KARPAZ, North Cyprus

The Karpaz peninsula is located on the far eastern stretch of North Cyprus, and it stretches right up to the tip of the peninsula, it’s often referred to as the ‘panhandle.’  You may even hear or see the peninsula being called Karpasia, Karpas, Kirpasha, Carpasia or Dipkarpaz – in fact Dipkarpaz is a present day town, and Carpasia was the ancient city where the ruin of Ayios Philon stands.  It was once a very densely populated area during both the Roman and Luisignan times, but now it is far less so.

The Karpaz peninsula has some breathtaking beaches, wonderful walks and is littered with ancient churches, monuments, remains and ruins.  Part of the area is also now a designated National Park, where feral donkeys are allowed to roam free and nature is pretty much left alone.  The Karpaz is also largely an agricultural area producing crops, and you will find that most local inhabitants have animals and land, but tourism also obviously plays a large part in the economy too.

[Read more...]

Büyükkonuk, North Cyprus

The village of Büyükkonuk, (formerly Komi Kebir), in North Cyprus is located in the lowland foothills of the Beşparmak mountain range on the far east of the island.  It’s situated about 6km north-east of Boğaz, just before the start of the Karpaz Peninsula region.  It is also a village of some note due to it recently being designated as an area for eco-tourism, and has subsequently even been filmed by foreign film crews for international culture programmes.

It is accessible from taking the very scenic coastal road past Esentepe and onto the partially finished new road which will take you to Kaplıca.  You will then venture on to older roads turning right inland signposted for Büyükkonuk and Sazlıköy. Alternatively you can take the inland Geçitkale road to Iskele and Boğaz, turning left at the costal junction, following the coastal road for a few miles until you reach turnings for Tuzluca and Büyükkonuk.

[Read more...]

Dipkarpaz, North Cyprus

If you are on your travels around the Karpaz region of North Cyprus, then why not take the time to visit the village of Dipkarpaz (called Rizokarpaso by Greek Cypriots).  The village is located right in the middle of the entrance to the ‘panhandle’ area and is the last large village before you hit the road that leads to the tip of the peninsula and the Apostolos Andreas monastery.

The easiest way to get there currently is via the Gecitkale road travelling west from Lefkoşa.  You will eventually reach the coastal junction at Iskele, turn left and proceed through Boğaz and following the main road inland and up to the northern coast, carrying on through Yeni Erenkoy until you reach Dipkarpaz.

[Read more...]

GÜZELYURT, North Cyprus

Güzelyurt is almost the last major town on North Cyprus’s north west coast – although Lefke sits slightly further west and inland.  You will also find Güzelyurt referred to as Morphou, which is the Greek name for the town.  The translation of Güzelyurt depends on the sources you read and the people you speak to, but it basically means ‘beautiful native country’ or ‘fatherland’ – while neither is a perfect literal translation, both meanings get right to heart of the matter and that is that Güzelyurt and the surrounding villages in North West Cyprus are stunningly beautiful, rich and fertile.

Güzelyurt is said to have been inhabited since Bronze Age times, and it was also a major centre for copper mining during its history.  Today, it is more commonly associated with being the citrus growing centre of North Cyprus.  Under the British rule the town was also a major part of the transportation network, it was connected by rail to Lefkoşa and Famagusta  mainly for transporting of copper.

[Read more...]

Çamlibel, North Cyprus

Çamlibel (pronounced Chamlibell) is located inland on the western side of North Cyprus, around 15 miles from the harbour town of Kyrenia.  You can reach it by driving west along the coastal road, past the town of Karşıyaka carrying along this road when it turns inland and up through high slopes and past the town and reservoir of Geçitköy.

A traditional Turkish Cypriot village it has very little in the way of an expat community being so off the beaten tourist trail, but it is home to a large contingent of Turkish army personnel.  It’s also not far from Tepebaşı another traditional Cypriot village which hosts the popular Tulip Festival each year.

[Read more...]

Lefke, North Cyprus

The town of Lefke, located inland just to the south of Güzelyurt, has a bright past and was one of the few towns to have seemingly been valued enough during Ottoman times to have warranted investment and infrastructure development.

The area around Lefke is a mixture of coastline and low-lying mountains which form part of the Troodos range.  The land of the region is very fertile with natural watercourses effectively feeding it, and Lefke is famous for its ‘Yafa’ oranges as well as dates, plums and walnuts.  In its more recent history, Lefke was also part of the copper mining operation area with land being leased to the Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC);  the nearby port of Gemikonagi was used for transportation.

[Read more...]

Koruçam, North Cyprus

Koruçam, (pronounced Korucham), or Kormacit in North Cyprus is located in the Güzelyurt region on the north west coast of the island and it lies slightly inland in between the villages of Kayalar and Çamlıbel.  It is mainly a Maronite settlement with people from the Greek Orthodox Christian faith making up the majority of the population.  Koruçam seems to sit in a basin, so a short walk above the town will give a good view of the surrounding areas, and you can also see out to sea.

Koruçam can be reached by travelling west on the coast road, turning right at the signs for Kayalar, and following the scenic coastal road before turning left inland at signs for Koruçam, or alternatively follow the main mountain road for Güzelyurt and turn right at the signs for Koruçam.

[Read more...]

FAMAGUSTA, North Cyprus

Famagusta, situated on the south east coast of Northern Cyprus, is a place where you can really feel the magic of Cyprus’ colourful past; so much so that when you visit you feel as if you can almost reach out and touch the island’s rich history.

You will also hear and see Famagusta being referred to as Mağosa, Mağusa or Gazimağusa (Gazi meaning unconquered).

Once one of the world’s most famous and richest cities when it was under the rule of the Lusignans, Famagusta is also rich in architecture from the Venetian period when it was fortified against the invading Turks.

[Read more...]

Boğaz, North Cyprus

The pretty coastal harbour town of Boğaz is located on the south east coastal road next to the main town of Iskele in North Cyprus.  It can be reached from Kyrenia for example by the Gecitkale road via Lefkoşa, you turn left at the coastal junction and then just a few miles afterwards you will find the town as the road narrows as you’re passing through it.  Alternatively, for a more scenic journey take the north west coast road from Kyrenia via Esentepe, turning inland at Mersinlik or Kaplıca, and following the signs for Iskele and Boğaz.

Boğaz, whilst a small town, is a bustling place and is home to a pretty harbour, some small hotels and b&bs as well as harbour restaurants, with fish obviously playing a large part in the menu on offer at any establishment!  It’s a pleasant place to while away a day, and has some nice little stretches of beach either side of the town to enjoy.  The quayside of the harbour is also a busy little place with pleasant well-tended gardens that are a joy to visit.

[Read more...]

Iskele, North Cyprus

The town of Iskele, (also known as Yeni Iskele or Trikomo), is located on the south east coastal area of Northern Cyprus and on the main road which heads towards the Karpaz Peninsula area.  It’s close to  the harbour town of Boğaz, which is a very pretty old fishing village that still retains some of its authenticity whilst also being able to accommodate tourism.

Iskele can be reached by the Gecitkale road via Lefkoşa, turn left at the coastal junction and after just a few miles you will find the town.  Alternatively, for a more scenic journey from Kyrenia, take the north west coast road via Esentepe turning inland at Mersinlik or Kaplıca, following the signs for Iskele and Boğaz.

[Read more...]