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Kyrenia

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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.

It is said that the town was founded in the 10th century, and was called Corineum during the Roman period.  As can be seen by the many tall buildings surrounding the harbour, it was once a bustling trade port, the buildings used for storage of goods such as carob.  Under the British rule many improvements were made to the harbour area and also to the road system, allowing easy access through to Lefkoşa.  Kyrenia also boasts the New Harbour to the east of the town, which is a central departure point for passengers wishing to travel to and from Turkey.

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.

Located around 3 miles East of Kyrenia, Ozanköy, (previously known as Kazpahani), is one of the prettiest villages in Northern Cyprus and is home to a small but truly multi national population – it has a real community feel to it.