With a great amount of hype surrounding the hidden Amiantos ‘diamond lake’ of late, few people are aware that this rugged area of Troodos National Forest Park boasts another stunning lake to leave you wide-eyed.
The man-made construction is part of a wider project implement by the Cyprus Forestry Department – namely ‘Biodiversity Conservation in Restoration and Management of the Amiantos Asbestos Mine’ – created in order to meet the area’s irrigation and wildlife needs. Breathing new life into the vicinity, the lake is part of Natura 2000 site, belonging to an EU wide network of natural conservation areas.
Once a hub of activity, mining works kicked off in Cyprus in the early 1900s, with this asbestos mine fast becoming the largest and most populous mine on the island. As thousands of workers from all corners of the country flocked to the area, an organised town was erected on the site, complete with its own church, hospital and school. When it gradually became apparent that asbestos was having a negative impact on human health, however, the area was left derelict and abandoned.
The newly constricted lake holds a capacity of 40 000 cubic metres of water, and at its centre, an island has been shaped to provide shelter for birds and hydrophilic plants in order to increase biodiversity, including plane trees and oriental alder. With landscaping and visitor needs taken into consideration, a pedestrian walkway has also been constructed around the lake, giving everyone the chance to put their best foot forward and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Love the snow? Visit the area in the crisp winter months (December – February) and you’ll witness the area blanketed in brilliant white.
Photo and cover photos: Cyprus from Air
Where? Amiantos, on the site of the abandoned asbestos mine. Troodos district.