Republic of Cyprus Emblem
Department of Forests

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

The creation of a botanical garden is always done with predetermined objectives and a specific purpose. The most common reasons for creating a botanical garden are the following:
    · Environmental education and awareness on local flora

    · Recreational purposes
    · Protection of rare plant species

    · Promoting research in plant life

In most cases, however, a botanical garden is created when all four aforementioned factors coexist harmoniously. The art of gardening is combined with environmental education and recreation as well as the conservation of rare species and development of botanical science. Nevertheless, every botanical garden is unique, and its design and development depends on the specific objectives initially set.

The Department of Forests had identified the need to create botanical gardens on the island from early on, and thus created the first botanical garden in Athalassa, during the 60s. In recent years the Department, in response both to the growing need for environmental education and the need to create spaces for conservation of endangered species, proceeded with the creation of three new botanical gardens, located in Athalassa, Amiantos Mine on Troodos and Aphrodite’s Baths at Akamas, respectively.

1. Athalassa Botanical Garden

This is the oldest botanical garden, designed and created by the Department of Forests. It is part of the Athalassa National Forest Park, and occupies an area of ​​approximately 4.5 hectares. It is located southeast of the nursery of the Forest Regions of Nicosia, Larnaca and Famagusta. The design and installation occurred in two phases and in two separate but adjacent areas, creating two sectors respectively named Botanical Forest Garden A and Botanical Forest Garden B.

Botanical Forest Garden A was set up during the period between 1964 and 1970, when around 1000 plants were planted. These included arboreal plants and shrubs, representing 173 different species, subspecies and hybrids, belonging to 136 genera and 36 families.

Botanical Forest Garden B is an extension of the first one. Its creation began in 1994 and since then it has been configured, upgraded and enriched with new species, up until the present day. 600 plants can be found, which originate mainly from the island's native flora, representing 290 different species and subspecies, belonging to 167 genera and 79 families. Beyond the arboreal and shrub species, subshrubs, herbs, grasses and bulbs are included.

2. Athalassa Environmental Information and Education Centre Botanical Garden

A botanical garden has also been created at the Athalassa Environmental Information and Education Centre, with the aim to combine aesthetic landscaping with environmental education. The layout was made using the natural environment as a guide, and includes elements of rocky brushwood which dominates the surrounding hills.

Despite its small size, the garden includes 81 different species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. An effort was made to mainly use local drought resistant species, grouped with their ecological requirements as the basic criterion, as opposed to aesthetics. Today it is a unique botanical garden with its own peculiarities that is constantly being enriched and upgraded.

It is worth noting that this botanical garden has been included in the educational programs of the Pedagogical Institute, providing important information in the framework of environmental education for primary and secondary schools, always combined with additional outdoor educational activities.

3. “A. G. Leventis” Troodos Botanical Garden

The "A. G. Leventis” Troodos Botanical Garden is located in the Troodos National Forest Park, within the boundaries of the old Amiantos (asbestos) mine, at an altitude of 1400 meters. Work on the creation of the botanical garden was started by the Department of Forests in 2004. Part of the funding required for the creation of this garden was donated by the "A. G. Leventis” Foundation, while the rest was provided by state funds. Today the garden contains about 200 species of plants, but in the future this number is expected to exceed 500 species.

The creation of this botanical garden aims for the protection, conservation, representation and promotion of the botanical heritage of Cyprus, with emphasis on the flora of the Troodos region. It simultaneously functions as a place for research, education and recreation as well as a means for restoration of a significant part of the Amiantos mine. The garden includes a visitor centre and a herbarium, a section for endemic plants, a section for lake riparian vegetation, an orchard, a section for aromatic and traditional garden plants, a section for traditional agricultural plants, an outdoor training area, a viewing telescope, toilets and a parking lot. There are also plans to create a section for the conservation of endangered plants and a germplasm conservation bank.

4. Akamas Botanical Garden

This botanical garden is located in the Akamas National Forest Park, near Aphrodite’s Baths; a region that is at the heart of many Cypriot traditions and legends and is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Work on the creation of the Botanical Garden began in 2003. The basic philosophy of the garden was to provide access to the botanical heritage of Akamas to all visitors. Therefore, the whole organisation of the garden is essentially a miniature version of Akamas, with spacious paths and pools coexisting with the natural habitats and ecosystems. In this way, the visitor while spending very little time browsing in the garden can come in contact with common and rare species and habitats that are scattered across the Akamas region.

The natural areas found at the botanical garden provide great features and give it value, as undisturbed habitats support very large numbers of species of both flora and fauna. Around 120 species of plants have been planted to date but this number exceeds the 200 plants if plant species growing on the undisturbed parts of the garden are counted for. The ultimate objective is to include and interpret more than 250 species of plants.

User Satisfaction Survey

Complaints Submission Form