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Northern Cyprus, also known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, occupies the northern and eastern sections of this sun-baked Mediterranean island. While droves of holidaymakers head to the resorts of the southern shoreline, such as Ayia Napa, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos, the north is a much more sedate destination, where pristine beaches and countryside hikes invigorate the minds, bodies and souls of those who venture here. The former complexities of entering the Turkish-occupied north have relaxed significantly in recent years; arriving for your holiday here will feel no different than it does anywhere else in Europe. You'll need Turkish lira instead of euros, though both euros and British pounds are widely accepted in the bigger resorts.
The landscape is diverse and appealing. From bustling harbour towns where boats dance on the gentle waves, through hills and mountains where trees cling to the slopes, and down to glorious beaches of golden and white sands, which see far fewer visitors than those in the south, North Cyprus is certain to tick your holiday boxes if you are after a good value break in the sun.
Kyrenia is an attractive harbour town and the base for many of the package-break holidays in Northern Cyprus. While Kyrenia and its outlying areas have ancient roots and attractions that showcase the past, such as the castle and Bellapais Abbey, the hotels here are a mix of historic buildings and sprawling modern resorts, some featuring sumptuous spas and five-star service. The coastline of Kyrenia is by far the most popular choice for visitors and you can find many great restaurants, bars, shops, golf courses and attractions on this northern stretch of shore. On the east coast is Famagusta, which is also historic, though a lot more built-up than Kyrenia. The nearby coastal town of Bogaz also attracts holidaymakers. You can also book breaks to stay in the divided city of Nicosia, in the centre of the island.
Bizarrely, casinos do big business in Northern Cyprus and Kyrenia is at the centre of the action. You can play the slots or try your hand on the gaming tables at a variety of fun venues.
There's no need to gamble on a great holiday in Northern Cyprus - it's a winning bet every time. Use the search tool on TravelSupermarket to compare deals and book holidays to Northern Cyprus.
Find out what kind of weather to expect in Northern Cyprus with our brief guide...
Summers are sizzling in North Cyprus and daytime temperatures in July and August can soar above 30C. Evenings are hot too, rarely dropping below 20C - you don't need jumpers and cardigans at the height of summer. Late spring and early autumn are also popular times to visit, as visitors can sunbathe in daytime temperatures averaging around 25C. Winter days can be warm (around mid-teens), though evening temperatures drop into single figures so you'll need to wrap up warm. It's a pleasant time to indulge in sightseeing.
Discover what's on when in Northern Cyprus...
Bellapais Music Festival; May-June: Held at the magnificent Bellapais Abbey, the sometimes-soothing, sometimes-rousing harmonies of classical music echo around the historic walls.
Kyrenia International Olive Festival; October: This event celebrates the humble olive, which grows in abundance here. Visitors to the village of Zeytinlik can expect to eat and drink while watching traditional dancing and seeing parades of locals in costume.
Kyrenia Jazz Festival; December: The famed Rocks Hotel and Casino is the venue for this lively collection of tunes delivered by international jazz musicians.
There is much to see and do in Northern Cyprus, whatever your holiday style...
Kids and teens: The beaches here are first class and little ones will rarely get bored while there is sand to play on and seas to paddle in. Golden Beach, on the Karpaz Peninsula, is hailed as one of the best, though there are no facilities at this remote and peaceful beach.
Romance: It's hard not to be moved by the placid and pretty picture at Bellapais Abbey - the ruins crown a hill and the Gothic arches compete with trees for your attention on the skyline. The views of Kyrenia from this lofty position are also unbeatable. The peace on offer here is certain to soothe your soul and you can enjoy a romantic meal within the grounds of the abbey as the sun sets.
Active types: Scuba diving is a real treat in Northern Cyprus. Some of the best dive sites in the Mediterranean can be seen under some of the finest dive conditions. There are a number of local companies that will make your underwater dreams a reality.
Free and cheap: A very small entry fee is charged to see the mightily impressive Salamis Ruins near Famagusta. These Roman ruins are well preserved and worth a visit.
Nightlife: Kyrenia is the place to be to burn off a few calories from all that delicious food. It's not a wild destination - there are just enough music bars and clubs to keep party people happy. Walk along the seafront and find a place that suits you.