A look at what’s on for the tots, teens and in-betweens
NORTHERN Cyprus is not purely for grown ups. It can cater for the needs of the most discerning young tourist and let’s face it, the demands of our kids are growing at a rate matched only by the number of TV programmes they just have to watch or computer games they just have to play before they can consider what the outside world has to offer.
In fact they will probably be too busy glued to a screen to even entertain a conversation about going on some boooring holiday. Even the tiniest of tots will throw you a look that threatens to self-dial the authorities if denied CBeebies.
So if you want to lure your little lovelies into the light of day you’ll need nothing less than guaranteed fun in the sun. And unlike many Mediterranean destinations with beaches bursting at the seams, concrete coastlines and money munching man-made entertainment, Northern Cyprus is abundant in natural appeal that will blow their little socks off.
For the tots: there’s nothing like spending hours building sandcastles, licking ice-cream off fat little fingers or bobbing in a boat over blue waves. The beaches in the main resort of Kyrenia have shallow waters, bucket and spade worthy sand, family friendly restaurants, boat rides and ice cream vendors. The more deserted beaches (Turtle & Golden Beach) are well within driving distance, straight off the pages of a storybook and are perfect for picnics and hunting for turtle hatchlings. And if you’re really struggling to stem the flow of tantrum tears then a day on the south side of the island’s capital offers the Ostrich Wonderland Theme Park as well as Extreme Park, a huge indoor and outdoor playground.
For the teens: they love to show off to schoolmates and a holiday with dual destinations will make any ‘gap-year wannabe’ green with envy. Fly in and out of the southern Greek side of the island (making the most of the competitively priced flights to Larnaca), hire a car and ‘adventurously’ cross the patrolled border into the Turkish occupied North (it’s 100% family friendly but your teen is likely to love any hint of drama). Failing that you can bravely promise a detour via Ayia Napa before catching the flight home.
For the in-betweens: every conceivable water sport is on offer from snorkelling and scuba diving, to new fad stand-up paddle boarding. And for the child who prefers not to get wet try a fishing trip or boat cruise. On dry land there’s mountain biking and horseback riding. And the prospect of walking with wild donkeys might even persuade them to go hiking. For the budding explorer there are jeep safaris, a shipwreck, caves and castle ruins, and St Hilarion castle that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty should capture the imagination of any little princess. Still not satisfied? Go-karting (on the impressive Zet Karting circuit), paintballing or a day at Octopus Aqua Park should give them their fix of manufactured fun.
The only question is what to do first!