When looking to purchase property in North Cyprus it’s nice to know what the local area’s are like and what they offer. Here is a brief look at the different locations to give you an idea of the joys that await you once you start your new life in your North Cyprus home.
Central Kyrenia (Girne)
With the magnificent historic castle overlooking the picturesque harbour, displaying over 6000 years of breathtaking history, the atmospheric Kyrenia harbour is the gemstone of Northern Cyprus. The horseshoe shaped harbour is home to the traditional fishing boats and yachts, along with the old style tourist boats, to be taken in whilst enjoying a beautiful meal or a cold beverage.
The horseshoe consists of restaurants, bars, water sports facilities, boat trip excursion stands, and the best atmosphere hosted by the much warm hearted locals. Don’t forget to try the local drink “Raki” as well and for the ladies it has to be the famous brandy sour!
The exclusive area of Zeytinlik, the village of olives, is set in a tranquil rural position above Kyrenia and is overlooked by the spectacular St Hilarion Castle. A panoramic view from the village means that you can watch the sunrise over the Karpaz and then set over the Mediterranean Sea in the West. With its central location just outside Kyrenia, you are never far away from a choice of shops, bars and restaurants.
West Kyrenia (Girne)
In recent years, with the popularity of the area both with locals and with tourists, several hotels and restaurants have emerged on the coastline with extra care taken not to overdevelop the area to the detriment of the environment. The western areas are famous for the citrus and olive groves which sprawl the hillsides and fields.
Home to some of the most dramatic mountain views in the Mediterranean, this also allows for some stunning sea views, and all locations have a good selection of quality restaurants and bars within easy walking distance.
There are many beach clubs on the West coast including Escape, Kervansary and Camelot. These are the most popular ones and provide a number of exhilarating water sports with sandy beaches and rocky coves to suit all the family. If you are looking for something more peaceful the unspoilt coves of Karsiyaka and Kayala may be just for you.
Situated just 10km West of Kyrenia is the very popular area of Alsancak where you will find something to do for all the family. There are number of well managed beach resorts including Camelot and Escape, all offering water sports, good food and club nights for the younger ones. Alsancak boasts some of the finest restaurants on the island including European, Indian, French, Italian and many local restaurants serving Meze and Kebab.
Alsancak is one of the most popular area’s for people who live her all year around with an English school in the village, plus many banks, supermarkets and bars close by.
The village lies on the mountain side above Kyrenia and nestles between the foothills of the Besparmak Mountain range and the crusader castle of St Hilarion. The village of Karmi, now Karaman, fell into disrepair after 1974 until the village was declared a special tourist area and the houses were leased to mainly British and German nationals to renovate. Today it is a tranquil paradise hidden in the hillside.
The old Greek Orthodox Church is now a museum and is open on most Sunday mornings around 11am. The village is small and nowhere is really more than 5 minutes away.
Once a small sleepy village, Ayyrogi (Karaoglanoglu) has grown to be a thriving and sought after location situated about 5km to the west of Kyrenia. Ayyrogi was renamed Karaoganoglu in memory of Col. Karaoglanoglu who was one of the first Turkish soldiers to fall during the peace mission of July 1974. The village is famous for its lemon and olive groves which sprawl the hills and the fields. In the recent years several hotels and restaurants have emerged on the coastline with extra care taken not to spoil the area’s natural beauty.
The picturesque area of Karsiyaka affords stunning views of the highest mountain in the Besparmak Range. It is an up and coming area with a quantity of shops and good quality restaurants along the coastal road and in the village centre. The mountains in Karsiyaka provide ramblers with a choice of spectacular trails. As well as stunning views this area also benefits from a number of unspoilt sandy coves.
Follow the winding road along the mountain side to the village of Kayalar with its stunning panoramic coastline views. Discover the numerous secret beaches hidden by the rugged cliff tops. This area is an unspoilt nature lovers paradise.
Lapta is one of the jewels in the crown of North Cyprus’s tourism industry with its abundance of historical sites, natural beauty, hotels, restaurants and beautifully restored buildings. Lapta is a sprawling village which lies on the narrow strips of land that stretches from between the Mountain Range and the sea. Lapta, the green village, and its surroundings provide some of the most beautiful scenery on the island. Perched on the northern slopes of the Besparmak Mountains, facing down towards the Mediterranean, this large village has been blessed with such pure water and fresh air that locally produced fruit, vegetables and meat are the talk of the island.
East Kyrenia (Girne)
Home to many retired locals and British expats, Eastern Kyrenia holds some of the most breathtaking views the island has to offer. A number of quiet sandy coves dot this side of the coastline, with its crystal clear turquoise aqua marine sea. For the more energetic it is a diving and snorkeling paradise with one of the largest Turtle conservation projects in the Mediterranean.
Looking south the East coast is also famous for its unspoilt nature with panoramic mountain views making this one of the most perfect areas of the island to unwind. It is a walker’s paradise with many colourful species of wild orchids and flowers dotting the landscape.
Approximately 25km East of Kyrenia, there are two beautiful untouched villages, the village of Bahçeli on the mountainside and neighboring Kuçuk Erenköy on the coast, which is soon to play host to a new 520 berth Port Cyprium Marina. There are a number of interesting restaurants some of which are perched on the cliff edge below Esentepe Village with superb uninterrupted views of the coastline from East to West.
A medium sized mountainside village east of Kyrenia. The narrow village roads wind their way up the lower slopes with Olive groves in abundance. It is a picturesque village offering a variety of restaurants in the village centre and surrounding areas. The village of Ozanköy neighbours the villages of Çatalköy and Doganköy.
Catalkoy has always been a popular location to live ever since St Epictetus came here in the 12th century. Very popular with ex-patriots as well as local’s this clean village offers a good selection of restaurants and bars, as well as many shops and supermarkets along the main coastal road.
The tranquil and beautiful village of Bellapais stands in the Kyrenia mountain range, some four miles from North Cyprus’ coast. With breathtaking views, tiny streets and ancient buildings around every corner, the village has changed little since it was immortalised by Lawrence Durrell in the 1950s.
The author’s “Bitter Lemons of Cyprus” chronicles his time in Cyprus and his adventures buying a home in Bellapais, close to the famous Bellapais Abbey. Whilst the abbey is certainly a ‘must see’ for visitors to Bellapais, there is much more here, including ancient crusader paths that criss-cross the mountain – not to mention an excellent selection of restaurants, bars and tavernas!
The village itself in small, yet has everything you require, and is a true example of a real traditional Turkish Cypriot village. Close by is Kucuk Erenköy which is the site for the new Port Cyprium Marina Project – due for completion in 2011.
Esentepe means “Windy Hill” is English and is one of the most beautiful villages in Northern Cyprus, located just 16 kilometers away from the eastern shores of Kyrenia. It is famous for its unspoilt nature, and a warm local welcome, with panoramic mountain and sea views. Esentepe is located at the foothills of the five finger mountain range, overlooking a coastline made up of natural sandy beaches. The famous Alagadi Turtle Beach reserve is just 5 minutes away, during the months of June and July through to August September you can watch the turtles nest early season and then see the babies hatch from their eggs and escape into the Mediterranean sea late season.
When translated into English Tatlisu means “sweet water” which describes this unspoilt region genuinely. A number of quiet sandy coves dot the coastline with its crystal clear turquoise water. Non developed and the perfect location to unwind, there are a few local restaurants to enjoy.
Occupying the Eastern coastline of Northern Cyprus, Famagusta boasts miles of white sandy beaches with excellent facilities with clean, safe bathing and snorkeling. This harbour town is a fantastic destination for summer holidays as the bay itself is an expanse of golden sands.
It is also very close to the old town, an “outdoor museum” of architecture and ancient ruins. Restored and pedestrianised since 1996, the old town of Gazimağusa is a veritable outdoor museum and a real delight to explore, soak up the sunshine and people-watch in quaint cafes. Just minutes away also lays the thriving new town which is becoming increasingly popular with locals and visitors alike as a fun-packed holiday destination. It’s an excellent hub for eating-out, shopping and recreation. Gazimağusa is also close to the vast Roman ruins of Salamis, and a day trip to its ruins and beaches is an absolute must on your holiday to North Cyprus.
Situated just to the North is the fishing harbour of Bogaz where restaurants overlook the boats at night – relax under the stars with some good Turkish Cypriot food and a nice cold pint of Efes (Turkish Beer).
Spectacular unspoilt landscapes where turtles lay their eggs and donkey’s roam wild. 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.
The Karpaz Panhandle extends from north of Gazimağusa to the northern-most tip of Cyprus. Covering a substantial part of the island and stretching to 80 kilometers in length and up to 20 kilometers in width, the Karpaz is one of North Cyprus’ most spectacular landscapes and still untouched by mass tourism as it is a protected Nature Reserve.
One of the main attractions of the area is Golden Sands, one of the world’s longest and most glorious beaches, that stretch for more than 3km. The beach is fringed with sand dunes and it is here that green and loggerhead turtles swim ashore to make their nurseries. The Karpaz is also home to around 400-500 wild donkeys, or ‘free donkeys’, that roam across the panhandle.
Enjoy good food or a weekend break at one of the many friendly places to stay along the coastline. Many are basic accommodation where time has stood still, away from the big hotels and major towns.