Cyprus - the wooded island

Cyprus is, geographically speaking, at first sight an unremarkable island in the eastern Mediterranean. It is only the third largest Mediterranean island after Sicily and Sardinia, which belong to Italy (with a length of just over 220 km and a width of 90 km), but it has its own culture and its own statehood. How this came about, we will not examine in detail in this article. But it is important to understand that there is a southern and a northern part of Cyprus and in fact only the southern part is a member of the EU. Thus, when people speak of the Republic of Cyprus, they are usually not referring to the northern parts of the island, which are still claimed by Turkey.

The clear urban center of Cyprus is Nicosias, the (divided) capital of the Republic. In addition, the port cities of Paphos, Limassol and Larnaka have plenty to offer in terms of culture and joie de vivre; the more touristy seaside resort of Agia Napa is also popular.

Leave your winter jacket at home

All year round, visitors to Cyprus can look forward to temperatures that are (in some cases) significantly higher than the European average. Nowhere else does the Mediterranean have a higher median water temperature than around Cyprus. From the end of April to the beginning of October, it is very dry on the island and sometimes extremely hot, especially in the inland areas. Nicosia has an – average! – maximum temperature of 37.5 °C in July and August, values that are otherwise only known from countries much further south. From about November to the end of April, there can be rainfall, and in winter, the island has average daytime temperatures of between 14 °C and 21 °C.

A forest-rich island

In Cyprus, an almost unprecedented deforestation has been going on since ancient times, and yet Cyprus is still one of the most forested islands in the entire Mediterranean. The island is also home to some truly amazing flora and fauna. The reason for the land clearing in ancient times was to open up agricultural land for cultivation and use. Today, numerous citrus fruits are grown on Cyprus, in addition to the cultivation of vegetables and (in the north) pomegranates and figs. Currently, just over 19% of the island is still covered with forest. In addition to human intervention, several large-scale forest fires and the farming of goats have led to a reduction in this figure. Currently, some efforts are being made at the political level to allow more forest area to re-emerge, but this is complicated by an occasional lack of water.

There are no less than 1800 different species of flowers described on Cyprus, among others numerous orchid and daffodil species can be found on the island. During the autumn you can even spot cyclamen – and in the past decades some foreign species, such as acacia and eucalyptus, have been introduced to Cyprus. Overall, despite the undeniable challenges, Cyprus can be described as a green island with a still relatively vital flora.

Cyprus' diverse wildlife is equally capable of inspiring. Sea turtles lay eggs on many coasts of Cyprus – and nearby smaller island groups – and enjoy relatively unhindered reproduction there, unlike in other parts of the Mediterranean. Occasionally, specimens of the Greek tortoise – Testudo hermanni – which is the mascot of our new web presence at myecostay, are also spotted in and around Cyprus. Habitat destruction of the so-called “Hermann's tortoise” has increasingly endangered the wild species population in recent decades and further political protection measures for its long-term conservation are desperately needed. The colorful picture of the fauna in Cyprus is also characterized by different reptile species, including many lizards – the hardun is without a doubt the best known representative of its species. The bird life of Cyprus ranges from 330 to 350 different species, many of which regularly come from the north, as Cyprus is a popular migration area. Only about 50 species probably spend the entire year on the island.

A haven for digital nomads

As shown in our article about digital nomads, a number of factors have to come together to make a country, city or region a particularly attractive destination for digital nomads. And if you look at Cyprus, you will notice that all factors are actually positive there. The country has a pleasant temperature almost all year long, is (in the south) part of the EU, enjoys a low level of bureaucracy, and has good and fast Internet. So it's no surprise that for the last 5 years or so, more and more digital nomads have been spending at least a few months a year on this stunning Mediterranean island.

From us with heart: With high-tech to more (ground)water

As described above, water scarcity is a recurring problem in Cyprus. A European research project has been trying to find a solution to this since 2018 – and the first promising results are already available.

In this research project called IsoMed (which stands for “Isotope Hydrology in Mediterranean Countries”), an interdisciplinary team from the Lübeck University of Technology is researching the recharge of groundwater in the eastern Mediterranean region with selected partners from Cyprus and Jordan. IsoMed has a duration of three years. The goal of the joint research is also to develop more effective measurement methods to accurately determine the existing quantity and renewal rates of groundwater in the Mediterranean region. After all, it is not only seasonal droughts that cause water shortages. Above all, the overuse of scarce groundwater is a problem. Those who understand groundwater recharge can take individual measures to ensure that more water is available in otherwise dry times. The first measurement campaign in Cyprus already ran from November to December 2018 and the final results with a clear to-do list for management in water scarce regions is expected in 2022.

Follow our blog for exciting organic accommodations in Cyprus

Currently, we are working on offering you sustainable organic accommodations in Cyprus in the near future. This will also include some offers that are interesting for digital nomads. The best way to keep an eye on our new listings is to visit our blog and subscribe to the newsletter of our umbrella brand France écotours. Maybe until soon! :)