North Cyprus has a huge variety of stunning flora, much of which you can see in any garden or field. North Cyprus is also home to many species of orchids, with visitors and eager botanists coming from far and wide to find them on the hillsides and mountains in the spring.
North Cyprus has its own Herbarium, located at the Alevkaya Forest Station up in the mountain area between Esentepe and Değirminlik on the east coast. The first Herbarium in Cyprus was actually located in Lefkoşa, and its collection was built over many years during the British colonial era, but it was subsequently cut off from North Cyprus in the divisions of 1974.
There are many interesting and informative books about North Cyprus, and below you can take your pick from our own selection of manuscripts which have proved to be the staple for people wishing to learn about Cyprus. The books we have picked cover the island’s history, the best places to visit and explore, the wonderful sights and sounds that Cyprus has to offer, and we have featured the odd well-known novel that everyone must read in our selection too!
Before we start it’s definitely important to note that the Rustem Bookshop in Lefkoşa also has many guides and pictorial books on offer, and they publish their own volumes about Cyprus too. You will often find pamphlets and booklets produced by Dr. William Dreghorn there too, he’s a superb geological writer who produced some wonderful short guides on the beaches and castles in North Cyprus, all illustrated with his own fair hand. This writer is worth a mention here because of his knowledge about North Cyprus! Unfortunately though, it would seem that many of his works are now out of print, so it may require some hunting to find his books!
North Cyprus Country Guide by Diana Clarke – Bradt Travel Guides
This is one of the most popular guidebooks around, and it was recently reprinted in 2008; Diana Clarke’s first edition was published in 1993 so it has needed updating by travel writers considerably since that time! A seasoned and excellent travel writer, Diana has written many travel guides for countries in the Middle Eastern region including Oman and Syria, and her book on North Cyprus is jam packed full of background and practical information, as well as comprehensive regional guides each giving the low down on what to do, where to eat and stay, how to get there, and where to see the many historical and modern sights of North Cyprus. Thoroughly recommended!
Northern Cyprus (Landmark Visitors Guide) by Kristina Gursoy and Lavinia Neville-Smith
This gives an excellent insight into Northern Cyprus and is written by two authors who, being long-term residents of the island, make them both very qualified to write about their subject matter! It is very well represented pictorially too, and has plenty of information on history, flora and fauna, things to see and where to go, as well as including recommendations for restaurants and shops.
Northern Cyprus – A Travellers Guide by Eileen Davey
Although not having been reprinted for some time, this is still a valuable volume to have if you are interested in the historical landmarks of North Cyprus, which obviously don’t really change that much! There are some excellent, in-depth and very detailed sections on the various ruins and sites in North Cyprus, and the book offers a wealth of knowledge on archaeology and the periods of history that has given Cyprus such a rich history. A really good book to have if you want to see the island from an historical point of view.
Novels and Reading
Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell
First published in 1957, this is one of the most popular novel’s for those interested in reading an individual’s experiences of life in North Cyprus during the troubled times in Cyprus’ recent history. Durrell’s account of his time in Cyprus starts purely from his wish to find peace in the sun and an old house to live in, but gradually the novel takes the reader through some often hilarious events and gives fascinating insight into the turmoil and frustration he experiences in dealing with the tragedy that unfolds between the warring factions. A must read in our opinion.
Getting a Life in North Cyprus by Adrian Fleetwood
For those who are thinking of moving to live in North Cyprus, this is a very interesting read all about the Fleetwood’s personal account of their life – from their first visit to the island and to their subsequent decision to move here and build their own home. Published in 2006, it’s filled with anecdotes, tales and personal experiences of moving to a foreign land, and it’s a good book for first introductions to North Cyprus from someone’s personal perspective!
Historical & Political
The Genocide Files by Harry Scott-Gibbons
A generally commended book by those who read it, The Genocide Files delves into the history of the ‘Cyprus problem’ and captures the futile and horrendous times that have existed in its recent history.
Burdened with Cyprus – The British Connection by John Reddaway
This book is a detailed account of the British Colonial rule of Cyprus since the 1800s, and one which examines the negotiations, decisions and problems that arose from Britain’s decision to depart the island as well as an insight into the ENOSIS movement and its effect on the British rule at the time.
The Cyprus Conspiracy – America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion by Brendan O’Mally and Ian Craig
This book makes a crucial contribution to people’s understanding of super power politics, international intelligence gathering and helps to shed light on Cyprus’s strategic importance to the world’s major players, and their part in the lasting divide of the island.
Nature & Wildlife
Collins Complete Mediterranean Wildlife (Photoguide) by Paul Sterry
If you want to know everything there is to know about every type of wildlife that you may happen to come across whilst in North Cyprus, then this is the book for you! It is packed with photographs and descriptions of birds, reptiles, moths, butterflies, insects, marine life and fish, mammals, amphibians, flowers and plants as well as local habitat information.
Birds of the Mediterranean – A Photographic Guide by Paul Sterry
Another excellent book by Sterry who has produced this wonderfully illustrated guide to birds found in the Mediterranean. You will be able to find out information on habitat, migration information and be able to determine one bird from another from sound and plumage if you read this book. A good guide for those who are interested in the birds found in North Cyprus and for those who are already enthusiastic bird watchers!
An Illustrated Flora of North Cyprus by Deryck Viney
One of North Cyprus’ favourite expats, Viney spent many years and field trips gathering information on every possible type of flora found here in North Cyprus. Instrumental in the opening of the North Cyprus Herbarium, Viney has produced many other volumes of work on fungi and flora in the Mediterranean, and his work is testament to the man’s love of the island. This is a fascinating book, and invaluable to those who love everything about plants and the landscape!
Cypriot Barbecue Delights & Side Dishes by Melek Cella
This book is great if you want to partake of traditional Cypriot cuisine because the trusty barbecue is a must if you’re looking to sample the culinary delights of North Cyprus! Whether you are living here or visiting the island, this book is a great way to learn how to dish up tasty food with easy to follow recipes, and you will have no trouble in sourcing local ingredients either!