Northern Cyprus | Cyprus Inform
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Northern Cyprus

Замок на Северном Кипре

So-called Northern Cyprus looks like the Flying Dutchman in an endless sea on the world map. The legitimacy of the state is acknowledged only by Turkey.

The war of 1974 split the island into two parts, leaving a deep and sad mark in the memories of Cypriots on both sides of the border. There has been a lot of talk about how to solve the Cyprus problem, but these events do not diminish the merits of the country, which has a significant number of sights and wonderful beaches.

This is why many tourists who come to the Republic of Cyprus try to visit the occupied territories of northern part at least for a few days.

How to go to Northern Cyprus: special features of the visa regime

Checkpoint at Ledra Street in Nicosia

If you are in Southern Cyprus, or plan a trip to the north of the island after arriving at the airport of Larnacа or Pafos, you will have no problems crossing the border to the north and returning.

You can cross the border via one of four border crossings (оne for cars and one pedestrian border crossing points are located in Nicosia).

There are no special visas for visits to Northern Cyprus because there are no embassies of Northern Cyprus anywhere except Turkey.

You will receive a visa form at the border crossing point, аnd you will have it stamped once you’ve crossed the border. When it’s time to come back, you will have to produce the form at passport control.

Hotels of Northern Cyprus

Hotel of Northern CyprusThe hospitality business is developing actively at present, including construction of new hotels in Northern Cyprus. One should point out that the standards of hotels in Northern Cyprus are quite high, whilst their prices are somewhat lower than in the Republic of Cyprus and in Greece.

You can find both large hotels and small cosy ones, with 40-60 rooms, in Northern Cyprus. The majority of the hotels are ready to offer their guests services and entertainment – various water parks, large pools and golf courses. Some tourists are attracted to Northern Cyprus by the legalized casinos.

Cities of Northern Cyprus

Kyrenia

The centre of Northern Cyprus is Nicosia, which we have described in detail in one of our stories.

Kyrenia or Girne is one of the most popular resorts of Northern Cyprus. This city, populated by about 70,000 inhabitants, is considered to be one of the most picturesque on the island.

The earliest settlements appeared here in the Neolithic age around 5800 BC. In the 10th century BC the Phoenicians called the city after Aphrodite the Splendid, Kyriniana.

Now the city and its outskirts are one of the most popular touristic centres of Northern Cyprus.

Colourlful restaurants and small hotels are located in a picturesque city harbour, which is surrounded by ancient stone houses built during the Venetian and Ottoman rule.

The Kyrenia fortress, which gives the harbour its special charm, is considered to be one of the most impressive buildings. It is here that the Shipwreck Museum is located, where the Kyrenia Ship has found its final resting place.

Gothic Abbey, Bellapais.

Apart from the fortress, you should visit the museum of icons in the church of Michael the Archangel, and nearby ruins of a 4th century church, аs well as the Gothic Abbey, Bellapais.

Wonderful Famagusta or Gazi Magosa is located in the east of Northern Cyprus. Current inhabitants of the city amount to more than 90,000 people. Famagusta was created on the site of the ancient settlement of Arsinoe, which was founded in the 3rd century BC during the Ptolemy rule.

In Famagusta, you should visit the city fortress, where you can pass through gates built during the Ottoman Empire. An excursion around the old city, which boasts a unique flavour, will leave no one unimpressed.

The small town of Guzelyurt or Morphou is called the Orange Capital of Northern Cyprus. Here all the largest citrus plantations of the northern part of the island are located. This region, which is considered to be the land of farmers, attracts tourists by its untouched beauty and interesting archeological items. When you are in Guzelyurt, you must drop in to the Vouni Palace, which belonged to the first king of Cyprus, аnd enjoy the mosaics of the Soli church.

Beaches of Northern Cyprus

There are public and private beaches in Northern Cyprus. The fee for using an organized beach is about 3 еuros. There are also free beaches in this part of the island, for example, the turtle beach of Alagadi, where huge marine turtles come in summer to lay their eggs.

The bulk of beaches of Northern Cyprus are sandy although sometimes you can come across pebble beaches. You can engage in various water sports (for instance, diving or wind surfing) on many beaches, water ski or use the services of the entertainment clubs.

The Acapulco, Camelot and Deniz Kizi beaches are ideal for holidays with children. The Escape beach is considered to be the main one for beach parties and is famous for its open air discotheques.

 

Northern Cyprus - Golden beach

Restaurants of Northern Cyprus

LagoonYou can find restaurants of European and Eastern cuisine for any taste and budget in Northern Cyprus.

Restaurants in Kyrenia are many and varied- in the historical part alone, especially in the old port, there are very many wonderful eateries, where you should have dinner for the sake of the view at the very least.

Kyrenian restaurant Niazi’s, founded in 1949 in Limassol, is one of the best known eateries. In 1974 the restaurant moved to Kyrenia. It was in Niazi’s where the concept of a Full Kebab, a dish which no Cypriot feast can do without, was born.

NiazisFans of seafood should drop in to the Lagoon restaurant, located right in front of Niazi’s and belonging to the same network. Here you should try the freshest fish and mussels in white wine.

The Petek restaurant/confectionery, which offers a wide choice of sweets and refreshing drinks, is one of the most popular among connoisseurs. You can also try dishes of Cypriot and Turkish cuisine here. Right in the centre of the hall is a fountain and a pool with wonderful goldfish, whilst the magnificent panorama of Famagusta opens from the upper terraces.

You should drop in to one of the affordable and homely small restaurants near the sea in the vicinity if Guzelyurt. Owners of the eateries know how fish was cooked as far back as the ancient Romans.

A lunch or dinner in restaurants of Northern Cyprus will cost you about 30-40 еuros for two people, including wine or beer.

And sti…

Northern Cyprus соmbines Greek traditions, Turkish culture and Cypriot roots. This must be what attracts the numerous tourists here – wonderful beaches, an ancient heritage and magnificent cuisine will leave no one unimpressed, but the natural beauty and a low crime rate do not rule out the flawed status of the territory.

There are no embassies and consulates of any country except Turkey in Northern Cyprus, which means there is no possibility of a quick fix to a whole range of problems which can happen with foreign tourists. A visit to the occupied territories (especially if you are thinking about a longer visit) always carries some risk, and it is you who should make a decision whether to take it or not.