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Hidden Gems of Northern Cyprus

Hidden Gems of Northern CyprusHidden Gems of Northern Cyprus

If you are planning a vacation to Northern Cyprus, you probably already know that this beautiful Turkish Republic has some of the most magnificent beaches in the world, and that the temperature is often warm year-round, albeit you can find some slightly cool temperatures in the winter. For many travelers to this area, the beaches and popular shopping venues are all the rage, but for others, finding those hidden gems along the off-beaten path are much more desirable to see.

If you want to check out those great places that aren’t on the typical holiday itinerary, this is the guide for you!

First, a few tips to consider when planning your ultimate Northern Cyprus holiday:

  1. Always make sure your home is secure when you plan to leave for a holiday. Whether you are planning to stay a week or even a month, hiring a security firm to check on your personal property while away is a good idea. Thousands of burglaries are reported annually, and if burglars know you’re away, your home can become a magnet for them. (source: com)
  2. Make copies of all travel documents including your photo identification, passport and even your flight information.
  3. Leave contact information with those closest to you before leaving.
  4. Write down all important numbers rather than just having them stored in a cell phone.
  5. Take time to carefully plan your vacation with a great itinerary so you won’t waste any time while away from home.

Now, on to those cool hidden gems that will make you wish you could stay in Northern Cyprus forever!

  • Kyrenia

Kyrenia is a Venetian town that is a highly popular tourist area. This area also has some of the best hidden gems and you’ll want to see them all while here. From castles to beautiful beachfront property to sit and soak up the sun, you can spend hours or even days in Kyrenia and will never run out of things to do. You will get plenty of exercise when you take time to explore Kyrenia and everything the area offers.

Some of the most notable places to visit in this area include:

  • Famagusta City Walls

At Famagusta City Walls you will see roughly 200 buildings that are ancient remnants of one of the richest cities of Northern Cyprus. Buildings include structures from the Renaissance Age as well as the Byzantine and Gothic eras. There are some wonderful café’s and restaurants as well as venues to shop while in the city and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful serene atmosphere as you stroll along shopping for souvenirs and other merchandise.

  • Othello Castle

Othello Castle is in Famagusta and is a must-see site while in the area. The castle was built in the last 13th century by King Henry I de Lucian. It was surrounded by a moat which helped make it an impenetrable force to be reckoned with. It is said that in 1481, artist Leonardo da Vinci helped restore some of the castle during a visit to Northern Cyprus. Today, the castle serves as a museum and tourists can walk through to see a bit of history of the local area and catch some of the most incredible views of the sea.

  • Bellapais Abbey

You’ll find a wide array of acoustical music and other concerts to enjoy when you visit the charming Bellapais Abbey that is situated in the hillside of Kyrenia Mountain. Lush gardens filled with beautiful flowers surround the abbey along with palm trees and other spectacular wildlife. The village surrounding the abbey is a wonderful place where you can find walking or even Segway tours of the village, trips to the sea or even schedule an outing on a yacht and relax on the water. There are also game rooms, spas and plenty of shopping venues in the area.

  • Ancient Shipwreck Museum

This museum is located right inside the Kyrenia Castle and is home to a cargo ship that reportedly sank roughly 2300 years ago off the shore of Kyrenia and was found in 1965 by a diver. When it was brought to surface in 1967 by a crew of marine biologists from Pennsylvania, it was dated as being built as far back as 389BC. The ship is made of pine and is 15 meters long and for a ship that was in the water for such a long time, it is in incredible condition thanks to reconstruction that took more than five years to complete, and it is very worthy of a visit from travelers. Among the artifacts to be seen in the museum, visitors can see preserved kitchen utensils, foods and jars filled with objects from the time. You can also see photographs of the divers and those who worked hard to preserve the ship. This is the only preserved ship from the Classical Age of Greece.

Now that you have a few places to check out while in Northern Cyprus, don’t forget about everything else the area offers. Northern Cyprus has long been a quiet area where tourism was scarce up until the last decade. This is a rugged area and you’re going to see majestic mountains, beautiful coastal waters and friendly people anxious to greet you when you arrive. While it is best to have a car to explore the area, you can also take a minibus or even walk to see the area.

You can explore the Karpaz Peninsula and see wild donkeys as they roam in the wild on the beach, the streets and in the fields. Or, take in the local scenery and be sure to stop over for a drink or two at one of the many local bars in Kyrenia. You’ll find a bar on every street and plenty of friendly people to socialize with when you walk in and sit down. Northern Cyprus is an adventure filled with beauty, history and romance, and when you arrive, you may find that you never want to leave.

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