Holidaying in North Cyprus

By | Category: Travel destinations
the castle of St Hilarion

St Hilarion

Negotiations have been taking place about the possible reunification of Cyprus. Some readers may not even know that Cyprus is a divided island with the north being Turkish and the rest being more Greek. The North Turkish tourism people talk about the area as being sleepy at this time of the year and it certainly is quieter even in the peak of summer compared to the southern part of the island.

North Cyprus is where Richard the Lionheart probably married Berengaria and honeymooned (if honeymoons were in existence 820 plus years ago and he could spare the time from the crusade) so North Cyprus is anxious to promote it as a Valentine’s Day destination. One way to do that is to highlight the fact that it has a number of castles, one of which was supposedly the inspiration for Walt Disney’s castle in his Sleeping Beauty film. The castle, St Hilarion has three turrets and three sets of defensive walls with a commanding position overlooking the Kyrenian coastline which, the tourist board says, “adds to the fairy tale allure.”

The Kyrenian coastline is another attraction with the harbour in Kyrenia probably being one of the most photographed views in the country. It has its own castle – built by invaders from Venice in the sixteenth century – but the mountains behind it with their five peaks all add to that picture-postcard feel. And when you tire of the Kyrenian coastline pop along to the long stretch of coastline at Famagusta.

the harbour in Kyrenia

Kyrenia Harbour

It is at the coastline that you may be lucky to come across Green and Loggerhead turtles which make their homes on the island. Time a visit to coincide with nesting or hatching season, and you may be lucky enough to see them at close quarters. If you prefer air-born creatures, Cyprus is a stopping off place for many species of birds as they migrate.

As an alternative to the Spanish costas, the Algarve, Majorca or the Canaries, you’ll find North Cyprus can compete. And with the Turkish pound fading against sterling it means your money will go further than if you head to the eurozone for a holiday this summer.


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