Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus

 Day 01: Embark on your journey in Kyrenia, a charming coastal town serving as an ideal hub for discovering North Cyprus. Dating back to the 10th century BCE, its archaeological sites reveal ancient roots, while its blend of historic structures and contemporary amenities invites exploration. Take a moment to indulge in the hotel’s offerings, maybe raising a toast to the adventures ahead with a refreshing cocktail in the lush garden bar.

 Day 02: This morning kicks off with a warm welcome briefing followed by a quick 20-minute journey to Bellapais, a picturesque mountain village boasting the historic ruins of Bellapais Abbey, a striking Gothic monastery from medieval times. After leisurely exploration time, we take a brief stroll to Catalkoy village for our return transfer to Kyrenia. The walking route today meanders mainly along an ancient dirt path, offering gentle slopes and captivating coastal vistas. Upon our arrival back, we dive into a captivating tour of Kyrenia, highlighted by a visit to its iconic harbor-front castle—a vital stronghold throughout various epochs including the Ottoman, Venetian, and British periods. Enriched with stunning sea panoramas and captivating architecture, the castle hosts the intriguing Shipwreck Museum, showcasing a fourth-century Greek merchant vessel and its precious cargo.

 Day 03: In approximately 25 minutes, we’ll journey to Saint Hilarion Castle, a historic fortress nestled in the Kyrenia mountains. Initially serving as a hermitage, it evolved into a monastery and church in the 10th century, later fortified for protection. Divided into three sections connected by steep staircases, the lower area housed stables and soldiers, the middle section held the church, and the upper portion was reserved for royalty. After exploring the castle and soaking in the breathtaking Kyrenia views, we’ll take a scenic walk to Malatya village, traversing through forests and along an old riverbed before reaching the village. Along the way, we’ll pass through several quaint villages, gaining insight into local life and enjoying lunch in one of the village squares. Our journey concludes with a transfer back to the hotel, with a possible stop for a seaside drink if time permits.

Day 04: We journey eastward for about an hour and a half to reach the stunning Karpas peninsula. Our first stop is the impressive Incirli Cave, boasting a magnificent array of stalactites and stalagmites. Next, we proceed to Kantara, a Crusader castle nestled in the mountains. Like Saint Hilarion and Buffavento, Kantara Castle was strategically constructed by the Byzantines. It served as a vital communication point with Buffavento through beacon fires. From the castle’s vantage point, one can enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panorama encompassing both coasts of Karpas and the Turkish mountains on clear days. Following a picnic lunch nearby, we descend the slopes of the Five Finger Mountains to relax at Kaplica Beach. If time permits, a refreshing swim awaits before our return journey to Kyrenia, approximately an hour away.

Day 05: Today is a blank canvas for island exploration. Among the options, a journey to the ancient Salamis ruins and the historic Famagusta city stands out. The itinerary includes a visit to St. Barnabas Monastery, a tour of Salamis, a seaside lunch break, a glimpse of the abandoned Varosha, and a finale in Famagusta’s walled city with St. Nicholas Cathedral. This tour can be organized on-site, potentially with a larger group. Alternatively, you might opt for a leisurely day of self-guided relaxation or exploration.

Day 06: Embark on a scenic 45-minute journey to Buffavento Castle, the island’s highest Crusader fortress, steeped in history dating back to the 11th century. Perched atop the mountains, it commands breathtaking vistas of Kyrenia and the Five Finger Mountains. Descend from the castle through Bellapais village, indulging in a mountain-top lunch with panoramic views. Traverse a rocky path between the mountains, soaking in the beauty from both sides. Conclude the day with a 10-minute transfer back to Kyrenia.

Day 07: About half an hour before our previous stroll, we embark on a journey towards the Five Finger Mountains. Our route leads us to the Herbarium of Alevkaya (presently under renovation), where we pause for a midday meal. Later, we continue our trek to Sourp Magyar, the sole Armenian monastery nestled in the mountains, followed by a visit to Kyrenia Rock, providing splendid chances for photography.

Day 08: Our journey concludes with a morning meal in Kyrenia.

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