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Guides > Locations > Alsancak

Alsancak is a large village situated on the hillside, yet still reasonably close to the coast.


Many ex-pats love this traditional village due to the green surroundings and well-developed infrastructure. It's 15 minutes from Kyrenia but has great facilities including English school and supermarkets, as well as hotels and restaurants. There are several beautiful beaches to visit. The most popular beach is the Escape Beach Club, which offers lots of entertainment, water sports, music, restaurant and bar.


There are other beaches near to the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and the twin hotels, Merit Premium & Casino Hotel and the Merit Royal. The Alsancak Folk Dance festival takes place in July.

Distances from Alsancak:

Kyrenia - 16 mins
Ercan - 55 mins
Larnaca - 90 mins


Guides > Locations > Bahçeli

Heading further along the Esentepe Coast road you'll find the Bahçeli Coast area. 


This area gets its name from Bahçeli village which doesn't have a lot of property options svailable but the coastline below the village boasts popular new developments right on the coast.


Restaurants in this area include the very popular Coconut Bar as well as great local options including the Sea Breeze overlooking the coast.


Average distances from Bahçeli:

Kyrenia - 30 mins
Ercan Airport - 40 mins
Larnaca Airport - 85 mins

Bahceli in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Bellapais

Tourists come from all over the world to experience the historic Bellapais, made more famous by Lawrence Durrell in his book “Bitter Lemons of Cyprus.” This charming and atmospheric hillside village is just 10 minutes from Kyrenia but a world away in time. Bellapais Abbey is the centre of attraction and was built by monks who fled the Saracen conquest of Jerusalem over 900 years ago. The spring that watered their vegetable garden still flows down the valley.


Throughout spring and summer, the Abbey is the venue for the Bellapais Music Festival, filling the warm air with music. Outside, you can still sip coffee and while away the hours at the café under Durrell’s ‘Tree of Idleness" a giant mulberry that has been there almost as long as the Abbey.

The most famous restaurants are the Bellapais Gardens Hotel Restaurant, perched on the steep hillside giving one of the best views in Northern Cyprus, and the charming Kybele Restaurant, a popular venue for wedding receptions, which is set almost in the grounds of the Abbey itself with stunning views down the hill to the Mediterranean.

Bellapais in North Cyprus

Bellapais offers some of the most interesting traditional craft and jewellery shops and lovely local cafes. Further down the hill is the English School of Kyrenia, making this village a very attractive place for families wishing to buy property.

Distances from Bellapais:

Kyrenia - 10 mins.
Ercan Airport - 40 mins.
Larnaca Airport – 1 hour 40 mins.
Karakum public beach - 3 mins.
Cratos Hotel beach - 3 mins.
English School of Kyrenia – 3 mins.

Guides > Locations > Boğaz (Karpaz)

The East coast is dominated by the ancient walled and modern cities of Famagusta and many of the original villages near to the city have been absorbed into the metropolis. 35 minutes north of Famagusta, if you're seeking the village atmosphere, you should visit the village of charming harbour village of Boğaz, which in Turkish literally means “throat", or "pass”.


This east coast Boğaz village should not be confused with the “Girne Boğaz” village which is between Lefkosa (Nicosia) and Girne (Kyrenia). As a visitor or local resident in one of the many new developments near to this Bogaz harbour village, you can enjoy a lovely lunch or evening meal, looking out over the Mediterranean and watching the fishing boats coming into the small marina. There's a large supermarket nearby although most of the shops and other restaurants are found in the area of Iskele.

Distances from Boğaz:

Famagusta - 35 mins.
Ercan Airport - 50 mins.
Larnaca Airport - 70 mins.

Boğaz in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations> Çatalköy

“Çatalköy” literally means “forked village” and is so named as the roads split in two directions in the village. The heart of the village is very traditional with local coffee shops, mosque and mini markets. Lower Çatalköy stretches right down to the sea, with great local supermarkets on the main road. Wxtremely sought-after area for both locals and ex-pats seeking a residence and offers an ideal location being near all facilities yet still having a village centre.


Homes here include restored old houses, luxury villas with pools andmodern apartments. Çatalköy has two of the country’s biggest 5-star hotels, the Cratos and the Malpas. Çatalköy also offers two beautiful beach clubs – the Shayna Beach club (a small sandy bay, which is very popular with the locals) and the Cornaro beach club which is part of the Malpas Hotel. There's a huge number of restaurants in Çatalköy, offering wonderful seafront locations, fabulous fresh local cuisine and occasional live music in the summer.

Distances from Çatalköy:

Kyrenia – 10 mins.
Beach clubs – 3 mins.
Ercan Airport - 40 mins.
Larnaca Airport - 90 mins.

Çatalköy North Cyprus

Guides > Locations> Esentepe

Esentepe in North Cyprus

“Esentepe” means  “windy hill”. Perched on the top of a hill, this charming old village, 25 minutes east of Kyrenia, has some of the best views on the North East Coast of Cyprus that stretch all the way along the coast to Kyrenia and beyond. The village is up a sweeping road up the hill from the coast road. The village square has at its heart an old Church which has been converted to the local mosque, and an increasing number of shops aserving locals and ex-pats alike. There's lots of local and traditional eateries, several shops and supermarkets, the local council offices and a small medical centre with ambulance station. This is a great place to visit and enjoy the fabulous views whilst enjoying a drink, coffee or a meal with a great view!

The name Esentepe was originally used only for the hilltop village but now refers to a coastal area stretching for about 5 miles from  Korineum Golf Course to the east all the way to Esentepe Beach to the west with much in between. Although these Esentepe coastal facilities aren't on a windy hill, they all took the name when they were


Korineum Golf Club includes Korineum Beach Club, Restaurants and Spa which are all open to non-residents. Just past this on the coast are some of

the best known new “villages” that offer their own facilities and are the locations of choice for many ex-pats who can enjoy the beach while still being able to drive up the hill to the original Esentepe village for banking and medical facilities. The best-known beaches in the Esentepe area are Esentepe public sandy beach and the private Korineum Beach Club, open to the public for a daily fee. New villages such as Turtle Bay village and Carrington offer their residents private beaches. Popular local restaurants include Remzi’s, Tumba, Stone Castle, Korineum Golf club, Taro Brasserie and the famous Cengiz's. There's a petrol station close to the village turn off.

Average distances from Esentepe:

Kyrenia - 25 mins.
Ercan Airport - 45 mins.
Larnaca Airport - 90 mins.

Guides > Locations > Famagusta

Famagusta, known locally as Gazimağusa or simply Mağusa,  was the most important port city in Cyprus. The naturally deep harbour attracted ships, merchants and traders from all over the Mediterranean and made the city flourish with wealth. This wealth inspired merchants to build lots of churches and led to the city bing known as “the district of churches”. At one time Famagusta was said to have a church for every day of the year, each one paid for by someone hoping to buy their place in heaven. Every turn in this city reveals churches with a story to tell. Today, the area boasts some of the most impressive medieval ruins anywhere in the world. The contrasting Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, fascinating for its gothic cathedral exterior as it was once a church, has since been converted into a mosque. A 3km walk along the Venetian walls which encircle the city, offers a wonderful insight to its history. One of the ancient City Kingdoms of Cyprus, Salamis is home to fantastic Roman ruins, containing statues, standing columns, theatre and baths. Fortresses that inspired William Shakespeare, defence models drawn by Michelangelo, Venetian Palaces inhabited by royals, hidden treasures yet to be discovered, excavated tombs with miraculous revelations, and much more. Famagusta is famous for its opulent history and a hot spot for travellers.

Famagusta in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Güzelyurt 

Travel from the capital Nicosia or alternatively head west from Kyrenia and follow the coastal route, and you 'll travel through  unspoilt countryside before reaching Güzelyurt in the centre of the citrus growing area. Its name means “Beautiful Place” and its’ surrounding villages are definitely stunning.

Close to the Troodos Mountains, this town is the most fertile agricultural area in Northern Cyprus growing many of its’ fruit and vegables and leads to it being called locally the “Fruit Basket”. Also known by the Greek name of Morphou, Güzelyurt has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and was a major centre for copper mining during its history. Under British rule, it was also connected by rail to Nicosia and Famagusta.  Although Güzelyurt is not as culturally or architecturally rich as other towns in Northern Cyprus, it does have deep historical roots. 


Visit the Archaeology and Nature Museum and the Church of St Mamas, the patron saint of tax avoiders, to see why. Built in the late 18th century, St Mamas contains Gothic and Byzantine styles as well as an exquisite glass chandelier. Its' museum holds Cypriot artefacts including ornate gold jewellery. You might want to plan your trip around the market day on a Saturday, where local produce is sold.

Güzelyurt in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Hidden Getaways

Guides > Locations > Iskele

One of the largest towns in the North, İskele is fast building a name for itself as an up-and-coming area, with wonderful golden beaches and fish restaurants. Formerly called Trikomo, legend has it as the very town the Goddess Aphrodite brought the first fruit to in Cyprus.


There are two churches of historical importance in the village, Panayia Theotokos which is also a museum, built in the 12th century, and the tiny cruciform church of Ayios Iakovos (St James) erected in the 15th century.


Iskele is an important tourist centre. The people are hospitable, very interested in culture and art related activities. In the municipal park of Iskele, locals and tourists stay up until the break of dawn singing live music, and enjoying sweet times past. It’s famous for its annual festival, held during the first two weeks in July, and the Mehmetcik (Galateia) grape festival, normally held during the first week in August. Both these festivals are major regional cultural events, attracting visitors across the island. Travel further North and the sandier shores and clear blue waters of Bafra are second to none. Previously an old village, Bafra has metamorphosised into a major tourism hotspot with the development of high-class hotels and casinos. On the main road from Famagusta to the Karpaz Peninsula, it’s worth a stop, if only to take in the fresh sea breeze.

Iskele in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Karşıyaka

The Besparmak (5 fingers) mountain range towers over Karşiyaka with the mountains here being much closer to the sea. The traditional village of Karşiyaka is on the hillside with lovely views and traditional cafes and local mini markets. There are panoramic views from both the village and the surrounding areas.


Most of the newer properties are built outside of the village both on the hillside, just a short drive down to the beach, or on the coast. Karişyaka properties tend to be more easily available and priced more realistically than properties in Alsancak or Lapta. The Karşiyaka area is surrounded by nature, picnic areas and pretty little beaches. There are plenty of local traditional restaurants and European-style bars. The wide Karşiyaka bay invites you for swimming, sunbathing and walking along the seashore.

Distances from Karşiyaka:

Kyrenia - 30 mins.
Ercan Airport - 60 mins.
Larnaca Airport - 1 hour 45 mins.

Karsiyaka in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Kyrenia

Kyrenia, or Girne as it's known locally,  has had it all for 6,000 years. Early settlers were surely attracted by the location in which this beautiful port still sits. The warm clear waters of the Mediterranean lap gently along miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, backed by the slopes of the surrounding Five Finger Mountains. 


Set in the midst of this stunning location is the city of Kyrenia , bursting with trendy villages and historical sites. Throughout its history, Kyrenia has attracted great civilisations to enjoy and add their stamp to its culture. Greek, Roman, French, Ottoman and British architecture and customs remain, packed in the town’s cobbled streets, small harbour and magnificent castle. This sits spectacularly opposite the harbour wall. Once guarding the bustling port, it now provides a backdrop to stunning quayside cafes, bars and restaurants.  


The citadel is packed with artefacts from its past to be appreciated by everyone. Kyrenia gives you an experience you'll treasure. It's an amazing city filled with luxury accommodation and a host of leisure spots and events.

Kyrenia Castle & Harbour in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Lapta

Lapta village (on the hill) is favoured by those who really want a traditional village experience, with a maze of windy hillside lanes and roads and lovely local facilities and restaurants. Here ex-pats can purchase both converted village houses and newer properties which have been built closer to the sea.


The area around Lapta is full of citrus trees – the lemon is the symbol of Lapta. The spring Orchid Festival takes places here. Lapta coast boasts a brand new seaside walkway, a fully-paved area for leisure and exercise right on the Mediterranean coast. The “Lapta strip” right on the coast is one of the most developed holiday areas on the North Coast of Cyprus with a multitude of bars and restaurants making this a popular area with holidaymakers. There are numerous venues for shopping and relaxation. The Sunset Beach Club is very popular with its traditional summer BBQ nights.


Distances from Lapta:

Kyrenia - 20 mins.
Ercan Airport - 60 mins.
Larnaca Airport - 100 mins.

Lapta in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Lefke

A small town bordered by picturesque coastline, the Troodos Mountains, lakes and reservoirs. Water from mountain springs flows down to fertile plains with rich soil and gentle climate. No surprise the area's known as ‘The Fruit Basket of Cyprus’. Fruit, nuts and citrus groves flourish. In  summer, check out the Orange Festival in nearby Güzelyurt, the Walnut Festival in July and the date festival in the autumn.


In Roman times, Lefke was a thriving copper and gold mining town. Evidence of this remains, along with 3 mosques from the Ottoman period and houses that reflect the town’s colonial history. Nearby are the ancient city of Soli and the Palace of Vouni. Soli is famous for its Roman remains, particularly the Basilica, with its mosaic floor, and an amphitheatre which has been restored and now presents plays and concerts. The Palace at Vouni enjoys a spectacular cliff-top location and the ruins will remind you of bygone splendour.  Beyond Lefke is the lovely border town of Yesilirmak with its Strawberry festival at the end of April and early May. Nearer to Guzelyurt is the village of Gaziveren.

Lefke in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations> Nicosia

Nicosia, or Lefkoşa as it's known locally, is the largest city and capital of Northern Cyprus. It brims character, and is an intriguing look into the past.


The city’s best known feature is probably the 14ft tall Venetian Wall that was built to encircle the city, complete with 11 bastions and 3 city gates. Built in the 16th century, and still in excellent condition, the walls surround the Old Town. Not much has changed there for many years and a stroll through it will see you appreciate the calm and relaxed atmosphere as you admire architectural treasures.


The Buyuk Han, the ‘Great Inn’ was built by the Ottomans in 1572 and is today a beautiful courtyard with shops and cafés. From the Selimiye Mosque with its gothic cathedral exterior to a 400-year-old Great Hammam Turkish bath house, there's so many historical sights to appreciate.


With much to discover and experience here, you'll sure to love this city’s timeless charm.

Nicosia in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Ozanköy 

Ozanköy village is a popular choice for both a holiday home and for property owners living in Northern Cyprus full time.

Only 5 minutes’ drive from Kyrenia, it combines great views with the quaint atmosphere of a traditional village and excellent restaurants.

The world-famous Bellapais Abbey can be seen from almost every spot in Ozanköy, where you can really feel the atmosphere of the past as you explore its narrow streets and traditional stone-built buildings.

Distances from Ozanköy:

Kyrenia - 5 mins.
Ercan Airport - 35 min.
Larnaca Airport - 90 mins.
Karakum public beach - 5 mins.
Cratos Hotel beach - 5 mins.
English School of Kyrenia – 5 mins.

Ozanköy in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > Tatlisu

The area of Tatlisu stands at the gateway to the beautiful Karpaz peninsula with Kantara Castle towering over it in the distance. Again, like Bahceli village, the heart of the old hillside village of Tatlisu is a local Cypriot area only, but is worth visiting for the huge old Church (now a mosque) and the great views. Below the village of Tatlisu is the Tatlisu Coast area, extremely popular with ex-pats and local residents being nearer the sea, that has its own village facilities. Residential and holiday villages including Sweetwater Bay, Seaterra Marina and Caesar Bay. This area may be further from Kyrenia but has its own main road to Ercan and Larnaca Airports, which reduces airport driving time. Popular restaurants overlook the Mediterranean and there are supermarket and local café facilities as well as a petrol station. Beaches used by residents of Tatlisu tend to be either the onsite swimming facilities or for fabulous sandy beaches , a 10-minute drive east to the Tatlisu Belediye Beach, or a little further to Kaplica with its gorgeous long sandy beach and restaurant.

Average distances from Tatlisu:

Kyrenia - 35 mins.
Ercan Airport - 35 mins.
Larnaca Airport - 80 mins.

Tatlisu in North Cyprus

Guides > Locations > West Coast

Guides > Locations > Zeytinlik

Zeytinlik is a small, cosy village that's practically part of the town of Kyrenia, although technically just outside.


Zeytinlik’ means “full of olives” and the area hosts a colourful Olive Festival each year to promote its most famous asset.


Most of the properties in this village offer beautiful panoramic views, overlooking Kyrenia.

The village is very centrally located and offers short distances to schools, restaurants and beaches.


From Zeytinlik the closest beach is approximately 5 minutes’ drive to the Karaoglanoglu municipality beach, next to the Merit Park Hotel & Casino.

Zeytinlik in North Cyprus
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