufficient interest to fill the triple rooms).
Optionally payment: risk of cancellation: 5 % of the value of accommodation, single room: 80,00 €, multirisk turistic insurance for abroad Coris with triple coverage: 15,00 €.

If payment in one installment we offer 5% discount on the basic package.

In the case of price increases of airline tickets we reserve the right to change the arrangement price .

Each day provided a few hours of walking with stops for lunch and photography.

Splošni pogoji poslovanja they are an integral part of the program.

The authors of the program: © Gülçan Yalinca, Tugberk Emirzade and Janja Benedik, 2015-2017.

Organization and execution of the program: © Gülçan Yalinca and Prirodoslovno društvo Slovenije, 2015-2017.

Applications will be accepted until 15. 1. 2017 respectively to occupancy sites.


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