Karaman, North Cyprus

The extremely attractive and peaceful village of Karaman, (or Karmi, which is the Greek name for the settlement), sits around 1,000 feet above sea level and is located on the lower slopes of the Kyrenia mountain range.  The gothic castle of St. Hilarion sits majestically above it, and is easily viewed from any spot in the village.

To visit Karmi take the coastal main road from Kyrenia until you reach Karaoğlanoğlu, and take a left turn signposted for Edremit and Karaman.  You will make your way up the mountain passing through the village of Edremit and its popular little Basket Shop, up past the small and private Hilarion Holiday Village and then Treasure Restaurant, bending round sharply to the right, and then on into the village.

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Lapta, North Cyprus

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.

The more modern side of Lapta is obviously the coastal section, home to a number of bars, restaurants, pubs, cafes and hotels.  You have casinos, water sports, beach access, live music and a really good holiday feel along the strip.  Tourists of all ages are very well catered for, and Lapta in this respect offers a lot of entertainment options.  During the main summer season the area triples its population, such is the popularity of the resort.

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Ozanköy, 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.  It is easy to find, being signposted from both the west and east coast roads, as well as from the centre of Kyrenia town from where it is about a 15 minute drive.

Despite Ozanköy’s lowland setting it does not detract from the fact that it has one of the best views of the Bellapais Abbey which sits precariously high above the village on a natural plinth on the mountainside.  At night time when the Abbey is all lit up it’s a favourite sight for visitors and residents of Ozanköy alike.

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Zeytinlik, North Cyprus

Zeytinlik, (zeytin meaning olive), is located on the western low-lying outskirts of Kyrenia.  As you may guess by its name, Zeytinlik was the centre of olive oil production in the past, and it still retains some of its original character with people having kept the trees in their gardens and some of the old olive groves still remaining too.

The town has its own certain presence, it’s peaceful and traditional with a few quality restaurants such as The Archway, a traditional Turkish Cypriot restaurant.  It has a great atmosphere and is always popular with locals and holidaymakers alike.  A number of expats have also made the area their home due to its close location to the main town whilst still providing a peaceful setting in which to live.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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