Kyrenia, North Cyprus
More than just a harbour fronted city, Kyrenia is home to many historical buildings and lovely beaches.
Beaches line the coast to the east and west of Kyrenia, although there are none in the town itself. For a lively atmosphere, summer beach parties and a variety of watersports (such as canoes, pedal boats, jet skis and scuba diving) head for Five Mile Beach or the family friendly Mermaid Beach which has windsurfing and water-skiing facilities. Also popular are the long sands of Mare Monte Beach.
Quieter beaches tend to lie to the east of Kyrenia and these include Catalkoy Beach where you can go horse-riding, Vakiflar Beach and Turtle Beach. Whilst not the best swimming waters, the long sands of Acapulco Beach are backed by the sports and leisure facilities of the Acapulco Hotel.
Things to Do
Stroll around the attractive old harbour, filled with fishing boats and sailing craft, surrounded by bars and restaurants offering fabulous sea views by day and a buzzing holiday atmosphere in the evenings. Boat trips are available from the harbour for scenic coastal cruises.
Overlooking the harbour, the Kyrenia Castle dates back to the 7th century and houses plenty to explore including a church, dungeons and the Shipwreck Museum. Also next to the harbour, the Folk Arts Museum provides an interesting look at traditional Cypriot living.
Relax in a hammock under the shade of a tree, take a dip in the pool, stop for lunch and stroll around the beautiful landscaped botanical gardens at the nearby Green Heights Park.
Out and About
Kyrenia has a good choice of bars, including sports bars and late night bars, as well as a full range of dining options. There are many cafes and restaurants in the old town and around the harbour with menus ranging from delicious Turkish cuisine to traditional English fare, Eastern and Mediterranean choices to fast food takeaways.
The high street is packed with shops for souvenirs, clothing and everyday needs and the Kyrenia Open Market, with over 100 stalls, is held on Wednesdays.
On a clear day, take a trip into the mountain countryside to the historic St Hilarion Castle, which sits above the town of Kyrenia. The steps inside the castle are quite steep but the views from the top are breathtaking. The climb is in stages with ruins, a cafe and a museum to enjoy on the way.
Other historic attractions offering peaceful locations and panoramic views include the Buffavento Castle and the Bellapais Monastery.
The city of Nicosia is approx half an hour drive away and the unspoiled countryside and secluded beaches of the Karpaz Peninsula are approx an hour and half drive.
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