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2024 | BY NORTH-CYPRUS.COM

Great Places to Visit in North Cyprus

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North Cyprus is an overlooked gem located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. With its laidback atmosphere and abundance of historical and natural attractions, it offers visitors an authentic experience off the beaten path. With over 1,200 kilometres of coastline dotted with sandy beaches, and inland regions filled with medieval villages, ancient ruins, and mountains, there are plenty of great places to visit in North Cyprus.

 

Kyrenia

The picturesque port town of Kyrenia is a must-visit on any trip to North Cyprus. Its charming Old Harbour lined with restaurants and shops is a scenic spot for people watching. Make sure to wander the cobblestone streets of the adjacent old town, where you'll find historic buildings, a medieval castle, and panoramic views of the coast. Kyrenia is also a great base for day trips to other attractions since most places to visit in North Cyprus are within an hour's drive. Rent a car or book a tour to make the most of your time.

 

Bellapais Abbey

Nestled in the hills just outside Kyrenia is the majestic 13th century Bellapais Abbey. The striking Gothic architecture and ruins are beautifully preserved with arched windows framing stunning vistas of the Kyrenia Mountains and Mediterranean beyond. Wander the grounds and imagine medieval monks residing within these solemn walls. Don't miss the abbey's famous frescoes depicting biblical scenes. It's definitely one of the most impressive historical places to visit in North Cyprus.

 

Golden Beach

No trip to North Cyprus is complete without spending a day relaxing on the island's famous sandy beaches. One of the best is Golden Beach, located a short drive east of Kyrenia. With its long stretch of soft golden sand and calm turquoise waters, it offers the quintessential Mediterranean beach experience. Lay out your towel and enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or water sports to your heart's content. On hot summer days, it can get busy so go early to find your perfect spot.

 

Salamis Ruins

Venture a bit farther east to the ancient city of Salamis for a look at Cyprus's rich history. Wander through the sprawling archaeological site filled with columns, mosaics, and other remnants from the Roman era. Highlights include a well-preserved theatre, baths, and temples. Interpretive signs help bring the ruins to life. It's fascinating to imagine this city as the island's capital over 2,000 years ago. Out of all the places to visit in North Cyprus, the Salamis Ruins offer the best look at ancient Cypriot civilization.

 

Lapithos

The picturesque mountain village of Lapithos is well worth a visit for its preserved traditional architecture and stunning backdrop. Wander cobbled alleyways lined with stone houses, churches, and tranquil squares. Don't miss the 12th century Agios Georgios / St. Georges church with its impressive frescoes. For panoramic views, climb up to the Knights Hospitaller castle ruins perched high above the village. Lapithos is one of the most authentic experiences among places to visit in North Cyprus outside the beach towns, transporting you back in time.

 

Kantara Castle

Venture farther inland to the mountain stronghold of Kantara Castle for incredible views. The imposing medieval fortress clings to the edge of a steep cliff overlooking a vast canyon and surrounding countryside. Explore ruins of towers, walls, and cisterns while learning about its changing role over centuries of occupation. Take the scenic hike down to nearby Saint Hilarion Castle for more ruins and photo ops. History buffs will appreciate visiting these defensive structures high in the Kyrenia Mountains.

 

Girne Amphitheatre

No trip to North Cyprus is complete without a visit to Girne Amphitheatre, one of the island's most iconic sites. Located in the town of Girne just west of Kyrenia, its well-preserved semicircular design and arched entranceways take you back to Roman times. Imagine gladiatorial battles and performances that once entertained crowds here over 1,500 years ago. Wander around the tiered seating and central stage area for photos capturing its grandeur against the beautiful coastline backdrop. It's among the top attractions among places to visit in North Cyprus.

 

Lefke

The southern town of Lefke offers a charming break from the beaches. Explore its historic center with traditional stone houses, arched walkways, mosques, and churches. Don't miss the Grand Mosque with its intricate interior decorations. Wander the bustling pedestrian streets lined with craft and antique shops, enjoying a laidback atmosphere. Foodies will love sampling Lefke's famous hand-rolled bulgur wraps or shopping for locally produced olive oil, spices, and handicrafts. It offers a glimpse into everyday Cypriot life off the coast.

 

Final Thought

Whether you enjoy relaxing on beautiful beaches, learning about ancient history, taking in stunning natural scenery, or exploring traditional villages, North Cyprus has something for every type of traveler. Be sure to rent a car to easily access the many amazing places to visit in North Cyprus highlighted in this guide. Leave time to get off the well-trodden tourist paths to discover hidden gems on your own as well. North Cyprus rewards those who slow down and immerse themselves in the local culture with Mediterranean warmth and hospitality.