“Full of wondrous natural beauty”

Folk dancers at Bellapais

A British news site has hailed North Cyprus as a Mediterranean paradise waiting to be explored, recommending the island for a Spring break where temperatures are already as hot as London in the summer!

The travel feature in MyLondon marks North Cyprus sites such as the Karpaz, Bellapais, Famagusta and the Arasta shopping street in Lefkoşa as “must see” attractions. MyLondon is British news website operated by the publishers of the Daily Mirror. The article points out that the island is divided into two states, with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the north and the Republic of Cyprus in the south.

It says: “Nonetheless, the border between the two sides of the island is porous, meaning British citizens can cross over at certain entry and exit points on foot or by car provided they can show their British passport. Although things have on the whole been peaceful on the island since a brief conflict resulted in the split in 1974.”

“Politics aside, the island is full of wondrous natural beauty and untouched landscapes. Cyprus really does have it all, from some of the best beaches in Europe to rural village mountain retreats. Tourists generally love flocking to the beaches of the Ayia Napa resort on the island’s east coast, but the golden sands of Turtle Beach in the Karpas peninsula in the north is also very popular for those seeking a more serene experience.”

Nicosia, it says, is a city of two halves, with the northern side being sleepier and more traditional, and the southern side having more of the buzz you’d expect in any European capital. One is able to find plenty of cheap items from clothes, food, souvenirs and home decor along the famous Arasta Street and the historic Bandabulya indoor market.

MyLondon praises the “rich cuisine,” and diverse history of Cyprus, which also be seen in its countless historic sites and places of worship, with the bell-towers of churches and minarets of mosques dominating the island’s cityscapes. Interestingly, Cyprus is the only place in the world where one can find ‘gothic mosques’ which combine both medieval Christian and Ottoman Islamic architecture.”

Salamis Roman ruins
Bandabulya Market Lefkoşa
Gothic mosque Famagusta

Another must-see attraction is Bellapais Monastery in Kyrenia, “by far one of the most beautiful spots on the island.” One could also pay a visit to the Buffavento,  St Hilarion and Kantara castles from which one can not only look out at overwhelmingly stunning views of Cyprus, but also 40km across the sea to the southern coast of Turkey.

“Likewise, a short road trip to the Venetian-era walled city of Famagusta might be in order, where one can walk along the seaside fortress that inspired the story behind the 1603 play Othello by William Shakespeare. Of course, Cyprus and theatre have gone hand-in-hand for centuries, as can be seen in the ruins of a 3,000-year-old amphitheatre in nearby Salamis.”

Related Articles