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.

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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.

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