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.
In Cyprus’ ancient history, Dipkarpaz was one of the largest settlements on the eastern peninsula and is also often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Karpaz. In years gone by it was also an important production centre for tobacco and carob and you can still see many of the old buildings on the coastline which were used for storage of crops before being shipped to other countries.
Today it’s a quiet village which focuses mainly on farming and agriculture for its income and is home to both Turkish and Greek Cypriots alike, those Greek Cypriots having chosen to remain here after the islands final divide in 1974. Like the Maronite village of Koruçam, the two communities live together, and you can see both the Yeni Cami mosque and the 12th century Ayios Synesios church sitting side by side. However, they do have their own individual coffee shops!
Littered around the outskirts of Dipkarpaz are many of the sights in the Karpaz region. There is the beautiful 11th century church of Ayios Philon, the last remaining structure from the Phoenician ancient city of Karpasia and the ruins of Aphrendrika, said to have been an important city in Cyprus around 200BC, to name just two.
For people looking to base themselves in the area during their holiday in North Cyprus then the village can provide some of the best budget accommodation in North Cyprus. The Karpaz Arch Houses is a great example of basic but clean, comfortable accommodation which is very affordable and will give guests a taste of Cypriot hospitality and tradition within a beautiful old building which has been totally restored.
Although Dipkarpaz is not a beachside location it is not far until you hit some of the best beaches in North Cyprus. Golden Sands located just to the south is a wonderful place to take in the best of the sun and sea that North Cyprus has to offer, and it’s not just a great place for humans as the turtles like the place so much they come to nest here every year too! And of course, if you are in the Dipkarpaz area you are also likely to see the feral donkey population at some point too.
If you would like to know more about the area then check our North Cyprus Karpaz section which provides more articles on the Karpaz and the towns and areas surrounding it.