There’s plenty to keep children and adults busy when visiting or living in North Cyprus, and whilst researching this article we were pleasantly amazed at the amount of activities that you can get involved in – we never knew there so much to do before!
In this article we will give you an A-Z selection of some of the more land based activities and sports available for everyone to participate in – and they range from activities suitable for thrill seekers through to those that might appeal to the more subdued among us!
Archery – a more sedate activity but still one which can be quite addictive, requiring concentration and precision – something which you might find you have in abundance if you are on holiday! You can try the centre in Çatalköy on the east coast, contact +90 (0)533 846 7463 or also the Kaya Artemis Resort in Bafra offers archery lessons, contact +90 (0)392 630 6000.
Bowling – A new bowling facility opened in 2008 and we think it is just called Ice-Bowling – it’s on the old Lefkoşa road in Famagusta, near to the Eastern Mediterranean University. This new bowling alley means you can now go ten pin bowling in a state of the art facility which has 10 bowling lanes! Perfect for a great night out spent with friends – and you can also try out the ice skating at the same venue too!
Clay Pigeon Shooting – this popular sport has been going for some years in North Cyprus and the Gönyeli Gun Club near Lefkoşa is open Tuesday-Saturday from 2p.m. and offers Skeet and Trap shooting. For more information contact +90 (0)533 8460641.
Cycling – you can hire bikes yourself via Kozan in Karşiyaka on the west coast or partake in cycling tours with some companies very dedicated to ensure you see the best of the island. Group tours and holidays can be organised with transportation for bikes included. Try either Cyprus Cycling on +90 (0)542 8515500 or Cyprus Active via their website www.cyprusactive.com or by telephone +90 (0)533 831 9072.
Go-Karting – If you fancy a race around a track why not have a go at either ZET International Karting (Tel : +90 (0)533 866 6173) towards Güzelyurt on the west coast, or Cemsa Racing (Tel : +90 (0)392 223 6235 or +90 (0)392 223 6584) in Lefkoşa. Both have great racing tracks and modern facilities to keep you there all day if you wish!
Golf – you have the 11 hole CMC Golf Club near Güzelyurt (Tel : +90 533 840 1798 or +90 542 851 3884) or the seriously flash 18 hole championship Korineum Golf & Country Club in Esentepe. Contact +90 392 600 150 to find out about rates for rounds and maybe even a few lessons
Horse Riding – there are various establishments which offer horse riding treks up into the mountains of North Cyprus, but be careful who you choose as the standards are sometimes not what you would expect compared to your home country. One of the most popular riding stables is the Çatalköy Riding Club which offers lessons as well as wonderful days out on horseback with themed routes. Check out their site www.catalkoyridingclub.com or call +90 (0)392 824 4030 to find out more. There is also the Cemsa Riding School in Lefkoşa which has stables located next to the racing circuit facilities – the animals certainly don’t seem to mind the racket!
Ice skating – Why not test out your balancing skills and your grace and agility by having a go at the new modern venue Ice-Bowling in Famagusta. It’s near to the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta – but note, the ice rink is not made of ice but it’s artificial – however that shouldn’t detract from the fun!
Paint Balling – there is a child inside all of us, and who doesn’t enjoy playing shoot the baddy! Sunset Beach Club in Lapta can offer a paintball extravaganza as well as lots of other activities. Call +90 (0) 533 865 4959 for more details.
Paragliding – ok, not entirely land based but that’s where you start off and end up! An exhilarating experience would be most peoples’ description, and something that you should definitely try at least once! On a clear day the views as you descend from your mountain departure are breathtaking. One company operates this activity and that’s Highline Paragliding (Tel : +90 (0)542 855 5672) or check out their website www.highlineparagliding.com.
Quad Bike Safaris – located in Lapta on the west coast one company offers personalised safaris, day trips, half days and all tuition and for a guaranteed thrill – call +90 (0) 533 847 3732 to book your place.
Racket Sports – Badminton/Squash/Tennis – there are various facilities available usually within local belediye sports halls and facilities, university campuses and hotel resorts, so you can always find out when they are free and book yourself up for a session of wrist flicking fun! Try the excellent facilities at the Middle East Technical University in Lefkoşa or the Ertuğrul Apakan Sports Hall in Kyrenia for badminton. Tennis courts are modern and asphalted for those who fancy a bit of ball bouncing, and most of the time you don’t need to book, just turn up and you should find a free court. Some of the universities have tennis facilities such as the Girne American University, contact +90 (0) 392 650 2000 for more information.
Rugby – North Cyprus has a very healthy rugby scene due to the current Pumas team! You may like to get involved and they would be more than happy to have you on board. They train and play at Alsancak Belediye stadium and have a fixture list which includes trips to play teams in Turkey too. Contact them via their website www.cypruspumas.com for more information.
Walking– a relatively new organisation, the Kyrenia Mountain Trail Association offers a range of walks located along the stunning 230km long Besparmak and Kyrenia mountain chain. Contact them via their website www.kyreniamountaintrail.org for more information or call +90 (0)533 845 39 35. There are other companies which offer walking tours such as the Hash House Harriers who organise walks every month. For more details please check our walking groups article. Or how about walking with dogs from the Kyrenia Animal Rescue centre in Arapköy? They are always in need of dog walkers so what better way to see some scenery and get some fresh mountain air! Call +90 (0)533 8694098 for more information, opening times are 10am-1pm Monday to Saturday. For more information on walking tours, activities and holidays please visit our Specialist Tours & Operators article.
Well we hope this article has given you a good insight into how much you can do here in North Cyprus, and no doubt we shall be adding additional articles in the future. We haven’t even covered football, volleyball, martial arts, darts, snooker and so on, but you can always do your own digging to find out more! For more information on water based activities, turtle watching and an in-depth article on diving please click on the links.