Tourism and Landmarks

Northern Cyprus has quite a lot of landmarks that are definitely worth visiting. There are also a couple of places that will be interesting for those who want to study Cyprus far and wide.

As for cities, the largest and most remarkable ones are Nicosia, Kyrenia, and Morphou.

We’ve already dedicated a separate article to Nicosia, so now we’re going to tell you about the other two cities.

We’d like to warn you straight away that tourist places are quite pricey here, so you’d better not hope that the cost of any goods or services will be considerably lower than in the southern part of the island. However, like in any other city or country that hosts lots of tourists, if you go aside from common tourist routes, you can easily find really good deals, affordable restaurants with delicious food, and so on.

Kyrenia

Kyrenia (Girne) is a coastal city and a tourist centre of Northern Cyprus. Although Kyrenia is one of the largest tourist cities in the “unofficial state”, it’s always quiet and peaceful here. Many people call it the best family holiday destination.

On the map the city looks like a line stretching between a mountain range and a coastline. It’s hard to choose the most picturesque areas, because all of them are near the sea and are quite picturesque.

There are a lot of good calm beaches – both wild and well-equipped private ones owned by hotels. But Girne’s coast is not all sandy. There are a lot of pebbly areas, a lot of asphalted places that are not suitable for beach rest.

The main landmarks include the Old Harbour, Old Town, and a couple of ancient castles situated in the mountains.

The Old Harbour is a must-visit and very picturesque place of historical importance. That’s basically where the construction of Kyrenia started from. Here you can begin your walk along the narrow streets of old quarters, the first quarters built in the city.

Myriads of restaurants and cafes offering traditional dishes are concentrated here as well.

Kyrenia Castle

Kyrenia Castle is the largest castle situated right here in the Old Harbour area. It’s a formidable building having a formidable history. First fortifications were erected here as far back as at the time of Ancient Rome.

The castle adopted its current look – typical of the Middle Ages – in the 16th century. It was conquered multiple times. Ottomans, the British, and generally all the invaders that had ever intruded into Cyprus were there.

Today Kyrenia Castle is a large museum with a lot of exhibits and exhibitions showing the history of the construction and the whole city vividly.

Morphou

The “landmark” that we personally were impressed by was a huge bay with a wonderful pristine beach. There’s nothing on the beach – neither hotels nor deckchairs nor cafes. Just clean sand and clear sea.

It’s a perfect place for a secluded quiet family rest.

In the vicinity of the city, which is, by the way, one of the oldest settlements on the island, there are two curious places that are definitely worth visiting. It’s the ancient Soli city complex built in the 2nd century BC and the magnificent Vouni Palace situated on a mountain peak, over 200 m above sea level.

According to scientists, the palace was erected in the 5th century BC or even earlier. And it’s still a mystery why it was built and who owned it.