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As a frequent traveler, I have visited many beautiful destinations, but North Cyprus holds a special place in my heart. With its stunning beaches, rich history, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, North Cyprus is a hidden gem that deserves to be on every traveler’s bucket list. In this guide, I will share my top tips for planning your dream holiday in North Cyprus.
Introduction to North Cyprus
North Cyprus is a small but charming country located in the eastern Mediterranean, just south of Turkey. It is a land of contrasts, where ancient ruins and modern resorts coexist in harmony. The country is known for its picturesque villages, unspoiled beaches, and crystal-clear waters. North Cyprus is also rich in history, with landmarks dating back to the Bronze Age, ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods.
Best time to visit North Cyprus
The best time to visit North Cyprus is from April to June and from September to November when the weather is mild, and the crowds are thinner. During these months, you can enjoy the beaches, go hiking, and explore historic sites without feeling overwhelmed. July and August are the peak tourist season, and the temperatures can soar up to 40°C, making it uncomfortable for outdoor activities.
Getting to North Cyprus
The easiest way to get to North Cyprus is by flying to Ercan Airport, which is located in the northern part of the country. However, due to political reasons, direct flights to Ercan Airport are not available from many countries. In such cases, you can fly to Larnaca Airport in Cyprus and then take a taxi or a bus to the border crossing. Once you cross the border, you can take a taxi or a bus to your destination in North Cyprus. Another option is to take a ferry from Turkey to Kyrenia or Famagusta ports.
North Cyprus has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference, making it the perfect destination for a North Cyprus holiday. You can choose from luxury resorts, boutique hotels, guesthouses, and self-catering apartments. If you want to stay in the heart of the action, Kyrenia is the best place to be, with its bustling harbor, lively bars, and restaurants. If you prefer a quieter location, Famagusta or Karpas Peninsula may be more suitable for you. Whatever your choice, make sure to book in advance, especially during the peak season.
Top tourist attractions
North Cyprus has a wealth of tourist attractions that cater to all interests. Some of the top landmarks include St. Hilarion Castle, Bellapais Abbey, Kyrenia Castle, and Salamis Ruins. These sites offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture. If you prefer nature, you can explore the Karpas Peninsula, which is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. You can also go hiking in the Five Finger Mountains or visit the turtle conservation project in Alagadi Beach.
North Cyprus is famous for its pristine beaches, which are some of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Some of the top beaches include Golden Beach, Karpaz Gate Marina Beach, and Escape Beach. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters, golden sand, and breathtaking views. You can also indulge in water sports activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing.
Food and drink in North Cyprus
North Cyprus is a foodie’s paradise, with a rich variety of cuisines influenced by Turkish, Greek, and Middle Eastern cultures. Some of the top dishes to try include meze, kleftiko, halloumi cheese, and baklava. You can also sample the local wines and spirits, such as Zivania and Raki. The restaurants in North Cyprus offer a mix of fine dining, casual dining, and street food, so you can choose according to your mood. The North Cyprus holiday is a great way to experience all that this beautiful country has to offer.
North Cyprus is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with a wide range of activities to choose from. You can go hiking in the Five Finger Mountains, cycling along the coast, or horse riding in the countryside. You can also go scuba diving, snorkeling, or fishing in crystal-clear waters. If you prefer adventure sports, you can try paragliding, bungee jumping, or zip-lining.
Nightlife in North Cyprus
North Cyprus may not be as famous for its nightlife as some of its neighboring countries, but it still has a vibrant scene that caters to all tastes. Some of the top bars and clubs include Kervan Bar, Club Mansion, and The Lodge. These venues offer live music, DJ sets, and themed parties. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, you can try the beach bars, which offer chill-out music and cocktails under the stars.
Top 10 places to visit
- St. Hilarion Castle
- Bellapais Abbey
- Kyrenia Castle
- Salamis Ruins
- Karpas Peninsula
- Golden Beach
- Karpaz Gate Marina Beach
- Escape Beach
- Five Finger Mountains
- Alagadi Beach turtle conservation project
- St. Hilarion Castle is a medieval castle located in the Kyrenia Mountains of North Cyprus. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The castle was built in the 11th century by the Byzantines and was later expanded by the Lusignans and the Ottomans. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Bellapais Abbey is a ruined abbey located in the Kyrenia Mountains, near St. Hilarion Castle. It was founded in the 12th century by the Benedictine monks and was later used as a monastery by the Cistercians. The abbey is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and is surrounded by lush gardens.
- Kyrenia Castle is a medieval castle located in the city of Kyrenia, North Cyprus. It is one of the best-preserved castles in the country and offers stunning views of the harbor. The castle was built in the 11th century by the Byzantines and was later expanded by the Lusignans and the Ottomans. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Salamis Ruins are the remains of an ancient city located in the Karpas Peninsula, North Cyprus. The city was founded in the 7th century BC and was one of the most important cities in Cyprus during the Classical period. The ruins include a theater, a stadium, a temple, and a number of other buildings
- Karpas Peninsula is the easternmost peninsula of Cyprus. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its beaches, its natural beauty, and its unique wildlife. The peninsula is home to a number of endangered species, including the green turtle and the loggerhead turtle.
- Golden Beach is a long, sandy beach located on the Karpas Peninsula. It is one of the most popular beaches in North Cyprus and is known for its clear waters and its golden sand. The beach is also a popular spot for water sports, such as swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
- Karpaz Gate Marina Beach is a small beach located near the Karpaz Gate Marina. It is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beach is also home to a number of restaurants and bars.
- Escape Beach is a small, secluded beach located on the Karpas Peninsula. It is a popular spot for those who want to escape the crowds. The beach is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as it is home to a number of different bird species.
- The Alagadi Beach turtle conservation project is a project that is dedicated to protecting the green turtles that nest on Alagadi Beach. The project was started in 1992 and has since helped to protect over 10,000 turtle nests. The project also educates the public about the importance of turtle conservation.
- Five Finger Mountains are a mountain range located in the Karpas Peninsula. The mountains are named for their distinctive shape, which resembles five fingers. The mountains are a popular spot for hiking, camping, and birdwatching.
Read more about 15 Must-Visit Places in North Cyprus
Planning your North Cyprus Holiday
To make the most of your North Cyprus holiday, it’s essential to plan your itinerary in advance. Start by deciding on your priorities, whether it’s history, nature, or relaxation. Then, choose your accommodation and transportation options accordingly. You can also check the local events and festivals to add some cultural experiences to your itinerary. Don’t forget to allocate some time to explore the local markets and shops, where you can find unique souvenirs and gifts.
Cost of a 7-day holiday in North Cyprus
|Round-trip flights from London||£200-£300|
|Accommodation||£50-£100 per night|
|Food||£20-£30 per day|
|Activities||£10-£20 per day|
This is just a rough estimate, and the actual cost will vary depending on the time of year, the specific activities you choose, and your budget.
Here is a table of the cost of some popular activities in North Cyprus:
|Visiting the Kyrenia Castle||£5|
|Hiking in the Beşparmak Mountains||£10|
|Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea||Free|
|Going to a Turkish bath||£15|
|Eating at a traditional Turkish restaurant||£10-£20|
Tips for a successful holiday in North Cyprus
- Respect the local customs and traditions.
- Learn some basic Turkish phrases.
- Carry cash, as some places may not accept credit cards. (read more about currency in North Cyprus)
- Wear comfortable shoes, as some sites involve walking and climbing. (Shopping in North Cyprus)
- Pack sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent.
- Try the local cuisine and drinks.
- Be mindful of the environment and avoid littering.
- Be prepared for occasional power cuts and water shortages.
- Check the weather forecast before planning outdoor activities.
North Cyprus may be a small country, but it has a lot to offer to the discerning traveler. With its stunning beaches, rich history, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, North Cyprus is a dream destination that should not be missed. By following the tips in this guide and planning your itinerary well, you can experience the best of North Cyprus and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!