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Holidays to North Cyprus

What to see and do on holidays to North Cyprus

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a separate part of Cyprus which has been occupied by the Turks since the invasion in 1974.

Holidaymakers who want to visit North Cyprus must either fly via Turkey into Ercan airport in the North (you cannot fly into Ercan airport from any country other than Turkey) OR fly into Larnaca or Paphos in the officially recognised Republic of Cyprus in the South and then cross the border into the North.

Please note that while I refer to North Cyprus for ease, it should really be called the TRNC in every instance; it's just that most people without a clear understanding of Cyprus history simply call it North Cyprus.

Holidays in Northern Cyprus

north cyprus

Most people visiting North Cyprus head for Kyrenia or Girne as it is called in the TRNC.
It has a beautiful old harbour and narrow old-fashioned streets, but sadly massive development over the past 5 years on the hillsides surrounding Girne has largely ruined the areas around the town as you can see in this picture.

Key attractions to put on your list for holidays in Northern Cyprus include:

  • St Hilarion Castle - towering majestically above Kyrenia, climb up to over 700m for magnicent views over the island.

  • Bellapais Abbey - Bellapais was the home of Lawrence Durrel when he lived there in the '50s, a 5 minute walk from the great abbey. Tip: Don't bother paying the expensive entrance fee as it takes only minutes to walk around the abbey and you can see most of it from the outside!

  • Kyrenia Harbour - walk around the picturesque harbour and have a drink there, although expect to pay higher than average prices!

  • Buffavento - another castle in the chain built hundreds of years ago to defend the Cypriots from invading Arabs.

  • Pentadactylos range - the famous five-fingered mountain, part of the entire mountain range that stretches along the northern coast.

  • Karpasian peninsula - known as the pan-handle locally as it sticks out from the top-end of Cyprus, this area is totally unspoilt and there are still a few old Greek Cypriots living there - they never left when the Turks invaded.

Getting to North Cyprus

Holiday companies in the UK advertising holidays to North Cyprus don't make it obvious that you have to fly either via Larnaca or Turkey. The reason you can't get a direct flight to Ercan airport in the TRNC is because the TRNC is only recognised by Turkey.

Since 2004 when Cyprus joined the EU, however, border controls have been softened so it is now easy to cross over into the North at one of the many check-points which now includes the latest crossing in the north west at Limnitis (closest town in the South is Kato Pyrgos).

Those living in the South or visiting the South can cross over by showing a passport, filling in a simple white slip (which gets stamped rather than your passport) and buying car insurance at the border. NB: Most hire car companies will not allow you to take their cars over and while some have loosened their strict rules, if you do have an accident, I strongly suspect that you may be held fully liable for damage as you can only buy Third Party insurance at the border.

Enjoy your holidays to North Cyprus!

Discover Northern Cyprus on a SINGLES holiday!

Related Pages:

Saint Hilarion Castle

Cyprus Border Crossings

Travel from North to South Cyprus without a car

Tips on Holidays to Northern Cyprus

Discover Northern Cyprus on a SINGLES holiday!

Kyrenia Hotels

Book a Taxi from South to North Cyprus



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