Places to Visit in Northern Cyprus
As we approach summer and emerge from a global pandemic, people across the globe are looking to book their next vacation. Southern Cyprus is an incredibly popular tourist destination; however, Northern Cyprus is often overlooked as a vacation spot. Despite this, it’s an incredibly beautiful place that’s rich in cultural traditions from Qurbani rules to Eid celebrations. Any sunseeker is sure to love the beaches that Northern Cyprus has to offer, but it’s also filled with plenty of daytrip opportunities. You may want to pick up a phrase book before embarking on a journey to Northern Cyprus, as it’s less of a tourist region, resulting in fewer English speakers.
Nicosia is the largest city in Cyprus, meaning it’s full of historic buildings, markets, restaurants, and cafes to keep you entertained. From the old town to the modern city, you can experience the best of both worlds in Nicosia. Similarly, Nicosia sits between Northern and Southern Cyprus, meaning you’ll be able to engage with the divergence between the two areas. Nicosia is the financial, political, and administrative capital of Cyprus and is home to the country’s most important museum. Regardless of your tastes, Nicosia has something for you, with its winding streets, colonial houses, and beautiful mosques.
The Bellapais Monastery is a stunning building that sits amongst a small town just outside Girne. Whether you want to pay for entry to the space or simply wish to dine in the adjoining restaurant/café, it’s a great day out that’s filled with culture and stunning architecture. Enjoy a spot of tea whilst you overlook the beautiful coastline and bask in the hot Mediterranean sun. The monastery was built in the 1200s by the Latin church, meaning you can be sure that the space is rich in history as well as beauty.
Girne is without a doubt one of the best locations to visit in Northern Cyprus sue to the perfect mix between local and tourist areas. The main streets are abundant in kebab houses, shops, and cafes, meaning you’re sure to find some delicious cuisine in this location. Despite this, you can also find the likes of touristy restaurants down the hill to the harbour, as well as the glowing waterfront, which makes the perfect location for a stroll. Similarly, due to the seafront location, this is the perfect place to enjoy some deliciously authentic seafood.
Famagusta is a beautiful little town to venture through; however, it isn’t typically filled with tourists. Despite this, the sights are aplenty as you take a stroll through the old town. One of the most fascinating is the Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque, which was originally a church that had the spires removed and minarets installed. Famagusta is often regarded as a famous ghost town; however, it was once one of the most popular tourist resorts across the whole of Cyprus. Not only this, but it was one of the most glamorous of locations, and plenty of rich and famous individuals vacationed in this location.
Away from all the resorts and large hotels is Kantara Castle, which has some of the best secluded spots where one can enjoy the sand and the sea. You’ll be charged an entry fee to visit Kantara Castle, but it’s also the place where you’ll be able to experience the most magnificent views of the island. From the castle, you can even see Turkey and Syria, and the history dates all the way back to 1191. You’ll need at least an hour to view the castle in all its glory, so make sure you set aside enough time.