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Northern Cyprus has a picture-postcard coastline, characteristic of many of the Mediterranean islands, and a warm welcome offered by the Turkish culture.
However, due to the Turkish invasion in 1974, the overdevelopment that many Mediterranean resorts have undergone in recent years is replaced by an unspoilt charm; quieter towns and communities, allowing you to explore its many gems at a laid-back pace.
Why Visit Northern Cyprus?
Having various cultural influences throughout the years, Northern Cyprus has a fascinating history. The area is also teeming with flora and fauna that can be enjoyed on peaceful, secluded walks in the countryside.
With so much to discover, we review our favourite sights; many of which can be enjoyed on our Walking in Northern Cyprus tour.
Majestically standing guard, overlooking the harbour, is Kyrenia Castle. The castle’s current state of preservation is remarkable considering the layers of history it embodies.
With evidence of its existence dating back to the Roman times, subsequently fortified by the Byzantines and later modernized by the Venetians, for history-lovers, Kyrenia Castle is enthralling.
Climb the battlements of the castle and you will be rewarded with a spectacular view across the town and out over the waves of the Mediterranean.
Views from the castle
Saint Hilarion Castle
Saint Hilarion Castle should be top of the list for historians and view-seekers alike. Residing high in the Kyrenia mountains, panoramic views from the top stretch out across Northern Cyprus, the Mediterranean and, on a clear day, even across to Turkey.
The castle dates back to 1191, with architecture later fortified by the Byzantines. Rumoured to have been the inspiration for Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’, when looking out from the gothic carved window in the Royal Apartments, you too may be transported to a fairy tale land.
Hidden behind the figs, after which it is named, is Incirli cave; an unspoilt, underground wonderland of stalagmites and stalactites, selenite crystals and outcrops of gypsum.
Incirli cave is the largest on the island. Its passage stretches 100m long and provides cool relief from the Mediterranean sun. Take time here to admire this geological phenomenon, whilst uncovering the curious legends it holds.
Five Finger Mountains
The Five Finger Mountains
Stories of a giant’s pursuit and catapulting rocks surround The Five Finger Mountains. Its gnarled massif, formed in the shape of a huge clenched fist, is a dramatic sight in this mountain range that extends parallel with the north coast.
Whilst here, stop for a visit to Sourp Magyar, the Armenian Monastery hidden within the mountains. Alternatively, enjoy a gentle walk down the slopes to the idyllic Kaplica beach. Relax on the golden sands and take a dip in the clear, shallow waters.
The Ancient City of Salamis
The ruins of this ancient capital of Cyprus date back to the 11th century. Its Roman pillars, statues and impressive 50-row theatre are found on a site spread over one square mile along the seashore.
With a large area still awaiting excavation, this site is a treasure trove of captivating Roman architecture, holding archaeological finds still to be discovered.
The Abandoned Resort of Varosha, Famagusta
To comprehend the lasting effect of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, a visit to Varosha, Famagusta is a must. Once, one of the most fashionable and attractive resorts in the Mediterranean, Varosha now stands abandoned, closed to civil life since 1974.
Taking a tour to the edge of the area is sobering; barbed wire still cordons off a town that has stood still in time since its invasion.
The highlights of Northern Cyprus are multi-layered. A mix of cultural influences and historical events have made this side of the island truly fascinating. The Walking in Northern Cyprus tour is an ideal way to absorb all the country has to offer, whilst taking in the stunning scenery that it is set amongst.
View trips to Northern Cyprus below and discover this amazing country for yourself.