The Colours of North Cyprus                   pure mediterr ane an
pure mediterranean    your journey
Imagine an unspoilt retreat that oozes Mediterranean warmth and                                                           ...
North CyprusThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus                                     where the rich colours of the           ...
Loved for its welcoming Mediterranean hospitality, North               A myriad of cafes, restaurants and bars await explo...
Climate:                                                       Location:                                        North Cypr...
Dipkarpaz                                                                                  Sipahi                         ...
8    The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus                                        history and                                W...
F                                                                                               or eleven thousand years, ...
From 3000 - 700 BC, Cyprus began to emerge as a trading                                    centre, with copper mines drawi...
The Ottoman period in Cyprus began in 1571 and lasted for                                           more than three centur...
12     The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus                                         beaches                                  ...
N                                                                                               orth Cyprus offers the per...
Beaches are plentiful in the region, from the Mermaid beach to                                    the quieter Acapulco and...
Indeed, the turtles are another major highlight of North Cyprus’s                                     beaches; they nest f...
The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus                                    outstanding natural beauty to                        ...
F                                                                                      or outstanding and unspoilt natural...
Kantara Castle, east of the Beşparmak Mountains, is a springtime    The produce of North Cyprus is as varied as its flora ...
Selected Orchid Species   Native to North Cyprus:   Orchis italica: Pinkish-white with pink   dots. Flowering period March...
20     The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus                    adventure on the      mediterr anean
W                                                                                                           ith an abundan...
Yacht and boat tours are very popular across the region, with         Explore one of the world’s oldest shipwrecks, dating...
Dive Sites:                                     Girne Area:                                     	 Anchor: Ancient artefact...
24     The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus                    inspirational      arts & Culture
N                                                                                                  orth Cyprus is home to ...
In Lefkoşa, you can also explore the fascinating 17th-century                                    monastery of the Whirling...
Westwards from Girne, the alluring towns of Güzelyurt and Lefke                                     make a great tour out ...
28     The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus      night                    colours of the
N                                                                                            orth Cyprus feels friendly, i...
Eating out is popular amongst locals and the choice of cuisine                                    reflects this, combining...
The Colours Of North Cyprus
The Colours Of North Cyprus
The Colours Of North Cyprus
The Colours Of North Cyprus
The Colours Of North Cyprus
The Colours Of North Cyprus
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The Colours Of North Cyprus

  1. 1. The Colours of North Cyprus pure mediterr ane an
  2. 2. pure mediterranean your journey
  3. 3. Imagine an unspoilt retreat that oozes Mediterranean warmth and DipkarpazGeography 6 MEDITERRANEAN SEA Derince Ziyamet PE NI Sipahi Yeni Erenköy NS UL A Mediterranean adventure 20 uncomplicated charm. A place you can call your own personal Yedikonuk A Z RP Mehmetçik KA Büyükkonuk k ca Tatlısu Girne an Esentepe Ardahan Als Koruçam (Kyrenia) Lapta Zeytinlik Tepebaşı Bellabayis Boğaz (Mah.) Çamlıbel Tirmen Iskele GIRNE Dikmen Serdarlı Geçitkale Değirmenlik Beyköy (Mah.) GAZIMAĞUSA haven, far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. An island Yılmazköy Gazimağusa Bay Er Gönyeli Çukurova en Güzelyurt Güzelyurt K.Kaymaklı kö Aslanköy Bay ğı y Serhatköy Lefkoşa na Yeşilırmak Aşağıbostancı Dörtyol ko (Nicosia) mi Ledra Palace Süleymaniye Gayretköy Metahan Ge Bostancı Yedidalga (Mah.) Ercan Gazimağusa Lefke (Famagusta) .) Çayönü ah Khrysokhou y (M Türkmenköy Akyar Bay kö Yiğitler ğlı Beyarmudu Ba Düzce Akıncılar where the delicious aroma of citrus groves, bursting with fresh LARNACA Larnaca Bay PAPHOSHistory and wonder 8 Inspirational arts 24 border yacht diving lemons and limes, floats through the air. LIMASSOL crossing centre centre turtle beach beach Akrotiri Bay Episkopi Bay Imagine swimming in the crystalline waters of secluded beaches MEDITERRANEAN SEA 0 10 20 km 0 5 10 15 mi or exploring ancient wonders that allow you to experience centu-Beaches to escape to 12 Colours of the night 28 ries of history and culture in a day. And where an abundance of natural wildlife and warm hospitality make a holiday to this peaceful island simply unforgettable…Landscapes to explore 16 General information 30 Welcome to North Cyprus.starts hereThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 3
  4. 4. North CyprusThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus where the rich colours of the Mediterranean come alive… 4
  5. 5. Loved for its welcoming Mediterranean hospitality, North A myriad of cafes, restaurants and bars await exploration in North 19 endemic plant species. Sandy beaches and rocky coves awaitCyprus combines intriguing antiquity and natural beauty with Cyprus’s beautiful towns, whilst in villages, you will encounter discovery along the shore and the Venetian harbour town of Girnea sunny climate all year round, making it an ideal get-away for an abundance of old-world charm and welcoming Mediterranean (Kyrenia) sits in the centre in all its considerable beauty.every season. hospitality that will make you want to come back time and In the east, the finger of the Karpaz Peninsula points to Syria. This time again.Located at the crossroads of three continents, North Cyprus is is both a remote and beautiful landscape with deserted beachesthe furthest East you can venture in the Mediterranean, with Perfect for anyone who wants to escape the crowds typical and ancient villages with once-grand basilicas, tombs and ruinsTurkey just 40 miles away. Yet, the island’s European influence to many holiday destinations today, North Cyprus offers real which bear testament to the area’s glorious past.means that, although Turkish is the official language in the North, character and charm. And being outside the Euro zone, it offers The eastern coastal area of Gazimağusa (Famagusta) Bay is oneEnglish is still widely spoken, everybody drives on the left and great value too. long, very fine beach with excellent facilities and clean, safeBritish plug sockets remain the norm. North Cyprus has five distinct areas offering unique experiences. bathing and snorkelling. The “outdoor museum” that is the townIt is an exciting time to visit North Cyprus as facilities are being In the West, around Güzelyurt, is the most fertile market-garden of Gazimağusa is the centre of the region and an excellent hub fordeveloped to add variety to life, yet many of the sandy beaches region with citrus groves and cultivated vegetables. eating-out, shopping and recreation.remain untouched and undiscovered. The long northern coastline is backed by the Beşparmak (Five North Cyprus is relaxing, healthy and hospitable and you willThe coastline has ancient harbours where you can dine al fresco Finger) Mountains with their dramatic wooded slopes and craggy come back feeling like you have found your very own haven withand beaches that stretch for miles, while the depths of the crystal- summits. Castles, ruins and religious relics adorn the mountains, the sort of value you thought had disappeared years ago.clear azure seas offer many of the region’s best dive sites. Indeed, whilst the lower hills and lowlands are alive with lush greenery,visibility can be as much as 30 to 40 metres underwater. rare species of birds and butterflies, and a natural diversity of flowers that is unmatched in the Mediterranean, with an estimatedThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 5
  6. 6. Climate: Location: North Cyprus enjoys a very pleasant climate, with warm, dry Located at the crossroads of three continents, Cyprus is the summers and mild winters, and an average of 300 days of third largest island in the Mediterranean, situated 40 miles sunshine. In August, the hottest month, mean temperatures south of Turkey. North Cyprus has a population of about 240,000 range from 21°C to 36°C and in the coldest months of January and an area of 3,355km2, with 240 miles of coastline. and February, the average temperature is around 10°C, with a winter average of six hours daily sunshine and only Time: moderate rain, making it an ideal year-round destination. North Cyprus is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. MEDITERRANEAN SEA k ca Girne an Esentepe Al s Koruçam (Kyrenia) Lapta Zeytinlik Tepebaşı Bellabayis Çamlıbel T GIRNE Dikmen The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus Serdar Değirmenlik Beyköy (Mah.) Yılmazköy Er Gönyeli Çukurova en Güzelyurt Güzelyurt K.Kaymaklı kö Aslank Bay ğı y Serhatköy Lefkoşa na Yeşilırmak Aşağıbostancı ko (Nicosia) mi Ledra Palace Süleymaniye Gayretköy Metahan Ge Bostancı Yedidalga (Mah.) Ercan Lefke .) ahysokhou (MBay öy Yiğitler lık 6 B ağ Akıncılar
  7. 7. Dipkarpaz Sipahi Yeni Erenköy U LA S Derince N NI Ziyamet PE °C Yedikonuk AZ 40 P Mehmetçik AR 35 Büyükkonuk Tatlısu K 30 25 Ardahan 20 15Tirmen Boğaz (Mah.) 10 Iskele 5rlı 0 Geçitkale JAN F EB MA R APR GAZIMAĞUSA M AY J UN JU L AUG Gazimağusa Bay SEP OCT NOV DEC AIR TE SEA TEM MP Pköy Dörtyol Gazimağusa border yacht diving crossing centre centre 0 10 20 km (Famagusta) turtle Çayönü Akyar beach beach Türkmenköy 0 5 10 15 mi Beyarmudu Düzce The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus  7
  8. 8. 8 The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus history and Wonder
  9. 9. F or eleven thousand years, Cyprus has been a melting pot of great civilisations. From the Neolithic settlements on the northern coast to the Egyptian, Persian, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and British Empires, its strategic location at the crossroads of East and West has bestowed the island with a rich and colourful history spanning centuries. During the course of its vibrant past, the island has been visited by the Romans, Alexander the Great and Richard the Lionheart, to name a few, each leaving their own unique footprint behind. For a good sense of how it all began, the island’s museums are Opposite main: The historic harbour at Girne well worth a visit for their fascinating array of artefacts discovered Above left: Bellapais Abbey in cave dwellings dating from 7000 BC, when the first inhabitants Above middle: Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque Above right: St Hilarion Castle of Cyprus are said to have settled on the island.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 9
  10. 10. From 3000 - 700 BC, Cyprus began to emerge as a trading centre, with copper mines drawing merchants from all across the Mediterranean. Attracted to the growing opportunities, settlers arrived from Turkish Anatolia and Phoenicians from Syria, bringing new Levantine architecture, ceramics and metal working to the island. In the 6th Century BC, the Persians adopted Cyprus as a base for their wars with Greece until 333 BC, when Alexander the Great brought the Persian Empire to a sudden end. Rule by the Ptolemies of Egypt lasted for 250 years, until Rome annexed the island for several years, after which Julius Caesar gave the island back to his lover, Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemies, in 48 BC. Only upon her death was Emperor Augustus finally able to add Cyprus to the lands of the Roman Empire. Between the 1st and 10th Centuries, multiple communities continued to emerge on the island, with Muslim and Byzantine settlers co-existing in relative harmony. However, all this came to a halt in 965 AD, when the Byzantines took full control of theThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus island upon defeating the Muslim Caliphate’s Egyptian fleet. Byzantine rule lasted until the 12th Century, when King Richard the Lionheart defeated the prince and handed the island over to a member of the French medieval royalty, Guy de Lusignan, to finance his expeditions. The Lusignans inhabited the island for 300 years, from the 12th Century until 1489, when the Venetians captured the island and its imagination with the impressive Girne Castle, as well as the celebrated architecture of Gazimağusa and10 Lefkoşa, which are all well worth a visit.
  11. 11. The Ottoman period in Cyprus began in 1571 and lasted for more than three centuries, during which time the two Cypriot communities, Turkish and Greek, began to emerge. It was during this time that the British were granted the right to govern Cyprus for the Sultan in an agreement dating back to 1878 which lasted until the end of the First World War. In 1974, North Cyprus began its journey towards independence, with today’s Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) being formally established in 1983. As you explore the island, you will enjoy the enduring echoes of this multicultural heritage and Ottoman principles of religious and Wherever you travel in North Cyprus, the history comes alive; cultural tolerance, with its numerous mosques, churches and of you can visit an incredible 2,300 year-old shipwreck that lies course, the astoundingly beautiful Bellapais Abbey. in Girne Castle or rub shoulders with the ancient Persians and Romans as you discover the splendid sites at Salamis, Soli and Vouni with their beautiful pillars and mosaics. Alternatively, you Unmissable Historical Sights may be tempted to explore the Byzantine legends in the castles of Kantara, Buffavento and St. Hilarion, as well as the countless Gazimağusa (Famagusta): Güzelyurt/Lefke: Güzelyurt Museum churches, mosques and monasteries that pepper the island. Canbulat Tomb and Museum Persian Palace remains at Vouni Buffavento Castle Today, the full opening of the borders between North Roman remains at Soli Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque St. Mamas Church and South Cyprus on 23 April 2003 means it is now Old City Walls and Ottoman Houses also very easy to get around the whole island, making Othello’s Tower Karpaz Peninsula: Apostolos Andreas Monastery North Cyprus a truly excellent destination Salamis Ruins Kantara Castle for those who dream of a holiday steeped St. Barnabas Monastery Monastery Church of Panayia Kanakaria in history and old-world charm. Girne (Kyrenia): The Ruins of Ayios Philion (Ören Yeri) Bellapais Abbey Lefkoşa (Nicosia): St. Hilarion Castle Büyük Han Historic Girne Harbour Museum of Mevlevi Tekke Opposite main: The ruins of Salamis Shipwreck Museum Selmiye Mosque Above left: St Barnabas Monastery Above right: Girne HarbourThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 11
  12. 12. 12 The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus beaches to escape to…
  13. 13. N orth Cyprus offers the perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life. With over 240 miles of spectacular coastline, North Cyprus enjoys a myriad of picturesque coves and beautiful broad bays backed by historic harbours and citrus groves. Whether it’s swimming in crystal-clear turquoise waters, listening to the calming sound of waves or scuba-diving in one of the region’s spectacular dive sites, North Cyprus offers a great choice for those who enjoy the sea and the sun. Indeed, it is no surprise that according to legend, Julius Caesar gave the island to Cleopatra as a token of his love. The two main beach resorts are Girne and Gazimağusa. Girne is home to many of the island’s beautiful beaches, as well as being Main picture: Golden Sands Beach one of the most charming towns in the Mediterranean. Nestled Above left: One of the many deserted beaches on the Karpaz Peninsula between the sea and the Beşparmak (Five Finger) Mountains, Above middle: Palm Beach, Gazimağusa the resort offers a wondrous combination of hidden coves, sandy Above right: The coastline of North Cyprus is dotted with picturesque beaches. beaches and cultural and historical attractions.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 13
  14. 14. Beaches are plentiful in the region, from the Mermaid beach to the quieter Acapulco and Lara beaches. Their tranquil waters are the ideal place to enjoy a lazy day on the sea, rounded off with a late afternoon walk at the 12th Century Bellapais Abbey and a candlelit dinner at a terrace restaurant overlooking the crescent-shaped Venetian harbour, which still retains all of its original character. Gazimağusa, a peaceful harbour town in North Cyprus, is another fantastic destination for beach holidays as the bay itself is a wonderful expanse of golden sands, and is also very close to the town, an outdoor museum of architecture and ancient ruins. But for the ultimate seaside getaway, the area close to the Salamis Ruins offers the best choice of sandy beaches. This region, approximately 6 miles north of Gazimağusa, is perfect for those seeking a relaxing holiday as most hotels are a stone’s throw from the beach. Further along the east coast, at the foot of the Karpaz Peninsula is Boğaz, a sleepy fishing village in the Yeni Iskele district. Here you will feel yourself unwind completely, as you are also withinThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus easy reach of the Karpaz which boasts some of the island’s most deserted sandy beaches. Indeed, with its wild natural beauty, characteristic stone houses and ruined churches, you will discover virgin lands that offer the serenity of another era. The highlight of the area is the Golden Sands Beach, one of the world’s finest and longest beaches, with magnificent golden sands that stretch for more than 3 miles. The beach itself is fringed with magnificent sand dunes and it is here that turtles roam and make their nurseries.14
  15. 15. Indeed, the turtles are another major highlight of North Cyprus’s beaches; they nest from May onwards, with the female turtles Beaches in North Cyprus: digging out large quantities of sand to lay their eggs, then re- covering them and waiting for several months. The eggs begin to Gazimağusa: hatch in July, when the baby turtles commence their journey to Bafra Beach the sea where they can live for several years. Today, the turtles Bediz Beach are seriously endangered and serious steps are being taken to Klapsides ensure their survival, as there are only a few hundred Green Palm Beach Turtles, and approximately a thousand Loggerhead Turtles left Silver Beach in the world today. Salamis Bay Venus Beach It is impossible not to be in awe of these fantastic creatures and the beauty of their natural habitat. For nature and beach lovers alike, Girne: a holiday to North Cyprus will be simply unforgettable. Acapulco Beach Alagadi Beach Alsancak Beach Camelot Deniz Kızı Escape Beach Kervansaray Lara Beach Mare Monte Sunset Beach Turtle Beach, Alagadi Karpaz Peninsula: Golden Sands Turtle Beach, Karpaz Güzelyurt: Güzelyurt Bay Far left: Springtime in North Cyprus Left: Golden Sands BeachThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 15
  16. 16. The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus outstanding natural beauty to explore16
  17. 17. F or outstanding and unspoilt natural beauty, look no further than North Cyprus. How you choose to discover it is up to you – whether it’s hiking across nature trails, cycling around aromatic citrus groves or relaxing with the sea turtles, there is something to suit everyone here. The beauty of the region offers a real escape; North Cyprus is still relatively undiscovered so wildlife flourishes, with some 220 species of birds touching down on the island every year on their migratory passage. Their visit is part of a rich natural heritage on an island of contrasts that spans from the top of Mount Selvili’s 3000 feet to the gentle slopes of the coastal waters, where the famous turtles reside. With an average of only 65 people per square mile, North Cyprus is Opposite main: The spectacular landscape of the Güzelyurt region a fantastic destination for those who love the outdoors as it is free of Above left: One of the many endemic orchids of North Cyprus crowds and pollution; its 240 miles of coastline is swathed in lush Above middle and right: North Cyprus is famous for its beautiful pine forests with cypress and maquis bush providing a sanctuary for and fragrant citrus groves. wildlife to flourish.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 17
  18. 18. Kantara Castle, east of the Beşparmak Mountains, is a springtime The produce of North Cyprus is as varied as its flora and fauna, sanctuary for migrating birds, whilst some of the island’s most with olive and carob groves, pomegranates, strawberries and striking residents can also be found in the mountains: falcons, date palms flourishing on the island. In Güzelyurt, the landscape buzzards and the griffon vulture with its amazing eight-foot is infused with citrus groves and the scent of lemons, limes wingspan. There is also an abundance of butterflies, including and oranges drifting through the clear Mediterranean air. This species which are unique to the region, such as the strangely- beautiful town is famous for its annual orange festival, and is the shaped festoon and Cleopatra butterflies adorned with the colours island’s ‘capital city’ for citrus fruit. of sunshine. North Cyprus is also an animal lovers’ paradise; Around 400-500 The warm climate in North Cyprus also means visitors can wild donkeys, otherwise known as the ‘free donkeys’ of North enjoy beautiful flowers all year-round. In the autumn and winter Cyprus, roam across the tranquil Karpaz panhandle, whilst golden-yellow oleanders decorate the hills, whilst multi-coloured lizards, chameleons, goats, sheep and hedgehogs make the island anemones and crocuses appear before Christmas. But it is in their home. In Karpaz, there is also a beautiful national park, late winter and spring that the island blooms into a rhapsody where you will find a large number of birds, wild donkeys, turtles, of colour with the orchid family and cherry-red poppies taking rare flora and magnificent beaches to explore. centre stage. Offshore, the famous sea turtles of North Cyprus mingle with The orchids are a fascination to all that visit North Cyprus for a fantastic range of fish that draw divers from around the world. their rarity and beauty. The wild orchid flora comprises 32 These splendid creatures come ashore on the golden beaches confirmed species and subspecies, some which bear similarity between May and August to lay their eggs. Alagadi Beach, east to the European varieties such as Pyramidal and Autumn LadyThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus of Kyrenia, is dedicated a specially protected area for these Tresses orchids – but there are also many more exotic species including the Naked Man orchid, tongue-flowered Serapias and turtles, including endangered species such as the Green and the Violet Limodore. Loggerhead Turtles. The natural beauty in North Cyprus will amaze and inspire. You Plant-lovers will also enjoy the Herbarium in North Cyprus, can walk, hike, cycle or ride for hours without seeing people or housed in the Alevkaya Forest Station on the mountain ridge cars. There are also a multitude of superb hiking tours across all between Esentepe and Değirmenlik. Here you will find a collec- tion of pressed plant specimens that provide information on local areas of North Cyprus, as well as a whole range of other ways flora and fauna, including plants endemic to the area, and each to explore, including bird watching, horse riding, mountain Above: Wild flowers grow in abundance on the island. carefully labelled to show when, where and by whom each was climbing and a fantastic cycling terrain that suits enthusiasts of Right: The view from the18 Palace of Vouni ruins collected - you will find over 1100 species on display today. all abilities.
  19. 19. Selected Orchid Species Native to North Cyprus: Orchis italica: Pinkish-white with pink dots. Flowering period March - April. Dactylorhiza romana: Flowers spurred, bright yellow or pale yellow coloured and unspotted. Flowering period March – May. Neotinea maculate: Flowers white, yellowish, pink or pinkish-purple. Flowering period March – April. Orchis papilonacea: Flowers dark pink, red to purple with darker nerves and spots. Flowering period March - April. Spiranthes spiralis (L.) Chevall: Flowers numerous, white, scented. Flowering period September - November. Orchis simian: Flowers white with dark pink tips. Flowering period April – May. Ophrys bornmuelleri ssp. Bornmuelleri. Labellum: Brownish, hairy, with creamy yellow shoulders and h‑shape, below shoulders. Flowering period March - April. Orchis collina: Flowers variable in colour ranging from violet to creamy white. Flowering period February - March. Limodorum abortivum (L.) Swartz: Sepals and petals pale to dark violet. Flowering period April - June. Serapias vomeracea (Burm.fil.) Briq.ssp. orientalis W.Greuter: Flowers of all Serapias species have a lip divided into two, a front section and 2 side sections. The front section reminds a tongue. Flowering period March - May. Ophrys fusca ssp. Fleischmanii: Labellum is brownish- yellowish and white w-shaped line divide it into two clear parts. Flowering period February - April.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 19
  20. 20. 20 The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus adventure on the mediterr anean
  21. 21. W ith an abundance of sandy beaches and a spectacular coastline that stretches for hundreds of miles, North Cyprus is the perfect year-round playground for those who love the sea. Swimming is safe and exhilarating – with clear shimmering waters that make snorkelling a pleasure and North Cyprus a premier diving destination in the Mediterranean. Following an active day in the sea, you can also enjoy the relaxation of a Turkish bath or spa back at your hotel. Main picture: The Mediterranean waters around North Cyprus are For those who would prefer to be on the water than in it, sailing, remarkably clear and warm. Above left: Girne Castle guards the windsurfing and water-skiing are widely available, with some of entrance to the famous harbour. Above middle: Parasailing is becoming the larger resort hotels offering parasailing and jet-skiing. In the increasingly popular in the larger resort areas. Above right: The clarity of the water spring, you can also enjoy watching or participating in the yacht and abundance of marine life make diving in North Cyprus a must. races between Girne and Kemer, Turkey.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 21
  22. 22. Yacht and boat tours are very popular across the region, with Explore one of the world’s oldest shipwrecks, dating from the two main sailing centres in Girne and Gazimağusa. Much Alexander the Great’s time 2,300 years ago, or mingle with sea of North Cyprus’s coastline is only accessible by boat, making turtles, grouper, amberjacks and wrasse who live among the coral yacht and boat tours the ideal way to explore. You will certainly and colourful sponges. For the more experienced, you might like feel a million miles away from the pressures of daily life as you to try the Zephyros Reef with a challenging drop from 18 to 28 sail slowly amongst the myriad of hidden bays and rocky islets metres or discover the underwater mountain peak of Zeyko. backed only by forested hills and clear skies. Sea turtles are one of the island’s most famous inhabitants and The unspoilt coastline and warm waters of the eastern Mediter- if you are interested in learning more about these fascinating ranean, that rarely drop below 17°C, make North Cyprus an creatures, you may like to join the Marine Turtle Research ideal location for snorkelling and scuba diving, with one of the Group who undertakes an annual survey of the turtles during longest diving seasons from April through to the New Year. Only the summer months at Alagadi Beach, a 25 minute drive from recently has its potential been discovered by international divers, Girne. Just before sunset you can join the students to observe making it a very exciting time to visit the region. the nesting, which normally occurs between the end of June and beginning of July – or, for hatching, between the end of August With beautifully clear water thanks to low pollution and some and beginning of September. 20 recognised dive sites with exceptional visibility of up to 30 metres, the region is a fantastic setting for beginners and experi- Although the Med offers plenty of adventure, you may also wish enced divers alike. The main dive centres in the region are based to spend a day or two on dry land, in which case caving is another around Girne, where you will have the opportunity to take dive fantastic way to explore. North Cyprus has several intriguing safaris, learn how to dive or develop your skills to international caves. One, known as the Hot Cave is a partially collapsed natural certified standards. formation that emits hot air and lies north of the Ağırdağ villageThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus on the southern slopes of the Beşparmak Mountains. There are also three caves in the Gazimağusa region, including the incred- ibly beautiful Incirli Cave, a long passage festooned with the most amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations. Left: North Cyprus offers a fantastic opportunity to learn or develop your diving skills. Main: Many of the larger hotels offer watersports, such as jet-skiing and sailing. Far right: Explore the underwater history of this fascinating region.22
  23. 23. Dive Sites: Girne Area: Anchor: Ancient artefacts – 27m Antique Shop: Amphorae & marine life – 25m Bambi: Marine life – 14m Chicken farm: Unknown rock formations – 18m Fred: Golden grouper & other fish – 25m Lost: Turtles & rays Mare Monte: Sports training & groupers – 18m Mare Monte Islands: Holes & marine life – 20m Paradise: Marine life – 42m Pinoccio: Good training site – 14-26m Rita: Huge anchor – 12m The Wall: Old chain & anchor, corb fish – 29m Wreck sites: 2 boats and unknown wreck – 17-30m Zephyros: Reef & marine life – 20m Zeyko: Underwater mountain – 14-28m Koruçam Burnu: Kormakiti: Marine life - 25m Foot of the Karpaz Peninsula: Power Station: Underwater mountain – 13-30mThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 23
  24. 24. 24 The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus inspirational arts & Culture
  25. 25. N orth Cyprus is home to a rich diversity of arts and culture ranging from ancient architecture to museums and galleries, cultural events and international festivals. You may wish to combine a beach holiday with a city break in one of the region’s fascinating cultural towns or cities to soak up all North Cyprus has to offer. In the capital city, Lefkoşa, you will discover a city that has been rebuilt and remodelled through the ages, resulting in an intriguing architectural landscape that combines medieval, gothic, British and modern Turkish influences, with fine gems such as Opposite main: Büyük Han Above left: Artefacts in the the Büyük Han – the Great Inn – a 16th-century watering hole, Shipwreck Museum, Girne Above middle: The Icon Museum can be found the Turkish Bath and the gloriously gothic architecture of the amongst the charming backstreets of Girne. Above right: St Barnabas Monastery Selimiye Mosque.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 25
  26. 26. In Lefkoşa, you can also explore the fascinating 17th-century monastery of the Whirling Dervishes, Mevlevi Tekke, now a museum dedicated to this peaceful sect, originally established by world-renowned poet and philosopher Celaleddin Rumi whose chief religious celebration is an ecstatic reeling dance. If you are shopping for traditional Turkish Cypriot crafts, the lively Belediye Pazarı (municipal market) and shops around the Büyük Han are highly recommended, as are the specialist jewellers for exquisite locally made designs, also located nearby. Handicrafts such as Lefkara embroidery, lace and rug weaving are age-old Cypriot traditions still produced by women today and are worth searching out in traditional craft shops and markets. You will discover beautiful and intricate bedcovers, tablecloths, dollies and scarves. Wicker baskets and colourful kilims (small floor rugs) are also popular as gifts or home decorations. Another delight for cultural enthusiasts is the town of Girne; set against the dramatic backdrop of jagged mountains, the crescent- shaped harbour fascinates with its Venetian facades, cobbled medieval streets and nearby Venetian castle. The old town is also home to ancient carob warehouses, today transformed intoThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus a labyrinth of craft shops and flowered courtyards. Museums are plentiful in Girne, including the museum of folk art and museum of public arts. Main: Selimiye Mosque Right: Enjoy exploring the26 colourful local markets.
  27. 27. Westwards from Girne, the alluring towns of Güzelyurt and Lefke make a great tour out of the city. Güzelyurt is a quaint market town Festivals in North Cyprus: centred upon the citrus fruit business and further along the coastal International Spring & Autumn Concerts at road, a short diversion to Lefke is rewarded with the discovery of Bellapais Abbey (May & September) an unspoilt town of truly Turkish character with fine old buildings, North Cyprus International Bellapais Music three mosques and a curious circular British storehouse built to Festival (usually May 21- June 21) mark the coronation of King George VI in 1937. Gazimagusa International Culture and Art Festival (usually June 21 – July 12) Further along the coast, the remains of the Persian Palace of Vouni International North Cyprus Music and the Roman remains of Soli will astound you. Soli houses some Festival (11 Sept – 11 Oct) of the island’s best-preserved mosaics featuring swans, ducks and Iskele Folk Dancing Festival (End June – July) dolphins which decorate the Roman remains of what was once a International Folk Dancing Festival of Gonyeli (End July) major town of Cyprus. You can explore the remains of a basilica, 3,500-seat Odeon and of the temple to Aphrodite and Isis. Traditional Food Fairs: Festivals are another exciting feature of Turkish Cypriot cultural Girne Olive Festival (October) life. From the Peace and Freedom festival, on July 20, to the Guzelyurt Orange Festival (June) harvest celebrations of the orange, grape and olive, as well as the Mehmetcik Grape Festival (August) Bellapais Music Festival in June bringing together international Please note that many of the harvest and religious musicians from around the world, the people of North Cyprus love events do not have fixed dates so please check locally, or visit, before departure. to enjoy themselves at these special events with families, friends and visitors to the island. A whole host of folklore festivals are held throughout the year, the castle at Girne and the Othello Tower in Gazimağusa being prime venues. All are accompanied by the vibrant sound of traditional musicians, colourful folk dancing and plenty of delicious home- style cooking.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 27
  28. 28. 28 The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus night colours of the
  29. 29. N orth Cyprus feels friendly, intimate and peaceful with an unhurried Mediterranean pace. Its nightlife also reflects this; far from the noisy crowds and all-night clubbing of larger holiday resorts, going out in North Cyprus is refreshing, lively and thoroughly enjoyable. The emphasis here is on leisurely dining, good food and drink and great company. North Cyprus is the perfect place to enjoy rustic dining and linger over evening meals served under ageing olive trees and the backdrop of crystalline seas. In towns, there are sophisticated places to enjoy eating and going out, whilst in the villages there is an abundance of friendship from locals, as well as plenty of Opposite main and above left: Girne Harbour is perhaps best enjoyed from one delicious home-style cooking. From the enchantment of Girne of its many cafes and restaurants. harbour by night where bougainvillea tumbles from the city’s Above middle: Enginar dolması (artichoke stuffed with rice and herbs) walls to the excitement of North Cyprus’s bars and casinos, there Above right: Delicious köfte (meatballs) is a local favourite. is something to suit all tastes.The C o l o u r s of North Cyprus 29
  30. 30. Eating out is popular amongst locals and the choice of cuisine reflects this, combining many wonderful tastes from the Medi- terranean, Turkey and the Middle East. In larger towns, a range of international restaurants also offer dishes from around the world. Explore a multitude of local flavours with a Meze meal – the Turkish Cypriot equivalent of Tapas – where you can sample meatballs, hummus dips, mint yogurt, hellim (cheese) and other delicacies, along with a glass of rakı (alcoholic aniseed drink). There are also many good wines, beers and spirits, including the famous brandy sour drink – a favourite of the locals. If you have room, you may want to follow with fresh fish washed down with excellent local or Turkish wine and finished off with a fix of thick Turkish coffee or tea, the perfect end to a hearty meal. Food lovers will delight at the variety of fresh local produce. Fresh herbs such as wild thyme, calamint, fennel, oregano and sage flourish in the mountains, ready for picking in June. Traditional cuisine makes fine use of the abundant fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, including a wide variety of vegetarian dishesThe C o l o u r s of North Cyprus such as yalancı dolması (stuffed vine leaves with rice, onions and tomatoes), stuffed peppers and tomatoes, mouth-watering aubergine meals, sigara böreği (fried white cheese rolled in pastry) and home-made baked beans. Kebabs are another popular dish when eating out in North Cyprus, of which there are many varieties: try shish kebabı, chunks of lamb or chicken barbecued on a skewer, or the Turkish Cypriot speciality, şeftali kebabı, made with minced meat, chopped onion and spices, wrapped in lamb fat and grilled. Other mouth-30 watering dishes include marinated fish and squid – and for