Northern Cyprus enjoys a prominent location at the meeting point for three continents, all of which have impacted its history over the centuries.
Every year it welcomes thousands of visitors who come to take advantage of its stunning shores, unspoiled landscape, glorious sunshine, water-sports, hiking and so much more. Most will arrive on flights into Ercan International Airport (ECN).
Nicosia, Lefkosa to residents, is Northern Cyprus' capital city and the only city in the world which is divided between two states, Turkey to the North and Greece to the south. The historic medieval old town has evidence of the Ottomon, Greek and Roman civilisations who have lived there, a great location for sightseeing, shopping and sampling the local Mediterranean cuisine in friendly tavernas and cafes.
The coastal resorts of Kyrenia and Famagusta are within easy reach of Nicosia and Kyrenia Harbour is a particularly lovely place to spend the evening with some fabulous bars and restaurants, said to be Cyprus's most idyllic spot. With the stunning pine-clad Kyrenia Mountains as a backdrop and the tranquil azure waters of the Mediterranean glistening in the sunlight, Kyrenia is renowned for its sublime coastline and uncrowded beaches.
East to Famagusta, if crystal clear waters and endless sandy beaches are your idea of heaven then you will find it here. Historians will also enjoy this city which has some of the best examples of medieval architecture in the eastern Med.
A must see site in Northern Cyprus is the extraordinary gothic cathedral of Bellapais dating back to 1198 and its shade the legendary 'Tree of Idleness' of which it is said that if you sit under it you will become so relaxed and lethargic that you will be unable to work.
Worth the drive is a tour of the magnificent Karpaz Peninsular where natural beauty and serenity remain untouched by time, a paradise for cyclists, hikers and nature lovers. Other island highlights include the remains of a 6th century church, Avias Trias in Sipahi with its incredible mosaic basilica floor, the village of Iskele, famous for its pomegranates and two beautiful historic churches adorned with brightly coloured frescoes and the charming town of Guzelyurt renowned for its annual Orange festival and the ever present heady scent of surrounding citrus groves.
Arriving on flights via the Turkish mainland, there are several ways of reaching your holiday destination depending on your requirements. Car hire options at the airport are plentiful and will allow you complete flexibility during your stay to discover the island at will. Taxis are also available in good supply, journey times to the major towns vary from 15 minutes to Nicosia to 30 and 35 minutes respectively to Famagusta and Kyrenia, costing between 25 and 35. There are also regular shuttle bus services to Kyrenia, Nicosia, Famagusta, Guzelyurt and Lefke, by far the cheapest means of transport costing around 7-12TL for a single journey ((2-4).
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