Turtle nests on Lara beach. Akamas, Cyprus.

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Lara Beach

Top choice in Akamas Peninsula

This stunning unspoilt beach has clean, calm water and pristine sands for those who want to escape people and parasols. The beach is most famous, however, for being home to a turtle hatchery; this is one of the world's few remaining havens for green and logger-head turtles to nest. Volunteers monitor the female turtles and around June and July collect their eggs to place in the hatchery, to protect them from predators and inquisitive tots. Monk seals also dwell in the sea caves around the peninsula.

Note that the beach has been a protected area since 1971 and no sun loungers are permitted. Likewise, private vehicles are banned from coming to the beach during the egg-laying season; at other times you can approach, although the path is a dirt track. If you feel uneasy go for a 4WD rental vehicle or take a tour. Look for the signs to Lara Restaurant at the adjacent Lara Bay, where you can stop for a drink or snack on the vast terrace overlooking the beach.

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