Places to Visit and Things To See in North Cyprus
North Cyprus is blessed with many places of interest, making it an ideal location for both tourists and second home owners.
Here you can sit under Durrell’s Tree of Idleness and watch the world go by.
The abbey was founded by Augustine monks around 1250AD and represents some of the finest medieval gothic architecture in the eastern Mediterranean. The sleepy village of Bellapais was home to Lawrence Durrell and has been immortalized in his classic novel `Bitter Lemons`.
Located three miles to the east of Kyrenia, built on a rocky outcrop on the slopes of the five-finger mountain range, Bellapais Abbey was of great importance to a people for whom peace was elusive. In North Cyprus, where several monuments to the Gothic period still remain, Bellapais Abbey stands to the fore.
Kantara stands at the gateway of the Karpaz peninsula. Although only 1900ft above sea level in the mountains, it affords marvelous views of both the northern and southern coastlines.
Mosaic Pilgrims Sandals
Sipilna Mosaics – If you put your feet on the pilgrims sandals, you will return to North Cyprus!
St Hilarion Castle
This spectacular fairytale castle is the best preserved of all three. A wild and dramatic maze of fortifications, it was built around 1100AD and conquered by Richard Lionheart in 1191AD. Besides its enchanting historical background, the wonderful views from St Hilarion castle are not to be missed.
Buffavento is the highest of the three crusader castles found in Cyprus. Situated 2500ft above sea level in the mountains, a system of flares linked the castle by night to St Hilarion and Kantara.
Roman Ruins at Salamis
Dating back to 1100BC, these ruins are Northern Cyprus’s most impressive historical site. The best preserved remains are the gymnasium, baths and the spectacular amphitheatre, which is one of the largest in the Mediterranean.
Founded by the Byzantines in the 10th century, this huge castle with its thick walls and massive bastions, dominates the harbour of Kyrenia. It also houses a museum with the remains of one of the world’s oldest shipwrecks.
Dating mainly from Roman times, the main attractions are the 3500 seat amphitheatre and the beautifully preserved mosaics of the Basilica.
Some other places to visit in North Cyprus:
- Folk art museum
- Kyrenia Archangelos icon museum
- Cafer Pasha Mosque
- Omer Dervish Lodge
- Lambousa Kings Tombs
- Peace and Freedom Museum
- Dervis pasha museum
- Ethnographical museum
- Mevlevi Tekke museum
- Selimiye mosque
- Bedesten-old market place
- Nicosia walls and the gates Buyuk Khan-the great inn
- Kumarcilar-gamblers inn
- Sacakli-eaved house
- Lusignan mansion
- Arabahmet mosque
- Haydarpasha mosque
- Lapidary museum
- The Sultan Mahmut II library
- The museum of national struggle
- Guzelyurt archaeology and nature museum
- St Mamas monastery and icon museum
- Palace of Vouni
- Toumba tou skourr pre historical settlement
- Pigadhes temple
- St Barnabas icon and Archaeological museum
- Lala Mustafa Pasha mosque
- Othellos tower
- Enkomi ruins
- Venitian palace
- Famagusta walls and the walled city
- Canbulat shrine
- Namik Kemals dungeon
- The Akkule mosque
- Apostolos Andreas monastery
- Kanakaria church and monastery
- Philon church and monastery
- Iskele icon museum
There Are Also a Range of Festivals Throughout the Year
- During April and May the international spring concert is held at Bellapais Abbey
- The Guzelyurt Orange Festival held in May.
- International Bellapais Music Festival takes place between May and June.
- Famagusta International Festival held between June and July, claims to be the best festival in the Mediterranean.
- North Cyprus International Music Festival takes place between September and October preformed in historical settings all around North Cyprus