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REGIONS

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Lefkoşa, Nicosia or Lefkosia …all names for the last remaining divided city in the world, located in the centre of Cyprus.  Lefkoşa is a large city with many districts, and we’ll give you a brief introduction to the heart of the city and its history.

Lefkoşa has been the capital of Cyprus since the 7th century and was once a prosperous and prominent city for many.  Buildings, monasteries and churches have been built in a prolific fashion during the city’s long history, but Lefkoşa has also unfortunately been a place of many conflicts – such as the invasion by the Marmelukes in 1426 and the subsequent arrival of the Venetians.  They reduced the city in size and fortified it with the walls that still remain to this day.  In the process of altering the city the Venetians also destroyed many fine examples of architecture spanning hundreds of years, including the resting place of the Lusignan monarchs.

Kyrenia, or Girne – Girne being the Turkish name for the town, although most people still call it Kyrenia – is probably the most popular town in North Cyprus, and it’s located in the middle of the north coast. Kyrenia is where all visitors to the island are naturally drawn due to the famous pretty horseshoe shaped harbour, along which you’ll find many bars and restaurants, and which is dominated by an immense Byzantine castle.

The village of Bellapais, (also known as Bellapaix or even sometimes Beylerberi), sits majestically on the slopes of the Kyrenia mountain range and can be reached from the eastern side of Kyrenia by turning right at the traffic lights and following signs for Doğanköy and Beylerbeyi.

Lapta, or Lapithos, is located about 10 kilometres west of Kyrenia and the town actually begins just before you hit the main ‘Lapta strip’ on the coastal road. It rises up into the mountains and is a local tourist hotspot with some excellent hotels and general accommodation options for visitors to North Cyprus.