5 Reasons to Visit North Cyprus

 So you are looking at where to go for your well deserved and anticipated, sun drenched summer holiday?  Well let us tempt you with some very good reasons why you might well consider taking your holiday in North Cyprus!

1 – Beaches

The beaches in North Cyprus can cater for all your tastes and preferences.  If your preference is solitude then take your pick of the beautiful stretches of beach dotted all along the North Cyprus coastline.  [Read more...]

North Cyprus Kibhas Shuttle Bus

Launched in late February 2009 the Cyprus Airport Services run KIBHAS airport shuttle service is now in full operation serving customers with transfers to Ercan Airport.  It has been quite a while coming but now has a fleet of twelve buses and coaches departing from all the major towns and ports in North Cyprus. [Read more...]

Car Hire in North Cyprus

In the not too distant past hire cars were really the only way of seeing a lot of the island, and not much has changed!  To be able to have the freedom to explore North Cyprus, it’s always nicer to do it on your steam and to a schedule that suits you.  Hiring a car is obviously one of the best options available so that you are not restricted.

However, there are some organised sightseeing trips and walking tours that your hotel or holiday village will be happy to help you arrange, and there are regular mini-bus (dolmush) services between all the major towns and regions, but these options may not be flexible enough for you.

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North Cyprus and Eco-Tourism

Firstly we will admit to perhaps using the phrase ‘eco-tourism’ a little too freely – however, there really are many ventures in North Cyprus which do try their utmost to offer the environmentally aware visitor a more eco-friendly type of holiday!

Whilst the rise of the 5 star hotel resort seems to be pretty much the dominant force at present on the island, there are major efforts to boost offerings for visitors who wish to experience a more traditional type of existence whilst on holiday.  Projects often funded by the government, grants and aid from the European Union as well as NGO organisation assistance and expertise are already forcing the issue with some success.

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Flights to North Cyprus

There is only one passenger airport in North Cyprus, it’s called Ercan Airport and in recent years it has seen massive refurbishment and now serves people wishing to travel to and from North Cyprus.  It’s located a 40 minute car journey from the harbour town of Kyrenia and 15 minutes from Lefkoşa.

Direct flights are not officially available to North Cyprus from anywhere other than Turkey.  If you’re flying to and from the island from any other destination you have an hour’s stop-over on the Turkish mainland.  On the way to Cyprus passengers can alight in Turkey for onward destinations whilst other passengers remain on-board and new ones embark for the one hour continuation flight to Northern Cyprus.  Plans for the future include challenging the UK government on their ban of direct travel to North Cyprus, so watch this space!

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Flight Options into North Cyprus

When travelling to and from North Cyprus these days passengers can find themselves spoilt for choice in terms of the airline they choose and the airport they fly into!  It wasn’t so long ago that you had to fly into the old and unfashionable Geçitkale airport whilst Ercan, the current passenger airport, was undergoing a major refurbishment.  With the border opening to the south, the choice is even broader too.

Several airlines now offer flights to Ercan airport via Turkey, and it’s worth checking them all out before committing to purchase your tickets.  All of them have the facility to purchase tickets online, with many now changing over to an e-ticket solution meaning no good old fashioned triplicate slips!  However, for some it’s still more preferable to have a travel agent do the searching for you, and to pay in cash at their offices or via credit card on the phone.

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Flight Options into South Cyprus

Since the borders opened between the north and south of the island, the option of travelling into either of the two airports in the south, Larnaca and Paphos, has steadily gained popularity.

The main reasons are sometimes cheaper flights, as most major airlines can be very competitive with their pricing, and the fact that there is no obligatory stop-over in Turkey.  From most European destinations it is only a 4 or 5 hour journey time to the south, whereas it would be a 5 or 6 hour journey time to the north because of the stop over in Turkey.

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Specialist Tour Operators for North Cyprus

If you are looking for something different whilst planning a trip to North Cyprus and you enjoy the great outdoors, then there are a growing number of specialist tour operators adding itineraries to accommodate the likes of the walkers, bird watchers and divers amongst us.

North Cyprus has so much to offer those who love an environment orientated holiday, and the world seems to be taking a stand of sorts against mass tourism these days, so it’s nice to see that there are companies who are grasping all that is beautiful about this part of the island and promoting its unique qualities in terms of nature and the environment.

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North Cyprus Package Holidays

Package holidays are a relatively new but developing business in North Cyprus.  With this side of the island mainly a destination for the independent traveller until recently, holiday companies are now offering attractive packages to suit most budgets and requirements.

Due to the embargoes and restrictions placed upon North Cyprus you probably won’t find much in the way of glossy marketing material in your local travel agent, but there are plenty of dedicated companies offering package deals over the internet, so this is probably the best place to start your research.

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Tourist Information Offices in North Cyprus

There are plenty of places in North Cyprus where you can find information on what’s available to see and do here, although we at Essential Cyprus of course provide just as much information if not more!

Each major tourism area has its own government run Tourism Office, and you can find them at the following addresses:

Kyrenia

30, Kordonboyu Sokak (western end of the Old Harbour), Tel: +90 (0)392 8152145

Famagusta

5, Fevzi Cakmak Bulvari (eastern side of the city walls next to the hospital), Tel: +90 (0)392 3662864

Ercan Airport

Terminal Building, Lefkosa, Tel: +90 (0)392 2314737

Lefkoşa

Girne Caddesi (Kyrenia Gate building at entrance to old city), Tel: +90 (0)392 2275051

These offices can provide you with maps of the particular area, brochures and pamphlets about the things to see and do, as well as recommending any tours that may be running at the time of your visit.  Please note that at the time of writing the areas of Güzelyurt, Karpaz and Iskele do not have tourist information offices.

North Cyprus Tourism UK

Prior to a visit to North Cyprus you can always contact the Northern Cyprus Tourism Office, which is based in London, via their website www.simplynorthcyprus.com where you can request a brochure or visit their offices which are normally open Monday to Friday with normal office hours: 29 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ED.

Another alternative source for information are bookshops, with the trusty Rustem Bookshop on Girne Caddesi (main road from Kyrenia Gate into the old city in Lefkoşa) selling guides books, information booklets and maps as well some excellent pictorial hardbacks.  Also the Deniz Plaza shops in Kyrenia and Lefkoşa sometimes have useful guide books too.  Hotels usually have plenty of pamphlets that you can take as well, with some of the tour companies displaying boards with tours and activities available.

Alternatively you can always swot up before you arrive and there are numerous books to help you with that.  Why not have a read of our Books on North Cyprus article which should prove helpful.