Welcome to the land of beaches, mountains, castles and villages. Those who visit this forgotten corner of the Mediterranean, make it their ambition to return and with very good reason too. Imagine a tropical island breeze from the beautiful ocean waves, wrapping itself around you as it settles onto your skin. Then visualise that breeze evaporate into all of the history and nature, wild, free and waiting to be discovered. The pace of life is slow and relaxed, the people are friendly, and the Turkish Cypriot smile is as bright and as warm as the Cyprus sunshine itself.
KYRENIA CASTLE and FORT
Cyprus is a special island. Sometimes referred to as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean" the island of Cyprus is located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea some 40 miles from Turkey, 197 miles from Syria and 250 miles from Egypt. England and western Europe are only 4-5 flying hours away. After Sicily and Sardinia, it is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The total population on the island is around 900,000 of which 350,000 live in Northern Cyprus. It is a beautiful island scented with the wonderful aroma of wild jasmine, with mountain peaks at over 6,000 feet, long stretches of sandy beaches and a turquoise coloured sea. Northern Cyprus has a coastline of approximately 500 miles ranging from gently sloping beaches to sheer rock walls plunging into the sea. The Beşparmak Mountain Range, with its magnificent jagged limestone peaks, the highest of which is Mount Selvili at 3,357 ft. runs along most of the north coastline to form a startling backdrop.
To the east of the island, the mountain range looses height as it extends along the narrow peninsula, known as the Karpaz (The Panhandle as it is sometimes referred). It is along the Panhandle where one finds the best beaches with mile after mile of sandy bays. Other major centres are Guzelyurt in the West, where most of the citrus produce comes from. The resort town of Kyrenia (Girne) is on the northern coast, with its little harbour and colorful boats. Along with the magnificent castles, the harbour is probably one of the most photographed attractions in Kyrenia. The second largest resort town is Famagusta (Gazimağusa) to the East.
Historically, there is much to be discovered. Cyprus was an island that was repeatedly invaded over the centuries and each invasion has left a legacy that survives to this day. Whilst exploring the island you will find hidden gems awaiting you on each step of the journey.
FLOWERS and FAUNA
Quite apart from the huge range of cultivated flowers, North Cyprus and especially the Karpaz peninsula is a rich botanical garden with literally hundreds of species of wild flowers, from crown anemones and pink rock roses, to purple iris and yellow crowfoot. From February to June, many areas of Northern Cyprus are carpeted with colorful wild flowers. The birds and the butterflies are glorious, lizards abound, and the loggerhead and green turtle still come ashore to lay their eggs on North Cyprus’s unspoiled beaches.
THE CYPRUS CLIMATE
Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers from mid-May to mid-October and with mild winters from December to February, separated by short autumn and spring seasons. Summer is the season of high temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breezes create a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas. Winters are mild with some rain, but even in January (usually the coolest month) there are generally six hours of bright sunshine during the day.
The season is long with over 300 days of sunshine in the year. In summer months, light clothing is all you will need. In spring and autumn, day time temperatures are generally warm enough for light summer clothing, but in the evenings you may feel the need for a light jacket or pullover. In winter, you should be prepared for all kinds of weather that a European spring may bring, bringing rain wear with you is a good idea.