The harbour and castle at Kyrenia are often referred to as the ‘pearl of the Mediterranean’ and for good reason too. With the magnificent backdrop of the green Besparmak mountains, the beautiful pier and harbour are buzzing with boat traffic, cafes and restaurants. Promenade along the waterfront and stop to enjoy a drink during the regularly spectacular sunsets.
Head up into the mountains and visit the St Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara catsles. Three of the finest examples of medieval castles in the Mediterranean. From all three you can enjoy incredible views down onto the plains and along the coastline.
The city of Nicosia is the capital, home to the Selimiye Mosque, built in the Gothic style and one of the finest examples of a walled city in the world. Wander through its mysterious streets, visit the 500-year-old Great Turkish Bath and historic Bandabulya bazaar. The ancient city of Famagusta is also well worth a visit, full of ancient Greek history, statues and an impressive amphitheatre.
Of course, as an island in the Mediterranean, Northern Cyprus is home to some fabulous beaches. From Yesilirmak in the west to Dipkarpaz in the east, there is a beach to suit all types of visitor – from secluded to bustling.
One of the best ways to explore North Cyrpus is one foot. With numerous trekking trails crossing this part of the island, it’s possible to take in all the highlights. Follow the flower-lined paths up into the foothills towards the castles perched high up on the mountains. Gaze back down towards the harbours and ports, and stop for lunch at one of the medieval villages along the routes.
The food here is, as you would expect, remarkable. Sample the fresh Mediterranean flavours of a meze platter, as well as fresh seafood, goats cheese and plenty of other local ingredients. North Cyprus remains one of the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean and although popular, still retains its unspoiled and undiscovered charm.