North Cyprus Cities
Let curiosity be your guide in this unhurried city of great character Nicosia is the capital and the largest city of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and has a population of around 73,000. Home to the main government headquarters and foreign representatives, it is also the seat for the United Nations and the European Commission offices. Ercan airport is a 15 minute drive from this city and is the main airport of Northern Cyprus.
This is a charming ancient harbour town backed by dramatic wooded hills and the walls of the Venetian Castle. Enjoy a candlelit evening meal in the harbour overlooking yachts from all over the world. Visit the Folk or Icon Museum – and enjoy lunch or an evening drink in the Bandabuliya Market with its stunning high ceilings – an old building restored from colonial days. Take a dolmus bus or taxi (see Transport) to nearby Bellapais Abbey – where, perched on the mountain side, you could enjoy a guided tour around the fantastically well-preserved Abbey and have a sunset drink in a café over looking the Mediterranean.
The long northern coastline is backed by the Besparmak (Five Finger) Mountains with their dramatic wooded slopes and craggy summits. Sandy beaches and rocky coves await discovery further along the nearby coastline.
The name means `beautiful village' in Turkish, Güzelyurt is famed for its fragrant citrus groves and fresh markets selling an array of local produce. Located in the West of North Cyprus, this market town is no ordinary tourist destination, as you can enjoy a wonderfully slow pace of life in beautiful rustic surroundings. The museum in Guzelyurt is well worth a visit, as it houses a rich collection of archaeological treasures from the nearby Soli Mosaics and amphitheatre, as well as from the ruins of Vouni Palace – both sites also a "must-see" for those in the area with time available. Previously a Greek town, St. Mammas Church is perfectly preserved as a visitor site with its glistening chandeliers and Greek Orthodox icons.
This area enjoys two crossing points to the South of Cyprus – and its nearby Troodos Mountains with ski resorts, where visitors can enjoy skiing in February and March. One cross point is at Bostanci (direct over to Troodos) and one is recently opened in Yesilmak (where visitors can cross to see Polis and Pafos).
Iskele / Karpaz
This area offers a spectacular unspoilt landscape where turtles roam and dreams are made In the East, in the district of Iskele, the finger of the Karpaz Panhandle points to Syria. This is both a remote and astoundingly beautiful landscape with deserted beaches and ancient villages with once-grand basilicas, tombs and ruins which bear testament to the area's glorious past.
Between the Karpaz and Kyrenia is –
The long N.E coastline, stretching from the start of the Karpaz (Tatlisu area) to Kyrenia, features the old hillside town of Esentepe and a meandering coastline of mainly rocky and part-sand, part-pebble beaches. Although not offering the best beaches, many visitors choose to holiday or invest in this region, owing to its proximity to the new 18 hole Korineum Golf Course (see GOLF), its wonderful views, and the forthcoming Port Cyprium Marina.
This is a very romantic Levantine-style town with a castle of world heritage importance. This makes an ideal day out for visitors to North Cyprus and is less than an hour's drive from Kyrenia. Wander through the ruins of Famagusta castle and enjoy many of the street cafes and small local shops.
Kyrenia is the most attractive town on the coast of North Cyprus with its picturesque Venetian Harbour front and fascinating old quarter.