Recent Blog Posts

Tortoise in Cyprus

The Tortoise in Cyprus as in most countries is classified as an endangered species and as such are no longer allowed to be imported freely without restrictions. However that being said it is still fairly easy to own a tortoise in Cyprus and as they enjoy the climate so much they tend to live better and subsequently breed fairly easy.   You can often tortoises for sale in pet shops and at village fete stalls, sometimes even given away as prizes. Tortoises are quite easy to look after but they do require regular bathing in the summer months to keep them cool and a nice sheltered place to hide from the midday sun - we have bought ours a small dog kennel which they appear to love which is lined with newspaper and substrate. Then for bathing we have sunk a shallow plant pot tray into the ground which has a water drip system which keeps it topped up.  Tortoise are a easy maintenance pet and their food mainly consists of green leaves and weeds, mine also like flowers especially dandelions!  If you do not provide a shelter you may find that your tortoise will dig very deep and bury himself which could be a problem. 

Apparently tortoises still roam wild in the northern turkish owned area of Cyprus, however I was very lucky to obtain mine by searching on a local forum.   We travelled by car from Paphos to Episcopi where the lady who breeds tortoises lived expecting to come away with one tortoise, so imagine our surprise and absolute delight when instead of one we came away with six so maybe one day we many have our own little hatchlings.  You can see Tortoises at the Paphos Bird and Animal Park.

I used to keep a tortoise in the UK and it was such hard work keeping him happy with the lack of sunlight, so constantly buying heat lamps and UV lamps so it is just so lovely to see them now living happily going in an out of their hide when it suits.

Please see below some pics of my tortoise family known to us as `The Sids'.
Kellie Hodge
Posted: October 06, 2008 by Kellie Hodge 12 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Last updated: Friday, July 3, 2020
Hello , i have lived in cyprus now for 6 years and was given two tortoise,s for two different people , and she has laid eggs every year, we had one baby in 2009 5 babies in 2010 , 1 baby in 2011, and this year she laid 27 eggs and so far we have 18 babies all well and fit,, they are all just perfect,, so they must be happy ,,
9/7/2012 7:40:11 AM
Does anyone know if fig leaves are poisonous for tortoises please?
5/31/2012 9:44:28 AM
Thomas Popov

I have few tortoise in St Andrews, Scotland. I can only confirm that it is dum difficult to keep the happy, even with dam expensive technology, I ma talking 500 Pounds just on UV lighting - state of the art plus cost of terarium and vet vitamin injection, etc... they do keep giving up and only the strongest of the babies has survived. I am a student of the university over here in St Andrews. I have bought few holiday homes with gardens in Limassol for investment purposes recently, its all close to the Le Meridean hotel in Limassol - the Pyrgos area, I would love to bring my torties there to Cyprus, I amn sure the climate will make things easy.

Do you know where exactly in Cyprus one can still fing tortioise in the wild, or can you let me have contact of someone that knows, even from the Turkish part. Also, may i have contact for the lady that keeps breading tortoise near Paphos, that you mentioned. Many Thanks
5/25/2011 11:07:02 PM
Hi there,

I just came across this post after doing an online search for where to find a tortoise in Cyprus. I'd much rather purchase a locally bred animal instead of supporting the commercial trade and import of tortoises, which I hear is cruel and abusive. If you'd please also forward my details to the lady who breeds them, I'd greatly appreciate it.

4/8/2010 3:29:04 PM
I am interested in buying a Tortoise, but i am leaving Cyprus in August 2010, what are the restrictions on taking a Tortoise back to the UK
2/4/2010 1:50:42 PM
Hi there, we've just moved to episkopi for a 3 year tour and have seen on sales and wants there is a tortoise 'free to a good home' but dont know alot about them. there does seem a masive difference between sites in the UK and out here. our back garden is one big patio and as cyprus (from what we've seen) seem's desolate from grass until the tortise will be in hybination! with our garden would we still be able to look after it keeping it happy? also what are the implications for export back to the uk?
12/23/2009 7:08:29 AM
Hello we currently have a young tortoise who has come into the garden and has become a great friend. He/She wounders the garden very content and comes for food on a daily basis. We would like to get him a friend if possable so any idears were to go.
We live in Paphos area and new to the area.
8/13/2009 3:12:45 PM
Global Administrator
Hi, if you email your private email address to I can let you have the breeders details.
11/3/2008 6:19:29 AM
Global Administrator
Hi, I have forwarded your comment to the lady I got the tortoise from as didnt feel it appropriate to just give out her details so hopefully she will respond. Julie
11/2/2008 5:30:56 PM
I would like to know who and where the tortoise breeder lives as I am interested in buying a tortoise. Do you know if she still breeds them? They are lovely animals and 'The Sid' are a really beautiful family of tortoises. :-)

Can you help? :-)

11/2/2008 5:05:41 PM
I would like to know who and where the tortoise breeder lives as I am interested in buying a tortoise. Do you know if she still breeds them? They are lovely animals and 'The Sid' are a really beautiful family of tortoises. :-)

Can you help? :-)

11/2/2008 5:04:53 PM
I visited Pissouri in Cyprus in May and saw the turtles on the beach, it was a lovely site I must say. I love Cyprus and as a tourist the locals treat us great I think. When I lost my credit card the hotel manager in Pissouri helped me find out, we looked all over the hotel, throughout my room, in the bar...but the card was found in my hire car! Oh well
10/24/2008 12:22:11 AM