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NORTH CYPRUS-GIRNE-KYRENIA HISTORICAL PLACES-MUSEUMS-CASTLES-TOURISTIC PLACES,KYRENIA VILLAGES
North Cyprus...a place where the delicious aroma of jasmine and honeysuckle floats through the air, tickling your senses with anticipation of the feasts awaiting.. Imagine swimming in the crystalline waters of secluded beaches or exploring ancient centuries of history and culture in a day. And where an abundance of nature, wildlife and warm Mediterranean hospitality make a holiday to this land of rustic beauty simply unforgettable...
KYRENIA:Kyrenia is founded in the 10th Century BC.,by Achaean settlers and was for many Centuries one of the 10 Kingdoms of Cyprus. In the 7th Century it was fortified by Byzantine who built the original Castle later expanded first by the Lusignans and then by the Venetians. Under Ottomans the town had remained a minor port. The British built a harbour and a Quay.Under British Empire the Town was an en-route resting place for officers, captains and their families for its picturesque situation, its beautiful harbour and leisurely and romantic atmosphere. The Town still retains its character with many restaurants and bars by the Harbour and small hotels spreading east and west of the town, along the coastline which raises to form an impressive backdrop with the mountains behind. The region now an attractive holiday resort boasts many historic sites worth visiting. Among these the Harbour Castle and the Shipwreck Museum, The St. Hilarion Castle, The Bellapais Abbey, the Folk Art and the Icon Museums are the most important.
KYRENIA CASTLE ( Girne Kalesi )
BELLAPAIS ABBEY ( Bellapais Manastiri )
ST. HILARION CASTLE The castle is named after St. Hilarion, a hermit monk who fled from persecution in the Holy Land and lived and died in a cave on the mountain.Later lived and died in cave on the mountain.Later in the 10th century the Byzantines built a church and monastery here. Along with Kantara and Buffavento, St. Hilarion Castle was originally built as a watch tower to give warning of approaching Arab pirates who launched a continuous series of raids on Cyprus and the coasts of Anatolia from the 7th to the 10th centuries.Some 400 years after it was first built, the castle became a place of refuge and also a summer residence for the Lusignans. When the Venetians captured Cyprus 1489, they relied on Kyrenia, Nicosia and Famagusta for the defence of the island and St. Hilarion was neglected and fell into oblivion. The castle consisted of three wards on different altitudes, each with its cisterns and storage rooms.
Antiphonitis Church Bellapais Abbey Hz Omer Tomb Karmi Village
HZ.OMER TOMB KYRENIA:There can be few more picturesque places to be buried than on a rocky headland overlooking the North Cyprus coastline and the Mediterranean sea beyond, the waves almost lapping at your feet. The small Hazreti Ömer mosque and tombs house the remains of a 7th century commander and his men. Hazreti Ömer and his men died defending North Cyprus from Arab raids during the reign of the Omayyad caliph, Muaviye. Evidence suggests that there may well have been a pagan shrine on the site before the tombs were constructed. A tekke or convent was established around the holy tombs, equally respected by both the Orthadox and Muslim communities before 1974.Situated on a pretty headland just 4km east of Kyrenia, the whitewashed tombs contain the mortal remains of seven Muslim saints. Extensively renovated during the 1950s, the tombs interior today is a curious mixture of tomb and library; the walls are hung with tapestries of Mecca and rugs, with piles of books on the floors.
SOURP MAGAR MONASTERY:Sourp Magar Monastery lies in a beautiful spot in the mountain of North Cyprus on the cliff edge and at the start of a deep ravine. While the name Sourp Magor means the Virgin Mary, this 11th century Coptic monastery is dedicated to St Makarios of Alexandria, an Egyptian hermit and whose Coptic monastery in Egypt still exists today. Sourp Magar then became an Armenian monastery in about 1425AD.
VRYSI (ÇATALKÖY):Vrysi is a settlement dating to the Neolithic Period. The excavations have revealed that the settlers of this region came to Cyprus from a district in Anatolia called Kilikya between 4000-3000 B.C.. The economy of the settlement was dependent on agriculture. The earthenware bowls are handmade. The houses are connected to each other by narrow tunnels. The walls are made of stone and wet clay. The inner walls are plastered with wet clay. The roofs are made of reeds and covered with mud and wet clay. Rush mats were used on the floor. Following the earthquake affect around the year 3000 B.C. the people of Vrysi abandoned this place and settled somewhere else.
EDREMIT VILLAGE:Time to close your eyes and picture a sleepy, pretty Cypriot mountainside village, and you are now thinking of Edremit. Overlooking the Mediterranean, situated in the foothills of Hilarion Mountain is the village of Edremit. A small tranquil village located halfway up the hill towards the Mountainside village of Karmi. Edremit has two small grocery stores where you might buy your daily produce and spend a few minutes for a chat. There is also a well stocked village craft shop where traditional village crafts and activities can be seen.
KARMI VILLAGE,KYRENIA:Karmi village has one of the oldest Bronze Age settlements in North Cyprus.There are elaborate Bronze Age tomb structures and burial chambers. A unique funerary stele was discovered here which may be the largest of its kind in the island. The excavation was carried out by JR Stewart, in 1960, of the Melbourne Cyprus expedition.The peak of St Hilarion is visible from anywhere in the village. This might mean that both places were in close contact. An old road from the castle reached the shore via Karmi and Edremit. It would not be mistaken to imagine the knights of the Lusignan dynasty with their colorful costumes riding with their companions through Karmi. The Latin influence is evident in the medieval church of Karmi.Karmi is one of the most beautiful villages in Cyprus.The landscape is superb, the villas and houses are in aesthetic harmony with Northern Cyprus. A predominantly Mediterranean mood can be seen in the architecture. Such a complete picture of North Cyprus and its nature gives you a striking impression of our island.The lovely atmosphere of the village is accompanied with a fresh wind from the mountains. The scenery is absolutely wonderful. The flowers, white painted houses, cypress trees, an old door; they all paint an impressive tableau in your mind.
ILGAZ VILLAGE IN ALSANCAK:It is a quiet mountainside village with superb scenery and a mixture of Europeans, Turkish and Cypriots. The ideal retreat for those is to want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life, with one restaurant serving the village and many others at the bottom of the hill.
LAMBOUSA IN ALSANCAK:Near the sunbathers and pleasure-seekers stretched out on Mare Monte in Northern Cyprus are the remains of Lambousa. Greek settlers may have come to the area as early as the 13th century BC, and Lambousa was certainly under Phoenician control in the 8th century BC. During Roman times, Lambousa flourished, as it was the port for the nearby town of Lapta.However, by the 13th century, due to frequent raids by Arabs and other factors, this ancient site in North Cyprus had been abandoned.In 1904, Lambousa yielded up a well-hidden secret in the form of 7th century Byzantine gold and silver objects, known as the Lambousa Treasure. The finds included silver plates showing the story of David. Probably buried to keep it safe from Arab raiders, the treasures are marked with an Empire seal, thus dating the finds to between 627 and 630. Unfortunately none of the treasure remains in North Cyprus, housed instead in the Cyprus Museum in south Nicosia, the Medieval Museum in Limassol, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the British Museum in London.
LAPETHOS-LAPTA:10km west from Kyrenia is a well known tourist spot with excellent hotels, a beach, and a fine selection of restaurants.This coastal village offers visitors some amazing scenery with stunning mountain and coastal views.There are two main areas in Lapta, the Lapta strip home to bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes, pubs, casinos, water sports, beach access, and a lively holiday atmosphere and the old town where many people go to retreat. Famous for its fruit and vegetables, Lapta also has some of the best fresh water mountain springs and is well worth visiting during your stay in North Cyprus.Baspinar:Set high above the village of Lapta is Baspinar, well-known for its mountain spring, breathtaking views, sleepy atmosphere and cooling breeze. The ideal place to spend lazy days enjoying the views or a variety of excellent walks in the Besparmak mountains.
INCESU-MALATYA VILLAGES:Small friendly villages set in the mountains above Alsancak.Here you will find spectacular walks around the area, with a picturesque waterfall which is located just above Malatya.Incesu and Malatya are located just to the south east corner of Alsancak.Incesu is a pretty hillside area whose name translates into thin water. A little further inland from Incesu you will find the peaceful village of Malatya.Both of the villages are in elevated positions offering stunning views which is something you will come to expect from villages set along the sides of the mountain in North Cyprus.
YESILTEPE:It is located in Alsancak.Yesiltepe translated means green hill.Yesiltepe has a huge ravine that runs up alongside the road and leads all the way up to the charming village of Ilgaz. These two villages have wonderful sea and mountain views. For the holidaymaker looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern everyday life then either village could be their retreat.
KORMACIT VILLAGE:Kormacit (pronounced Korma-jit) is a village in the north-western most of Northern Cyprus, inhabited by the island's Maronite minority. Maronites are of Catholic Christian people of Arabic origin, who came and settled into Cyprus 1200 years ago from Lebanon where the Maronite presence is greater. They speak their native tongue a dialect Arabic, which is mixed with many Greek and Turkish words.Area of Kormacit, or Kormatiki as it is also called, has an impressive Catholic church in the village center. The name of the village also derives from Koura, a town in Lebanon where the Cypriot Maronites came from.Many Cypriot-Maronites still preserve their customs and traditions, and have a Maronite village mukhtar (community leader or governments local representative). The post is currently held by Mr. Andonis Diakou.Kormacit is a beautiful village in the midst of green forests of western Kyrenia range overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean.
KARSIYAKA:Located in the west of Kyrenia the area affords stunning views of the highest mountain in the Besparmak mountain range. Karsiyaka has a couple of shops and some good fish restaurants located close to the waters edge. A large sandy bay is a 5minute drive away and there are many more sandy beaches between Karsiyaka and Kyrenia.
OZANKOY:Situated 3 miles east of Kyrenia and known as one of the most spectacular villages in Northern Cyprus.This peaceful village has preserved the natural environment and the friendly and welcoming locals make it a great place to visit. Known for its olive, carob, and lemon trees,Ozankoy plays host to some of the best flora and fauna species in Northern Cypurs.Located on the edge of the Kyrenia mountains it makes the perfect starting point for walking excursions.Spectacular views are also associated with Ozankoy and from here you have one of the best views of Bellapais Abbey especially at night when the abbey is all lit up.Other sights include a medieval church and a mosque.There are also cafes,bars, and restaurants,and a day spent here is a day you will truly enjoy.
SADRAZAMKOY-KAYALAR VILLAGE:The sheer rugged beauty of this unspoiled corner of the island is simply breathtaking. If Northern Cyprus is the undiscovered secret of the Mediterranean then Sadrazamkoy must surely be one of the jewels in its crown. Here time has stood still. Shepherds tend their sheep and goats, cows are milked by hand and village life goes on much as it has for hundreds of years. This is your great escape. Great Fishing!
KARAOGLANOGLU-AYIOS GEORGIOS VILLLAGE:Karaoglanoglu is a sought-after suburb of Kyrenia, about 5km to the west of the town. The village is famous for its lemon and olive groves. Its increasing popularity has created several hotels and restaurants on the coastline.The Chapel of St Fanurios, carved inside caves on the coast is a must see. The rocks under the chapel are known to contain fossils, rumoured to be that of a hippopotamus! Fanurios was an early Christian who while living in Asia Minor, followed the call of Christ and converted to Christianity and settled in Cyprus. According to the myth, while climbing the steep cliffs one day he fell off and died on the spot where the chapel is now.
CATALKOY:It is well maintained and is home to the Catalkoy riding club where you can take tours threw the mountains on horseback. There are also a number of shops, restaurants, a casino, a sandy beach, and spectacular views of the five Fingers Mountains.
ESENTEPE:Esentepe is a traditional mountainside village just 20 minutes drive from the main tourist town of Kyrenia, with its beautiful Venetian harbour, Crusader castle, shops and restaurants.The Esentepe area boasts some of the best beaches in Northern Cyprus, for example the famous Alagadi Turtle Beach is just a five minute drive away.This beach has golden sands that stretch over several miles and during the months of June and July, you can watch the turtles nest and then see the babies hatch from their eggs and escape into the beautiful Mediterranean sea. Apart from the wonderful beach, the surrounding olive tree orchards, walking paths and picnic areas there is also the spectacular Korineum Golf and Country Club. The Korineum golf course is an 18 hole championship course only 800 meters from the development. In addition to this there is a new Yachting Marina soon to commence just 5 minutes drive away.
easy access of Kyrenia yet set in a tranquil, rural position amongst olive
groves and overlooked by the spectacular St. Hilarion Castle. A small but good
selection of restaurants, a couple of shops and a supermarket close by.
KYRENIA OLD HARBOUR:Situated on the north coast of Cyprus, Kyrenia, with its 6,000 year long history, unique remains of countless civilisations, miles of natural beaches, calm sea, and mild climate is an idyllic Mediterranean town.Bounded to the north by the sea and to the south by the greenery of the Besparmak (Fivefinger) Mountain range, it offers the most magnificent scenery on the island.Kyrenia's charming and tiny harbour, full of yachts and fishing boats, is framed by the colossal hulk of its Crusader castle. With the backdrop of the jagged mountains behind and the calm sparkling sea in front, the harbour has an intoxicatingly serene atmosphere.Kyrenia is an easy place to while away any time of the day, exploring shops, markets and local cafes in late morning, strolling in the narrow cobbled alleys behind the harbour in the afternoon, or stepping out for a brisk walk along the promenade and sea wall in the evening.
Kyrenia Harbour is a truly inspiring place that excites the senses. A multitude of yachts and fishing vessels rest on the calm harbour waters, enclosed on their landward side by an array of historic buildings that capture the timeless beauty of this Northern Cyprus town. If you're looking for a place that exudes old-world Mediterranean charm mixed with a touch of modern sophistication, Kyrenia Harbour is where you'll find it.By day, Kyrenia Harbour is a place for relaxation and contemplation. Restaurants and cafes line the water, welcoming guests to partake in a Turkish coffee or to sample their fine local cuisine. You may even find yourself invited for a game of Tavli (backgammon) by the locals at one of the many open-air cafes.
For the more adventurous, Kyrenia harbour offers access to one of the most majestic castles in Cyprus Kyrenia Castle. Originally constructed to defend the town from the Arab Raids in medieval times, the castle houses a museum which is now home to many historical artefacts and is the current resting-place of the world's oldest shipwreck..Dating from the time of the Byzantines Kyrenia Castle stands guard over the town at the harbour entrance. It is surrounded by a moat and offers an insight into centuries of Cypriot history that extends all the way back to Roman times. Come nightfall, Kyrenia Harbour takes on a new guise. The harbour buzzes to the sound of locals and tourists enjoying the numerous restaurants that surround the harbour. Together with the dulcet tones of local musicians, the aromas that waft along on the gentle night breeze make for an intoxicating atmosphere that is never forgotten.
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