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10 things to do in Northern Cyprus

Posted by Admin on February 12, 2024
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1. Sunbathe by the pool.

Wherever you’re staying in North Cyprus, you will possibly need a swimming pool or just be nearby the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Temperatures in May until September range between 26 to 37 degrees, and peak just after lunch, so you’d better make sure you have an easy way of cooling down.

You will feel yourself lucky about finding a pool or seaside as in this wonderful island, nearly all the projects will offer you communal pools, waterparks for adults and children and access to the sandy beaches is only a matter of time.

 

2.See Kyrenia Castle and Shipwreck Museum.

Excavations in Kyrenia Castle have suggested it could date as far back at the 7th century BC. It has Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman elements and was used by both British and Greek Cypriot armies for military purposes.

It has four corner towers you can climb, an exhibition hall, a natural underground reservoir, dungeons, and a Byzantine church, as well as a museum on the neolithic village of Vrysi which was discovered near the city, and a shipwreck museum displaying the remains of an ancient ship and its cargo.

Before you go, make sure you climb to the top of the castle for an amazing view back over the harbour.

 

3.Enjoy some traditional Turkish mezze and Mixed Kebab.

One of the main priorities on holidays is trying genuine traditional local foods, and it’s easy to do this in North Cyprus. The stars of the mezze show include the freshly baked breads, houmous, tzatziki, roast aubergine in tomato or yoghurt sauce, Turkish meatballs, egg fried potatoes, stuffed vines, and grilled halloumi cheese.

As for the main course; you can’t decide between chicken kebab, lamb chops, Turkish meatballs, or lamb kebab? You don’t have to! Taste a bit of everything with a plate of mixed kebab, available on most menus and usually served with rice and vegetable.

 

4.Visit Bellapais Abbey.

The ruined monastery in Bellapais is a must-see. At 220m above sea level on the side of the Kyrenia mountains, it has a spectacular view over the surrounding villages and out to the Mediterranean. Bellapais itself is a small charming village with a few cafes, restaurants and boutiques, but the abbey is definitely the main attraction.

Walking tours are available from the ticket office so you can learn all about the abbey from a tour guide, or you can explore solo to really appreciate the serenity of the ruins.

 

5. Enjoy the view at the restaurants & bars at Bellapais.

In the grounds of Bellapais Abbey you’ll find Kybele Restaurant & Bar, a sprawling dining spot that really makes the most of its 220m view point. There is also Bellapais Gardens, Tree of Idleness Restaurant and Bella Moon Restaurant nearby and Bellapais Coffee House to enjoy a decent cup of coffee varieties and the view of Bellapais Monastery.

Make sure you book to get the best spot, especially if you’re a large group or coming for drinks in the evening. The restaurants have all the local dishes as well as international cuisine, but the real highlight is definitely the view.

 

6. Find a turtle nest at Alagadi Beach.

Alagadi Turtle Beach consists of two different bays located next to each other. One is always well-attended and has a restaurant called Turtle Paradise while the other bay is more secluded and suits those wanting a quiet day at the beach. Bring your own beach accessories as neither of the bays offer sun beds or umbrellas due to precautions against harming turtles and their nests.

Sea turtles hatch their eggs on Alagadi Beach in the summer time when the volunteer organization SPOT organizes turtle nest excavations that can be attended by reservation.

Do not miss out on the natural “rock pools” heated by the Mediterranean sun where you can dabble your feet whilst looking out over the scenic coast.

 

7. Walk the Venetian Walls around the old city of Famagusta.

Famagusta (also known as Gazimağusa) is an old port town on the east coast and was the key trading point of Medieval and Ottoman Cyprus. The old city is surrounded by Venetian Walls and jam packed with ruins. The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque originally known as the Latin Cathedral of Saint Nicholas and later as the Saint Sophia Mosque of Famagusta, is the largest medieval building and one of the most impressive buildings still to survive in Famagusta.

The Venetian Palazzo del Provveditore was built by the Lusignan Kings of Cyprus and later used as a governors palace. Only the grand facade and back courtyard remain. Another remaining area of the palace is the Namık Kemal Dungeon, which housed the revolutionary playwright Namık Kemal in the late 19th century.

 

8. Explore the excavated Greco-Roman ruins at Salamis.

15 minutes driving distance to Famagusta, there is excavations at Salamis in Iskele revealing a long standing city that dates back as early as 1075 BC. Legend has it that it was founded by Teucer, who could not return home after the Trojan war because he had failed to avenge his brother Ajax.

The site includes a massive gymnasium, surrounded by columns and used as an exercise ground, as well as swimming pools and baths with cold rooms and saunas. The other main feature is the amphitheatre, with 50 rows of seats that can fit 15,000 audience members and hosting that many for concerts and plays.

 

9.Go underwater or above the clouds!

Kyrenia is the gateway to scuba diving on the northern coast of Cyprus. There are several dive centers in the city, taking you out to unforgettable dives. Some of the most popular dives in the region are known as “The Power Station” and “Fred” named in honor of the man that found it.

The reefs here are home to turtles, octopi, and interesting reef fish. Check out the caves that are not too far from the Power Station!

Paragliding has become one of the most exciting ways to see the breath-taking views the island has to offer. The two main jump sites up in North Cyprus are on the Besparmak Mountain range, west of St. Hilarion castle, at 2,500 and 2,600 feet. Another possible jump is over the sand dunes of the Karpaz, which is a gentler low flying glide.

Whether you want a gentle scenic flight or with an adrenaline joy ride over the landing site, your pilot can tailor your flight to suit your desire.

 

10. Lose yourself at Karpaz Peninsula

Last but not least, you should definitely visit Karpaz Peninsula. The drive to the very edge of Karpaz, the gorgeous peninsula on the east side of Northern Cyprus, is definitely worth it for the splendid Golden Beach. The wide sand dunes stretch for miles and you are very likely to have a lot of space to yourself. Here you can relax on the soft sand or enjoy a nice stroll, all while soaking up the amazing views of the crystal clear waters and the mountains in the background. If you are lucky you can also spot green sea turtles as this is another place where they come to lay their eggs and on the way you can salute wild donkeys as it is their natural conservation area too. Golden Beach is the biggest beach on the Karpaz Peninsula, however the whole peninsula is stunningly beautiful and is definitely worth a visit.

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