|Beaches in Cyprus|
Heading out west from the town, drive through Karaoglanoglu and on towards Lapta; near to a small town called Alsancak you will come to Escape Beach which was previously known as five mile beach...it's located just after the large road side monument to the Turkish army which you can not miss. This beach has recently seen some sophisticated re-development and has changed from just a pretty cove to a beautiful beach resort for all the family with a restaurant, bar, changing facilities, showers, sun loungers...and at night the Escape Beach Disco.
Further along the same road you will come to the Deniz Kizi beach which is attached to the Deniz Kizi hotel but open to non-residents of course. Some beaches like this one and Escape Beach charge a small fee for people wanting to use the facilities, the fee is usually minimal and well worth it if you want decent and clean facilities and toilets etc.
Further along the coast you will come to Camelot which is also known as Alsancak beach and which has also been developed in recent years into something of a beach resort rather than just a simple and clean beach for sunbathing!
If you drive all the way along the coast until the road bends left up into the hills towards Guzelyurt with a right hand turn towards Kayalar, take the right turning to Kayalar and drive out along a slightly rough road and youÃ¢ ll be rewarded by more private views and access to the Mediterranean. Keep heading towards the far end of the island for perfect sunsets and totally deserted beaches.
Heading out east from Kyrenia in search of the beaches of Northern Cyprus you will again not be disappointed. Firstly you will come to Catalkoy Beach. This beach has recently been cleaned up and is now home to lots of organized water sports. It's a very popular weekend family destination.
A bit further along the coast you'll come to Club Acapulco which is a large holiday resort and casino but which is situated on a very pretty and accessible family beach. Non-residents are free to use the beach facilities for a small fee and it is an incredibly popular choice for families with children...the children can play all day while the parents can enjoy the bars and restaurants and child friendly atmosphere.
After Club Acapulco comes Lara Beach which is seemingly signposted down into the power plant! Trust the sign and you will actually drive past the power plant and round to a pretty little beach which is very popular among expats. The beach has a small cafe and very basic facilities but it's friendly and sheltered and a great place for swimming.
Another excellent swimming location is Alagadi or Turtle Beach. This is the next one along the eastern coast road and is actually two bays separated by a big sand dune! The bays are home to nesting turtles and as a result they are protected. You cannot take your dog onto the beach, light barbeques, leave litter or dig your sand castles too deep for fear of disturbing the turtles and their eggs. Furthermore the beach is closed between 8pm and 8am and watched over by the Society for the Protection of Turtles.
During the autumn, winter and spring these two beaches are almost deserted and make for excellent shell hunting and healthy walking! And on Christmas Day in Northern Cyprus there is nothing better than a bracing stroll along these beaches with fresh lungfuls of clean sea air and beautiful views of the Mediterranean to make you feel truly happy!
If you want the most memorable beach day out though you should head up the Karpas peninsular - or panhandle and experience miles of breathtaking, untouched and wild coastline. Here you will see donkeys and goats wandering freely, beautiful little bays all along your route and then one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world right at the very end of the peninsula - right at the very tip of Cyprus in fact! Truly incredible!
North Cyprus is home to an impressive 347 different species of birds, seven of which are unique to Cyprus. The twice-yearly arrival of migrating birds adds to the unique pleasure of a North Cyprus bird watching holiday, with visiting birds heading northwards during March to May, and hading south between August and October. Visiting birds include swallows, swifts, hoopoe, masked shrike and little ringed plovers.
One of the best places to watch birds in North Cyprus is in the Kyrenia Mountains where the pines and funeral cypress trees positively teem with birds. Kantara Castle offers a picturesque spot to observe both resident and migrant birds, including the blue rock thrush, spectacled warbler, the resident Cyprus warbler and wheatear, and black-headed bunting. Alpine swifts can be seen darting around their nests, perched on the cliffs around the castle.
Bird watching on the Karpas peninsula
This pan handle peninsula in North Cyprus juts out eastwards from the north coast, pointing towards the Turkish mainland. It is a major stopping point for many migratory birds, and the dedicated bird watcher can spot golden orioles and bee-eaters. The rollers always provide a great display, as they bounce across the countryside in their trademark jerky flight pattern. At the far end of the Karpas peninsula, the Klidhes Islands provide refuge for sea birds such as Audouin's Gulls, cormorants and shags. During March and April, the islands are also home to breeding peregrine falcons, audaciously fast hunters who take snatch birds from the sky with ease as food for their nest full of hungry offspring. The peninsula is also home to two game birds, the francolin and chikor, both types of partridge.
Despite rumours of its demise in 1995, the griffon vulture still soars above Kantara and St Hilarion in the Kyrenia Mountains, riding the winds on its 2m wingspan. Birds of prey numbers have been affected by the Cypriot love of hunting, but it is still perfectly possible to see buzzards and falcons, and nesting pairs of red kite can be spotted around the Lapta area. Other hunters include scops owl and little owls. The reservoirs at Karpas and Gonyeli attract overwintering duck, herons and grebes, which in turn attract the brids of prey to feast on them.
The North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds (Kuskor) works hard for the welfare of all birds, in the face of both hunting and liming traditions. It holds regular education programmes for adults and children alike, and is gradually changing attitudes. You may reach bird protection society on 00 90 392 815 7337.
If there is one thing more enjoyable than looking at the sparkling Mediterranean Sea from your North Cyprus holiday villa, it must be sailing on it! A variety of companies offer boat tours from Kyrenia harbour, from short hops along the coast to full day excursions.
Sail, Swim, Snorkel, Snack: Daily Boat Tours in Kyrenia
A boat trip around the North Cyprus coast is a great day out for all the family. Sail out from Kyrenia harbour past the impressive Kyrenia Castle, and out around the coast. Your English-speaking guide will point out places of interest, such as St Hilarion Castle, before dropping anchor so you can snorkel in the warm Mediterranean waters. Enjoy a drink before lunch is served, either on board or at a secluded cove or beach. Check what is on offer when you book your boat tour at Kyrenia harbour, so you can bring a packed lunch and bottled water from your rented holiday villa if it is not included in the price.
If you have taken a coastal villa holiday in Turkey before, you will have seen these pretty wooden boats all along the Turkish coast. Some boat tour companies in North Cyprus offer trips on a gullet that offer wonderful views of the mountains from the water, with swimming, water sports and a generous buffet lunch included. An average boat tour will depart at around 10.30am and return you back to the harbour by 4.30pm.
Sailing into a North Cyprus sunset is perhaps the most romantic moment of your North Cyprus villa holiday, and several companies offer a sunset cruise with dinner. For those who cannot live without a spice in their life, Sail Cyprus even offer a Sunset Curry Cruise!
What to bring on a Cyprus Boat Tour
All you need to bring from your North Cyprus holiday villa is your swimwear, a towel and some high factor sunscreen, waterproof type if you want to swim. You should also bring a hat and sunglasses as the midday sun can be very strong. Also, bring a camera for those amazing views of the mountains, and a pair of binoculars if you want a closer look!
Most companies provide mask, fins and snorkels, but you are always welcome to bring you own from your holiday villa. Northern Cyprus snorkeling is great fun and you may see sea urchins, flatfish, jellyfish, shrimp, octopus and maybe even a turtle swimming with you in a secluded bay. If you are prone to sunburn, always wear an old t shirt when you snorkel, to prevent your back being burnt, and apply plenty of waterproof sunscreen to the backs of your legs which are exposed to the sun when you float!
King's Leisure Centre is the first entertainment center in Northern Cyprus boasting different and vast concepts of entertainment for all age groups with its 12 lane Bowling alley, a pool table hall, an arcade area with machines that even compete with european standards, a café, restaurant and bar that will bring a new social and cultural aspect to Northern Cyprus and it is situated on the new main road from Alsancak to Girne on the right-hand side of the road.
Camping on the Karpas Peninsula
Camp with the Turtles
Well, not literally, but close enough! The Karpas Pensinula has clean, unspoilt beaches, and this is what nesting turtles love. The Turtle Beach Restaurant offers camping facilities right next to the dunes behind the mile-long Golden Sands beach, home to nesting turtles. The two speices of turtle who nest on North Cyprus are heavily protected, but you can still watch the turtles lay their eggs, or hatch. Just keep your distance and make sure you do not disturb them. The Turtle Bay campsite is remote, so it is a good 30 minute drive to the nearest village, and there is no electricity supply at the site at present, but thatÃ¢ s part of its charm!
Camping near the Karpas Peninsula
Campsites spread out from the town of Gazimagusa (Famagusta) towards the Karpas Peninsula, so you can get the views without the remoteness! Onur Camping at Iskele are conveniently located near Salamis Bay and the fascinating ruins of the ancient town, so you can combine culture and beach in one easy location. Other North Cyprus campsites include Salamis Camping in Salamis, Incirli Camping in Lapta, Yeni Erenkoy camping, Pelikan Camping in Kumyali, and Kaplica Camping in Kaplica. Most of these sites offer washrooms, toilets and bars.
Camping on non-recognised sites
In theory there are no restrictions on camping in North Cyprus, but be advised that, as in most countries, in practice you just canÃ¢ t set up camp absolutely anywhere. For example, the military will probably want to know who you are, and why your tent is pitched just outside their military area, especially in the mountains. Remember, military areas also include some lovely North Cyprus beaches. If you manage to avoid these areas, the only other restriction is that you are not allowed to light fires in the forest, for obvious reasons. You might prefer to join an organised camping holiday in North Cyprus to make sure you get the best pitches in the best camps!
Not everyone wants to explore North Cyprus from behind the wheel of a car. The fit and strong will find that the TRNC offers several mountain and countryside routes and tracks to be explored from the saddle of a bicycle. Have you ever wanted to live in a place where you can cycle all year round? Mix challenging hill climbs and deserted tracks with stunning scenery and a friendly local welcome?
Cyprus offers a superb all year round climate, especially between the months of October and April for cycling where the temperature ranges between 15C and 25C. Annual winter rainfall is extremely low in comparison to general Europe an levels. The cycling terrain available will meet the needs of cycling enthusiasts of all abilities, offering pine clad hill tracks and lanes, sparse traffic outside of the main towns, peaceful white-washed villages to pass through and an awe inspiring Mediterranean coast-line to view. The Kyrenia mountain range sits proudly above the Northern coastline (peak Mount Selvili, 1023m elevation), and presents the chance to sample a spectrum of terrain from a single coastal base.
There are many companies all offering day, half day and even night time boat trips on the Med for example. You can sail out to Turtle Beach or Escape Beach, sunbathe on deck and snorkel before enjoying a hearty lunch on deck. Alternatively you can have a sunset cruise with dinner included. If you want to get closer to the Mediterranean consider a diving tour...it doesnt matter if you havent ever been diving before as there are a number of very good and fully licensed companies offering tuition here in North Cyprus. And if a day is not enough, consider staying and doing a full weekÃ¢ s diving course and getting your own PADI qualifications.
If you would like to be shown around the castles of Northern Cyprus you can join day trips out to Buffavento and Kantara or walking tours of St. Hilarion and Girne (Kyrenia) Castle together with the world famous Shipwreck Museum. You will be able to learn all about the history of these fascinating buildings, have plenty of time to wander around at your leisure and take photos before enjoying a refreshment stop. You might like to consider a half day trip to Bellapais Abbey and the former home of Lawrence Durrell or a full day to Nicosia (Lefkosa) where you can visit the ancient Mosque, the old town, the city walls and then indulge in a spot of retail therapy.
Famagusta is another day-trip-favourite for visitors to Northern Cyprus, you can spend time exploring this fascinating town, learning about its history, visiting OthelloÃ¢ s tower and looking down on the Venetian walls before heading off to explore the stunning and impressive remains of Ancient Salamis.
Many of the hotels and holiday villages in Northern Cyprus can help you find out about and arrange your preferred organised tours and day trips, alternatively, take a trip into Kyrenia and visit one of the many local travel agencies for more information. Another alternative is to head for the harbour in Kyrenia and speak to the helpful people in the tourist information office there. They are up to date with events and have many brochures and leaflets about whatÃ¢ s new in North Cyprus and what there is to do and see for all the family.
Also on the harbour youÃ¢ ll find details of the many boat trips available and also the highline tandem paragliding company who will take you on the flight of a lifetime from high up on the Girne mountain range down to the sea shore.
Depending on the time of year when you visit Cyprus you can take part in organised walking and hiking tours, exploring the mountains, plains and beaches on the island, there are also the occasional bird watching tour, shooting and hunting trips, or you can take part in paintballing trips, karting trips, you can try a quad bike tour or go horse riding in the mountains for a day.
Whatever your own cultural interests or entertainment favourites youÃ¢ ll find plenty to keep you and your entire family occupied and happy in Northern Cyprus. And remember, if organised tours and optional day trips are not your thing you can happily and easily spend all day relaxing and soaking up the sun and beauty of Cyprus from your favourite spot on the beach or your preferred bar
Festivals are an exciting feature of life in North Cyprus, including international music festivals such as the annual Bellapais Music Festival in May-June, which brings together classical musicians from around the world. Festivals also play a big part of Turkish Cypriot cultural life: from the Peace and Freedom festival on July 20 to the harvest celebrations of the orange, grape and olive, the people of North Cyprus love to enjoy themselves at these special events with families, friends and visitors to the island.
Events and Festivals
If you happen to walk along the Old Harbor in Kyrenia, you will be amazed by a panorama of fishing boats making a long wavy line all along. Fishing has traditionally been a feature of this area and the eastern part of the harbor has remained the area for local and foreign residents to moor their boats there.
Although the local way of fishing in Kyrenia region is by using nets or by using a long batted line with hundreds of hooks, in Northern Cyprus dwell lots of expatriates from the UK or elsewhere who fish by rod, multiplier reel and trolling. Trolling presents a plastic lure on the end of the trace and line, being pulled behind the boat at a speed of between six to ten knots. This is dragged just under the surface of the water, the level where the fish tend to go to feed.
Favorable weather conditions of the Mediterranean provide the possibility of being able to go out on the sea for most days of the year. The haul ranges from peacock and rainbow wrasses, blennies and gobies, small parrot fish, mackerels, cods, plaices, sea basses, breams, eels but the experienced fishermen enjoy going for the larger ones like tunas, swordfish and mineri. Picarel of Marida (maena smaris), red soldier fish and two siganids (rabbit fish) belong to the most abundant commercial fish in Cyprus.
Fishing in the waters off Cyprus has become a traditional element of the islandÃ¢ s face. Although the aquaculture industry of Cyprus is fast-growing, the fish harvested every year from traditional trawling and inshore boats, is still small as well as the fish industry generally, and most of the fish is imported. However, there is a very large variety of fish, which exceeds 80 species.
Korineum Golf and Country Club has been a long time in the planning and development stages but when you see the amount of effort that has gone into literally transforming the entire massive site, you realize just why it took so long! The visionary behind the creation of this fantastic Golf Course and Country Club has positively and significantly shaped the future of North Cyprus.
Based out to the east of Kyrenia on the way to Esentepe and past Alagadi Beach, tucked away in the foothills of the Five Finger Mountain Range, Korineum is a lush and verdant green oasis. The entire natural landscape has been molded, honed, prettified and perfected so that anyone setting a foot through the impressive entrance gates of the Golf and Country Club feels as though they have been teleported into another world!
The perfection and pristine nature of the grounds, the gardens and the Club House is testament to the dedication of the entire team behind the creation of the Golf Course and is a complete credit to all those involved with the smooth management and ongoing running of Korineum.
In terms of what's on offer well there are 18 challenging international standard holes, the Course is Par 72, there are 3 academy holes and a driving range, there is the Korenium Golf Academy, a Pro Shop where you can hire or buy equipment, purchase clothing and memorabilia and then there's the Club House. The Club House is an impressive and beautiful building; it houses everything from a full fitness centre, spa, hairdresser, massage parlour and sauna to conference facilities, meeting rooms, bars and restaurants.
The membership options are quite comprehensive you can have diamond or full membership, family, junior, corporate, academy or leisure membership and packages are also available for those coming to North Cyprus on holiday who just want a few rounds of golf. The website is quite hard to find though, so hereÃ¢ s a link to it: - http://www.korineumgolf.com/home.asp it has all the contact information you need as well as membership forms and details of the different dining and leisure facilities that you can have access to in addition to the Golf Course itself.
There can be few go-karting tracks that are set in a botanical garden, but the Zet Karting track is one such facility! The Zet Karting circuit in North Cyprus was built to meet international standards as laid down by the go-karting governing bodies, the CIK and FIA. This family-run North Cyprus go-karting centre is suitable for both first-time drivers and experienced go-karters, thanks to its excellent design and range of facilities. ItÃ¢ s no surprise to discover that the family who built the centre really love their karting; their father raced saloon cars in Britain before the family moved to North Cyprus. It soon became apparent that the familyÃ¢ s love of karting was outgrowing the streets and bus garages where they raced, so they clubbed together to set up the islandÃ¢ s proper karting circuit. The circuit is full equipped with safety barriers and meets all international safety regulations.
Tazkarts offer a 350 metre track, with enough twists and turns to keep karting fans and novices alike happy for a race or six! Tazkarts will record your lap speed and times, and you can celebrate your amazing go-karting skills in the bar or restaurant afterwards. All karts are fully automatic, so you can just hop in and race away.
The Interior Ministry are responsible for Game and Wild Bird Law, which cover the following;
Game Birds (black partridge, pheasant, chukar partridge, snipe, quail, turtle dove, and greylag goose.)
The hunting of small birds using lime is not permitted in south Cyprus, but the tradition may continue in North Cyprus. Many conservation groups are concerned over the loss of small migratory birds, and are putting pressure on the government to outlaw the practice.
If you prefer shooting at targets than animals, you can always visit a target range. The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus Shooting Federation has ranges at Gonyeli and Famagusta , both of which feature trap and skeet ranges.
The Girne Gun Club is a new facility completed in 2001, and offers the fun of outdoor shooting in the rugged valley within the club grounds. Keen shooters will enjoy the challenge of shooting at targets of varying skill levels contained within the scenery, and having to adapt to changing weather and light conditions, especially the bright sunlight!
You can bring a shotgun into Cyprus, but not a semi automatic weapon. Any guns must be accompanied by the full raft of customs paperwork, which can be secured in advance via an agent. All guns must be locked securely at the gun club when not in use.
Tunac Riding Club
Situated in Karaoolanoglu, Girne, this riding club is home to 42 horses. The club is ideal for lessons and certified courses, with its well-sized paddock. The club also can arrange guided tours with picnics.
T: + 90 392 822 23 93 - 90 392 822 28 68
Cyprus Gardens Holiday Village Horse riding is one of this village's many attractions; home to 17 horses, visitors can participate in guided tours around the village or take lessons in the holiday village.
T: + 90 392 371 25 52 - 90 392 371 27 22