With its rich culture, wonderful climate and beautiful beaches, Cyprus is a popular holiday destination.
As one of Europe’s sunniest destinations, it’s highly sought after for sun and beach holidays. Yet Northern Cyprus is certainly not your average holiday destination! Most people know Cyprus’s southern, Greek part. Only few visitors explore its northern, Turkish part, and that’s a shame, because here you will find space and tranquillity, secluded bays, golden sandy beaches, fairy-tale castles, walled cities and quiet villages.
Take, for example, Kyrenia, located at half an hour’s drive from the capital Nicosia. Cypriots call it the most beautiful town of the island. Sprung up around the old horseshoe-shaped harbour, this town has more charm than any other city on the island. At the quay, with its fishing boats, cafés and restaurants, you can get acquainted with Cypriot cuisine with its Greek and Turkish influences.
If you plan on visiting Nicosia, the only shared capital in the world, then don’t forget to bring your passport. Nicosia has three border crossings. When crossing, you will receive a stamp that allows you to visit the other part of the city. Although this may seem time-consuming, the capital is well-worth a visit. It offers a mix of ancient culture and modern times, as well as Venetian houses and an extensive range of shops.
Cyprus, with its well-preserved history, lets you travel back in time 10,000 years. It has many remains of ancient civilizations, as well as countless churches, mosques, museums, excavation sites, castles and fortresses, which virtually make the island an open-air museum.
Nature lovers will enjoy Northern Cyprus’s rocky and green mountain landscape. On the Karpas Peninsula, you can experience unspoilt nature. Also worth a visit are the Kyrenia Mountains, where you can find various castle ruins.
Julius Caesar is believed to have given the island as a present to his beloved Cleopatra, and we fully understand why.
As for practical matters, since many places differ between Turkish and Greek, a Turkish road map of Northern Cyprus is essential. Northern Cyprus uses the Turkish lira for currency.