In the heart of the North Cyprus coast, the medieval harbour of Kyrenia (Girne) is considered one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. This historic centre is famous for its castle which it is said was begun during the crusades and later expanded by the Venetians. As accommodation in the old town of Kyrenia is limited, many visitors choose to stay in nearby resort complexes.
Dive enthusiasts will find both wrecks and reefs in the local dive sites to challenge their skills, while the surrounding Kyrenian mountain range provides excellent days out for exploring, with St. Hilarion Castle and the village of Bellapais well worth the drive.
Bellapais is an ancient village of charm and tradition, with narrow streets and local shops to create the feeling of the old Cyprus. Situated on a natural rock escarpment, halfway up the northern hill slopes, from Bellapais visitors and locals come to enjoy the panoramic views of the Kyrenia coast below. Bellapais is also famous for its Abbey, and it is believed that the Greek Bishops of Kyrenia had a residence on the site of the Abbey, seeking refuge here from the Arab raids on the coastal areas during the seventh to tenth centuries. With the founding of the Abbey at the end of the 12th century, the village began to develop.
With the increasing demand for quality properties by locals and foreigners alike, investment into Kyrenia’s harbour area, old town and its surrounding regions is expected to continue, with ongoing improvement in the local economies and infrastructure for building and tourism.
HOW TO GET THERE
All flights from Europe to North Cyprus must touch down first in Turkey. From Turkey, you can choose from a number of scheduled flights from Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Adana and Antalya, to arrive at Ercan Airport near the capital of Nicosia (Lefkosa).
Cyprus Turkish Airlines and Turkish Airlines service the region with regularly scheduled flights to Ercan Airport. Currently there are approximately 20 flights per week to North Cyprus from London (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted). There are also flights from Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin
Holiday packages are recommended since they can work out much more reasonable in price, with flights as well as transfer and accommodation included.
Ercan Airport is inland and close to the capital of Nicosia, so transfer arrangements should be made to any of the coastal areas. It takes 20 minutes to drive from Ercan Airport to the capital Nicosia, and 30 minutes to drive to Kyrenia.