We keep saying this it seems, in most of our activity articles here on Essential Cyprus, that there are many ways to see and appreciate North Cyprus – this one is just another fantastic way of doing so! If you have ever been on holiday in a coastal location in Turkey, then you may already understand the concept of taking a boat trip here too.
If you are looking for something different whilst planning a trip to North Cyprus and you enjoy the great outdoors, then there are a growing number of specialist tour operators adding itineraries to accommodate the likes of the walkers, bird watchers and divers amongst us.
North Cyprus has so much to offer those who love an environment orientated holiday, and the world seems to be taking a stand of sorts against mass tourism these days, so it’s nice to see that there are companies who are grasping all that is beautiful about this part of the island and promoting its unique qualities in terms of nature and the environment.
KUŞKOR, translating to North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds and Nature, has been active in North Cyprus for over 10 years, and strives to educate the Turkish Cypriot population about protecting birdlife and nature through presentations to schools and villages, as well as monitoring the bird population on the island as best it can, whether migratory or native.
The extremely attractive and peaceful village of Karaman, (or Karmi, which is the Greek name for the settlement), sits around 1,000 feet above sea level and is located on the lower slopes of the Kyrenia mountain range. The gothic castle of St. Hilarion sits majestically above it, and is easily viewed from any spot in the village.
The Karpaz peninsula is located on the far eastern stretch of North Cyprus, and it stretches right up to the tip of the peninsula, it’s often referred to as the ‘panhandle.’ You may even hear or see the peninsula being called Karpasia, Karpas, Kirpasha, Carpasia or Dipkarpaz – in fact Dipkarpaz is a present day town, and Carpasia was the ancient city where the ruin of Ayios Philon stands. It was once a very densely populated area during both the Roman and Luisignan times, but now it is far less so.
The village of Büyükkonuk, (formerly Komi Kebir), in North Cyprus is located in the lowland foothills of the Beşparmak mountain range on the far east of the island. It’s situated about 6km north-east of Boğaz, just before the start of the Karpaz Peninsula region. It is also a village of some note due to it recently being designated as an area for eco-tourism, and has subsequently even been filmed by foreign film crews for international culture programmes.
North Cyprus is host to an eclectic mix of unusual wildlife, and some fascinating species can be seen at any time of year. North Cyprus is also home to common and recognisable species such as hedgehogs, foxes and tortoises, although the latter is not native to the island but was probably brought from Turkey and left free to roam the countryside!
As the month of May is usually the time of year such things to come out of their hibernation slumber, we thought we would give you a run down of the various species of snake that you may come across in North Cyprus! Those of us who live here are fairly familiar with the varieties that we may all come across and, as most of them are pretty harmless, we would advise you not to panic should you come across one! Most of us treat snakes with a kind of scared disgust, imagining them to be slippery reptiles that will leap out of bushes and bite us, when in all honesty all they want is to be left alone to live quiet lives!