Turtle watching

Turtle Watching

Alagadi nesting beach is a specially protected area and is closed to the public at night during the hours of 20:00-08:00 during the nesting season. Access routes to the beach are locked and only volunteers of the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP) or staff of the North Cyprus Department for Environmental Protection department is permitted to enter. Anyone found on the beach who does not have consent to be there will be escorted away. We do, however, invite small groups at night to see the turtles under the supervision of MTCP.

We offer three types of activity through the season:

1. Night Watch – During night watch small groups accompany students to the beach at night to watch adult females covering up their nests. This activity is available from late May to early August (depending on nesting numbers at tail ends of this period). In order to limit any possible disturbance to nesting females they only take 15 people per evening. And a a first come first served booking system at the Goat Shed in Alagadi and all bookings must be made in person or via the online booking system. hundreds of visitors are turned each year who leave their booking late and are unable to get on during the remainder of their stay, which is very disappointing, particularly for young kids. A sighting is not guaranteed, as some nights the turtles fail to nest and mid June to mid July is busiest. However, in recent years we have seen increasing numbers of nesting females due to our conservation efforts so the chance of seeing a turtle is also increasing and quiet nights are now few and far between. Naturally though you should expect a late night. Although Cyprus is exceptionally hot during the summer, the Alagadi midpoint where you will be waiting on the sand with the volunteers can be very cool and breezy at night. So it is important to bring warm clothing, especially in May and June. You will definitely get cold in shorts and a t-shirt. It is also important to wear trainers or strapped sandals as you will be walking down concrete steps and on uneven surfaces, possibly over rocks. The total distance is about 1km. You are welcome to bring towels to sit or lie on and even blankets to snuggle up and to sleep under the stars until the moment comes for our volunteers to escort you to a nesting female. Guests arrive at 20:30 and last patrol off the beach is at 05:00am, but guests can leave at any time under the escort of our volunteers. We suggest a donation of £10 per adult for this event.

2. Excavations – These take place around 4pm between July 20th and late September. Hatchlings emerge from their nest at night and depending on the status of the nest after hatching we make a decision that day about inviting visitors to a public nest excavation. So for these, visitors need to call the Goat Shed on the day or check the facebook page for notifications.

3. Releases – These also take place between July 20th and late September. Hatchling turtles are released at night under red light at around 9pm, so as with Night Watch, as the beach is closed visitor numbers are limited and booking is required. Bookings can be made by phone or in person at the Goat Shed on the day. Again check the facebook page or call up on the day for information. As with night watch sensible footwear is important, but the releases are normally over within half an hour. There is usually the opportunity for each visitor to handle and release a hatchling.

Call: +905338725350 (Jun 1st-Sept 30th)

Email: info@cyprusturtles.org

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