Overview website for Cyprus


Inside Kyrenia: North Cyprus overview – Before you visit Kyrenia, visit TripAdvisor for the latest info and advice, written for travellers by travellers.


Cyprus tourism and travel information including facts, maps, history, culture, transport and weather in Cyprus. Find popular places to visit in …


Information on Cyprus; its place geographically, history, government, climate, security, tourism and foreigners living in Cyprus.


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THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS An Overview. Government – Geography · Population – Historical Sketch · Demography – The Cyprus Problem · Cyprus – European …

North Cyprus has been seen as a “forgotten frontier” over the years, but as its doors slowly creak open they reveal a tantalisingly different destination for the modern-day tourist.

First, a short lesson in history. In 2,500BC, the island already had a thriving market in the copper discovered there. It is that old.

Some 4,500 years on, the copper may have run out, but in its place an equally rich vein of revenue has taken over. The holiday trade.

The island “panhandle” beaches have pure white sand stretching for miles, but, astonishingly, without a single bather. You are much more likely to see a wild donkey among the dunes than a tourist.

The solitude is almost tangible and a trip to the very tip of the Karpaz one of life’s “unforgettable journeys”.

Along the way, try to stop off at Hasan’s Turtle Beach, run by the characterful Hasan Korkmaz. His little outpost has a restaurant where you can have, say, fresh sea bream cooked on the barbie, washed down by a few bottles of the ice-cold Turkish beer, Efes. Stay the night, too, if you wish in one of his little beach huts, which Hasan rents out at give-away prices.

Main resort in North Cyprus is Kyrenia (known as Girne to the Turks). It is no more than a village, however, with a population of less than 8,000, but has much to offer travellers.

The harbour area, watched over by the imposing Crusader castle (circa 12th century) has the Venetians to thank for its beauty, perhaps unsurpassed on the island.

It is wall-to-wall restaurants and bars – a stunning sight by day, but an area that really comes into its own at night, when hungry tourists invade, eager to taste the speciality kleftiko lamb (slow roasted in the oven), or fresh-caught fish such as lagos or minerio.

North Cyprus wines, such as Aphrodite and Kantara, are palatable enough, but it pays to spend a few lira more for the Turkish mainland favourites, including Villa Doluca (red) and Kankaya (white).

“Must” trips in and around Kyrenia start at the aforementioned and unmissable Karpaz, Bellapais Abbey, St Hilarion Castle (said to be the model for Walt Disney’s Snow White castle), Vouni Palace (the only Persian palace in the whole of the Mediterranean), Nicosia and Famagusta.

The recent plunge in value of the Turkish lira in 2006 – a 20% fall since April – may be bad news for many businessmen, but can only bring good tidings for holidaymakers now being handed close to three TL for a pound sterling.

Alas, flights to Ercan airport in North Cyprus are still obliged to touch down in Turkey first (perhaps Istanbul) before onward travel is allowed, but that shortcoming will surely change, given the pressure to do so by other nations – most notably the United States.

North Cyprus may have a clouded past, but cast those dark days aside and you’ll find a warm, welcoming land where you can expect the unexpected at every turn.

Floating on the waters of the European Mediterranean, but pointing longingly towards the shores of Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, Cyprus is an odd mixture. It is a kaleidoscopic blend: its cultural influences are dominated by Western Europe, but its geographic proximity to Asia and Africa gives it more than just a hint of the East. Long coveted by mainland Greece and Turkey, this small island has its own definite and beguiling character.


Whether you know it as the ‘island of sin’ (or ‘fun’) thanks to wild stories from Agia Napa; the country that entered the EU only as a half; or, as the tourist brochures love to point out, ‘the island of Aphrodite’, Cyprus both confirms and confounds the stereotype. Parts of Cyprus have been overrun by keen developers who (depending on who you’re talking to) have either ‘sold the country’s soul’ or ‘are bringing great wealth to the island’. Whatever the truth, in the tourist centres of places like Pafos, Agia Napa or Lemesos (Limasol), you might feel as if you’ve entered a sunny, scorching Essex suburb with lobster-red Brits letting it all hang loose with a lukewarm can of Foster’s in tow. But if curiosity draws you out of the cities, you’ll discover the small villages of the Akamas Peninsula and the heavenly golden beaches of the Karpas (K?rpas,a) Peninsula. Walk the gorgeous Troödos and Kyrenia (Girne) & the Northcoast and inhale the scent of the citrus groves of Morfou (Güzelyurt), or climb to the medieval castles with their shimmering island views. Wander through the sea of wildflowers covering the island in spring, and Cyprus will take your breath away. With good walking shoes, a swimsuit and some sunscreen in your bag, you can have a trip you’ll remember for years.

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