Places of Interest, Karpaz, North Cyprus

Panayia Kanakaria, Karpaz, North Cyprus

The Karpaz Peninsula is one of the last remaining true sanctuaries of peace and calm, it’s a place littered with historical sites and stunning views where everyone should visit at some point whilst on the island of Cyprus.

To get to the Karpaz you can go either via Famagusta on the south-east coast and turn inland heading north, or you can now take the coastal road via Esentepe and Tatlısu where a new road is being constructed, but as yet it’s not quite finished.

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Castles in North Cyprus

If you’re considering taking a break in North Cyprus why not spend some time exploring North Cyprus’s ancient castles?  Even if you aren’t a keen walker or you’re coming to the island in the heat of the summer sunshine when walking too far is pretty impossible, you can still get close enough to each magnificent castle to be impressed – we promise you!

North Cyprus is home to a trio of Lusignan Gothic Crusader castles: St. Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara, as well as the Byzantine built Kyrenia Castle.  Each dominates its location so that you can’t miss them really!  A word of warning though, there are steep climbs at fairly high altitudes to the Crusader castles, and parents need to keep a close eye on children, and those who suffer vertigo should hold the hand of someone they trust!  Another tip would be to have fluids readily available and to not visit in the heat of the midday sun in the summer time, as it can get a little too hot for many!

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Diving in North Cyprus

Diving is a very popular pastime for many in North Cyprus, and there are some really good organisations that can provide training courses, trial dives and trips to great diving locations – both in the north and south of the island.

If you are interested in donning a wetsuit during your stay, or indeed if you’re living in North Cyprus and fancy taking up a water based activity as a hobby or interest then take a look at this article, which will give you an idea of what to expect and how you can become a qualified diver or just dive for pleasure.

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North Cyprus Museums

North Cyprus is an historical wonderland, having its past steeped in legends and the influence bought about by many different civilisations and nationalities.  If you are interested in learning more about the island’s past then there are numerous ways to go about it.

One way is to visit the museums in North Cyprus which can be found dotted around the cities and major towns, some of which are housed in the historical buildings themselves.  You can find out about shipwrecks, excavation discoveries, folklore and much, much more.

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LEFKOŞA, North Cyprus

Lefkoşa, Nicosia or Lefkosia …all names for the last remaining divided city in the world, located in the centre of Cyprus.  Lefkoşa is a large city with many districts, and we’ll give you a brief introduction to the heart of the city and its history.

Lefkoşa has been the capital of Cyprus since the 7th century and was once a prosperous and prominent city for many.  Buildings, monasteries and churches have been built in a prolific fashion during the city’s long history, but Lefkoşa has also unfortunately been a place of many conflicts – such as the invasion by the Marmelukes in 1426 and the subsequent arrival of the Venetians.  They reduced the city in size and fortified it with the walls that still remain to this day.  In the process of altering the city the Venetians also destroyed many fine examples of architecture spanning hundreds of years, including the resting place of the Lusignan monarchs.

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KYRENIA, North Cyprus

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. [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.

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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.

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