Once a sleepy little coastal Cypriot village, Bafra (also known as Vokolida), situated in the district of Iskele, has seen a massive explosion of growth over the past 10-15 years! With some stunning beach areas, the government of TRNC decreed this a designated tourist area in 2006 and since that time has offered tenders to developers to come and invest in the area.
When it comes to choosing the best accommodation in North Cyprus suited to your own requirements and tastes, take a look at this article which gives food for thought on the individual suitability of available accommodation. There are so many different types of accommodation from 5 star to 1 star, holiday villages, budget accommodation and guesthouses, that you should have no trouble in finding what you need.
Some of our readers sometimes like to have some inside juice on great places to stay in North Cyprus, and whilst we are in the business of informing, it’s just that from time to time its hard to let go of those things which we wish to keep to ourselves! Balcı Plaza in Yenierenköy is one of those places, but it would be unfair not to tell everyone wouldn’t it! Also Hassan, the proud owner would be upset with us too! Whilst thinking of what to write, thoughts initially came up with great beach, fantastic food and sleeping under a sunshade all day, but we have dug deep to pad it all out for you!
The Malpas is finished to the highest standards and it has utilised modern technology in an effort to create an eco-friendly facility particularly with regards to its plumbing and re-use of water, (a small but significant step in the right direction). The hotel can offer both residents and non-residents a wealth of amenities and attractions too, and it has proved a welcome compliment to the range and location of hotels across the northern third of the island.
If you’re thinking about renting a villa for your holiday, or perhaps you’re thinking about a long-term rental to see if North Cyprus is the place for you if you’re considering relocating to the Mediterranean, then you can be assured that there is plenty of choices out there to suit everyone’s requirements.
From pretty fishing villages, untouched harbours, magnificent mountains, crusader castles, year-round sunshine, sandy beaches, hidden coves, wildflowers, rare wildlife, delicious cuisine to some of the friendliest most genuine people on earth…North Cyprus has it all. And it also has a wealth of quality rental accommodation in which you can stay and enjoy the delights of the island.
For families there are holiday villas big enough to accommodate large parties, all have their own private pool and gardens so that everyone can enjoy plenty of outdoor space. This gives the luxury of having your own private pool to float around in all day, being able to dine al fresco from your own barbeque and have views of sea and mountains to die for!
There are also smaller rental properties for smaller parties, couples and retirees who would like some seclusion, peace and quiet. If you are not too concerned about the privacy and seclusion side of things you also have the choice of renting apartments with access to a communal pool.
If you are thinking about renting a property for your holiday in North Cyprus then think about what you want from your holiday – perhaps you might like to experience a variety of nightlife, be close to all the local amenities such as restaurants, music venues, shops etc., or to be by the sea or in the mountains, in the centre of town, or to be in the middle of nowhere! Perhaps you might also want to be close to the golf courses and diving schools? Your choices will guide the accommodation you select of course…
If you would prefer to be close to the action then you might consider renting in Kyrenia or the nearby towns of Karaoğlanoğlu, Ozanköy, Zeytinlik or Alsancak, all a short drive from the centre of town. Kyrenia is home to the world famous Kyrenia harbour and enjoys the stunning backdrop of the Kyrenia Mountains. You’ll find many dining opportunities in the town, a host of pubs, bars, late-night music and dancing venues. Lapta is another good option having its own nightlife and also daytime entertainment meaning you might not feel the need to venture anywhere else!
If you want to stay in the Famagusta region, but not within the city, then the pretty harbour town of Boğaz, with its restaurants and bars make it an ideal place for renting as there are a number of properties near to the coastline. If you venture even further afield then you will also find properties to rent nearer to the Karpaz such as some in Kumyalı, a great base if you want to go exploring the peninsula.
For the world famous views of Bellapais Abbey consider the towns of Ozanköy and Bellapais which in themselves are great villages to stay in. For golf and beaches, consider villas in Esentepe, and for the best diving choose anywhere from Kyrenia out to Lapta in the west! If you want a mountain retreat then maybe see if you can rent a house in Edremit, or Karaman (Karmi), where you will find more individual and quaint village property rentals.
Villa rental accommodation in North Cyprus tends generally to be of a high quality; if any particular facilities are essential for your personal holiday enjoyment then ensure the properties you consider offer these. From hot tubs and swimming pools to sea views and beach access, from satellite TV and home entertainment to fully equipped kitchens – everything you could wish for is available if you find the right property.
Another major plus for renting a villa for your holiday in Northern Cyprus is that prices are amongst the most competitive in the Mediterranean, with the additional bonus that rental companies base their prices in sterling so that you don’t get caught out with fluctuations in exchange rates when booking.
Firstly we will admit to perhaps using the phrase ‘eco-tourism’ a little too freely – however, there really are many ventures in North Cyprus which do try their utmost to offer the environmentally aware visitor a more eco-friendly type of holiday!
Whilst the rise of the 5 star hotel resort seems to be pretty much the dominant force at present on the island, there are major efforts to boost offerings for visitors who wish to experience a more traditional type of existence whilst on holiday. Projects often funded by the government, grants and aid from the European Union, as well as NGO organisation assistance and expertise, are already forcing the issue with some success.
One such area of North Cyprus that has already benefited is a village called Büyükkonuk that is a real-life example of a sustainable community. Located at the gateway to the Karpaz region, Büyükkonuk has benefited from funding from the European Union to help its fruition as well as some forward thinking individuals who have realised that mass hotel development is perhaps sometimes not be the first choice for everyone.
The local Turkish Cypriot residents of the village are enjoying their success and actually find the attention they receive from visitors quite exciting, and they have stepped up to the task admirably! An annual festival has been proof of the village’s success with many visitors coming to sample the delights crafted there such as the handicrafts made by local people.
You can lodge at simple village accommodation, experience traditional Cypriot life with spontaneous and scheduled activities and tours, and the area has miles of undisturbed walking territory and nature to spend your days exploring. One family business which actively promotes this area and can offer organised holidays and accommodation is Delcraft, run by Ismail and Lois Cemal. They are extremely enthusiastic about what they do and you will also find yourself hopelessly infected by their enthusiasm! They have their own website www.ecotourismcyprus.com where you can find out more about what’s on offer as well as details about accommodation available.
A well known English couple in North Cyprus, Maureen and Tony Hutchinson, who have lived on the island for many years, run a similar type of operation from their base in Hasirköy to the west of the island. Sadly Maureen passed away in 2011 but Tony is hopefully set to continue offering accommodation – although it’s limited to one cottage – but will also offer walking tours including orchid hunting, and promote traditional methods by offering demonstrations on local cooking methods for example. They can be found at www.walksnorchidsnorthcyprus.com and in our walking groups article for more information.
There are certainly other establishments which can fit into the wider Eco-Tourism bracket, such as old buildings which have been restored using traditional techniques to bring them to life again, to be used as pensions and guesthouses which have proved very popular with the alternative holiday seeker. A very good example are the Arch Houses in the village of Dipkarpaz which are 12 traditionally restored houses offering bed & breakfast accommodation, and whilst they feature modern facilities such as air-conditioning, they still give guests a feeling of times past and of traditional living. If you want something even more basic, then there are plenty of small pensions located on the beach areas of the Karpaz too, so if you fancy sleeping in a wooden beach hut close to the lapping seashore then you are well catered for!
Villages in the surrounds of the Lefke region to the west of the island are also set to be part of a government initiative which will include the setting up of pensions and guesthouses in the future; the application process for funds started in late 2008. With the Troodos mountain range, as well as the ruins of Vouni and Soli not a million miles away, this is definitely something which should help to promote the area and the start up of smaller establishments which can be run by local people. Old buildings are to be restored along with new construction offering accommodation of no more than five bedrooms, ensuring the environment is considered throughout the initiative.
Besides the accommodation sector, there are also plenty of tour companies which offer itineraries for a more nature and environmental type of holiday, offering bird watching, walking and cycling options whilst also incorporating some of the other sightseeing activities such as the Crusader castles, museums and the like. Please check our more in-depth article on tour companies to find out more about what’s on offer.
Whilst North Cyprus can’t claim to be a totally eco-friendly island incorporating initiatives rife with environmentally friendly schemes (yet!), there are steps being taken to ensure that at least there is the option available for the growing number of people who respect the need for environmental protection for many years to come, and that is only to be commended.
During the holiday season hotels and holiday villages will lay on activities and fun days for children, and many have designated pools and facilities for them to spend hours being entertained in. You can also feel completely at ease with leaving your little devils to make new friends and in the hands of the hotel staff who will make sure that your children are always safe and well looked after.
We can safely say that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the luxury hotel market here in North Cyprus. There are many beautiful, independent and unique hotels to choose from because the big chain hotels like Marriot, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Hilton have not established themselves here. Independent minded hoteliers have therefore been left to create luxurious and totally individual resorts.
Having said that, there are some hotel chain groups which are involved in North Cyprus such as the Merit group, as well as Accor which is a huge hotel group that owns the Mercure Hotel for example. However, each of the major luxury hotels is still individual in design, character and décor, so it doesn’t feel as though you could be in any city in any part of the world when you visit one!