Situated on the north coast of
Cyprus, Kyrenia, with its 6,000 year long history, unique remains of
civilisations, miles of natural beaches, calm sea, and mild climate is
idyllic Mediterranean town.
Bounded to the north by the
and to the south by the greenery of the Beşparmak (Fivefinger) Mountain
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 cafés 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
in the evening.
The beautiful harbour is
dominated by the majestic Kyrenia Castle which houses a museum
containing the remains of the one of the oldest ancient ships salvaged
from the sea.
Overlooking the entrance to
harbour is Kyrenia Castle. Dating from the time of the Byzantines, its
defences surround a complex mixture of building styles from centuries
it is likely that there was a Roman fort here originally. Subsequently
and strengthened by the
Lusignans and then the
the castle is now home
to many historical artefacts and is the current resting-place of the
As the sun sets, Kyrenia
harbour again becomes the focus of activity as the locals take their
stroll and the cafés and bistros that face the sea prepare
for their nightly trade. Crisp white linen and small vases of local
lovingly arranged on tabletops to welcome the evening's guests to wine
in the cooling breeze.
Just a few minutes drive
away, lies the fairy-tale castle of St.Hilarion.
to be the original inspiration for Walt Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty', St
Hilarion was built during the crusades and those intrepid enough to
brave the long walk to its battlements will be rewarded with stunning
views of Kyrenia and the whole of the island's northern coastline..
The enchanting village of Bellapais overlooking
the town with its ancient abbey offers a peace and quiet for and is
ideal starting point for hill-walking.
beauty of Bellapais is legendary. Set in the mountains, just ten
minutes above Kyrenia, a visit to this 14th century Lusignan abbey with
its fabulous location and pervasive atmosphere of calm is a
When Lawrence Durrell, famous
British author, bought a house in the village of Bellapais, he felt
'guilty of an act of fearful temerity in trying to settle in so
fantastic a place'.