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  • Mosques | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > Mosques Agha Cafer Pasha Iplik Bazaar Piri Mehmet Pasha Turunçlu Arapahmet Lala Mustafa Pasha Ramadan Hasan Efendi Fountain Shaykh Nazim's Dergah Selimiye Haydar Pasha New Mosque Sinan Pasha Guides > Mosques > Agha Cafer Pasha In a cobbled street running to Kyrenia Harbour , this mosque is named after an Ottoman Governor who donated the land where it's built. It was built in the 1580’s, although some claim it was converted from a Lusignan warehouse. The cut stone rectangular construction has 3 main rooms and a single minaret and is still used today. ​ Southeast of the mosque is the Hasan Kavizade Huseyn Efendi fountain, built in 1841. The northern face has 3 arches, typical of the Ottoman design of the time. In the middle arch there's a marble inscription crescent, a coat of arms and branch figures carved into the stonework. Top Guides > Mosques > Arapahmet Mosque Built in the 16th century on the site of an old Latin church, it's named after Arapahmet Pasha who was one of the commanders of the 1571 Ottoman expedition to Nicosia and the Governor General of Rhodes. In the Arab Ahmet Quarter of Nicosia it's the only mosque in the city with a classical Ottoman dome plus 3 smaller domes to protect its entrance and 4 more at the corners. Outside is a garden with a fountain, cypress trees and graves including that of Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Kamil Pasha , born in Nicosia in 1833. He became Grand Vizier in the Ottoman empire, the only Cypriot ever to do so. In 1913, Kamil Pasha unexpectedly died of syncope (fainting) and was buried in the court of the Arab Ahmet Mosque. Sir Ronald Storrs , British Governor from 1926 to 1932, produced a memorial to be raised over Kamil Pasha’s grave for which he also composed the English inscription, carved on the headstone. It reads, “His Highness Kiamil Pasha, Son of Captain Salih Agha of Pyroi, Born in Nicosia in 1833, Treasury Clerk, Commissioner of Larnaca, Director of Evqaf, Four times Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, A Great Turk and A Great Man.” The site once hosted a Latin church, of which a few fragments still survive. A lintel from a door has a shield carved on it of two lions. 14th century gravestones of prominent Veneto families such as Francesco Cornaro (1390), Antonio de Bergamo (1394), and Gaspar Mavroceni (1402) also survive. Arab Ahmet was restored in 1845 and again in the 1990’s, and the mosque remains in use to this day. Top Guides > Mosques > Hasan Kavizade Huseyin Efendi Fountain In the quiet back streets of Kyrenia, lies this historic fountain. Square-shaped with a barrel vault and reservoir, it's southeast of the Agha Cafer Pasha Mosque . Mosque visitors complete their ablution using this fountain, which is fed from a natural spring. A marble inscription below the three arches of the fountain reveals it was built in 1841 during Hasan Kavizade Huseyin Efendi’s time. ​ In the middle arch a crescent, coat of arms and branch figures are carved into the stonework. The stone stairwells next to the fountain were built by the last Ottoman Provincial Governor, Cemal Bey and the last Ottoman Mayor, Abdul Efendi. Top Guides > Mosques > Hadar Pasha Mosque Originally built as St Catherine Church by the Lusignans in the 14th century, it was the second largest church in Nicosia at the time. The Gothic flamboyant style of southern France makes it the finest example of this design on the island, and the most notable Lusignan monument in the capital after St Sophia . In 1570 the Ottomans converted St. Catherine’s into the Haydarpasa mosque. It's also been known as “Ağalar Camis i”, meaning “the Mosque of the Lords”, when it was largely frequented by Turkish aristocracy living nearby. A minaret was the tallest slender tower in Cyprus until 1931. Struck by lightning, it had to be demolished and was replaced by a shorter version with 3 entrances. The south entrance is a masterpiece of stone carvings of Lusignan insignias on its frame, along with an ornamental poppy. The west entrance has its lintel decorated with carved roses and dragons. The north entrance is plain by comparison, with ornamentations of a nude woman holding a fish and dragon like effigies. Huge buttresses narrow as they rise and flank the windows, ornamented with lattice stucco, the roofline rimmed with gargoyles. The west facade has a Catherine window, shaped like a wheel. The building was part of a woman’s monastery during the Latin period, and the Ottomans added more features. Two Gothic arches support the vault, consisting of crossed ribs. In the apse, 6 ribs resting on a clustered column sprout from the keystone. North of the apse is a vestry, the vaulting of which is supported by corbels with carved human heads. Above, windows of chamber look onto the main church. Sir Harry Charles Luke , a renowned author and historian, described this edifice as “the most elegant and perfect Gothic building in Cyprus”. Across the church courtyard, you'll find the house of Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener who was assigned to conduct the first full triangulated survey of the island as a new British colony in 1878-1882. Top Guides > Mosques > Iplik Bazaar Mosque Two inscriptions above the entrance doors identify two differing periods of build. The initial construction was sponsored in 1826 by Hadji Ahmet Ahga , a governor of Cyprus and the last to hold the title of muhassilor tax-collector. In its earlier days, the mosque was also known as ‘Muhassil Haci Ahmed Agha Mosque ’. It's now known as the Iplik Bazaar Mosque, which references the cotton bazaar that was located here during the Ottoman period.The second inscription reveals the building was demolished and replaced in 1899 with the mosque that stands today, under the sponsorship of Muhammed Sadik Bey, a charitable foundation board member during British rule. This work expanded the area’s mosque capacity to meet the requirements of an ever-increasing congregation. The minaret, which is accessible from inside the mosque, was retained from the original structure and is only one of two designs in Northern Cyprus that feature a stone conical top. The mosque’s architecture is utilitarian, rectangular and built of cut stone and rubble fillings. Two arches support the wooden ceiling and the main room is illuminated by arched windows. A wooden staircase leads to an area for female worshippers. In the yard is a hexagonal water fountain built in the British period. The ground level of the yard rose so much in the 20th century, the taps of the fountain have been left under the surface. Two tombstones discovered next to the mosque indicate a small cemetery once existed next to it. Top Guides > Mosques > Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque Originally known as the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas and later as the Saint Sophia Mosque of Mağusa , this is the largest medieval building in Famagusta. Built between 1298 and 1400, it was consecrated as a Catholic cathedral in 1328, converted into a mosque after the Ottoman Empire captured Famagusta in 1571 and it remains a mosque to this day. From 1954, the building has taken its name from Lala Mustafa Pasha , the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from Sokolovići in Bosnia, who served Murat III and led Ottoman forces against the Venetians in Cyprus. Early history The French Lusignan dynasty ruled Cyprus from 1192 to 1489 and brought with them French architecture, notably Gothic. Constructed from 1298 to 1312 and consecrated in 1328, a unique inscription on a buttress beside the south door records the progress of construction in 1311. The Lusignans would be crowned as Kings of Cyprus in the St Sophia Cathedral in Nicosia and then crowned as Kings of Jerusalem in the St Nicholas Cathedral in Famagusta. The building is built in Rayonnant Gothic style , quite rare outside France. The historic tie between France and Cyprus is evidenced by its parallels to French archetypes such as Reims Cathedral. Indeed, so strong is the resemblance, that the building has been dubbed "The Reims of Cyprus". It was built with three doors, twin towers over the aisles and a flat roof, typical of Crusader architecture. Sometime after 1480, a meeting chamber, known as the Loggia Bembo, was added to the south-west corner of the cathedral. Notable for its elaborately moulded entrance with slender pillars in marble, it’s in an architectural style that departs considerably from that of the cathedral proper. The association with the Bembo family, some of whom held prominent positions in Cyprus, is shown by their heraldic devices on the building. To enhance the Loggia, late antique fragments in marble, probably brought from Salamis, were placed as seats each side of the entrance. ​ Ottoman Era The upper parts of the cathedral's two towers suffered from earthquakes, were badly damaged during the Ottoman bombardments of 1571, and were never repaired. With the Venetians defeated and Famagusta fallen by August 1571, Cyprus fell under Ottoman control, and the cathedral was converted into a mosque, andrenamed the "St Sophia Mosque of Mağusa". Nearly all statuary, cruciform, stained glass, frescos, and paintings were removed or plastered over, as well as most tombs and the altar. The Gothic structure was preserved however, and a few tombs can still be identified in the north aisle. In 1954, it was renamed the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque after the commander of the 1570 Ottoman conquest - infamous for the gruesome torture of Marco Antonio Bragadin , the Venetian commander of the city's fortress. Bragadin had surrendered the city following a brutal 10-month siege in which 6,000 Christian defenders held off an army of more than 100,000 Ottoman Turks. The Cathedral of St Nicholas was not widely emulated as far as can be judged from surviving buildings of the Lusignan period in Cyprus. However, in the 19th century the west portal and other details were copied directly in the Greek Orthodox church at Lysi. Famagusta Cathedral appears in several works of literature, including "Kuraj" by the Italian writer Silvia Di Natale , "Sunrise" by the British author Victoria Hislop and "In Search of Sixpence" by the Anglo-Cypriot author Michael Paraskos . Top Guides > Mosques > Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's Dergah Mehmet Nazım Adil, commonly known as Sheikh Nazim, was a Turkish Cypriot Sufi Muslim Sheikh and spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi tariqa . Prior to his passing in 2014, thousands of visitors visited him each month at his home and Dergah in Lefke , and international followers came to share in the blessings of this living Sufi Master. Nazim was regularly recognized among the world’s 50 most influential Muslims and has since been succeeded by his son Mawlana Shaykh Mohammad Adil Haqqani welcoming Sufi worshippers from near and afar throughout the year. ​ Visitors can stay at the Guesthouses with prior permission. Men can also stay at the Dergah, while women are accommodated at a hostel allocated, facilities being shared. Top Guides > Mosques > The New Mosque The neighbourhood of Yenicami in Nicosia takes its name from a new mosque built out of the ruins of a medieval church. In the 14th century, Ottomans converted the Gothic cathedral which stood there into a mosque and it remained that way until 1740, when Menteszade Haci Ismail Agha, the first Ottoman chief judge in Cyprus, ordered the foundations be excavated in search of supposed buried riches. The excavations unearthed the mosque, which in turn collapsed, and Haci Ismail was executed, his tomb buried a few metres away from the wreckage site. A new mosque was financed by the Menteszade family and this became the New Mosque or Yenicami as it's known locally. Square in shape, it occupies part of of an old Muslim burial ground, where fragments of the original minaret and turret staircase of the gothic structure are still preserved. The surrounding burial ground is covered with ancient fragments used as tombstones, 4 of which belong to the Menteszade family and another to the famous Cypriot poet Hilmi Efendi who died in 1847. An inscription above the arched entrance door is dated 1316 H from the Islamic calendar, the equivalent of 1899 . The old minaret was demolished in 1979 because of its dangerous condition and replaced. The fountain in the courtyard has also been rebuilt to its original specification. Top Guides > Mosques > Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque Initially a church, this historic building was twice converted into an Islamic house of worship. Travelling from the main road up towards the village of Lefke , you’ll come across this structure, also referred to Yukari Mosque and Minareli Mosque . The Byzantine Empire also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and stretched over the island of Cyprus. During the Byzantium rule of Cyprus, the church of St George was erected at this site, the exact date unknown. From the 7th to 10th century the island was repeatedly subject to Arab raids, after which this church was converted into a mosque, but over the years fell into disrepair from neglect. When the Ottoman Empire extended their stronghold onto the island in 1571 under the leadership of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent , one of the empire’s Viziers, a high executive named Mehmet Bey was governor of the Paphos sancak, an administrative division of the Ottoman Empire, and soon included the village of Lefke into this greater province. When in Lefke, Mehmet Bey spotted the neglected mosque and instructed it to be rebuilt, naming it after his grandfather, Piri Mehmed Pasha, an Ottoman Turk statesman and grand Vizier of the empire from 1518 to 1523. ​ The mosque is built on an octagon body in a typical Ottoman architectural style, with three arches at the front and five on the sides, while the front arches sit on columns. The mosque is also the only in Lefke which reveals a dome, built from hewn stone. In the gardens you’ll also come across two graves. The first, a spectacular illustration of an Ottoman tomb, belongs to another Vizier , Osman Pasha who died in 1839. Mystery surrounds his death, however one commonly believed tale reveals some insight. Osman Pasha arrived in Cyprus to collect taxes from the island. Naturally arriving by sea, he was welcomed at the port by some attractive Greek females who presented him with beautiful flowers. Soon after the greeting, Osman was taken ill in Nicosia, where doctors advised him to travel to Lefke, where the countryside weather and natural habitat would assist in his recovery. Even though he took this advice, nine days after arriving in Lefke, he passed away. Some say the flowers he was given upon arrival were poisoned. His tomb was designed and built in Izmir , Turkey, by his wife, who later settled in Lefke. It's one of the best examples of an Ottoman tomb, its' artwork decorated with nature motifs. The mosque beside is sometimes incorrectly referred to as Osman Pasha as well. A second, though less spectacular tomb in the mosque garden is that of Huseyin Agha, reputed to have brought water to Lefke, building aqueducts interlinking with other towns in the district. Top Guides > Mosques > R amadan Ramazan (Ramadan), is the fasting month for Muslims characterised by family gatherings, visiting the graves of loved ones and allowing the body and mind to cleanse themselves. Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar and is classed as one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Physically healthy Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex between dawn and sunset for 30 days. It's a time for reflection; refraining from gossiping,lying or slandering; good deeds; generosity; thought for those less fortunate and a time to be more conscious of God’s presence. Fasting during the day can be quite tough to start with, so it can be quite draining for those fasting, although it does become easier and the breaking of the fast with Sahur (morning) and Iftar (evening) becomes routine. Meals usually start with something light, such as soup, so as not to feel completely bloated too quickly. Towards the end of Ramazan in North Cyprus, preparations are made for hellim, olive bread and sweetbreads to take to friends and family as well as guests that might visit. Mosques are visited for Sahur on the last day of Ramazan for prayers. Ramazan Bayram in North Cyprus (also known as Şeker Bayram) is the holiday given over to festivities such as full on Turkish pop star entertainment at the local hotels and restaurants, with families gathering to celebrate and shops often holding sales. Older generations are given upmost importance during this time by younger folk and sweets are given out to children. Depending on which day Şeker Bayram falls, there's a 3-4 day public holiday with government offices and banks shut for the whole period, while privately run businesses usually shut for at least two days. Iyi Ramazan Bayramlar. Top Guides > Mosques > Selimiye Mosque One of the most fascinating buildings in Northern Cyprus. It's also the largest building in Nicosia to have survived so many centuries. It may well have been the largest church built in the Eastern Mediterranean in the millennium between the rise of Islam and the late Ottoman period. The name “Selimiye” comes from the Greek words “Aiya Sophia” meaning "Holy wisdom". This name was given primarily to the Byzantine church built in this location in the 11th century. No ruins of this church have been discovered but a manuscript confirms its existence here. The construction of the gothic church started in the 13th century during the Frankish period and lasted over 78 years. The orthodox church was turned into a Mosque in Ottoman times after 1570. Today the Selimiye Mosque opens for visitors all day apart from prayer times. Light falls from large windows to illuminate the green ornaments and burgundy carpet which absorbs the sound of footsteps leaving only whispers to be heard. Top Guides > Mosques > Sinan Pasha Mosque The magnificent facade of this huge14th-century church gives you a great idea what Famagusta would have looked like when its churches and monuments were still standing. Behind the Venetian Palace in the town centre, you'll find the flying buttresses of the renamed Ottoman Sinan Pasha Mosque. The foundations of one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Famagusta, the initial church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul were laid during the Lusignan reign of Peter I, 1358 – 1369, and funded byprofits from a trip to Syria by wealthy merchant Simon Nostrano. The church walls are supported by heavy flying buttresses to take pressure away from the interior vaulting, but only on the upper level. They, like the wall itself, are enormously thick, presumably to withstand earthquakes. Buttressing was added on the south side after two 16th century earthquakes threatened the building in its entirety making it less radiant than more delicately built French counterparts. George H. Everett Jeffery who was the Curator of Ancient Monuments in Cyprus in the early 20th century described it thus: “Nothing could be uglier or more opposed to the beauty of true Gothic architecture than the exterior of this immense church.” The beauty of this church rests almost entirely in its refined and elegant interior. Gothic arches rise above the succession of bays from plain circular piers. From the abacus of each pier are 3 colonettes, merged into the wall. They rise to the clerestory level, fan out over the nave and create the cross vaulted ceiling. Remnants of Gothic sculpture, unidentified renaissance martyrdoms, and post-Renaissance maritime graffiti, all offer a rare insight into a period of wealth and influence in Famagusta. The building wasn't used during Venetian rule, and escaped the attention of the Ottoman bombardment of 1571. The Ottomans added a minaret and renamed it Sinan Pasha Mosque, after “Sinan the Great ” who served 5 times as Grand Vizier in the Ottoman empire. During British rule, it was used as a potato and grain store and so is also locally referred to as the “Bugday Cami” (wheat mosque). In the southern courtyard, underneath the second row of buttresses, you'll find the grave of Yirmisekiz Celebi Mehmed Efendi , who was appointed as ambassador by Sultan Ahmed III to Louis XV’s France in 1720. He became known by the nickname Yirmisekiz (“twenty-eight” in Turkish), as he served in the 28th battalion of the first modern standing army in Europe. He died in exile at Famagusta in 1732. Top Guides > Mosques > Turunçlu Mosque Also known as the Fethiye , until recent times it was one of the most frequented mosques by tradesmen of the nearby markets in Nicosia. The current mosque stands on the site of a previous smaller masjid and has an L-shaped congregational area and wooden ceiling. A gallery supported by wooden columns is designated for women. To the north, its facade consists of 6 tapered arches on circular columns and to the west 4 more tapered arches. Above the doorway an inscription shows the earlier mosque was demolished and built by Seyit Mehmet Emin Agha , Ottoman governor, in 1825. The governor also restored the Fethiye Children’s School next door after which it was given the name “Mekteb-I Irfan ” or School of Enlightenment. Top

  • Health | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > Health Dentistry & Pharmacy IVF Surgery Health Insurance Medical Tourism Tulips Cancer Charity Health System Spas Yoga Healthy Lifestyle State Hospitals Guides > Health > Dentistry & Pharmacy Top Guides > Health > Insurance There's NO equivalent to a National Health Service in the TRNC. All Medical and Dental treatments are at the cost of the patient and charges vary from one practitioner to another. Doctors and Dentists issue prescriptions, but these are payable at cost by the patient. If you're receiving a regular prescription take care to check the availability and cost of any medicines you may require. There's plenty of good doctors, dentists and hospitals, both state and private, in the TRNC, along with other health professionals. The standard of care is generally good to excellent, but it is different. In case of emergency there’s a good ambulance service, thanks to the hard work and dedication of volunteers and professionals. The number to ring for an ambulance is 112 . Be aware there’s no post code generated satellite navigation system, nor freely available street maps, so you may need a friend to meet with the ambulance and guide it to you, if you're not near to a well-known location. Many minor injuries are treated quickly and without cost in the emergency room of the state hospitals.​ It’s local practice that the first port of call during an illness is the local pharmacist , who provides free advice , or will recommend a visit to a doctor. There’s not a wide spread 'General Practitioner ' system, although Kamiloglu Hospital (also known as Kyrenia Medical Center) in Girne is introducing the service and a GPS ambulance system for registered patients. If you have a known particular ailment, you can go directly to a consultant for that condition. You’ll be expected to look after your own X Rays, MRI Scans etc. Most hospitals have a range of specialists. If admitted to hospital it’s usual for a carer to be present to help the patient get to the toilet etc and to provide additional needs. In State owned hospitals, it’s also usual for the carer to obtain required drugs from a nearby pharmacy. There are numerous dental surgeries, many of which have ultra-modern equipment. Health insurance Covers the cost of medical and surgical expenses . Depending on coverage, you pay then claim it back, or the insurance company pays direct, providing it’s a covered condition. Medical costs in many countries can be very expensive and there are many horror stories of ex-pats who’ve suffered serious illness, been unable to pay healthcare bills and had to sell their home, car or cash in life savings to make payments. There are also people who've had to give up their retirement or nice life to return to their home country because they can’t afford to live here with on-going medical bills. There's quite a number of health insurance plans available in Northern Cyprus from both local and overseas providers. Some of the local products may only cover up to a certain age so check them thoroughly. Cover provided and premiums payable will depend on age, type and extent of cover required and any pre-existing conditions , which is very important to declare at application stage. You should spend time and effort selecting a health insurer, understanding the benefits it offers, ensuring your agency knows the products well and can answer questions about the product and claims issues when they arise. Top Guides > Health > Health System Top Guides > Health > Healthy Lifestyle Top Guides > Health > IVF Top Guides > Health > Medical Tourism North Cyprus Medical Tourism offers state of the art medical, dental and IVF facilities, low costs and an ideal climate for post-operative recuperation . A growing number of visitors are looking to combine a visit or holiday with the opportunity to get private medical or fertility / IVF treatments, cosmetic or general surgery and dental treatments at a fraction of the usual cost in their home country. Many of these visitors currently come from the UK, Switzerland and other European countries , where operation waiting lists are long, private medical and dental treatment prices (including dental implants) are high, and where some treatments are simply not available. New hospitals such as the Near East University Hospital in Lefkosa and IVF medical establishments such as the Kolan British IVF Centre, Lefkosa IVF Centre, Dunya IVF and Miracle IVF Centre, offer world-class treatments on a par with other established health tourism destinations. The British Kolan Hospital is the biggest private hospital in North Cyprus with a good range of specialists and intensive care centre. They offer Reproductive Endocrinology and IVF, hold ISO 9001 certification, won best Hospital of the Year several years running, and have their own brand-new IVF laboratory . The availability of a wide range of specialist departments under one roof is important, as it ensures that any IVF patient experiencing complications has access to the right specialists and intensive care if needed. ​ TRNC and Switzerland 2015 saw North Cyprus Ministry of Health sign an initial agreement with two leading Swiss Medical Associations following which a joint North Cyprus-Swiss Medical Tourism Committee was formed. This led to an increase in Swiss health tourism visitors as well as enabling the exchange of technology and medical doctors and other personnel between the two countries. This is a win-win situation for patients and medical services in both North Cyprus and Switzerland ensuring TRNC’s medical facilities gain the benefit of technology and equipment used elsewhere in the general European area, while taking pressure off health services in Switzerland. Best of all, Swiss patients get the benefit of lower cost or even state-funded procedures carried out more quickly and often more effectively. Recuperation North Cyprus is a perfect location for recuperation from any sort of operation or dental procedure, whether or not you’re recuperating in a clinic, hospital bed, or hotel room. The amount saved by undergoing private medical or dental work in North Cyprus, compared with the cost for the same treatment elsewhere, easily covers the cost of the flights and often the accommodation as well. Many, particularly elderly patients, find the warm climate has an extremely positive effect on a range of conditions including arthritis and asthma, as well as being a great climate for their recovery. ​ Choose a leading hospital or private clinic As with all countries, anyone wishing to organise their own medical or dental procedure should be careful to check the credentials and references of the medical institution they’re about to visit. All North Cyprus Doctors speak English . Hospitals which are part of the major universities such as the Near East University Hospital have an excellent reputation. Be sure to get a quote in writing at the outset. Standard investigations such as MRI and CT scans can also be obtained at a fraction of the cost in other countries. There's a number of excellent private scanning companies in Lefkosa as well as very good private and specialist medical clinics and laboratories in both Lefkosa and Girne. Low-cost private healthcare in North Cyprus for residents too It’s not only tourists who benefit from state-of-the-art medical facilities in North Cyprus. Many of those who come initially for a holiday, or a vacation combined with a medical, cosmetic or dental procedure, realise what a benefit it would be to their life to live most of the year in the TRNC, and move to live there. While there’s no free national health service in North Cyprus, the costs are so low and the standard so high that, with or without pre-existing health insurance, you don’t need high income to afford good health care. In European countries, a patient wishing to see a specialist can wait weeks for an appointment. In Northern Cyprus you can literally visit a hospital or private clinic, and ask to see a specialist on that same day for a comprehensive appointment. Tests are carried out rapidly, usually on the same day , and results come fast, via high tech laboratories. Prescriptions and drug/medicine costs are extremely low in Northern Cyprus compared with other countries. For those with minor ailments who don’t need a hospital, pharmacies in North Cyprus act almost as clinics, with all pharmacists fluent in English and able to dispense a wide variety of drugs and medicines. If you have an accident in North Cyprus, or need hospital transportation, there’s an equally excellent service. The 112 TRNC Ambulance Service serves both state and private hospitals and was created by a former British NHS Manager and paramedic and all 112 ambulances are staffed by trained paramedics. There are rapid response times to medical emergencies and ambulance stations all around North Cyprus. All in all, the future for medical tourism in Northern Cyprus is looking extremely healthy, if you'll pardon the pun. Top Guides > Health > Spas With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, why not unwind at a professional spa and wellness centre in Northern Cyprus? Nothing is more important than your health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Northern Cyprus has packages for spa and wellbeing breaks to suit every budget . Spa holidays cater for everyone, whether you’re looking for a traditional spa with massages, saunas and Jacuzzi’s, to a more active fitness and wellbeing program. All hotels featured have been picked to bring you quality that won't cost the earth. Fabulous spa and wellness centres can be found at: Korineum Golf & Beach Resort Acapulco Spa Resort Grand Pasha Hotel Gillham Vineyard Salamis Bay Conti Merit Park Hotel Top Guides > Health > State Hospitals Top Guides > Health > Surgery Top Guides > Health > Tulips Cancer Charity A cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down but Tulips can help. How can TULIPS help? Life changes immediately after hearing the words; "you have cancer". Initially it's the only thing on your mind and you can think of little else. This'll be one of the hardest battles you'll encounter and the TULIPS cancer support team will assist every step of the way through cancer treatment. They' help everyone with cancer, irrespective of nationality. ​ Help Just For You Everyone reacts differently when diagnosed with cancer. This new diagnosis can stir up a range of emotions. You may feel shock, numbness and anger. It can be hard to believe. You'll have questions like ‘why me? TULIPS support all kinds of cancer and provide practical and emotional support to the patient and their families during cancer treatment and after the treatment period . TULIPS support team are on hand to help and understand what patients are going through. Support & Information Firstly you'll have many questions about what's available in TRNC? How to organise your treatment? Can I get a second opinion? How will I organise all my tests? What costs are involved? To name but a few. TULIPS can help answer all of these , so that any decision you make about when and where you'll have your treatment, will be an informed decision based on the facts given to you. ​ Financial Worries? This is always a concern. Unless you're a citizen of TRNC you'll have to pay for all your treatment which could end up quite costly. Speak to TULIPS support workers who will help guide you through the approximate costs you'll incur. ​ Hope Shines Through Having cancer doesn’t mean you have to lose hope. Hope is the belief that a positive outcome lies ahead. This belief can be difficult to hold onto in the face of cancer, however by holding onto this sense of hope you can help yourself face cancer with strength and confidence. Hope can help ease overwhelming doubts and fears. Attitude affects everything. Make hope a way of life. ​ Fund Raising As a non-profit non-governmental organisation, raising money never ends. Fundraising is the core part of the charity who rely on your generosity. Without your support TULIPS simply can't survive or help as many cancer patients as they do. Monthly commitments are high so they can't sit back once they've completed an event, they have to continuously look forward due to the amount of people to help. TULIPS is helping some 1,800 patients at any one time and receive approx 700 new patients per year. Fundraising is not just a means of raising money but also a way to raise awareness of the charity and its goals. They're constantly looking for new donors and always on the lookout for new events or ideas to raise funds. If you've an idea for an event or wish to run one in aid of Tulips, then please contact them . Top Guides > Health > Yoga Yoga & Pilates Retreat @ Karpaz This heavenly escape is the perfect place to find comfort and peace and distract you from life’s stresses. Immerse yourself in the beauty of North Cyprus with a 5 -night stay on a full board basis with free access to hamam, saunas, beach, pool, fitness area, and more. Highlights Hatha Yoga Style Vegetarian friendly 2 professionally led classes per day Free access to hammam, saunas, beach, pool, fitness area Discount on treatments at the hammam and spa 4 hours fun boat tour Coffee break twice a day 5 nights full board accommodation Round trip airport transfers Caters for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced Spa treatments available at extra cost Swedish massage Deep tissue massage Targeted massage Turkish spa body ritual Reflexology Hammam exfoliation Classic hammam Sultan treatment ​ Facilities Gym Health Club Sauna Spa Indoor & Outdoor Swimming pool Air-conditioned rooms & public areas Dining area, Bar, Poolside Bar, Restaurant, BBQ Lobby, Concierge, Tour assistance, Luggage Room Meeting room Luggage room / storage Multilingual staff in English, Russian, Turkish Special menu request Yoga deck & studio Free parking Free Wi-Fi Laundry, Iron & ironing board Medical assistance Airport transfer included from Ercan & Larnaca ​ The hotel’s 52 rooms and suites, named cabins (as in a yacht), are airy and cool, with crisp white sheets and touches of nautical flair such as Teak deck floors, sailing visuals, and white wood-washed ceilings. Marina, sea, and garden views invite you to enjoy the Mediterranean nature or to step onto your balcony for a nightcap beneath the stars. Program Mornings start with coffee or tea and a light snack of dates and nuts before Mat Pilates. Breakfast will then be served at Hemingway's Resto Bar before a boat tour (weather dependant) and lunch onboard or at the Beach Club. After lunch, coffee or tea is followed by the mixed-flow yoga class. Dinner on the marina front at Hemingway's Resto Bar is followed by a bonfire or Beach Hang Out and live music A 4-hour boat tour is included on day 4 of the retreat, which includes lunch onboard (the day may change depending on the weather). Location An unspoiled corner of the Mediterranean. With a rich and intriguing history, North Cyprus is a land of contrasts. Vibrant business centres and tranquil villages; traditional values and cosmopolitan lifestyle; sun-kissed beaches, fertile valleys, and snowy mountains all await discovery. In a region that remains largely untouched by the usual Mediterranean over-development, friendly locals and a community spirit provide visitors with a unique experience and memorable welcome. Fringed by long golden beaches, the region features ancient castles and abbeys, vibrant culture, and enticing cuisine. The natural landscape includes mountainous peaks as well as an abundance of flora and fauna and notable wildlife, including the region’s rare turtles and wild donkeys on the island’s Karpaz peninsula. Visit Famagusta, Nicosia, and Kyrenia for an abundance of shops and restaurants, or enjoy sites such as St Hilarion Castle, Bellapais Abbey, and the famous Apostolos Andreas Monastery. Food Hemingway’s Resto-Bar is perfectly located on the promenade. Savour traditional Cypriot cuisine, international delicacies, seasonal treats, and your favourite drinks while overlooking the marina or while enjoying the sea air outside on the terrace. By embracing the philosophy to respect, nurture and enhance the surroundings, this is a truly immersive experience within this natural marine and countryside setting. The vegetables and herbs garden provides fresh produce straight to your plate alongside their own homemade bread and fresh, locally-sourced dairy, fish, and meat. ​ Included: Tea, Coffee, Water, Breakfast, Lunch Dinner, Snacks, Drinks. Vegetarian dishes served. Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Optional extras 46ft (14m) sailing yacht charter for full and half-day sailing trips catering for up to six people RYA powerboat level 2 course Hire a luxury beach club cabana Health & Hygiene Cleaning Cleaning materials are effective against coronavirus. Linens, towels and laundry washed in line with l guidelines. Accommodation disinfected between stays. Accommodation protocols follow all local authority guidelines. Equipment for activities is disinfected before and/or after use. Physical distancing Cashless payment available. Physical distancing maintained. Instructors maintain distance from clients at all times possible. Activities take place outside where possible. Safety features Staff follow all protocols directed by local government. Hand sanitizer available in guest rooms and key areas. Process in place to check the health of guests. First aid kit available. Isolation room available. Protective masks are available for all staff. Protective masks available for clients. All staff are fully vaccinated. ​ Top

  • Culture | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > Culture Barber Shops Festivals Myths & Legends Theatre Charities Folklore Radio Stations Traditional Crafts Cittaslow Meyhanes Stamps Evil Eyes Music The Noble Peasant Guides > Culture > Barber Shops Always ask the price before committing yourself to a seat in the barbers’ chair as they have been known to vary charges even though they have a standard price list. There are various options open to you, but most men seem to go for a traditional shave and this is what you can expect: ​ Your face is washed with warm water to soften up the bristles. The barber will then whip up foam in a cup using traditional ‘traş ’ soap and apply a first layer to your chin, neck and sideburns . While that's soaking in you'll often be treated to a neck and temple massage. ​ The second coat of shaving soap is applied to the same areas as before, and the barber will work his magic with his razor or ‘ustura ’– a typical straight razor that flicks open like a pen-knife. If you're unfortunate enough to suffer the odd nick, the barber will produce what is known as a ‘blood stone’ or ‘kantaşı ’ in Turkish. This involves a quick rub to the nick which will stop the bleeding immediately. ​ Now for your cheekbones . This is the real treat and there are two ways of removing unwanted cheekbone hair. First option is dipping cotton wool into some pure alcohol, then lighting it and brushing it quickly over the cheekbones. Don’t worry, it's not painful or dangerous, but there is a faint whiff of burnt hair after. Second option is to use a length of cotton, which is twisted and drawn across the cheekbone, plucking out the hairs. You might know this technique as "threading ". To finish the look, you can have nasal and ear hairs trimmed as well. The barber will use a modern little shaver to do the nostrils, but the ears will be done with the cotton wool and alcohol method. Finally, just so everyone knows you’ve just been to the barbers, traditional lemon essence cologne is patted around the shaven areas, and to top it all off a good slap of moisturising face cream and you may even get a shoulder massage as well. Baby, smacked and bottom are all words to describe your finished appearance and you 'll certainly feel refreshed and invigorated! Top Guides > Culture > Charities ATA - Anglo Turkish Association One of the largest NGO's in TRNC. Non-profit making, it aims to promote understanding and mutual respect between expats and locals. Membership is open to all English speakers who live for at least part of the year in TRNC. It has important cultural, educational and charitable aims, and also organises social gatherings, lectures, seminars, concerts, exhibitions and excursions which are also open to non-members. ​ BRS - British Residents’ Society Established 1975, provides support and advice for British passport holders. Has direct access to the British High Commission and to Government Departments of the TRNC and enjoys their support. ​ CESV - Civil Emergency Service Volunteers Local and expat volunteers who assist emergency services and work in conjunction with Civil Defence. ​ KAR - Kyrenia Animal Rescue Animal Rescue Centre high in the Besparmak Mountains provides refuge for hundreds of dogs and cats. Employees run the centre; care for the animals and provide advice to the public while volunteers collect animals; conduct veterinary visits; groom; staff a charity shop; fund-raise and do eduation visits. ​ NCCCT – North Cyprus Cancer Charity Trust Formed late 1980s. Provides medical equipment to help cancer patients in state hospitals. ​ RBL - Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch Formed 1st October 2011 and currently has over 300 members. ​ SOS Children’s Villages in North Cyprus Built in Lefkosa in 1993. Today, as well as the Village, they have an SOS Youth Facility, an SOS Nursery and an SOS Social Centre. Family Strengthening Programme enables children who are at risk of losing the care of their family to grow within a caring family environment. Children live with a family in a warm and safe house, are encouraged to become active community members, and provided with education and life training they need to become independent adults. ​ SPOT - Society for Protection of Turtles Founded late 1980s, provided accommodation on land at Alagadi, which is still used by the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP). TFR - The Foreign Residents in the TRNC Formed in 1998. Participate in the maintenance of the international cemeteries. ​ TULIPS - Help Those With Cancer Association Cancer is one of the hardest battles to be faced and Tulips is there to help, irrespective of nationality. Top Guides > Culture > Cittaslow Cittaslow is part of a global cultural trend known as the slow movement. An organisation founded in Italy, Cittaslow’s goals include improving the quality of life in towns by slowing down its overall pace, especially in their use of spaces and the flow of life and traffic through them. Living in a Cittaslow town means having a cleaner environment, eating wholesome food, participating in a rich social life that respects the values of tradition, and openings to persons of other cultures. Northern Cyprus is a member of this organisation, and the official Cittaslow towns of Lefke, Tatlisu, Geçitkale, Yeniboğaziçi near Famagusta and Mehmetcik in the Karpaz region, all represent this culture, hosting events throughout the year characterising the Cittaslow way of life. The Cittaslow manifesto states: “We are looking for towns where men are still curious of the old times, towns rich of theatres, squares, cafes, workshops, restaurants and spiritual places, towns with untouched landscapes and charming craftsman where people are still able to recognise the slow course of the Seasons and their genuine products respecting tastes, health and spontaneous customs.” For the avid traveller, these towns are well worth a visit and attending one of the many events a pleasurable experience. Top Guides > Culture > Evil Eyes No matter where you go in Northern Cyprus, you’ll come across an evil eye gem . These blue beads are known locally as Nazar Boncukare and are hung in homes, cars, shops, restaurants, used as an accessory in jewellery, and even embedded into walls and arches. The humble beads play an important function for Turkish Cypriots as they ward off and protect the owner from “evil eyes ”, bad luck or sickness. This tradition dates from pre-Christian times, when people believed that a look of hate from one person to another could bring upon illness, bad luck or even death. Hatred, jealousy or even extreme affection can also be the cause of any potential adverse experiences. The blue evil eye beads are made from glass, and should also contain iron, copper, water and salt, a more resistant ingredient against evil. Don’t underestimate the protective powers of these gems. You’ll find one in almost every jeweller or gift shop, and imake great souvenirs. Top Guides > Culture > Festivals North Cyprus has a large festival scene, with more organised every year. Village festivals may play on the particular speciality the village lends its name to, or it may be international music and culture festivals at some of the great historical venues. Festival season runs from March to October . Village fairs have grown in popularity over the last few years enabling the public to see traditions and culture of Turkish Cypriot life, as well as giving locals a chance to show off their skills and wares including cookery displays, arts and crafts demonstrations, competitions and the ever popular folk dance displays. Buy local products made in their traditional fashion or have a go at making them at the Büyükkonuk Eco-festival . Festivals are generally organised by the local municipality, with sponsors for some of the larger exhibitions and displays. North Cyprus is also becoming well known for its international musical events, with big names attending events including classical tenors, Turkish pop singers, plus old favourites like Boney M and Bonnie Tyler . The International Bellapais Music Festival held in the stunning Bellapais Monastery, has featured international classical groups, orchestras and individuals to amaze the crowds. Equally, theInternational Famagusta Art & Culture Festival is growing in stature with theatre and music events mostly being held at the Salamis Antique theatre. Besides music and village festivals there's also the cinematic and arts festivals of North Cyprus, featuring something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the festivals available in Northern Cyprus: Name Month Tepebasi Tulip (Tulipa Cypria), Lapta Festival March Eco Day Festival of Büykkonuk (Komikebir) Village May & October Bellapais Silk Cocoon Festival May Bellapais International Music Festival May to June Famagusta Art and Culture Festival May to June Lapta Tourism Festival June Güzelyurt Orange Festival June to July Iskele Traditional Festival June to July Lefke Walnut Festival June to July Girne Art and Culture Festival August Mehmetcik Grape Festival August Geçitkale Hellim Festival Aug to Sep Cyprus Theatre Festival September Tatlisu Carob Festival September International Kyrenia, Zeytinlik, Templos Olive Festival October Top Guides > Culture > Folklore Many countries around the world have a traditional dance that has been passed down through the generations and Northern Cyprus is no different. Folklore occupies a very important place with the locals as they've benefited from an assortment of civilisations that have all influenced the cultural heritage and folklore represents its unity and identity. ​ Dances One popular folk dance is the Karsilama , where men and women perform together. It's a long series of dances presented by pairs of friends dancing face to face with a smiling mimic. Dancing in perfect timing, the men and women typically present different, but complimentary, moves. The Sirto is recognised as the oldest folk dance, where dancers hold each other’s wrists forming a circle. There are twelve basic steps involved, where one dancer leads the rest of the participants, varying the tempo. In some parts of Sirto, pairs of dancers hold a handkerchief from its two sides, as can also sometimes be seen in Karsilama. Individual dancers may show talents like spinning, jumping, kneeling or hitting their feet or legs or the ground with their hands. ​ Costumes The colourful costumes worn by folk dancers in Northern Cyprus reflect the origins of the dances. The women wear colourful headdresses and jewellery, and dress in eye-catching dresses, usually knee length. The men wear white shirts with black knee-length trousers, and a wide red cloth belt. Combined with their blue waistcoats and red fez hats, their dashing folk dancing costume is completed by a pocket watch or handkerchief. ​ Music A live folk dance nowadays is likely to be performed to a tape but traditional folk dances are usually accompanied by musicians, playing traditional instruments such as the zurna, a reed instrument with a distinctive and evocative Middle Eastern sound. Two types of drums can also be played, the smaller darbuka played with both hands, and the larger davul which is beaten with a stick. A violin is also usually played, and other instruments can be added, such as an accordion, or mandolin. Other than the folk music which accompanies dancing, entertainment and shows, other genre of “Türkü’s” are equally important, the most famous being “Dillirga”, “Kebapçıların Şişi” (“the skewers of the kebab makers”) and “Portakal Atışalım” (“let’s throw each other oranges”). ​ Events & Festivals Dancing is a way of life in Northern Cyprus and can be seen in bridal showers, weddings, festivals and harvest time and is a way to show emotions of joy and gratitude. Turkish Cypriot folk dances are not only significant because they're enjoyed by locals, but also because they receive acclaim in other parts of the world, with folk-dance groups routinely representing Northern Cyprus at international festivals. The annual “Folk Dance International Festival ” is also held in Iskele, usually around the end of June, attracting groups from around the world. Lasting a week, the festival brings together the beauty of diverse cultures. It’s quite a sight to see younger generation of Cypriot folk dancers getting to grips with the sickle dance, when the sickles they're holding are almost as tall as them. Traditional dances are a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in an ancient tradition and local culture. Top Guides > Culture > Meyhanes Like Italy’s osterias , Spain’s bodegas and France’s bistros , North Cyprus eating and entertainment houses, known as Meyhanes , are a place to come together over meze and raki and is a tradition dating back thousands of years. They are the epitome of Northern Cyprus eating and drinking culture, and date to Byzantine time with a slow evolution. A type of drinking den in the Ottoman empire, the name comes from the Persian "mey " meaning ‘wine’ and "khāneh " meaning ‘house’. These joints used to be described as small dark spaces, often underground, with few or no windows, wooden stools and low tables by a bar, and casks filled with wine lining the walls. Under Ottoman rule, meyhanes were owned by non-Muslims, who were generally allowed to produce and sell their own wine outside of Muslim districts. Although rakı entered the meyhane scene in the 16th century, it played second fiddle to wine until the 19th century. ​ The meyhane today is where people sit together around tables draped in red or white linen, eat a colossal amount of meze’s, meat or seafood, and sip raki. More than just a place to eat and drink, it's a place where conversation takes centre stage, where hearts are poured out as the rakı flows, and where quenching the thirst of the soul matters more than satisfying the hunger of the stomach. Meyhane culture differs to other counterparts in the Mediterranean. You won't find a menu, and a feast of local delicacies will be brought to the table one after the other, until you say stop . Starting with a spread of cold Meze’s, several plates of different types, no less than fifteen, are the start of the almost banquet serving. Specialities unique to Northern Cyprus include green olives known as Chakistes, pickled Quail eggs, Samarella which consists usually of goat’s meat that's salted and cured for preservation, and Tahin , a sesame paste made from toasted and ground sesame seeds mixed with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, a staple of any Cypriot meze. If you're drinking rakı, you can ask for Beyaz Peynir (white ewe’s milk cheese matured in brine) to always be accompanied by slices of fresh melon. ​ Warm meze’s follow , usually with grilled Hellim in pitta bread, Çiğer which is diced liver either grilled or fried, Magarina Bulli, tubular pasta cooked and served with chicken, sprinkled with grated Hellim and dried mint. A meat platter arrives soon after, from Köfte (meatballs) to Lamb and Chicken Şiş (skewered), Chops, to the infamous Seftali Kebab, a type of crépinette, with a lamb filling mixed with finely chopped onion and parsley, seasoned with salt and pepper. If you have room for dessert , you 'll be served mixed seasonal fruit, a type of Macun which is a traditional fruit preserve and inherent part of Cypriot culture, and most meyhanes will also offer a serving of the infamous Kırbaç, which literally translates as “the Whip” – a blend of Nor, a fresh mild whey cheese produced in Cyprus, and cream or milk, drizzled with local honey and topped with walnuts. Before leaving, you'll be offered a Kahve (Turkish coffee) to help digest the feast. You'll be amazed by the great value for money you receive in meyhanes and you probably won't be able to finish everything served to you. The more traditional concentrations are inland, in Nicosia or neighbouring Gönyeli, but you'll find more than one Meyhane in almost every town, and it's likely any local can direct you to one. Afiyet Olsun! Bon Appétit! Top Guides > Culture > Music North Cyprus is home to a really wide variety of music and musicians and you can find great venues to listen to music, get involved or dance to what you hear. The island has wonderful home-grown talent in classical music and rock and music classes and private tuition are available to learn new skills. Many restaurants, hotels and casinos have their own house bands, providing jazz, pop and Turkish music that pull in local crowds as well as guests. Classical music is one of North Cyprus’ most heavily promoted genres, with classical music festivals throughout the year where you can experience orchestras, chamber choirs, tenor singers, quartets and trios, often at historic venues. Smaller venues hold traditional music evenings during the summer months. Classical music also incorporates the tradition of ‘Fasıl ’ music which has its roots in the Ottoman era. This is a blend of instrumental and vocal music dating back to the 14th century. ​ Jazz is popular and can often be heard in bigger 5 star hotels. Club or disco music is played in clubs all summer long , and you can often just follow the sound to find out where it’s coming from. DJs from all over the world come to North Cyprus to entertain packed audiences at the various beach clubs and continue well into the morning. Rock music has a healthy following and live rock music is in many pubs and bars. There's a number of good local musicians and bands around and they normally play at the live music venues. The bigger rock bands that visit from Türkiye will mostly get to play at the larger beach club venues. During big Public Holidays such as Şeker Bayram and Kurban Bayram, there’s an explosion of Turkish music with stars arriving en masse to entertain the many visiting Turkish mainlanders and the locals with their glitz and glamour and unique style of entertainment. Top Guides > Culture > Myths & Legends Pygmalion & Galatea The ancient city of Karpasia was a harbour town 4km west of today’s Dipkarpaz village. It was established during pagan times as a city-state before Christianity. Today, it’s possible to see the fortification walls and columns of the palace in the sea. It was the legendary King Pygmalion who founded this city, one of the oldest in Cyprus, which also gave its name to the Karpaz Peninsula. Pygmalion lived alone in his palace. Having an artistic character, he decorated his palace with his own carved marble sculptures. He wasn’t satisfied with the women around him and was waiting for his ideal woman – his Queen. One day, he began to carve a beautiful woman, sculpted from snow-white marble and day by day fell in love with it. He stroked its cheeks and hair and gave it pearls, seashells jewellery and flowers. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, took pity on Pygmalion and wanted to end his sorrow. One day when the King returned to his palace and hugged the sculpture, he realised it had come to life, had colour in its cheeks and was looking at him lovingly. Pygmalion gave the fair skinned woman the name “Galatea” which means “as white as milk”. The King had found his Queen. He married her and they had a son named Paphos, who grew up to become a strong handsome man. Pygmalion called his son to him and said: “Dear Son, I have established my kingdom at thevery easternmost point of the island. Go to the west and found your own kingdom.” It’s believed that the city of Paphos or Baf, was founded by and named after Paphos, the son of King Pygmalion. ​ Aphrodite & Adonis Kinyras, the King of Cyprus, had a daughter who was a legendary beauty called Smyrna. One day her father claimed his daughter was more beautiful than the goddess Aphrodite. When Aphrodite heard this, she took revenge by making the King and his daughter fall in love with each other. They both fell under the effect of the spell, and she became pregnant by her father. Ashamed and afraid, she sought refuge in a forest while the King looked everywhere for her with the intention of murdering her. Symrna begged to the gods and Zeus took pity on her, turning Smyrna into a myrtle tree to save her. After nine months, the princess, who was pregnant when she transformed into a tree, gave birth to her son Adonis by ripping apart the trunk of the tree. The goddess Aphrodite found this beautiful baby on the trunk of the tree and took care of the child, taking him to live with her. As he grew up, Adonis became very handsome leading to Aphrodite and the goddess of the underworld, Persephone, coming into conflict over him. Zeus and Olimpos ended the battle between these two goddesses by deciding that Adonis should live for 6 months of the year with Aphrodite and 6 months of the year with Persephone. As he prepared to meet Aphrodite, Adonis was engaging in his favourite activity, hunting, when he encountered a wild boar. A fight took place between them and Adonis was badly wounded. Bleeding and in pain he attempted to reach Aphrodite, but lost all his strength, collapsing to the ground and taking his final breath. As it turned out, the life of Adonis was very brief …. like a flower. Aphrodite couldn’t accept his death and cried for days. From that time, nature stepped in to make this love immortal. The red and white anemones, a flower with a very short life span, blossom in Cyprus, in the place where Adonis, died. The red anemones symbolise the blood spilling from the wounds of Adonis and the white ones the tears of Aphrodite and the yellow one represent this tragic end. ​ The Olive Tree In the past, the wealth of people was measured by the number of olive trees they owned. Weddings were only scheduled after the harvest of the olives in Templo, today’s Zeytinlik village. The olive tree is a sacred tree which had economic, cultural and spiritual value. The sanctity of the olive tree is believed to be based on a legend about Jesus Christ. It was said that Jesus hid on top of an olive tree while he was trying to escape from his enemies and after the enemies went by, he said this prayer: “live 100 years more than the person who cultivated you, give plentiful fruit and oil and make your owners rich.” The olive tree asked “what will happen if they cut and burn me?”. He replied: “the smoke which comes from your wood and leaves will protect you from devilry and envy”. Today for the people of Cyprus, as for the Zeytinlik villagers, the olive leaf has a sacred meaning offering protection from evil. ​ St Mamas St Mamas was a priest who was born in Cyprus and gave his name to the church in Guzelyurt. He was was living in a cave in the region when a mandate decreed everyone was to pay taxes. Mamas refused to pay saying that since he was living in a cave he didn’t enjoy any of the government’s facilities. He was arrested and on his journey to Lefkosa, a lion jumped into the road while chasing a lamb. As Mamas raised his hand, suddenly the lion paused. Mamas picked up the lamb, mounted the lion, and rode on its back until he reached the throne room of the Duke who proposed the tax rule. The Duke was so shocked that he agreed to waive Mamas payment. ​ Five Finger Mountains A beautiful girl lived in a village in the mountains which form a backdrop of today’s Girne. Two young men loved this girl - one was good-hearted the other wasn’t. They decided to have a duel on the edge of a marsh in Merserya. The malevolent one wounded the good man by putting him in the marsh. The good-hearted youth gradually started to sink in the marshy area while he was trying to push himself up out of the mud. He raised his sword with a final effort, and as the sword slipped from his grasp, he was buried with five fingers open to the sky. In time the marshy area dried out and the good-hearted youth’s hand turned into mountains resembling his five fingers. ​ The Nursing Rock on Top of The Fortifications of Gamimagusa There is a location on the fortifications of Gazimagusa where a white liquid flows like milk. The people of Gazimagusa think it has a specific and extraordinary power. Women who have just given birth, who have difficulty in breast feeding, come to this place to make a wish. It’s also visited by women who want to have children, who come to touch the rock. ​ Petrified Lions of The Gate of The Harbour The sculptures on the right side of the sea gate of the Othello Castle belong to a lion and its cub. According to legend, the lion had tried to eat its cub and they were turned into stone. One of the sculptures is lost. According to another legend, the lion opens its mouth at an unknown time of an unknown day once a year and the person who puts their hand into the mouth of the lion will find an unbelievable treasure. ​ The Legend of Canbalut Pasha The Venetians had placed a rotating wheel with knives around it, at the gate of the city to cut invading soldiers in half. Canbulat Bey was fed up of the siege as it was taking so long and rode his horse towards the wheel, was decapitated but replaced his head and continued to fight. After the conquest of the war, he lay down in peace and died a martyr. ​ The Legend of St Barnabas St Barnabas was born Jewish in Salamis and met Jesus Christ during one of his journeys to Palestine. He came to Cyprus 46 years after the death of Jesus and was killed by local Jewish people when he attempted to spread Christianity. His corpse was hidden in a marshy area from which they planned to throw it into the sea but his supporters rescued his corpse and buried his corpse in a cave to the west of Salamis, putting a copy of the Bible, written by St Matthew, with him. The place of the grave wasn’t known and was kept secret. 432 years after his death, Bishop Anthemios saw the grave in his dream, identified its location and asked for it to be opened. When the grave was opened the Bible was found and the grave was easily identified as that of St Barnabas. In AD 477 the monastery was built on the site of that grave and today is one of the most important places for Greek Orthodox Cypriots. ​ The Castle of St Hilarion St Hilarion castle was built in the 6th century AD and took its name from a hermit of the same name. According to legend, a group of young men visited the castle on what was known as “Wish Day”, the only day of the year when wishes were accepted and the one day in every 40 years when the door of the 101st room was opened. The young men, finding this door opened, swarmed into that room, saw it full of treasure and started to grab everything they saw. One tried to take the crown, sceptre and sword. In their greed they didn’t realise their time was up and the doors slammed shut. They slept for 40 years in the room and when the day came, the doors opened again and they returned back to their villages. They’d stayed the same age but their children had grown old and many of their peers were dead already. ​ The Legend of Apostolos Andreas The Monastery of Apostolos Andreas is a sacred place for both Turkish and Greek people. Its’ sanctity comes from the water which flows through the rocks where a monastery and church were built, believed to be a place visited by St Andreas. (St Andrew). The legend of Apostolos Andreas is that the romans had learned about his attempts to spread Christianity round the Mediterranean and Black Sea and decided to send him to Rome. En route, the captain of the ship transporting him was worried because they were out of water. Apostolos Andreas said “I can find water for you” and asked for permission to land. When he stepped ashore they discovered the spring flowing through the rocks. The Captain set him free and the Andreas decided to settle there. Following the spread of Christianity the news of the miracle of Andreas spread. People began to believe the healing power of the water and the monastery became a shrine. According to Muslims, this sacred water is “the miracle of Hz. Suleyman”. They believe anyone who drinks the water will be healed; a blind person will see; and a paralysed person will walk. Those who drink from the sacred water, take away bottles of water for those who can’t visit. Turkish people make wishes by lighting a candle at Christmas. The Christians also shape their candles according to their wishes and bring bottles of olive oil. The Queen of Yuzbirevler During the Lusignan Dynasty, the name of the castle of St Hilarion was changed to “Dieu D’Amour” - “Castle of the Goddess of Love”. The castle was also known as the “Castle of Regina” – “Castle of the Queen”. The Queen was famous not only for her beauty but also her evil nature. According to legend, the queen was sitting on top of a high rock controlling the building works during the construction of the castle. She didn’t give permission for the builders to rest as they carried sand, water, and pebbles from the sea to the mountain. Finally the construction was completed and the queen moved into the palace. Having no further use for the builders, she called them to the palace and threw them out of the window. She also threw soldiers from the window when they'd finished their guard duties. It was said she didn’t want anyone alive who took a role during the construction of the palace. Today, the Gothic style decorated window, facing to the northwest is known as the “Queen’s Window”. ​ The Castle of Buffavento Buffavento is an Italian name meaning “disobeying the wind” and also has a story relating to a Queen. According to legend, a Byzantine princess got leprosy and retired to the castle to isolate herself. The princess had a dog who also had leprosy. The dog would leave the castle every day and disappear behind the southern peak returning to the castle some time later. The princess noticed one day that the dog was healthy again, so she followed it the next day and saw it bathe in a natural spring. She bathed in it as well and was cured. She had the Church of St John Chrysostomos built over the place where she discovered the healing spring. ​ The Legend of Fire Rock A villager always complained about God and blamed him for any negative thing, including the bad harvest. Shepherds meeting around the rock of fire, after releasing their animals into the Five FInger Mountains, heard him complaining and said to the farmer that he should go back to the rock of fire and make his complaints directly to God there. The farmer climbed to the top of the mountain, raised his hands and started shouting at God like a mad man. He was hit by lighting and turned to stone. If you visit the rock of fire which shines very brightly during sunset, you’ll see that it does look like a human silhouette. ​ The Legend of the Phoenix A big stone in the Ciklos region looks like a huge half-divided egg which is known as the Soil Stone or Egg Stone. According to legend, the Ciklos region is the nest of the phoenix and after the death of his mate, he protected his last egg. He sat on the egg day after day during incubation, but eventually left the egg to get food because he was hungry. The egg hatched, crows ate the newly hatched phoenix and the race became extinct. It's said that crows circle on top of the rock because they haven’t forgotten the taste of the phoenix. ​ The Legend of Hz. Omer’s Tomb One day a shepherd, known as Mad Hasan of Catalkoy, spotted a pirate ship at sea and began to pray. Suddenly, seven Arabic cavaliers appeared, rode across the surface of the sea to reach the ship with sparks coming out of their horseshoes, sank it, then quickly disappeared, thus protecting Catalkoy from attack. No one believed Mad Hasan until they saw the marks left by the horseshoes on the rocks and understood they were cavaliers of Hz. Omer. As a result of this legend which is based on the horseshoe prints on the rocks, the Ottomans have constructed seven graves and a shrine which have a symbolic meaning. Since then, this place has become a sacred place for the Muslims who live in Cyprus and they visit this shrine especially during religious festivals when they pray and make offerings. Top Guides > Culture > Radio Stations Top Guides > Culture > Stamps Turkish Cypriot stamps are highly sought after by philatelists around the world due to their designs, limited series print, thematic subjects and historical past. ​ Pre-Philatelic Periods The first letter known in Cyprus was a commercial letter written in Italian, dated 17th June 1353, and sent from Famagusta to Istanbul. The date corresponds to Lusignan rule although it was the Venetians who set up postal organisation on the island. In those days written letters were folded like an envelope and stamped with a wax seal. In addition, captains of the vessels transporting letters were placing their own signs and signatures on the letters they were carrying. ​ Philatelic Period Austrian Postal Services Austrian Lloyd was a maritime company set up as a postal agency in 1837. Initially stamps weren’t used on letters which were sealed. In following years, stamp and seal were used together. Ottoman Postal Services Ottomans set up a post office in Lefkosa in 1871 but it was closed when the British took over in 1878. ​ British Postal Services The British set up a post office in Larnaca on 27rh July 1878. British stamps were used for about 2 years as there weren’t any Cypriot stamps. Later the word CYPRUS was overprinted on British stamps and this continued for a year. The first series of Cypriot stamps were printed on 1st July 1881. The last series of stamps printed by the British for Cyprus were put on sale on 1st August 1955 and were used until 15th August 1960 when the Republic of Cyprus was established. ​ Republic of Cyprus On 16th August 1960 a Republic based on partnership by Turks and Greeks was established in Cyprus. When Turks opposed unification with Greece, armed clashes resulted and Turks were dismissed from the organs of the Republic. Greek Cypriots started applying postal service embargoes on Turks, thus preventing freedom of communication. ​ Turkish Cypriot Postal Services Turkish Cypriot postal services were established on 6th January 1964, a short while after armed clashes between the two Cypriot communities. The first Turkish Cypriot stamp was printed on 8th April 1970, named “Social Aid ”, was used as both a revenue and postage stamp and bore the name “Assembly of the Turkish Community ”. The Turkish Red Cross Association helped Turkish Cypriots in their communication with foreign countries especially with Turkey. Letters collected in Nicosia Post Office were handed over to the Red Crescent, then transferred to Ankara where they were stamped and distributed to Turkish addresses. There was an agreement to normalise postal services in 1966. Greek Cypriots permitted Turkish Cypriots to have one post office in the towns of Nicosia, Famagusta and Lefka and agents in Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos with the condition that only the name “The Republic of Cyprus ” be used and this was the case until 1970. Letters sent between Turkish quarters of the island carried the Social Aid stamps and letters sent overseas carried stamps of The Republic of Cyprus. After 1974 these arrangements were abandoned. Turkish Cypriot Stamps issued on 29th October 1973 commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. They were issued with the name of “Turkish Cypriot Administration ” and is the first series accepted as the real Turkish Cypriot postage stamp. After the 1974 intervention by Turkey, the first post office branch was opened in Kyrenia and started to communicate with foreign countries by post. Stamps, beside their usage for postal services, are also used to present a country to the world. Turkish stamps have as themes, natural beauty, flora and fauna, famous people, important events and anniversaries. They’ve been printed annually since 1975. ​ Special Edition Stamps The postal service often releases Special Edition Stamps such as in the spring, or before particular bayram holidays etc. The Postal Department also has a Philatelist Section which collectors can contact to receive limited editions and special first day covers. Private purchases can also be made. Top Guides > Culture > The Noble Peasant Why is the desire to build monuments so strong and lasting? What is it that sparks the desire or need to build monuments? For thousands of years, humans have had the desire to be remembered. This is done as a reminder of the life and accomplishments of an individual, society, or nation. The desire to leave art and artefacts for posterity is a natural human response. To allow the lessons and experiences of one’s own life to mean something to future generations is an innate human desire. Building monuments creates an everlasting object symbolising the life and accomplishments of an individual or a society, bringing meaning and understanding to future generations. ​ The imposing and majestic proportions of a monumental sculpture give a sense of strength and evoke admiration and wonder. Great outdoor monumental sculptures create a lasting visual appeal, are prestigious, and often attract large numbers of tourists. The powerful effects of a monumental statue, in one particular case, has had important consequences. ​ A visit to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro elicited a powerful reaction in Erbil Arkin, founder of ARUCAD University of Creative Arts and Design . i.e., a large community of vegetation and wildlife adapted to a specific climate - that will showcase different aspects of Cyprus’s natural habitat. The current area is well stocked with young pine trees and maquis shrub. Of the trees that will be introduced to the area, many will be saplings sourced from the Forestry Department that will allow the hillside to grow and develop organically over time.In part, it was the way that Corcovado Mountain dominated the city of Rio, much in the way the Five Finger Mountain Range does to Kyrenia. For Mr. Arkin, however, the idea that was germinating was for a statue in Cyprus that all Cypriots would identify with as being inherent to their culture and traditions. His desire was for a monument to The Noble Peasant that would celebrate and exalt the inner nobility of ordinary folk. ​ In a country that has witnessed divisions and conflict in its past, a unifying factor was that almost all Cypriots were, only a few generations ago, sons and daughters of the soil - farmers, animal husbanders, peasants. The Noble Peasant, 40 metres in height and standing sentinel over the coastline, has the potential to bring world renown to North Cyprus as a symbol of pride in the capabilities and resourcefulness of its people . As a work of engineering and artistic excellence, it will long outlast our lifetimes and will be a gift to future generations. It is currently under construction and can be seen slowly emerging on the hillside that overlooks Girne. It will surely be the most iconic building in Northern Cyprus when finished. ​ The Park The Noble Peasant Park covers a large area of over 23 hectares and has been conceived and designed in conjunction with the Noble Peasant Statue Project. The park is situated on a prominent hill to the south of the coastal town of Kyrenia and is surrounded by the spectacular backdrop of the Five Finger Mountains. While the immediate plaza area around the statue is envisaged as having slightly formal, tended gardens, much in the way of the urban parks of Europe, the much larger, wider hill area is intended to be designed to be a semi-“wilded” environment and laid out in biomes - i.e., a large community of vegetation and wildlife adapted to a specific climate - that will showcase different aspects of Cyprus’s natural habitat. The current area is well stocked with young pine trees and maquis shrub. Of the trees that will be introduced to the area, many will be saplings sourced from the Forestry Department that will allow the hillside to grow and develop organically over time. Top Guides > Culture > Theatre Turkish Cypriot theatre and shadow puppetry have been very popular in North Cyprus for centuries as they were the only sources of entertainment for people prior to TV. Even when cinemas opened in towns and cities, it was still difficult for village folk to reach urban centers, so shadow plays continued to play a prominent role in cultural life. Theatre has served as entertainment and an instructive medium and adopted an identity of their own both in subject matter and style. In particular, the Shadow Game (Karagöz) has long been a popular play in North Cyprus and has become an institution for Turkish Cypriots. Local theatre evolved from traditional Turkish theatre then adopted Western theatre styles and techniques at the beginning of the 20th Century. Founded in 1963, the first Turkish Cypriot theatre was called ‘First Stage ’ and later became known as the Turkish Cypriot State Theatre in 1966. It has staged various plays both in TRNC and abroad. Today, local and foreign theatre groups also operate alongside the Turkish Cypriot State Theatre. Many local and foreign theatre groups add variety and liveliness to the cultural life of North Cyprus during theatre festivals. ​ There is the International Cyprus Theatre Festival for example, often held at one of the large university complexes, but which also stages one off shows in town squares or castles, offering up to a month’s worth of stage plays, puppet and dance theatre. Theatre companies from Türkiye, such as the famous Büyükşehir Belediyesi Şehir Tiyatrosu from Istanbul, come to perform as well as groups from Ankara, Russia and local Turkish Cypriot theatre companies. ​ There are several theatre companies based in North Cyprus, one of the main being Sidetreets in Lefkoşa. Popular private companies include Lefkoşa Belediye Tiyatrosu and Maras Emek Theatre , as well as a comedy theatre group called Kıbrıs Türk Komedi Tiyatrosu which is based in Famagusta. Some shows are silent, so there's no problem with language barriers, but even if the mother tongue isn't Turkish, lots of people attend plays just to see the exceptional standards of acting, and some of the stories are so old and well known it doesn’t take a genius to work out the storylines. Lefkoşa, Kyrenia and Famagusta are all host to an array of theatre activities. For foreign residents KADS, (Kyrenia Amateur Dramatics Society ), puts on productions of well known English plays during the year at various locations in Kyrenia, and has even broadcast their productions on radio. Top Guides > Culture > Traditional Handicrafts The handicrafts of each country represent the heritage and culture of that country, and Northern Cyprus is no different. Many traditional handicrafts are still made today and carry on the legacy of years of knowledge, culture and expertise. For example: ​ Embroidered Lace Undoubtedly the most famous handicraft of Northern Cyprus is the embroidery lace, known as the Lefkaritika net . The art dates back to the 15th century and was inspired by the Venetians Local women got ideas from the delicate embroidery on Venetian clothes and put them on their own net. Traditionally, a Cypriot girl had to have an extended collection of Lefkara Lace ready for exhibition on her wedding day, and in this way, skills have passed from mother to daughter. For centuries, women from villages and small towns have sat side by side, embroidering on linen fabrics. Cyprus Lefkara Lace is made of linen with thread, and varies in shapes and cutting techniques used to decorate the final hand craft. It's quite distinctive and notable characteristics are the hemstitch, satin stitch fillings, and needlepoint edgings. These form linens such as tablecloths and napkins which are only made in white, brown and ecru colours. The other distinctive feature of fine lace in Northern Cyprus is that there's no difference between the front and back of any piece. Only lace made in this traditional way is considered to be authentic. The design for Lefkara Lace is first drawn onto paper, and then a transparent second sheet placed over this to protect the lace. Needles are placed along the design outline, and a thread tied to the front-most needle. The thread is then run around the outside of all the needles and tied to the last needle. Once three layers of such threads have been built up, they are stitched together like a buttonhole. Gradually, the lace starts to form, rising out from the paper base. The result is an incredibly delicate, intricate and true labour of love. The skilled art is recognised on the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage List , defined as ‘practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills’ from around the world that are protected for their invaluable cultural heritage. The linens became an important trade under Venetian rule, so famous that even Leonardo da Vinci personally visited Cyprus to find embroidery for decorating the altar of the Duomo Cathedral in Milan . When visiting small villages, you may come across ladies sitting on their front porch busily hand-embroidering, working the lace as they have done for centuries. Lace work of Lefkara is a hot buy for visitors perhaps even as a gift to pass down through generations in truly Cypriot fashion. Available in souvenir or handicraft shops, the most renowned are at the Buyuk Han in Lefkosa. ​ Wicker Weaving You can't ignore the wicker baskets! The bright and cheerful designs of these mat weavers in shops and restaurant walls all over the country, attract your attention. Mat weaving in Northern Cyprus is a unique art, as each weaver has his or her own weaving pattern. Plant knitting is where tree trunks, leaves, and twigs are used in mat weaving, by cutting them into thin strips to make baskets, bread trays, brooms, or jewelry boxes. Straw Chairs In many handicraft shops in North Cyprus you'll find chairs made of straw. Each of these miniature chairs has a very complex texture, being very light, yet durable, and are still very popular among Turkish Cypriot families. Top

  • Foodie | North Cyprus Whatsonintrnc

    Foodie > Ayran Ceviz Macun Hellim Kup Kebab Olives Raki Recipes - Mezze Recipes - Soups Sunday Lunch Brandy Sour Coffee Hellimli Lahmacun Pekmez Recipes - Chicken Recipes - Pasta & Rice Recipes - Vegetarian Vineyard Hotel cafés Costa Cuisine Hummus Meze Pilavuna Recipes - Desserts Recipes - Salads Restaurants Wineries Çakısdez Food Tours Kolokas Molohiya Prickly Pear Recipes - Meat Recipes - Seafood Seftali Kebab Zinavia Foodie > Ayran The perfect partner for your lahmacun has to be a refreshing glass of Aryan , one of the most popular drinks of the Turks since the discovery of Yogurt among the Turkish tribes in Central Asia. It's simply made by diluting yogurt with water and adding salt to taste. Drenched over crushed ice and garnished with a mint leaf, it’s the ideal drink to quench your thirst. It accompanies any meal or is drunk by itself. It's common in all regions of North Cyprus, the only variation being its thickness. Try fresh Ayran (taze yapilmis Ayran) for the best experience. ​ Ingredients 250 gr (8 oz) thick sheep's milk yogurt 150 ml (1/4 pint) cold water A little salt Mint - dried or fresh ​ Preparation Put all the ingredients, eexcept the mint, in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth and lightly frothy. Alternatively, beat in a bowl with an egg whisker, until well amalgamated. Pour evenly to each glass and put some mint on every glass to serve. Top Foodie > Brandy Sour A mixture of brandy and cordial made from lemons of the Güzelyurt region, Brandy Sour is considered the national cocktail. It's made with Cypriot brandy which is milder than Cognac or Armagnac, lemons fresh or cordial, Angostura bitters, soda water and ice. Bitter lemons are used locally to produce a bitter-sweet lemon cordial – the same lemons used by British author Lawrence Durrell for the title of his famous novel "Bitter Lemons of Cyprus ", written next to Bellapais Abbey in the 1950’s. Although Brandy Sour is enjoyed worldwide, the Cypriot version is unique for the local brandy used. It was introduced in the 1930’s in an old hotel in the Troodos Mountains, as an alcoholic substitute for iced tea, as a way of disguising the preference for Western-style cocktails of their distinguished guest, King Farouk of Egypt . As well as enjoying it during your visit to the island, why not pick up a bottle of Cypriot brandy and try making it back home. Top Foodie > Cafés Top Foodie> Çakisdez These unique green olives are manually cracked using special stones. Olives have long been recognised as a symbol of good living and people tend to live longer and healthier lives in regions where olive oil is a staple part of the diet. Harvest time usually begins in October, when the early green olive first fruits are gathered either by shaking the branches over sheets spread on the ground around the tree, or by individually picking the olives by hand. A popular delicacy, Çakısdez (chuck-ess-dez ), are picked, washed, cracked, soaked in brine then served with coriander seeds, garlic, olive oil and lemon, and complement any appetiser for lunch or dinner, although you'll most likely find them at open buffets for breakfast. Chakistes can be preserved in jars or plastic containers, so you can take some back home. Top Foodie > Ceviz Macun A famous Cypriot fruit preserve of small green walnuts , this spoon sweet is a local favourite. Fruit preserves, generally served in little plates or on miniature forks, are an inherent part of local culture, where they're offered to guests as an act of hospitality. Almost all fruits, nuts and even vegetables can be made into a preserve. Ceviz Macun is made with unripe walnuts when they're green and tender, usually at the end of Spring or early summer, when the inner shell is still soft. Making it is labour intensive, lasting a week from branch to table, but well worth the while. Walnuts are known to give the body energy and contribute to the sexual health of men, so eat them one at a time! Served as a dessert at most local dineries, they can also be found jarred in supermarkets, and make a healthy treat to take back home. Top Foodie > Coffee Culture Coffee in Northern Cyprus is a way of life as well as an experience. Turkish coffee or Kahve (ka-veh) brews ground coffee very finely. Arabica varieties are onsidered the best, but robusta or blends are also used. It's made by bringing the powdered coffee, with water and usually sugar, to the boil in a custom pot called cezve , or ibrik . As soon as it froths it's taken off the heat, but can be reheated to increase the froth. Sugar is added while brewing, so the amount of sugar must be specified before preparing. It may be served unsweetened (sade ), with little or moderate sugar (orta ), or sweet (şekerli ), but cream or milk are never added. Often served with chocolate or Turkish delight and a small glass of water to wash off any coffee residue in the mouth, Kahve traditionally comes in small porcelain cups called a fincan and is sipped slowly. Superstition says the grounds can be used for fortune-telling. The cup is turned over into the saucer and the patterns created are interpreted to have a glimpse into the future of the person who drank it. Kahve can also offer health benefits. Known to balance cholesterol levels, it can help prevent some heart diseases, assist the digestive system and be used in some massages and treatment of skin conditions . Kahve will be offered after a meal in most restaurants and can be found almost everywhere. For an authentic taste, find somewhere where it's made in a cooper pot, over a coal fire. Decorated coffee-cups, coffee-pots and coffee-trays are sought after souvenirs for visitors. Top Foodie > Costa Cuisine The stretch of coastline east from Girne to Tatlisu and beyond, has become known as the "Costa Cuisine " as it has so many fabulous eating places. Below are some of the stars which all food lovers will want to visit. Eagle's Nest @ Kücük Erenkoy Fabulous location directly overlooking the sea. Eat inside if it's breezy or winter, or eat outside on the veranda in the summer to enjoy a truly spectacular sunset which is almost, but not quite, as good as the food. Real care is taken with the food here. You can tell this is a place where food is loved. Everything is beautifully cooked and superbly presented by some of the most professional waiting staff you could hope to have. This is high quality fine dining by any standards but at really good prices. (Example: Chicken Liver Pâté + Grilled mushrooms for starters; Sea Bass + the classic Italian dish Gnocchi for mains; chocolate brownie + apple crumble and ice cream for dessert; + 2 glasses of wine. Everything came to £20 per head. ) A new feature is an outside bar area called the Edge (yup, right over the sea again) which will undoubtedly add even more atmosphere to this quality establishment. This place is special. Go for it! This is undoudbtedly the star of the "Costa Cuisine", and a real credit to the owners, chefs and all the superbly trained waiting staff. ​ Café Paris & Bakery @ Esentepe They say that you can't come to TRNC and not have a Meze. That may be true but add to the list of not to be missed, Cafe Paris. Stunning location at the top of a cliff, overlooking the ocean, with a real infinity pool. But the facilities and the views pale into insignificance compared to the food. Pastries, cakes, freshly baked breads and sandwiches may not seem like something to rave about but wait until you've been here and tried them. This is another shinging star on the "Costa Cuisine" and one to be literally, savoured. ​ Old Shakespeare @ Turquoise Bay The decor is tasteful. The furniture includes a large globe, an old radio and other antiquities which together work to create a really relaxing atmosphere. There is a TV on the wall but don't expect Premier League football in here. Scenes of Northern Cyprus and unobtrusive gentle music help to create a real nice ambience. The menu is definitely eclectic. Executive Chef Oleg creates dishes from France, Italy, Georgia, Russia and Europe. For starters our group had: Chicken Live Pate (beautiful); Beef Carpaccio (beautiful); "Julien" with chicken and mushrooms (beautiful); and mushrooms on the Ketsi Pan baked with cheese and butter which were simply divine. All were truly excellent, beautifully cooked and excellently presented, but if ever there's a mushroom olympics, which is a sporting tournament I could very much get behind, this Ketsi Pan way should easily take the gold. Wow, it’s good. When we asked for a wine list we expected to be given a card, but instead the waiter actually brought all the different bottles for us to look at and choose from. Nice touch. Main courses we had were: Beef Stroganoff; Cod Fillet with Zucchini and Tom Yam sauce; Chicken BBQ. The Stroganoff was really tasty. The cod fillet was delicious. The Tom Yam sauce could have been spicier for us although that's a personal taste. The chicken BBQ was also delicious. Enjoying the meal so much, we ordered another bottle of wine and decided to try some of the desserts. Lemon Tiramisu is a wonderful variation on this classic. Instead of being coffee based, it's lemon based, reflecting Northern Cyprus' classic fruit. And it tastes superb. The Semifreddo (Frozen Chocolate Cream with Pistacchios) was simply stunning. Everything washed down with a limoncello digestivo. Executive Chef Oleg took the time to come out and ask for feedback which he got in spades. Yes, the Cod Fillet could have had a larger side dish with it; yes the chicken bbq might have been a bit more well done to suit our personal taste; yes the Tom Yam sauce wasn't as spicy as we would prefer, but generally we were surprised and delighted at the whole experience. And when the bill came, two bottles of wine, 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 desserts came to a little under £30 per head which we all reckoned was great value for money. Old Shakespeares has only been open a short time and there's still improvements that can be made but will we be going back there? Absolutely! ​ Turtle Paradise Restaurant & Bar @ Alagadi Beach Great location right by the beach. Fairly extensive menu and whatever you choose you'll be fine, although the hamburgers do deserve a special mention. Just good, solid cooking, where everything is tasty but the atmosphere surpasses the food. There's just something about this place which is magical mediterranean at its best. Dip in the sea or just sit with a drink and feel the breeze, this is a place built for relaxation. Plenty of car parking, family friendly. They also have a wonderful little shop which operates in the summer season, selling hand made jewellery, clothing and craft work run by the ever genial Ercan. Another must stop place to visit on the "Costa Cuisine". ​ Esenyali Balik Restoran @ Alagadi Set right beside the beach in the protected village of Aligadi, Esenyali is blessed with a really spectacular location. We had to drive slowly past the herd of goats out for a walk. The venue itself is simple and straight forward, but the set menu Meze certainly isn't. 20 cold courses followed by 5 hot courses (there were so many I couldn't keep up!) all of which were fresh, tasty and delicious. There are plenty of places that do a good Meze but this really should be one you try out. Not only was the food good but the service was exceptionally friendly. The presence of so many locals says it all. Highly recommended. ​ Hurma Restaurant between Acapulco and Elexus Resorts Brilliant restaurant. The meze was outrageously good, although better when shared with 4 (so much). Lovely views and great service. ​ Tuncay'in Yeri Restaurant @ Esentepe You can't come to Northern Cyprus and not have a Meze in a restaurant run by locals, like this. Offerings will differ according to seasonal availability, but at least you'll know everything is fresh. Meze here can be hot or cold and is usually served in batches of 4 or 5, although you might just get served 14 or 15 all at once. You’ll find a great mix of meat and fish with vegetarians especially well catered for. As good a Meze as you can find. Reasonable prices and friendly, efficient service. ​ Moonshire Bar & Restaurant @ Esentepe Location, location, location! Set on the hillside above the new marina and Sun Valley Beachside Resort, this gem of a place is a must visit for tourists and locals alike. While away a sunny afternoon with a wine or beer on one of the outside terraces, or enjoy a romantic meal for two while you watch the sun setting and all the time enjoy authentic family cooking at its best and a genuine friendliness which is a particular hallmark. The menu is international, reflecting its' growing popularity with customers from different countries. Prices represent great value - at the time of writing, a great meal will cost less than 20 Euro per head. Particularly popular with Scandinavians, Germans, Russians, Turks and British. Wide variety of events are always well attended so advance booking is recommended. Ample car parking available. ​ Cengiz's Restaurant & Bar@ Esentepe Returned to Cengiz's for my wife's birthday and what a great decision that was. Cengiz absolutely goes out of his way to give the best experience he can to his customers eg picked up and dropped off so we could both have a drink; organised a cake and sources and bought in special champagne at my request. The salmon starter was very generous in size and really tasty as was the chicken liver pâté. Mexican Steak was exactly as spicy as I requested and the beef stroganoff was delicious. Added to that, the general vibe of this place is really special (a covered courtyard adorned with passion fruit). A star venue of the North Cyprus "Costa Cuisine". Definitely recommended. ​ Spice Garden Restaurant @ Bahceli Great place to watch sport (show 4 events simultaneously) and probably the best Indian food for miles around. Friendly staff and friendly patrons make this a really enjoyable place to visit. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Top Make a Reservation Foodie > Food Tours Discover the culture & people of Northern Cyprus through traditional foods and wine, by taking a journey to some of the island’s hidden food haunts and award winning wineries. Sample authentic snacks, dishes and drinks while exploring mountain villages. Normally in small groups of up to 7 people, tours specialise in food & wine of Cyprus and offer a personal, bespoke experience you won’t forget. Private tours for larger groups are also available on request. What participants say… “We were taken to see a variety of brilliant foodie spots in quaint villages around the Troodos mountains. I’m sure we'd have paid a huge amount more if we'd hired a taxi driver for the day to take us from place to place and that would have been without lunch, entrance fees and tastings included. The planned itinerary and having someone to answer all your foodie questions was a huge plus and the info we were given at the end was really useful.” “We’ve started using private tour guides and small group experiences for our last few trips, as we’ve realised the big buses are not for us. We’re really glad we chose a tour instead of saving a few euros to join a big bus full of people. We were with just 3 others and had a great day, driving through the mountains tasting wine. We were introduced to all the native grape varieties and were able to buy top quality wine at phenomenal prices.” ​ ​ “We'd walked past one of the places out of the many we were taken to on this tour and actually thought about going inside. Even if we'd made a visit to this particular place by ourselves, there’s absolutely no way we would have ordered what our guide chose for us – totally worth it, just for the new tastes and dishes we tried. Absolutely brilliant tour!” ​ “We were taken to a great variety of restaurants on our tour, places that we'd never have found by ourselves. By the end of the night we’d seen so many great places and eaten so many delicious things we were stuffed… Make sure you arrive hungry! Worth EVERY penny” ​ Itineraries Some itineraries list an hour-by-hour schedule and a set of specific stops or locations. Others visit locals and because these local villagers are busy with every day life, can’t guarantee which stops will be included. Tours have themes and a kind-of checklist of what will be included, but the specifics of where you go and what you’ll see often changes. For example, if it’s the season for harvesting olives, then that might be included as one of the promised stops. If one of the locals is baking halloumi bread, this’ll get in as well, so you can meet a real local and experience a true Cypriot kitchen. If its September, that’s the time to walk through the vineyards to see the grape varieties. ​ What You'll Do Tours are normally a full day experience , exploring local villages and wineries, with an authentic meze lunch, delicous food and exquisite wine tastings. Your local guide will pick you up and drive you around. You’ll also get to visit traditional product workshops, taste Cypriot delicacies such as halloumi cheese, honey, olive oil, village breads, traditional sweets, and of course wine. You’ll get to learn about the ingredients, the making process and the traditions linked to the products before trying them. Part of the experience is visiting villages, where you’ll have time to explore the sites and take in stunning landscapes. Along the way you’ll usually stop at a local tavern to feast on a selection of Cypriot dishes with a full meze lunch. This is sure to be an authentic experience that will leave you wanting more from a foodie day like no other! Top Foodie > Hellim Hellim is a traditional food that has been produced locally for centuries and is well known worldwide for its unique taste. Also referred to as Halloumi , it's a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes cow’s milk as well. Alongside a distinctive layered texture, it has a high melting point making it easy to fry or grill. This property makes it a popular meat substitute and is moderately high in fat and a good source of protein. Locals enjoy Hellim fresh, grilled, barbequed, with salads, sandwiches, meals and even alongside fruit. Another favourite is grated, sprinkled with dried mint on tubular pasta types like Bucatini, or cooked in a chicken broth. Local cooking culture also revolves around a lot of bread and pastry, and local favourites like Hellimli and Pilavuna also make good use of Hellim within their traditional ingredients. Top Foodie > Hellimli Hellimli is a traditional Cypriot savoury pastry made with Hellim cheese . Consisting of flour, water, salt, butter and olive oil, chopped onions, mint, and diced Hellim cheese. Kneading chunks of the Hellim cheese, onions and mint into a bread dough, the dough is then sprinkled with sesame and nigella seeds, before being baked in a traditional clay oven. The crust of the bread develops a golden colour, ready to be served. You'll come across many bakeries in Northern Cyprus and won’t be disappointed with the choice at hand which make perfect snacks. Top Foodie > Hummus A Levantine food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Today, it's popular throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe. ​ Ingredients 1/2 kg chickpeas (soaked overnight) 1 cup tahini (beaten) * 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed 1/4 cup lemon juice Tahini1/2 cup olive oil salt, paprika finely chopped parsley * Note: Tahini is a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Tahini is served as a dip on its own, or as a major component of hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva. Preparation Drain chickpeas, spread on a tea towel and roll a bottle over them to remove the husks. Boil the chickpeas until soft. Dry and mash. Beat the tahini and combine with the chickpeas. Add the crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. If the paste is very thick, add liquid from the chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley and pour a little olive oil over the purée. Top Foodie > Kolokas Colocasia esculenta is a perennial, tropical plant primarily grown as a root vegetable for its edible, starchy corm. The vegetables cultivated in Northern Cyprus are much larger than in other countries. Generally, Kolokas is eaten like a potato , as it tastes quite similar when cooked but with a nutty flavour. Be careful handling Kolokas, as the skin and roots are poisonous before they've been cooked and cannot under any circumstances be eaten raw . Often used as a substitute for potato, it's boiled in a tomato sauce or cooked with meat, beans and chickpeas. Overseas it's common to roast, bake, mash or chip them, as many different countries around the world use Kolokas in different ways. Drain chickpeas, spread on a tea towel and roll a bottle over them to remove the husks. Boil the chickpeas until soft. Dry and mash. Beat the tahini and combine with the chickpeas. Add the crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. If the paste is very thick, add liquid from the chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley and pour a little olive oil over the purée. Top Foodie > Kup Kebab Also known as Kleftiko , this is a traditional Turkish recipe where lamb is marinated in olive oil, garlic, onions and herbs and slowly cooked in greaseproof paper or foil, keeping all the juices and flavours together. Also referred to by locals as ‘Hirsiz Kebabı’ (Kebab of Thieves), traditionally, lambs or goats in the mountains were stolen then cooked in underground ovens sealed with mud, to disguise the smell and smoke and to avoid detection. The success of this famous dish depends on slow roasting, until the meat fairly falls off the bone. It's usually made with a leg of lamb which becomes very tender once cooked. Though the leaner leg looks impressive and is a cut better suited to faster cooking and served pink, the tougher, fattier shoulder, benefits from slow cooking, becoming wonderfully juicy and rich. Prolonged cooking in a traditional clay oven offers a tender dish that can't be achieved with conventional cooking. Almost always served with Cypriot roast potatoes, some prefer to cook the vegetables together with the meat, for the true flavour and aroma experience. Seasoned with oregano and bay leaves, a little acidity from a squeezed lemon helps to cut through the richness of the meat and potatoes, so you can keep going back for more. Kup Kebab is usually cooked on Sunday’s accompanied by a glass of Turkish Raki and a nap in the shade of a gnarly fig tree afterwards. Top Foodie > Lahmacun Ingredients A pack of pitas 1 lb ground beef 1 lb white onion 1 or 2 tomatoes Salt, black pepper to taste If you can't find tomatoes, replace it with 2 table spoons of tomato puree. ​ Preparation Peel, wash, place onions with tomatoes in food processor and ground. Add salt, black pepper and meat, ground 30 seconds more. With the help of a spoon, spread this mixture over pitas. Put them in oven and bake at 400F about 20-30 minutes. Check to see whether meat is cooked. Serve hot. Top Foodie > Meze You really can't come to Northern Cyprus and not have a Meze. It's the mainstay of traditional cuisine in North Cyprus and basically means appetisers or starters, and there's usually so much of it you won't need a main course. Meze are served in various forms all over the Middle East and certainly the Turkish Cypriot variety have influences recognisable if you've eaten meze in another country, although there are some unique to here. Depending on the time of year, offerings will differ according to seasonal availability, but at least you'll know everything is fresh. Meze can be hot or cold and is usually served in batches of 4 or 5, although you might just get served 14 or 15 all at once. You’ll find a great mix of meat and fish with vegetarians especially well catered for. Some of the more popular and common mezes you might expect to be served: ​ Cacik Pronounced Jajuk, this is a palate cleansing and refreshing dish in summer time. Combining fresh plain yoghurt made from sheep’s milk, finely chopped cucumber, mint and a dash of lemon. Often served along main courses as it’s an excellent accompaniment for meat. Calamar Calamari, usually served with lemon juice and some salt. Chakistes Very popular and definitely a staple of a meze selection. Crushed green olives, served dressed in olive oil, a little crushed garlic, coriander and lemon juice. Often on breakfast menus as well. Dolma/Sarma Stuffed varieties which often feature vine leaves, peppers, courgette flowers or pumpkin flowers which are used as wraps and stuffed with a mix of rice, tomatoes, sultanas, meat, herbs and spices. Very more-ish. Also known as ‘Yalancı Dolma’ (Stuffed Liar) because during the World War 2 no one could afford to stuff things with meat, thus being classed as cheating. Fasülye Beans. Loads of different types of beans served include black eyed beans, green beans, butter beans. Great served hot or cold with yoghurt and bread. Simple but tasty and healthy. ​ Hellim Sheep’s or goats cheese served sliced and grilled or fried . Has a unique taste and when grilled is crispy and chewy with some people finding it tastes a bit like bacon. ​ Hummus Great with bread as a dip on its own, or served with a full meze. Blended chickpeas and tahini paste with various spices to give it quite a sharp flavour. ​ Köfte Meatballs that come in various forms, but usually minced meat, onion and herbs mixed together and either fried, baked or grilled. Bulgur köfte for example, is bulgur wheat used as the outer coating for the meatball and deep fried to make a crisp coating. ​ Molehiya Served as a main course or as part of a meze, Molehiya is a green leaf vegetable unique to Cyprus. The leaves are dried in the sun and then boiled, usually along with pieces of chicken, to make a kind of stew. Quite a bitter taste, but along with a few herbs and spices, it makes for a healthy dish. ​ Mucver Pronounced Mujver, this is a batter mix of courgette flowers, milk and eggs whipped together and small spoonfuls of it then dropped into a hot pan of oil and cooked until crispy on the outside. ​ This is just a selection for you to get the general idea of how delicious a Turkish Cypriot meze meal can be. Others include cracked almonds on ice, salted fish, fresh beetroot, ox tongue, brain, dried meats and other vegetable dishes . There are plenty of traditional Turkish Cypriot restaurants so why not try some. Meze is an important part of social gatherings such as family get-togethers, weddings, parties and other functions, so it's the most popular way of eating for locals. Eat as much or as a little as you like, take your time over it, and don't think you need to finsh the whole lot. Top Foodie > Molohiya The leaves of Corchorus Olitorius , commonly known as Jew’s Mallow, Nalta jute, or Tossa jute. Molohiya is indigenous to Cyprus and was originally found growing on the banks of the River Nile in Egypt, living proof of Egyptian influence on Cyprus. Locals pick and dry the local plant throughout the summer months. Carrying many health benefits, it's cooked with freshly chopped tomato, onions, garlic, lemon juice, lamb or chicken, but can also be served vegetarian. It's a gorgeous traditional dish usually cooked and served at home, but you'll find a few local restaurants serving it during the day in Nicosia’s old walled city. Top Foodie > Olives In Northern Cyprus, as in other Mediterranean countries, the olive tree can be seen everywhere, in the wild and under cultivation. Usually favouring well drained sunny hillsides, olive trees also thrive in backyards and flat plain lands. Olives are an integral part of Cypriot culture and have been cultivated on the island since ancient times. Olive trees live for a long time and have been known to go for over 2,500 years . The oldest Monumental Olive Trees in the village of Kalkanli are an attraction for thousands of visitors each year. The nurture and care of olive trees is of course a matter of some skill. Legend has it that those who eat the fruit of this tree receive its resilience and endurance. Not surprisingly, Cypriots are considered to be long-lived and local life expectancy exceeds European average and other developed countries. Olive products are renowned for their health, vitality and longevity benefits, and olive trees have even had a tremendous impact on global affairs. ​ Green Olives Olive picking season in Cyprus starts early September and continues through to the New Year. The first olives picked are the small green ones. These are washed, cracked and then soaked in brine, and served as a popular delicacy, Chakistes, found in all homes and Cypriot tavernas. If these olives are left on the trees longer, they turn black, and are then used for making olive oil. ​ Olive Oil In ancient times, Cypriots used a heavy stone press with a long wooden handle to produce olive oil. A donkey pushed the handle to rotate the millstone, crushing the fresh olives. Since then the process has changed dramatically and become completely automated, but the essntials remain unaltered: no heating and no chemicals result in the production of high-quality olive oil. ​ Symbol of Peace In North Cyprus the phrase, “to offer someone an olive branch” can be commonly heard, meaning a proposal to make peace with someone. Found in most cultures of the Mediterranean, the olive branch first symbolised representing peace in Ancient Egypt, followed many centuries later in ancient Greek mythology. Even on the “Great Seal of the United States”, the supporter of the shield is a bald eagle grasping an olive branch in its’ right talon, symbolising a preference for peace. A petition adopted by the American Continental Congress in July 1775, was called the “Olive Branch Petition” in the hope of avoiding a full-blown war with Great Britain. ​ Olive Leaf Burning A Turkish Cypriot custom known as ‘Tutsu ’, is the burning of olive leaves. A symbolic act for warding off the evil eye and to protect from harm, a family member gathers leaves into a custom metal pot and then burns them, waving the resulting smoke around people for their protection and well being. ​ Cosmetology Olive oil is widely used not only in the kitchen but also in medicine and cosmetology. Cosmetics made with olive oil are very popular in Northern Cyprus. Soaps, moisturisers, shampoos, shower gels, facial masks and much more are available in and around most towns. Olive oil soaps provide a very clean and smooth silky feel with minimal lather, a moisturising effect that lasts longer time than inorganic cosmetics and is perfect for dry and sensitive skin. As olive oil soap contain effective antioxidant properties, usage stimulates new cell generation, slows down wrinkle development and gives skin a youthful look. ​ Leaf Extract The powerful antioxidants of olive leaf extract are also proven to protect against a variety of viral and bacterial infections. Olive leaf extract capsules claim to improve the regulation of blood pressure, and olive leaf tea helps the digestive system. ​ Gifts Olive oil was a very important part of daily life in the Mediterranean in Roman times It was used for food, as fuel for lamps, and as a basic ingredient in things like medicinal ointment, bath oils, skin oils, soaps, perfumes and cosmetics. Even before Roman times, Cyprus was known for its olive oil, as indicated by the Greek philosopher Strabo when he said that “in fertility Cyprus is not inferior to any one of the islands, for it produces both good wine and good oil”. Olive, olive oils and associated products are popular gifts to take home. Top Foodie > Pekmez The Besparmak Mountains are swarming with carob trees and the sweet thick syrup extracted from the pods are exceptionally tasty. Pods are gound into powder, then boiled in water which reduces them to dark harnup pekmez (carob molasses). Carob syrup can be found in most health food stores globally, but the local version of pekmez can only be found in local supermarkets. ​ Pekmez is used in soups and stews, spread on bread, poured over ice cream, mixed with yoghurt or trickled over pastry and fruit. Restaurants sell desserts made of pekmez, such as gullurikya. In villages such as Tatlisu and Ozankoy which hold annual Carob Festivals , a sweet fermented drink is also brewed with pekmez and drank ice cold. Locals believe that a teaspoon a day of pekmez keep colds and flu away. The fruit of this tree contain vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D, as well as zinc, useful for both children and adults suffering from anaemia. Harnup Pekmez is also believed to show positive effects in treating impotence and infertility. Top Guides > Pilavuna Local culture embraces communal baking and often revolves around bread or pastry and Pilavuna is a cheese-filled pastry unique to Northern Cyprus. Made with a yeast pastry, comparable to bread dough, which is rolled very thinly, the pastry is similar to shortcrust in texture. They're filled with a combination of Hellim and nor, a fresh mild whey cheese produced in Cyprus, the cheeses then mixed with dried mint and sometimes sweet sultanas. Depending where they're made, recipes vary from salty to semi-sweet or sweet and often eaten with breakfast or as a snack with tea in the afternoon. Sometimes also referred to as “flaounes ”, locals serve Pilavna as a celebratory food for the breaking of the Lenten fast, being prepared on Good Friday for consumption on Easter Sunday by Orthodox Christians. Pilavuna’s were featured as a technical challenge in The Great British Bake Off television series. Top Foodie > Prickly Pear (Cactus) Prickly Pears, known locally as Babutsa , is a cactus fruit that can be seen everywhere in Northern Cyprus. It's unpretentious, requiring no special care or water. You can eat it raw, whole, or with the bones which are inside it. In this form it's good for digestion and helps cleanse the body. It's high in antioxidants, contains vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. and has a smell similar to watermelon. It can also be used to make marmalade; be added to desserts and liqueurs; baked or stewed. T he only drawback of course, is that it's covered in thorns! If you decide to clean these off yourself the first thing you'll need is patience and the second thing you'll need is gloves. Start by cutting off the edges of the fruit from the top and bottom, then cut from top to bottom, remove the skin and voila! Juicy cactus figs. But that's not all this wonderful barbed pear is good for. Ancient builders used it to built castles and fortresses would you believe. They cooked the cactus leaves to a jelly-like state, mixed this with soil and used it as cement because the composition was so strong. The famous Bellapais Abbey was built this way. You don't see any cement there and it's still standing centuries later. It also gets used for home security. How many burglars would want to climb over a prickly cactus fence like the one pictured? Top Foodie > Raki Locals call Raki, the anise-flavoured drink “Lion’s Milk” . It's not known where or when the drink was invented, but its' history is less than wine or beer. It's made from different fruits in different regions, but grapes, figs and plums are the main ones. The best way to drink raki is with flat cylindrical glasses and cold – straight (sek), with water, soda or mineral water. Usually 40% – 50% alcohol, it changes colour and becomes a milky white when water is added. A glass of pure water helps clean the palette so you can better enjoy the distinct taste. Served at every restaurant, but traditionally associated with tavernas (meyhanes ), it's usually served with meze’s, meat or fresh fish. Local custom is to clink glasses with the bottom of the glass as using the top indicates you think you're superior. Another tradition is to knock the table lightly with the bottom of your glass before you take a sip, indicating there's someone you're thinking of who you wish was there. ​ After a Raki, a local tip is to try a Turkish tea (çay) which will sober and calm you for the next round. The raki table is referred to as çilingir (“locksmith”), alluding to the way the secrets of the heart are unlocked and spoken around this table. Cheers! Shay-re-fe-nee-ze! Top Foodie > Recipes - Chicken Tavuklu Börek (Chicken pies) The cornerstone of Turkish cuisine - intricate little parcels, filled with delight. Turkish women pride themselves on the small size of these exquisite mezze, even if it requires hours of devotion to make them. Börek are always present at every celebration and the event would not have enough glitter without their enticing, bulgy presence. There are a multitude of different fillings, according to the season and the occasion. The pastry used to wrap them also varies, from the paper-thin fillo pastry found in the cities to permutations of homemade puff pastry, or a simple, homemade substitute for fillo. Fillo pastry freezes well and it will keep frozen for up to 3 months. Let it defrost for a couple of hours at room temperature before it's to be used. When bought fresh, it'll keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Once it's unwrapped, work swiftly, as it soon dries out and becomes brittle. If not familiar with fillo, cover the bulk of it with a slightly damp tea towel while using it and take your time. Preparation time: 1 hour + 20 minutes baking at Gas Mark 4 / 180°C/350°F. Makes 25. Ingredients For filling 375 g (12 oz) cooked chicken breast fillets 25 g (1 oz) butter 25 g (1 oz) plain flour 150 ml (1/4 pint) hot milk 4 tablespoons hot chicken stock 50 g (2 oz) parmesan, or Gruyère cheese, grated 1 egg, beaten lightly A pinch each of ground nutmeg and salt To make up the Börek 8-10 sheets of fillo pastry (or milföy hamuru in Turkish) 75 g (3 oz) butter, melted oil for greasing Preparation : Preheat the oven. If you're using cooked chicken, just cut it into peanut-sized pieces. If you're using chicken fillets, first simmer them in hot water for 6-8 minutes and then take them out and chop them roughly to the same size. Melt the butter, add the flour and stir over a low heat until well mixed into a roux. withdraw the pan from the heat and add the hot milk and chicken stock gradually, stirring; return the pan to a gentle heat and whisk the sauce until it boils and thickens enough, which should take 5-6 minutes. Add the cheese and the seasonings and mix well. Away from the heat, add the beaten egg slowly, stirring, and then the chicken pieces. It should be fairly thick in order to be used successfully in the börek. Next, cut the whole stack of fillo pastry into four long strips, about 8 cm (3 inches) wide. Brush each sheet with melted butter, place a teaspoon of filling in one corner and fold them over making little triangles. Place these on an oiled baking sheet, with the loose end of the pastry underneath, brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes or until golden crisp and light golden. Alternatively, you could use puff pastry, which is available freshly made or frozen. Defrost if needed and cut walnut-sized pieces off the pastry. Roll them out thinly in small circles of about 10 cm (4 inches) diameter, place a teaspoon of filling in the centre, fold the pastry over and press the edges together, making a semi-circular shape. Brush the tops with beaten egg, and bake as before for about 20 minutes or until light golden. Cherkes Tavugu (Circassian chicken) Preparation time: 30 minutes + 1 hour. Serves 6 as a main course, or 8 as a starter Ingredients 1.5-1.75 kg (3 and ½ -4 lb) chicken -jointed 2 carrots -peeled and quartered 1 onion -chopped 250 gr (8 oz) shelled walnuts or walnut pieces -ground finely 175 gr (6 oz) white breadcrumbs 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 40 gr (1 and ½ oz) butter 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt Preparation : Cover the chicken joints with water; add some salt, bring to boil and skim. Add the vegetables, cover and cook for 50-60 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Take out the joints, reserve the stock, and when the joints are cool, skin and bone them, shredding the meat into large mouthful morsels. Cover the meat to prevent it from drying and set it aside. Boil the stock until it's reduced to about 300 ml (½ pint) and discard the carrots. Mix the walnuts, breadcrumbs and half the cayenne in a small bowl. If you are planning to serve the dish hot, stop at this stage and prepare the rest shortly before it is to be served. Otherwise just continue. Add enough hot chicken stock to form a smooth paste and mix well. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the chicken pieces in it until they start to brown. Withdraw from the heat, add 4 tablespoons of the walnut sauce and a little more salt and mix well. Pile the chicken on to a platter and use the remaining sauce to cover the whole surface smoothly. Mix the olive oil with the remaining cayenne and decorate the surface by dribbling the oil in decorative patterns. Kolokas (Colocasia with chicken) Serves 4-6 Ingredients 1 kg chicken -jointed 1 kg kolokas (colocasia) 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion -skinned and finely chopped 4 sticks of celery -cut into thick slices 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 litre chicken stock Seasoning Preparation : Put the cooking oil and the olive oil into a large saucepan and place the pan on high heat. Fry the chicken joints until golden brown on both sides. Remove the joints and keep them on one side. Add the chopped onion and fry until soft and golden brown. Meanwhile with a sharp knife peel the kolokas, without washing. Then, by holding it from the thick stalk part, starting from the top, break pieces with a sharp knife from the kolokas. Add the sliced celery and the kolokas pieces together with the chicken joints into the pan. Season well with salt and freshly ground balck pepper. Dissolve the tomato paste in the hot chicken stock and pour it over the meat and the vegetables. Bring it to the boil, then cover and cook for about 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Top Foodie > Recipes - Desserts Aşure (Noah's Pudding) Ingredients 1 ½ glasses ground wheat 2/5 glass rice 30 glasses water 3 glasses milk 3 glasses granulated sugar 50 gr. dried beans 50 gr. dried broad beans 50 gr. chick peas 100 gr. walnuts 100 gr. dried apricots 150 gr. sultanas 100 gr. figs 25 gr. pine nuts 25 gr. currants 100 gr. almonds 1/3 glass rose water ​ Preparation : Soak wheat and rice overnight in cold water. Pour out that water and add 30 glasses fresh water, cook over heat a little less than moderate for 6-7 hours until the wheat is tender. Pour through a strainer, press with a wooden spoon in order to strain. Stir this wheat essenced water thoroughly and measure it. There should be about 12 glasses, add to this wheat essenced water, sugar and milk, place on heat and stir until the sugar melts. Boil either once or twice until the mixture becomes the consistency of quite a thick soup. Soak the beans; dried broad beans and chick peas overnight in cold water. Boil them the next day and add to the mixture along with the cleaned and washed sultanas; currants; dried apricots cut into small pieces; white pine nuts; boiled almonds after removing their skins; chopped walnuts; and rose water. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat and pour immediately into various bowls. After completely cooling, decorate with almonds, walnuts and pomegranates. Serves 4. Baklava (Syrup Filo Pastry) Baklava is one of the oldest known Turkish flaky pastry desserts. Its popularity goes back to the time of Sultan Mehmet (15th century) of the Ottoman Empire. Ingredients 500 grams of filo pastry 300 grams of unsalted butter (melted) 2 cups chopped walnuts or pistachio nuts For the Syrup 500 grams of sugar ½ litre of water Juice of ½ lemon Preparation : Preheat the owen to 180°C/350°F and grease a 25 x 30 cm baking dish. Brush dish with melted butter. Place one sheet of filo pastry in bottom of dish and brush with melted butter. Place another sheet of pastry and brush the top with melted butter. Continue this until you use half of the filo pastry. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Place the remaining layers of filo pastry, brushing each one with melted butter. Brush the top with melted butter and cut into diamond shapes. Bake until golden. To make the syrup, place the above ingredients in a saucepan and boil on medium heat stirring constantly. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Pour hot syrup over cooled baklava. Allow to cool and absorb syrup before serving. Ceviz Macunu (Green Walnuts in Syrup) Ingredients Ceviz Macunu (Green Walnuts in Syrup)100 green walnuts - peeled 800 gr (4 cups) sugar 100 almonds -peeled 6-7 cloves Juice of 2 and a half lemons Preparation : With a small sharp knife, cut the tough bony parts on both ends of each walnut. Put them into a bucket full of water for 7 days, changing the water daily. On the eighth day put them in water with a handful of lime stone dissolved in. Drain and wash them well. Into a large saucepan put enough water to cover them. Place the pan on high heat and bring the water up to the boil. Then add the walnuts and cook for 10 minutes. Drain them well. Place the pan again with fresh water, place it on heat, bring up to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain and with a skewer make 2-3 holes on each walnut. Cook them again in freshly boiled water for 20-25 minutes and drain. Let them cool down in cold water with the juice of two lemons added. Drain and stuff each walnut from the cut ends with an almond and place them into an empty saucepan. Pour the sugar over the fruits and wait until they release their own water. Cook the walnuts on low heat until the syrup thickens. Add the juice of ½ lemon and allow them to cool. Place them in sterilised dry jars with lid. It can be stored, in cool place, for up to one year. Gatmer (Sweet filo pastry with walnuts) Ingredients 5 Sheets of filo pastry (about 250 gr) 150 gr walnuts, roughly chopped 225 gr butter For the Syrup 350 gr sugar 500 ml water 1 tablespoon citrus blossom water Few drops of lemon juice Preparation : Oven temerature - 240°C, gas mark 9. To make the syrup in a medium size saucepan dissolve the sugar in a water and add in the lemon juice and the citrus blossom water. Place the pan on high heat and bring slowly to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until it turns into a shiny syrup. Let it cool down on one side. Grease a round baking tray. On each leaf of filo brush some melted butter. In the middle of the square pastry put some of the coarsely chopped walnuts. First, fold the two opposite sides, then roll it loosely. Place them into the baking tray in rounds, starting from the middle. Pour the rest of the melted butter over them and bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden. Pour the cold syrup over the hot pastry and allow it to soak well. Decorate it with chopped pistachio nuts and serve cold. Serves 4. Irmik Kurabiyesi (Cypriot Nut-stuffed Semolina pastries) Ingredients 1/4 lb Sweet butter 1 1/4 c Fine semolina Orange flower water 1/4 ts Salt 3 tb Warm water (more if needed) 1 c Chopped unsalted pistachios 4 1/2 tb Granulated sugar 1 tb Ground cinnamon Confectioners' sugar Preparation : Oven temerature - 180°C/350°F. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring the butter to bubbling over medium heat and stir in the fine semolina. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and let stand overnight at room temperature. The next day, uncover and add 2 teaspoons orange flower water, the salt, and gradually the warm water, working with your fingers to make a firm dough. Knead for 5 minutes, then cover and let rest 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the pistachios, sugar, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Break off pieces of dough slightly larger in size than a walnut. Work in your fingers to form a ball. Press the centre with your thumb to make a large well and fill with 1 teaspoon of the nut mixture, then cover over with dough and shape into an oval. Set on a cookie sheet and continue until all pastries are shaped. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for 30 to 35 minutes or until the yellow colour has become a light (not a deep) chestnut. Remove to racks and cool for 10 minutes, then dip quickly into orange flower water and roll in confectioners' sugar. Cool before storing. Note: You may substitute blanched almonds for the pistachios and peanut oil for the butter. Serves 30 cookies. Lokma (Honeyed crisp doughnuts) These golden, light bubbles that are bathed with thick honey (or syrup if preferred) as they emerge from the crackling cauldron of hot oil and served immediately, dusted with aromatic cinnamon, are glittering prize of a shopping trip or a visit to the market. Made from humble ingredients of flour, yeast and water -basically, a leavened bread dough- they impress with their sumptuously pleasurable results. They are also made for Bayrams and other religious festivals and offered on large platters to visitors. Ingredients 250 gr (8 oz) plain flour ¼ teaspoon salt 6 gr easy blend dried yeast or 15 gr (½ oz) fresh yeast 270 ml (9 fl oz) warm water ½ teaspoon sugar -if fresh yeast is used 300 ml (½ pint) vegetable oil -or more if necessary 6-7 teaspoons good quality aromatic clear honey 1 teaspoon cinnamon Preparation : Time - 2 and a half hours. Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and mix the dried yeast in; add the warm water slowly while beating either with an electric mixer or a balloon whisk until all the water has been added and the mixture is smooth and lightly frothy, all in all about 2-3 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for one hour, until it has doubled its size and looks frothy. If using fresh yeast, dissolve the yeast in about 60 ml (2 fl oz) of warm water (about 40°C/100°F), add the sugar to activate it and let it stand in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until it starts to froth. (If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.) Empty the dissolved yeast into the middle of the sifted flour, beating continuously. Add the remaining warm water slowly, while beating at the same time, until the mixture becomes smooth, soft and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 2 and a half hours until it rises and almost doubles in size. Have the oil very hot but not smoking, using a saucepan or deep-fryer, and drop teaspoon of the mixture in it, 6-8 at a time. Dip the teaspoon into a cup of cold water between each addition to prevent stickiness. The lokma puff up and rise to the surface within seconds. Turn them over and as they become pale golden all over -it only takes a minute- lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain them on absorbent paper. You will have around 30 lokmas. Serve 5-6 on each plate, dribble a teaspoon of honey all over, sprinkle on some cinnamon and serve immediately. Serves 4-6. Muhallebi (Cypriot Rice Powder Pudding) This is a much loved Turkish-Cypriot dessert prepared by families all year round. Ingredients 1 pint (568 ml) semi-skimmed milk 4 tablespoon rice powder [1 rounded tablespoon rice powder per 1 water glassful of milk] ¾ to 1 water-glassful sugar [or enough sugar to taste] 2-4 granules of mastic (mezdeki) grounded with 1 teaspoon of sugar 2-3 bitter orange leaves or orange blossoms Water optional or if available Pistachios and almonds (if desired) Preparation : In a basin or a large bowl, mix rice powder into a paste with a little milk taken from 1 pint (568 ml). Heat remaining milk to almost boiling point and pour onto the rice paste, stirring well. Return the mix to the saucepan and add orange leaves and bring to boil over gentle heat while stirring continuously. Once the mixture starts bubbling, reduce the heat and continue stirring for another 5-10 minutes more. Add sugar and keep stirring until it dissolves completely. If the mixture becomes too thick dilute with a little milk or water. Just before turning the heat off add powdered mastic, orange blossoms (or bitter-orange leaves) and stir well. Remove the leaves (if used instead of blossoms) and pour the creamy mixture into small bowls (or a one large shallow dish approximately 1-1 and ½” deep. Decorate the pudding top with pistachios and almonds if desired. Serves 5. Helpful Hints: Add sugar after the rice powder mixture has been stirred, boiled and thickened for at least 10 minutes. Add mastic right at the end. At the end, you may wish to place the saucepan in cold water and beat the mixture for a few minutes before pouring into small dishes. Shammali (Yoghurt, Almond and Semolina Cake) Ingredients 1 glass cooking oil half glass sugar 3 eggs 2 glasses semolina (fine or coarse) 1 glass self raising flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 glass milk (you might need less or a little more) about 2 tablespoons roasted split almonds optional: 1 teaspoon almond essence For the syrup 3 glasses water 2 and a half glasses sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice Preparation : Make the syrup first: bring the ingredients to the boil, simmer gently for about 20 minutes, leave to cool. Thoroughly whisk all the ingredients for the bake (less the flaked almonds) to a thick batter like consistency (like a sponge cake mixture) - add the milk gradually, stopping when the raw cake mixture is smooth enough. Place mixture in greased tin and sprinkle the almonds on the top. Bake in medium oven (200°C) for about 60 min. until the top is golden brown and the cake shrinks slightly from the sides of the tin. Pour cold syrup over hot cake, leave to cool and cut in squares for serving. Serves 6. Sütlaç (Rice Pudding) This is a delicious, light dessert enjoyed in the warmer weathers or after a rich meal of meat dishes or fried fish. Ingredients 1 litre milk 250 grams sugar 100 grams rice 1 tablespoon of rice flour 3 - 4 teaspoons of vanilla sugar Preparation : First, wash the rice in cold water. Then boil rice in water, enough to cover rice with. When rice expands, take off heat, drain rice and mix in milk. Place rice and milk on heat when mixture begins to boil add sugar and stir slightly. Simmer until rice is cooked (approximately 10 minutes). Make a paste of the rice flour with a little amount of water and stir into milk mixture and continue stirring. Allow to simmer for a little while longer. Take off heat and add vanilla sugar. Pour Sütlaç into individual bowls and let cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon serve cold. Serves 4. Turunç Macunu (Bitter Oranges in Syrup) Ingredients 20 bitter oranges 1.5 kg sugar 675 ml cold water 2 table spoons lemon juice ½ tablespoon vanilla sugar Preparation : Turunç Macunu (Bitter Oranges in Syrup)Slightly grate bitter oranges to remove the red colour which covers their skins. Without cutting the flesh itself, cut the peel off the oranges divided to four. Remove the white pith from the inside of the skin and roll them. Tie with a strong string so that they remain rolled while cooking. Then place in a glassbowl of cold water and leave for 3-4 days. Change the water daily. On the fourth day, place them into a large pan of boiling water. Cook for 20 minutes until they are soft. Drain them well. Into a separate saucepan pour 3 cups of water and 1.5 kg sugar. Place the pan on heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. When it starts to boil, add in the rolled skins and cook for 40 minutes until the syrup thickens. Shortly before removing the pan from the heat add lemon juice and the vanilla sugar. Let it cool and then transfer into dry jars with lid. Store in cool place for up to one year. Turkish Delight (Lokum) The best Turkish Delight is made by the Turkish masters of its art; but a delicious approximation can be made at home. Its secrets are uninterrupted stirring and careful aging. Time - Total first-day time: 3 hours. Aging: 2+ days Ingredients 4 cups sugar 1½ cups water 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 cup cornstarch 1 tsp. cream of tartar 3 cups water 2 tbsp. rose or orange flower water, orange juice or lemon juice, or vanilla extract 1-2 tsp. vanilla or other extract or essence Several drops food coloring ½ cup almonds, skinless pistachios or walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted (optional) ½ cup powdered sugar ½ cup cornstarch Preparation : Combine sugar, 1½ cup water and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes, until the syrup reaches 240°F on a food thermometer, or forms a soft ball when a bit is dropped into cold water. Turn off the heat. Using a blender, food processor, or whisk, combine the cornstarch and cream of tartar, then gradually add 3 cups of water, stirring vigorously to fully combine the ingredients and prevent lumping. Transfer this mixture to a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. If any lumps form, scoop them out of the pan; don't try to break them up to make them smooth. It won't work. Once the cornstarch mixture has come to a boil, pour in the hot syrup in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 1 to 2 hours, stirring constantly, until the mixture has turned a pale gold. Turn off the heat. Stir in flavouring to taste, and food colouring, if desired. Blend in the nuts, if desired. Using a flavourless oil, lightly oil a 9" square baking pan, then line the pan with lightly oiled baker's parchment. Pour the Lokum into the pan, then tilt it to distribute the mixture evenly. Wait until the Lokum has cooled completely before covering the pan with plastic wrap. Do not allow the plastic to touch the surface of the Lokum, or it will stick mercilessly. Let the Lokum rest for at least two days before cutting into 1" wide strips with an oiled kitchen knife (not serrated). Clean and oil the knife after every cut. If the Lokum is too gummy to cut, let it age longer. Lay out the strips on a lightly oiled tray and let them rest for another day or two before cutting into small squares. Combine one-half cup each of cornstarch and powdered sugar in a tightly covered container. Put 2 or 3 squares of Lokum into the container, cover and shake to coat them with the mixture. Store in an airtight container, separating the layers with parchment, waxed paper or doilies. Top Foodie > Recipes - Meat Sish Kebab Ingredients : 500 grams of diced lamb Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 tomatoes 6 long green peppers 1 onion salt, pepper Preparation : Grate onion and remove its liquid. Place diced lamb in a bowl and add onion and lemon juices. Cover and rest for a few hours. Cut peppers and tomaotes into large pieces. Place meat and alternate layers of peppers and tomatoes on skewers. Cook on hot plate or barbeque, turning frequently. Serve with a fresh garden salad. ​ Köfte (Turkish meatballs) These appetising, walnut-shaped morsels are always part of the Turkish mezze. They are best served hot, but are also quite good at room temperature and also ideal for a picnic. In Turkey or Northern Cyprus minced lamb is used, but beef or a mixture of both will do. Preparation time - 20 minutes. Serves: 4-6. Ingredients 2 medium-size slices of crustless stale bread, soaked briefly in water 500 g (1 lb) minced lamb or beef 1 medium-size onion, grated thickly 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint, or 1 tablespoon dried mint 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 egg - salt and black pepper For frying 75 g (3 oz) plain flour 150 ml (1/4 pint) vegetable oil Preparation : Squeeze out excess water from the soaked bread, leaving it quite dry. Combine all the ingredients for the Köfte in a bowl and mix well. Make walnut-shaped balls and keep them covered until they are to be eaten. Then roll them lightly in flour and fry in hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden all over. They can be shallow -or deep- fried. Lahmacun (Turkish pizza) Ingredients A pack of pitas 1 lb ground beef 1 lb white onion 1 or 2 tomatoes Salt, black pepper to taste If you can't find tomatoes, you can replace it with 2 table spoons of tomatoe puree. Preparation : Peel, wash, place onions with tomatoes in a food processor and ground. Add salt, black pepper and meat, ground 30 seconds more. With the help of a spoon spread this mixture over pitas. Put them in oven and bake at 400°F about 20-30 minutes. Check to see whether meat is cooked. Serve hot. Bumbar (Cypriot sausages) Stuffed intestines with rice; serves 4-6 Ingredients 3 thin intestines (with no hole) 700 gr minced beef 1 large onion -grated 160 gr rice -washed and drained 750 ml (3/4 litre) water 2-3 tablespoons salt 3 tablespoons parsley -finely chopped 2 large ripe tomatoes -peeled and chopped 1 tablespoon tomato paste 100 ml cooking oil Vinegar Lemon juice How to clean the instestines. Wash all the three pieces under cold water. To clean the inside, take one piece and hold one of the ends with one hand, then with the other hand start turning inside out. Fill the intestine with water, so that it runs out like a long sausage. The fatty outside is now in. Do all the three pieces in the same way. Wash them again with cold water than rub in some flour, so that all the thick mucuous is rubbled out of them. then wash again. Lastly, clean with lemon juice and vinegar. For the filling: Grate one large onion, chop the tomatoes and parsley. Wash and drain the rice. Add all into the minced beef, together with tomato paste, 2 tablespoons salt, and 3/4 litre of water. Mix all the ingredients well. Preparation : Turn all the intestine inside out in the same way. Then with a special funnel which has a large mouth (made for this purpose) fill the intestine with the prepared filling and tie the ends with a thick string. Put all the stuffed intestines into a large cooking pot. Fill with cold water just to cover all. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to boil and simmer 30-45 minutes. In the middle of the cooking time, make holes on each intestine with a skewer, so that all the air escapes. When cooked, take them out of the water and drain. Keep 3/4 litre of the hot cooking water separately. The rest can be used in making soups or in cooking. Then fry the bumbars (intestines) until brown all over, without damaging them. After frying, take them out and serve warm. Top Foodie > Recipes - Mezze Chakistes Crushed green olives in marinate. One of the favourite Turkish Cypriot appetizers. To make chakistes, pick some green olives early in winter, best in October. Try to select the large ones. Ingredients Large green olives Water Salt Extra virgin olive oil 1 egg Garlic cloves -crushed Lemon juice Coriander -crushed Preparation . Wash olives well and dry in the sun then split them with a flat stone or a hammer. Place them into a bucket and cover them with salted water to preserve them. Leave for six days, changing the water every day. To make sure the water has got the correct quantity of salt, put a fresh egg in it. If the egg floats, with part of it coming out of water, then it's just fine. Add the juice of three lemons and pour half a cup of olive oil on the surface. They're ready to eat after one month. Serving . Get enough quantity out of the jar and wash under cold water to remove salt. Mix some olive oil with lemon juice, crushed coriander and some crushed garlic. Pour the mixture over the green olives and serve. Cacik Yogurt, cucumber & mint dip. Preparation time: 10 minutes + chilling. Serves: 4. `Cacik' in Turkey, or `Tzatziki' in Greece, is one of the best known appetisers in either cuisine. Extremely refreshing and fragrant because of the aroma of the mint, it's served with kebabs; fried slices of courgettes and aubergines; roast chicken, lamb or with meze. Deliciously thick, creamy yogurt, made from sheep's milk accounts for the wonderful texture and flavour of the dish. Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon wine vinegar 1 clove of garlic, crushed 175 g (6 oz) natural yogurt 5 cm (2-inch) piece of cucumber, diced finely or grated coarsely 3-4 fresh mint leaves, chopped finely, or 1/2 teaspoon dried mint salt Preparation Lightly beat the oil, vinegar and garlic with a fork in a bowl; add the yogurt and beat until smooth and well amalgamated. Add the cucumber, salt and the chopped mint and mix well. Serve chilled. ​ Halloumi (Hellim) cheese Hellim cheese, or Halloumi, as it's also known, is the most unique of the Cypriot delicacies. It is full fat soft cheese made of whole goat's milk, salt and a hint of mint. You can buy packaged halloumi at a local Middle Eastern grocery. Serving suggestions: Dice into small cubes for salads or serve with biscuits, cucumber or melon. It also makes a superb side dish, as well as fried or grilled topping. ​ Grilled Halloumi Ingredients : 1 halloumi (hellim) cheese -cut into thick slices. Preparation : Sliced halloumis can be cooked under a hot oven, grill or on charcoal until it starts to melt and gets slightly brown. Or it can alternatively be fried in hot oil or butter. Serve with a slice of lemon. Halloumi & Tomato Sauce This rich tomato sauce with cubes of fried Cypriot cheese goes great with penne or other short pasta with a good chewy bite. It's slightly sweet, flavored with cinnamon and mint, and just a little spicy. Ingredients : 2 x 1/2lb packages Halloumi Olive oil, for deep frying 2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil 2 Bay leaves 3 inches Cinnamon stick, broken into 2 or 3 pieces 2 tsp. Cumin seeds 2 large Onions, sliced 3 cloves Garlic, minced 2 Serrano cillies, minced 1/2 lb. Mushrooms, sliced 1 quart Tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin seed 1 Tbsp. Oregano, dry 1 Tbsp. Mint leaves, dry 1 small can Tomato paste 1 Cup Water 1/2 - 1 tsp. Sugar Salt, to taste Black pepper, to taste Preparation : Cut halloumi into 1/2 inch cubes. Deep fry in olive oil until golden and lightly browned on edges, much as one treats Paneer. Do this in batches, so that the cubes can be kept from clumping together. Drain on paper towels and put aside. This can be done ahead of time; just refrigerate halloumi in paper towels inside a container until ready to use. Heat 2 or 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add bay leaves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds; fry 30 seconds. Add onions and stir-fry with the spices. After two or three minutes add garlic and chile, and continue stir-frying a few more minutes. Add mushrooms; fry a few minutes, until they change color. Add tomatoes, stir in ground cumin, oregano, and mint. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste, stir well to dissolve paste. Gently stir in fried halloumi cubes and simmer 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the water as needed for the desired consistency. Add sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Hummus HummusTurkish Humus is sharply appetising; it can be served with fresh bread or pitta bread to be dipped in, or as a sauce with fried fish or kebabs. It will enliven the table when served along with a vegetable casserole or as part of a meze. Humus can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Don't use canned chick-peas to make Humus as they're not successful. Preparation time: Soaking overnight + 1 hour cooking + 15 minutes. Serves 4-6. Ingredients 175 g (6 oz.) chick-peas, picked clean and soaked overnight 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons tahini paste (optional, but add more oil if not used) Juice of 1 and a half lemons 1 and a half teaspoons ground cumin 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 300 ml (1/2 pint) chick-pea cooking liquid Salt and black pepper 1 or 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil A little cayenne pepper or paprika Preparation : Rinse the chick-peas. Cover with plenty of water in a large pan, bring to the boil and skim until clear. Cover and cook until soft: in a pressure cooker they will take 15-20 minutes; otherwise a little over 1 hour, according to their age. Strain the chick-peas, reserving the cooking liquid. divide all the ingredients in two and place the first batch in a food processor or liquidiser; blend until grainy and of a runny consistency. If too dry, add more liquid and then adjust the seasoning and blend it in briefly. Make the second batch in the same fashion. Pour on to a flat platter, and sprinkle the oil and the cayenne pepper or paprika decoratively on top before serving. Tahin Salatasi (Tahini dip) Extremely appetising and refreshing, this can be served with hot pitta or bread to be dipped in. It's a very Cypriot dish which is also offered along with kebabs, or with mezze. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves: 4. Ingredients 5 tablespoons Tahini paste 150 ml (1/4 pint) warm water 1-2 cloves of garlic 6 tablespoons lemon juice 4 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt to taste 1 tablespoon chopped parsley A few black olives Preparation : Combine in a blender the tahini, water, garlic and salt and blend. Slowly add the lemon and oil, alternating them, while the blades are in motion, until the mixture looks creamy in colour and texture. Adjust the seasoning and serve in a bowl with the parsley and olives sprinkled on top. Top Foodie > Recipes - Pasta & Rice Firin Makarnasi (Baked Macaroni) Ingredients 900 gr macaroni 100 gr butter 200 gr onion -finely chopped 650 gr minced beef 900 gr riped tomatoes -peeled and finely chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon sugar Pinch of nutmeg (optional) Seasoning 100 gr halloumi cheese For the sauce 50 gr butter 50 gr flour 600 ml milk 3 eggs -well beaten Seasoning Oven temperature: 200C, gas mark 6 ​ Preparation : In a frying pan heat 50 gr of the butter and fry the onions for about 5 minutes until they are soft, add the minced meat, all the spices, salt and pepper and fry gently for 10 minutes stirring all the time. Then add the skinned and finely chopped (or grated) tomatoes, together with the tomato paste and sugar. Cook gently for a further 10-15 minutes. To make the sauce melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour. Cook the roux gently for 2-3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the milk a little at a time, beating all the time. Replace on the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Add 1 tablespoon of the hot sauce into the well beaten eggs and pour the beaten eggs into the sauce. Cook the sauce 4-5 minutes, stirring all the time without boiling. Cook the macaroni in plenty of boiling salted water, until soft but firm. Drain well. Heat the rest of the butter and pour over the macaroni. Into a well greased baking tray, put half of the cooked macaroni, sprinkle with cheese, then spread the minced meat sauce on top, into which 2 tablespoons white sauce is added and well mixed. Top it up with the rest of the macaroni, sprinkle more cheese over and cover with the white sauce. Put the rest of the cheese on the top and bake in a moderately hot oven until brown and crusty on the top. Serves 8-10. Bulgur Pilavi (Cracked wheat pilaf) The delectable taste of this Cypriot dish is quite surprising and far from bland although its ingredients may seem humble at first. It can be served with bumbar, fried fish, squid or a meat casserole. Serve fresh yogurt with it. Serves 4-6. Time: 30 minutes Ingredients 125 ml (4 fl oz) olive or groundnut oil 1 medium-size onion -sliced very finely 25 gr (1 oz) vermicelli 250 gr (8 oz) bulghur (cracked wheat) -picked clean 300 ml (½ pint) chicken (or vegetable) stock Salt and pepper Preparation : Heat the oil and saute the onion until it glistens; add the vermicelli, breaking it with your hands. Continue to saute together for 4-5 minutes until it all looks pale golden. Place the bulghur in a fine sieve, wash it briefly under running water and add it to the saucepan. Add the chicken stock and season, but do not add salt if your stock was made from a stock cube; mix well. Cover the pan and simmer very gently for 6-7 minutes at most, until the mixture is dry. Cover with tea towel, place the lid tightly on top and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. (On uncovering the saucepan you will find its aroma is quite overpowering.) The bulgur pilavi will keep quite hot and fresh, if covered like this, for about one hour and it keeps its texture if reheated with 2-3 tablespoons of water the next day. Nohutlu Pilav (Rice Pilaff with Chick Peas) Ingredients 150 gr chick peas -soaked overnight 200 gr rice -washed and drained 60 gr butter 1/2 litre (500 ml) chicken broth Preparation : Wash and drain the rice. Put the chick peas into a large saucepan and cover them with water, add some salt, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer 1-2 hours until they are soft enough. After draining them, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan, and then add the rice and fry for a minute. Add in the cooked chick peas and mix. Pour in the hot broth, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the grains are soft. Serve hot. Serves 4-6. Top Foodie > Recipes - Salads Çoban Salatasi (Peasant-style salad) This is one of the most popular salads in North Cyprus. Light, refreshing and easy to make, it makes a perfect lunch under an olive tree by the sea. Ingredients 375 gr (12 oz) large tomatoes -washed and dried ½ onion -sliced finely ½ green pepper -sliced thinly 10 cm (4-inch) piece of cucumber -peeled and sliced 6-8 black or green olives 125 gr (4 oz) halloumi cheese -diced A pinch of dried oregano 5 tablespoons good quality olive oil Salt ​ Preparation : Quarter the tomatoes; slice them in thin segments if too large. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and toss them gently. Serve fresh bread with it, to dip the juices in typical Cypriot fashion. Serves 4. Fasulye Piyaz (Haricot bean salad) This is one of the most common of the Turkish dishes, often served as a main dish, accompanied by mezze like Hummus, or as a side dish accompanying a main meal, in order to add variety. Preparation and cooking time: Soaking overnight + 55 minutes. Serves 4. Ingredients 175 g (6 oz) haricot or cannellini beans, picked clean For the dressing 5 tablespoons olive oil ½ a lemon 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Salt and black pepper For garnish Black olives Hard-boiled eggs, peeled, and quartered lengthways Preparation : Soak the beans overnight. Rinse them and cover with plenty of water in a pan; bring to the boil, skim and add some salt. (This will make them firm, which is desirable for this dish). Boil them for 10 minutes, cover and cook until soft, which will take 40-50 minutes according to their age and quality. If they are not to be eaten immediately, very slightly undercook them and let them stay in their liquid. They will go on cooking anyway. Drain them just before they are to be served and place in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of their liquid. Beat the dressing ingredients lightly, add to the beans and toss gently. Empty on to a flat platter and garnish with olives and eggs. Börülce Salatasi (Black-eyed bean salad) This Cypriot dish is excellent as a substantial salad or as a main course, but be lavish with some aromatic olive oil and fresh lemon juice for authenticity. These are touches of glorification in this otherwise humble dish, which can be served hot or at room temperature. Black-eyed beans do not need soaking and cook quickly. Ingredients 250 gr (8 oz) black-eyed beans -picked clean and washed 2 tablespoons lemon juice 375 gr (12 oz) courgettes (zucchini) Salt For the dressing At least 3 tablespoons olive oil per person 1 lemon -quartered Salt and black pepper Preparation : In a medium saucepan, cover the beans with water, boil for three minutes and drain, discarding the water. Cover with fresh water, add the 2 tablespoons lemon juice (to prevent their discolouring during cooking) and salt. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Cut the courgettes in 5 cm (2-inch) pieces and then quarter them lengthways. Add them to the pan and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Do not strain. Serve in individual soup plates, allowing 2-3 pieces of courgette per person with some of the cooking liquid as well; pour plenty of olive oil on top, season and offer the lemon quarters to be squeezed according to individual preferences although the more lemon juice the better! Serves 4-6. Ahtapot Salatasi (Octopus Salad) Ingredients One 300 gr octopus -cleaned, washed and cut into large pieces 1 and ½ litre water 1 tablespoon salt 100-150 gr onion -finely chopped 250 gr ripe tomatoes -peeled and cut into small pieces 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 2 spring onions -finely chopped 90 gr green cocktail olives -cut through the middle 2 tablespoons capers 4 tablespoons lemon juice ½ tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons olive oil Seasoning Preparation : Put the water and the salt into a large saucepan and place the pan on high heat. Bring up to boil and add the cut octopus. Cook for 40-50 minutes or until the octopus is soft. Drain well. Into a large salad bowl put the drained octopus, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped parsley and the green olives and mix well. To make the sauce, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Pour the sauce over the salad and mix well. Serve with fresh bread and butter Top Foodie > Recipes - Seafood Raki Soslu Levrek (Fried Fish in Raki Sauce) Ingredients 1 kg fish of choice 250 ml oil flour salt lemon parsley Preparation : Clean and wash fish. Salt fish and rest for 10 minutes. Flour fish and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Remove and place on absorbent paper. Arrange fish on a serving platter. Place lemon wedges around fish and decorate with parsley. ​ Ahtapot Salatasi (Octopus Salad) ​ ​ Ingredients One 300 gr octopus -cleaned, washed and cut into large pieces 1 and ½ litre water 1 tablespoon salt 100-150 gr onion -finely chopped 250 gr ripe tomatoes -peeled and cut into small pieces 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 2 spring onions -finely chopped 90 gr green cocktail olives -cut through the middle 2 tablespoons capers 4 tablespoons lemon juice ½ tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons olive oil Seasoning Preparation : Put the water and the salt into a large saucepan and place the pan on high heat. Bring up to boil and add the cut octopus. Cook for 40-50 minutes or until the octopus is soft. Drain well. Into a large salad bowl put the drained octopus, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped parsley and the green olives and mix well. To make the sauce, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Pour the sauce over the salad and mix well. Serve with fresh bread and butter. Sipya (Cuttlefish cooked with its ink) Ingredients 1 kg cuttlefish -eyes, beaks and guts removed; several ink sacks reserved for cooking 2 medium onions -finely chopped 3-4 garlic cloves -crushed 60 ml (4 tablespoons) olive oil ¼ litre dry white wine 2 large ripe tomatoes -coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon brandy ½ tablespoon starch Pinch of cayenne pepper Seasoning Preparation : Put the olive oil into a large saucepan and place the pan on high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the chopped onions until soft. Add the crushed garlic and fry few more minutes. Then add the cuttlefish and cook them 20-25 minutes on low heat. Add the wine, chopped tomatoes and pinch of cayenne pepper, cover and cook 30 more minutes. Dissolve the starch with little water in a small bowl, add the ink sacks and pour all into the saucepan together with the brandy. Season well, cover the saucepan with the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until they are very tender. Serve hot. Top Foodie > Recipes - Soups Tarhana (Crushed wheat soup) Tarhana is made locally by the villagers. It's a mixture of crushed wheat and yogurt, first cooked then in small biscuit forms dried in the sun for four to five days. These dried pieces are then placed in airtight bags to be used in cold winter days. It's also sold in the grocery shops. Serves 4-6. Ingredients 1 litre chicken / vegetable broth 200 gr diced Cypriot halloumi cheese 400 gr tarhana 30 gr butter Juice of half a lemon Seasoning ​ ​ Preparation : Soak the tarhana in cold water for about an hour. Drain well then put in a pan together with the chicken broth. Simmer gently for an hour, stirring occasionally. While the soup is cooking, put the butter in a medium size frying pan and place the pan on heat. Once the butter is hot, fry the diced halloumi pieces until golden brown on both sides. Just before serving add the fried halloumi, lemon juice and the seasoning. Mix well and serve hot. ​ Yayla Çorbasi (Soup of the Pastures) Ingrdients Yayla Çorbasi (Soup of the Pastures) 4 cups of chicken/vegetable stock 2 tablespoons rice -washed and drained 1 cup natural full-fat yogurt 1 dessertspoon flour 1 teaspoon butter 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves Preparation : Bring the salted stock and rice to the boil, then simmer until it is cooked. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, stir the flour into the yogurt and mix until smooth. Slowly whisk one cup of hot stock into the yogurt one spoonful at a time to prevent curdling. Add the yogurt mixture to the stock and rice. Stir and reheat gently until the soup has just thickened. Add salt to taste. Top the soup with a knob of butter. Sprinkle with dried mint leaves and serve. Serves 4. Hummus Soup Hummus lovers: this ones's for you! This hummus soup is warming, rich and creamy. It's super easy to make and makes the perfect quick meal.Gluten free, vegan, serves 2 people. Ingredients soup 1 can chickpeas 1/2 large onion (around 80g) 1 small carrot (around 50g) 4 medium garlic cloves 1 Tsp cumin 2 1/2 cup vegetable broth 3 Tbsp Tahini 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice salt and pepper​ ​ to serve Harissa paste cherry tomatoes coriander and parsley sesame seeds drizzle of olive oil Preparation : Preheat oven to 200C. Place garlic cloves on a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden and soft. Add onions to a pot and sautèe until they are slightly browned and fragrant. Add carrots, chickpeas and cumin too and cook for a few more minutes. Peel the roasted garlic cloves, chop off the hard ends and stir into the onion-carrotchickpea mixture. Add the vegetable broth and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the carrots are soft. Mix in the Tahini and lemon juice and blend either in a high speed blender or with an immersion blender to reach a silky smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper, blend again and divide between two bowls. Garnish with toppings and serve with your favourite bread. You can make a bigger batch of course by adjusting the ingredients to your desired amount. Top Foodie > Recipes - Vegetarian Yalanci Dolma (Stuffed Vine Leaves) Ingredients 25 vine leaves one and a half cups of onions, finely chopped one cup of spring onions, finely chopped 1 cup of olive oil 1 cup of rice Salt and pepper Juice of 2 lemons Half a cup of dill, finely chopped quarter cup of fresh mint, finely chopped Prepraration : Blanch the vine leaves, drain and allow to cool. Mix all the ingredients except the lemons and wrap in the vine leaves, forming them into roll shapes. Place some of the vine leaves on the bottom of the pan, then place the rolls in outward radiating circles, evenly spaced and close to one another. Gently place a plate that's not too heavy on top of the vine leaves so that they don't break open during cooking Add the lemon juice and enough water to cover the rolls. Boil gently until the water had been absorbed and rice cooked. Allow to cool then arrange on a plate, garnished with slices of lemon. Serves 4-5. ​ Çiçek Dolmasi (Stuffed Marrow Flowers) Ingredients 1 bunch marrow flowers with stems and pistils removed. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 75-100 ml water For the stuffing 150 gr rice -washed and drained 1 small onion -finely chopped 2 medium tomatoes -peeled and finely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil Seasoning 10-15 leaves of fresh mint -washed and roughly chopped Prepraration : ; Wash and dry them the flowers by gently pressing onto a towel. Mix the stuffing ingredients together except the cooking oil and stuff the flowers carefully by using a small teaspoon. When doing this take care not to tear the flowers, and also fill only 3/4 so that when cooking the rice has enough space to expand. After stuffing, fold the flower petals in without breaking them. Into a small saucepan, put one tablespoon of cooking oil and place the pan on low heat. Place each flower into the saucepan by standing them next to each other. Pour 100 ml of water into the pan and bring gently to boil. Cover the saucepan and cook gently on low heat another 20 minutes until all the water has absorbed and the rice is cooked. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4. Domates Dolmasi (Stuffed Tomatoes) Ingredients 650 gr minced beef 8 large tomatoes -cut around stems and open the seeds and wash them well 2 medium onions -finely chopped 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 750 gr ripe tomatoes -skinned and chopped or tinned tomatoes with their juice 2 eggs 3 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon dried rosemary 1/8 litre dry white wine 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil seasoning Prepraration : Stuffed Tomatoes and Green PeppersHeat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chopped onions until soft. Put the minced meat into a large salad bowl. Add the fried onions with the oil, crushed garlic, two eggs, rosemary, salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Stuff the tomatoes with the meat filling and put the lids on. Arrange them side by side with the caps upwards. Pour in the white wine and add the chopped tomatoes with their juice. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes. Add the freshly chopped basil and serve hot. Serves 4. Imam Bayildi (The Imam Fainted) There are many stories about the origin of the name of this dish. Here is one of them... A long time ago a Turkish Imam (Muslim cleric), known for his love of good food, surprised his friends by announcing his engagement to the young daughter of a wealthy olive-oil merchant. The friends did not know about her ability to cook. But they presumed part of her dowry would include olive-oil. They were right. For her father gave the groom twelve jars, each one large enough to hold a person, of the precious oil. After her marriage the bride proved to be an excellent cook and each day prepared a special dish for her epicurean husband. One of them, eggplant cooked in olive-oil, became his favorite. And he ordered that his wife prepare it each night for dinner. This she did for twelve consecutive days. On the thirteenth, however, the dish was missing from the meal. Queried about its absence, the bride replied, "Dear husband, I do not have any more olive-oil. You will have to purchase some more for me." The lmam was so shocked that he fainted. And since that day, according to the story, his favorite dish has been known as "Imam Bayildi" (the Imam Fainted). Ingredients 2 medium aubergines (eggplants) 2 medium onions, chopped Olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped 3 tablespoons chopped parsley Salt and pepper to taste 2 teaspoons sugar 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Prepraration : Sauté the onions in a little oil. Add the garlic, tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pep per. Cook until mushy. Cut the stem ends from each aubergine. Make 3 lengthwise slits, almost from end to end. With and hold each slit apart and spoon the onion mixture into each cavity. Arrange aubergines in a baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup oil. Bake, covered, in preheated moderate oven (350°F) for 40 minutes, or until tender. Serve hot. or as they do in Türkiye, cold with yogurt. Serves 4-6 One modification: Instead of making three slits in the aubergine, etc., hollow the aubergines out, but leave a firm outer edge . Take the insides of the aubergines, chop them up, toss them into the pan with the other sautéed ingredients. Sauté the new mixture. Then stuff the aubergines with that mixture. If you want to microwave, I found that 15 to 20 minutes on medium works well . Actually, I microwave for 15 minutes then I baste the eggplants with the liquid at the bottom of the dish. I then cook for the remaining 5 minutes at high. You can tell by looking when the outer edge is done. We slice it for serving. Menemen (Scrambled eggs with vegetables) Ingredients 8 eggs -well beaten 2 green peppers -seeded and cut into thin rings 3 small or medium tomatoes -skinned and chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 30 gr (2 tablespoons) butter Prepraration : Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the pepper rings and cook them a few minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the juice is reduced to half. Mix in the well beaten eggs and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the eggs stirring constantly. Serves 4. Serve at once. Molohiya Ingredients 1 kg chicken, jointed or 1 kg lamb breast, cut into pieces 160 g molohiya -soaked overnight in cold water 150 g (2 medium) onions -skinned and chopped 4 garlic cloves -thickly sliced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 large ripe tomatoes -skinned and chopped 3 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 tablespoon olive oil Juice of a lemon Seasoning 900 ml chicken stock Prepraration : Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the chicken pieces for about 15 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken joints and keep them on one side. Add the chopped onion and the sliced garlic and fry until soft. Return the chicken joints to the pan. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and the hot chicken stock. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add pinch of sugar and stir gently for a minute. After washing few times with cold water, drain the Molohiya well and add it to the pan. After adding juice of a lemon, stir well and bring to boil. Then cover the pan with the lid and simmer 1-2 hours, until the vegetables are well cooked. Serves 4. Top Restaurants > Restaurants Top Foodie > Recipes - Seftali Kebab Seftali (shef-ta-lee)is a type of crépinette, a sausage without skin, that uses caul fat, or omentum, the membrane that surrounds the stomach of a lamb, to wrap the ingredients together. The filling is made from lamb shoulder or leg, mixed with finely chopped onion and parsley, seasoned with salt and pepper. Rolled into small balls, the filling is wrapped in the caul fat then placed on skewers and grilled or charcoaled until golden brown. By the time it's cooked and served, the outer layer of fat is melted away and reduced to a thin golden-brown layer. It's often served in pitta bread with salad, and sometimes topped with Cacik, a Turkish appetiser or sauce made from yogurt, cucumber, olive oil and mint. ​ For those curious about the name, there are two theories as to how it came about. The Turkish word şeftali, means peach , a reference to its texture or pinky complexion when cooked. Another popular urban explanation is that a local street vendor called Ali invented the recipe, foreigners who tasted this delight quickly dubbed him “Şef Ali” (Chef Ali) and his sausage became known as Şef Ali Kebab, later shortened to “Şeftali Kebab”. One of the most popular kebab dishes, Seftali should definitely be on your must-taste list of traditional Cypriot dishes. Top Foodie > Recipes - Sunday Lunch Fancy a Sunday Roast? A Sunday Roast is a traditional British meal usually served on Sunday, although it can be served any day. The centrepiece of the meal is roasted meat along with roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding, stuffing, gravy, and condiments such as apple sauce for pork, mint sauce for lamb, or redcurrant jelly for turkey. A wide range of vegetables can be served as part of a roast dinner, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, or peas, which can be boiled, steamed, or roasted alongside the meat and potatoes. Mashed potatoes are also a frequent accompaniment. The Sunday Roast is ranked 2nd in a list of things people love about Britain. It’s often compared to a slightly less grand version of a Christmas dinner . The tradition of a Sunday roast lunch or dinner has been a major influence on food cultures in the English-speaking world including Northern Cyprus. Here, Sunday roast normally comprises roast beef, lamb or chicken, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, cauliflower-broccoli cheese, creamed spinach, green beans, carrots, peas, fresh corn, beetroot, or sweet potato. There’s literally dozens and dozens of places you can get Sunday Roast in Northern Cyprus – too many to mention. And they taste great! Origin The Sunday Roast originated in the UK as a meal to be eaten after church on Sunday. All types of meat and dairy produce are allowed to be eaten on Sundays, unlike Fridays where many Roman Catholics and Anglicans traditionally don’t eat meats, so eat fish instead. It’s traditional for Anglicans and English Catholics to fast before Sunday church service, so the Sunday Roast breaks the fast afterwards. These religious rules created several traditional dishes in the United Kingdom. For example, only eating fish on Friday resulted in a British tradition of 'fish Fridays' which is still common in fish and chip shops and restaurants today, particularly during Lent. To mark the end of not being able to eat meat, the Sunday roast was created as a mark of celebration. ​ History There are 2 historical views on the origins of the Sunday Roast. In the late 1700s, during the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom, families would place a cut of meat into the oven as they got ready for church. They would add vegetables such as potatoes, turnips and parsnips before going to church on Sunday morning. When they returned from church, the dinner was all but ready. The juices from the meat and vegetables were used to make stock or gravy to pour on top of the dinner. Another opinion holds that the Sunday roast dates back to medieval times, when village serfs served the squire for six days a week. Then, on Sunday, after morning church service, they would assemble in a field to practise battle techniques, and were rewarded with spit roasted oxen. ​ Typical elements Meat Roast lamb, roast potatoes, carrots, green beans and yorkshire pudding. Roast beef, roast potatoes, various vegetables and yorkshire pudding. Typical meats - chicken, lamb, pork, or roast beef, although seasonally duck, goose, gammon, turkey, or other game birds may be used. Vegetables Sunday roasts can be served with a range of boiled, steamed or roasted vegetables. The vegetables served vary seasonally and regionally, but will usually include roast potatoes, roasted in meat dripping or vegetable oil, and gravy made from juices released by the roasting meat, perhaps supplemented by one or more stock cubes, gravy browning/thickening, roux or corn flour. The potatoes can be cooked around the meat itself, absorbing the juices and fat, but many cooks prefer to cook the potatoes and the Yorkshire pudding in a hotter oven than that used for the joint, and so remove the meat beforehand to rest and settle in a warm place. Other vegetable dishes served with roast dinner can include mashed swede or turnips, roast parsnips, boiled or steamed cabbage, broccoli, green beans, boiled carrots and peas. It’s not uncommon for leftover composite vegetable dishes such as cauliflower cheese and stewed red cabbage, to be served alongside the more usual assortment of plainly-cooked seasonal vegetables. ​ Accompaniments Beef: Yorkshire pudding, suet pudding, English mustard, horseradish sauce. roast potatoes, vegetables Pork: crackling, sage-and-onion stuffing, apple sauce or English mustard. Lamb: mint sauce or jelly or redcurrant jelly. Chicken: pigs in blankets, sausages or sausage meat, stuffing, bread sauce, apple sauce, cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly. ​ Leftovers Leftover food from the Sunday roast has traditionally formed the basis of meals served on other days of the week. For example, meats might be used for sandwiches. Roast beef can be chopped up with leftover roasted potatoes and additional onion, then fried in a pan with oil and seasonings crispy to make roast beef hash. Lamb can be used as filling for a shepherd's pie, and vegetables can form the basis for bubble and squeak or in Scotland, traditional stovies. Top Foodie > Vineyard Hotel Top Foodie > Wineries Vines have been grown and grapes pressed in Cyprus since the Bronze Age. The first commercial wine project in Northern Cyprus was established in 2000 in Geçitköy, west of Lapta, with the aid of an international wine consultant. A variety of wines are today produced by wineries from grapes grown in the vineyards at Geçitköy, Güzelyurt as well as in Ilgaz, set high on the hills of the Five Finger Mountains. Local farmers also produce wines. Bud breaks occur in early spring with harvest around the beginning of August. Grape vines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon, the reds including Merlot, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache and the whites Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc. Visitors are provided with a complete insight and experience of the Cypriot wine culture, from planting to the final production and can choose from a wide selection of tours, wine education courses, lectures and more to enhance the whole wine culture experience. Wine tasting events are held throughout the year. ​ Vineyard & Wine Tasting Tour A full day, including tour of a vineyard, wine tasting and lunch in avillage up in the mountains. You‘ll see amazing views, hidden places and experience a tour of the islands newest winery followed by lunch and, of course, a glass of wine. Artisan vintners will provide you with a complete insight and experience of wines grown in the mountain vineyard. You’ll have the opportunity to discover 6 (yeh!) unique and distinguished wines, as well as a tour of the complete wine making process. ​ ​ INCLUDES ​Pick up and drop off at hotel Mini mountain jeep tour Tour of vineyard Wine tasting of 6 unique wines Lunch in a local restaurant in the beautiful village of Ilgaz AVAILABLE Every Day ​DURATION 0930-1530 Top Foodie > Recipes - Zinavia A pomace brandy produced from distillation of grape pomace plus local dry wines, Zinavia is colourless with a light aroma of raisins. With an alcohol content of 40 – 95% , it's no surprise Northern Cyprus's national drink is known as ‘firewater ’. Dating to Venetian times in the 14th century it's still made in the same tradition today. Grape pomace (pulp, peel, stalks and seeds) is mixed with high-quality dry wines made from indigenous grape, distilled in a 'kazan ' copper pot and mellowed. Using different processes to produce distinct qualities and intensities, a very slow process usually lasting eight hours, turns tons of pomace into a highly potent clear liquid. ​ Locals drink Zinavia as an aperitif , serve it ice cold in summer, gulp it on cold mornings or enjoy a small measure with meals. ​ Traditionally, it was also used to treat and sterilise wounds, soothe muscular aches, numb toothaches and clean and disinfect. Villagers still make it at home and it can be seriously strong, so you can buy it from a supermarket or head to the villages for that extra kick. Zivania has varieties with up to 95% alcohol presence, so beware. Turkish Cypriots say, “the best Zinavia is the one that burns well when you set it on fire”. You may want to seek advice on alcohol levels before trying Zinavia - or afterwards if you drink too much! Top

  • Nature | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > Nature Alagadi Turtle Beach Butterflies Hunting Mushrooming Turtle Protection SPOT Audoin's Gull Carob Trees Incirli Cave Reptiles & Amphibians Water Besparmak Mountains Cumbez Tree Karpaz National Park Snakes Wild Donkeys Bird Watching Flora & Fauna Monumental Olives Tulipa Cypria Guides > Nature > Aligadi Turtle Beach Experience nature at its best Watch baby turtles hatch, or a mother turtle crawl up the beach in the middle of the night to bury her eggs in the sand. This is Alagadi Turtle Beach, near Esentepe, about 20km east of Kyrenia, and its home to two species which nest in the sand - the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) and the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas ). This turtle conservation site is constantly monitored during laying and hatching seasons, as is the long stretch of sand on Golden beach in the Karpaz Peninsula and the Akamas Peninsula in the south. Female, or hen, turtles lay 70-150 eggs in the nesting season that runs from late March to early June. Once the mother’s nested, conservation efforts to protect the eggs are deployed, such as cages to prevent dogs or humans from accidentally digging them up. Incubation period depends on temperature, but is normally 50-60 days, with peak hatching between July and August. The tiny hatchlings emerge from their eggs at night and make their dangerous journey to the sea. A baby turtle is only around 4cm long and weighs just 15-20 grams. Being born at night provides them greater protection from predators such as seagulls, crabs, dogs and humans, but even so infant mortality is still extremely high, because even if they do make it to the sea they’re also food for large fish. Loggerhead turtles are thought to be one of the oldest species of turtle in the world, weighing up to 450kg. They typically have a diet of jellyfish, squid, flying fish and molluscs, and powerful jaws allow them to crush the shells of clams, crabs and mussels. Interestingly, the Loggerheads appear to be totally immune to the toxins of the Portuguese Man of War. If a Loggerhead Turtle reaches maturity, they can live to 40–65 years old, as their only real predators are sharks and boats such as fishing trawlers. A combination of instinct, moon, gravity and sea, enable a female turtle to return to lay eggs on or near the beach where she was hatched, even if she’s migrated thousands of miles throug the oceans. They used to be killed for their shells, which were used to make combs, spectacle frames and fancy boxes, but now they’re classified as an endangered species and protected. ​ The Green Sea Turtle, also known as the Black Turtle , is named not for the colour of its shell that are olive to black coloured, but from the green fat beneath its skin. It’s an herbivore, feeding in lagoons and shallows on different species of sea grass. Known for long migrations between their feeding grounds and the beaches where they hatched, they lay their eggs similar to Loggerhead Turtles and once they reach maturity, can live up to 80 years, grow to around 5 feet long, and weigh 70kg-200kg. Green Turtles used to be considered a delicacy, and were killed for their flesh, as well as their eggs, which used to be stolen from their nests, before they were added to the endangered species list. Green Turtles don’t have many predators. Only humans and larger varieties of shark feed on them, but their biggest threat is destruction of their habitats. Sandy beaches, where they’ve laid eggs for millions of year,s are slowly being destroyed to make room for development, which is why conservation areas such as Alagadi Beach are vital for their survival. Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) In 1991, the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) was founded in North Cyprus. Today, Marine biology students from universities all over the world come to do their residencies at Alagadi beach. Students and volunteers monitor the turtle eggs throughout the summer season to try to protect them from predators. The beach is closed to the public at night, but you can view the turtles by booking with SPOT. A sighting isn’t guaranteed as it depends on weather and numbers, but generally mid-June to mid-July is busiest. You can do the same at other beaches such as Karşıyaka or Dipkarpaz. Night Viewing You’ll be surprised how big turtles are and you have to be very quiet so you don’t scare them. Children are allowed to come, but they must be quiet and supervised. Phones or cameras with flashes or lights aren’t allowed as these disorientate mother turtles, who go by the light of the moon to lay their eggs. Pack a beach towel or blanket to lay on, wear long trousers and warm clothes as it can get chilly, and wear trainers or good sandals as there can be uneven terrain. The walk is around 1km to the site and you can expect to be there from around 8pm until 5.30am if you’d like to stay all night, but you can leave earlier via prior arrangement. The Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) was founded by British expatriates Ian and Celia Bell and local philanthropist Kutlay Keço. In 1988 a preliminary field study found nesting of green and loggerhead turtles to be significant. SPOT contacted Glasgow University and in 1992 a volunteer expedition team made a thorough survey. On the basis of this expedition, Kutlay committed to provide volunteer accommodation in Alagadi, which is still used today by the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP). MTCP continues as a collaboration between SPOT, University of Exeter’s Marine Turtle Research Group and the North Cyprus Department for Environmental Protection. Although initially established as an organisation for conserving sea turtles, today SPOT has increased its area of research and projects concerning marine life. These include: ​ Sea Turtles Monk Seals Fisheries Dolphins & Whales Sharks and Rays Bio invasives Pollution Booking Turtle watching is a great experience and should definitely be on your agenda of things to do in Northern Cyprus if you’re visiting in the summer months. You can book for individuals or groups via the SPOT website . Viewing nights are really popular, so book early. Alternatively you can visit the Alagadi site office close to the beach. Just follow the signs to the Turtle Conservation Project (AKA the Goat Shed). They’re generally open from late May to late September between 9am and 8pm. SPOT also have a Facebook page , a Twitter page and an Instagram Page , where you can find all their information. Tracking turtles - Katie’s story G055 (Katie) has been monitored since 1995, so she’s probably over 50 by now. In 1999 she was tracked to Egypt, where she seemed to be resident. In 2003 she came back to Alagadi, and was then tracked to Libya. 20 years later, in June 2022, she came back to Alagadi yet again and had a GPS transmitter and dive data logger attached, to see whether she remains faithful to her old foraging site in Libya’s Gulf of Sirte. Safe journey Katie. Can’t wait to try and meet you next time you come into Alagadi beach. Top Guides > Nature > Audoin's Gull Classified as ‘near threatened’ due to its small population, limited range and vulnerability, regions where Audoin's Gull have more than 20 nests are declared as Important Bird Areas. Although foraging grounds of Audouin’s Gull include the northwest coastlines of Africa during winter, its breeding grounds are almost entirely in the Mediterranean. Ebro Delta of Spain contains the largest colony, harbouring 67% of the breeding population worldwide. Detailed information exists about the distribution, numbers and ecology of birds breeding in the Western Mediterranean Region, but little is known about their state in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus, which hosts the eastern most breeding population known to date . The only consistent breeding region in the island is the Kleides Islands off Cape Andreas, and this population has been monitored annually since 2007.The Kleides Islands are not only a significant breeding region for the Audouin’s Gull, but also for the endangered subspecies of Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii) which is an endemic species to the Mediterranean. The Islands are also used by the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) for breeding purposes. As a result, the Kleides Islands has been declared as an Important Bird Area since 2004. Each year during the breeding season, a small team visits the Kleides islets by boat, to count the number of adults and nests of Audouin’s Gulls, Yellow-legged Gull, and Mediterranean Shag, a subspecies of Shag found only in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, all of which breed there. This programme contributes data to an international Action Plan for Audouin’s Gull. Results so far suggest that the Cyprus population is decreasing, with 8-28 breeding pairs counted each year, although in different years the birds do nest in different areas on different islets (mainly on Zinaritou, Kasteletta and Kleidi rock). In 2012, for the first time ever, the gulls were also found nesting at Lefkoniso islet, on the north coast of the Karpasia peninsula, about 17km away from the Kleides archipelago. The programme will continue, to acquire a longer run of data and detect any problems with the population. ​ Since 2008, KUŞKOR has organised an annual census of birds breeding on the islands, and has observed the changes that the colonies of Audouin’s Gull have been experiencing in particular. Historically, >40 pairs bred at the site, but this has steadily fallen and in 2015 recorded the lowest numbers at a mere 8 pairs - a clear warning that the future of the species on our island is in grave danger. The loss of this colony would represent a significant range contraction. The most apparent reason for this decline is likely human disturbance by rod-fishermen using the islands. As the islands are small, even stepping on them can flush the birds and cause them to desert their nests. In the light of this, in 2014 KUŞKOR campaigned with the Turkish Cypriot authorities, and landing on the islands without a permit has now been banned by law, and there are warning signs at the most intensively used places in the region and at boat landing sites, to provide information about the ban. Further threats could also be influencing a decline in this colony including resource competition, kleptoparasitism, and predators like the Yellow Legged Gulls which share the islands. The islands are also likely ratted, which could be contributing to reduced breeding success. Overfishing may also be a factor. The impact of these threats is unknown and, along with threats from climate change, which can affect sea temperature and fish populations, and native and introduced predators, such as Peregrine Falcons, results in a need to keep the tiny population under constant surveillance. Further studies will quantify these threats and help draw up a management plan for the islands aimed at preventing the extinction of the species as a breeding bird of Cyprus. Top Guides > Nature > Besparmak Mountains Also known as the Kyrenia Mountains , this long and narrow mountain range runs for over 170 km parallel to the coast of North Cyprus. One of only two mountain ranges on the island, its highest peak is Selvili Tepe , at just over a 1,000 metres. It’s primarily made of limestone, including dolomite and marble dating to the Mesozoic period. Clothed in pine and cypress forests, including a selection of deciduous trees, Arbutus, Holm Oak, Azarolus, Fig and Walnut are all well spread and frequent. The range is an area of diverse flora , many of them endemic species. There are three main passes through which most traffic is routed, though there are other tracks used by walkers and hikers, especially the famous Besparmak Mountain Trail. In Byzantine and Lusignan times, the location of these mountains near the sea made them desirable locations for watch towers and castles to overlook the coast and central plain. Castles sat astride of peaks during the Middle Ages that today attract thousands of visitors each year, namely St Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara. Despite its relatively low altitude, it still provides an effective barrier between the Mesarya Plain and the northern coastline, preventing harsh winds from drying the fertile soil that fills this agricultural area. Winter rain irrigates the plain and the porous limestone provides an excellent filter for the water that’s preserved in mountain aquifers that provides water for nearly all the towns and villages in North Cyprus. An abundance of fire breakers run alongside the mountain slopes, established after a destructive forest fire in 1996 which continued for three days and destroyed a large part of the Kyrenia forestry and habitat. A giant flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is also painted on the southern slope of these mountains. At 425 metres wide and 250 metres high, this flag can be seen from miles south and is illuminated at night. The Besparmak’s most distinguishing feature is a peak that resembles five fingers with many legends explaining how this came about. The Legendary Tales A long time ago a pretty girl lived in a village on the outskirts of Kyrenia. Two men were very much in love with this dame, but only one would receive her affection. One’s heart was made of gold, the other’s was full of evil. Tired of trying to outwit one another for her heart, the men decided to settle for a duel in a close by marshland. The malevolent man quickly wounded the other and threw his opponent into the swamp. He was quickly dragged down but somehow managed to drag his opponent in as well so that both were buried alive. The gentle man however was entombed with his left fist tightly quenched above the mud, yearning in desperation his love would save him. When the marshy area dried out, the man’s hand turned into the mountains and today, we can see his knuckles and five fingers on the Besparmak range. ​ A gutsy villager fell in love with the local Queen and asked for her hand in marriage. For most this would stay an unrequited love, but the villager confronted the Queen nonetheless. The Queen wished to be rid of the rude man and requested that he bring her some water from the spring of Apostolos Andreas Monastery in the Karpaz, quite a risky journey in those days, deemed an almost impossible mission. The man set off and after several weeks returned with the precious water, much to the dismay of the Queen. Although he had succeeded the Queen still refused to marry him. In a fit of rage, he poured the water on to the earth, seized a handful of the resulting mud and threw it at the Queen’s head. She dodged the lump of mud which sailed far across the land all the way to the top of the Kyrenia mountain range, where it is to this day, still showing the impression of the thwarted villager’s five fingers, or a representation of the heartbroken villager’s disappointment. Another famous tale is of the Byzantine hero Digenis Akritas . Tradition has it that the bold warrior leapt across the sea from Anatolia in a magnificent attempt to save Cyprus from the Saracen invaders. Hand gripping the mountain to get out of the sea, it's his heroic handprint in the mountains. ​ According to another legend, the gnarled massif was formed millions of years ago when the world was peopled by giants . A giant aiming a handful of rocks at his opponent, missed their target and the rocks landed on the hillside, forming the limestone five-finger ridge. Top Guides > Nature > Bird Watching Northern Cyprus is home to around 347 different species of birds, 7 of which are unique to the country. The twice-yearly arrival of migrating birds adds to the unique pleasure of bird watching, with visiting birds heading north from March to May, and south between August and October. Visitors include Swallows, Swifts, Hoopoe, Masked Shrike and Little Ringed Plovers. There are birds that migrate specifically for breeding purposes, and the island is used as a convenient stopping off post for many species in transit to other lands. Learn more about Birds of Northern Cyprus . ​ Some great places to go bird watching in North Cyprus include: Wetlands around Famagusta Tip of the Karpaz Peninsula Kaplica beach coastal area Various Reservoirs Kyrenia Mountain Range Kaylar and surrounding area Mia Milia Sewage Treatment Plant area Inonu and surrounding area ​ Mountain Bird Watching One of the best places to watch birds is in the Kyrenia Mountains, where the pines and cypress trees teem with birds. Kantara Castle offers a picturesque spot to observe both resident and migrant birds, including the Blue Rock Thrush, Spectacled Warbler, the resident Cyprus Warbler and Wheatear, and Black-Headed Bunting. Alpine Swifts can be seen darting around their nests, perched on the cliffs around the castle. ​ North Cyprus Griffon Vulture The Griffon Vulture still soars above Kantara and St Hilarion in the Kyrenia Mountains, riding the winds on its 2m wingspan. Birds of prey numbers have been affected by hunting but it’s still possible to see buzzards and falcons, and nesting pairs of red kite can be spotted around the Lapta area. Other hunters include scops owl and little owls. The reservoirs at Köprülü and Gonyeli attract overwintering duck, herons and grebes, which in turn attract birds of prey to feast on them. ​ Karpas peninsula bird watching This peninsula juts out eastwards from the north coast, pointing towards the Turkish mainland. It’s a major stopping point for many migratory birds where you can spot Golden Orioles and Bee-eaters. The Rollers always provide a great display, as they bounce across the countryside in their trademark jerky flight pattern. At the far end of the Karpas peninsula, the Klidhes Islands provide refuge for sea birds such as Audouin’s Gulls, Cormorants and Shags. During March and April, the islands are also home to breeding Peregrine Falcons, audaciously fast hunters who snatch birds from the sky as food for their offspring. The peninsula is also home to two game birds, the Francolin and Chikor, both types of partridge. Bird Society (Kuşkor) The North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds (Kuşkor) has been active since 1988 and works for the welfare of all birds and holds regular education programmes for adults and children alike. Kuşkor work hard to protect and conserve the breeding and migrant bird populations of Northern Cyprus at a time when natural habitat is dwindling through human development and the numbers of birds are depleting due to hunting, poisoning, changes in land use and climate change. ​ The Kuşkor ringing scheme. Mark and recapture or resight is one of the fundamental methodologies in the field of biological sciences and is applied to bird populations throughout the world as a tool for identifying species structures, taxonomy, demography and movements. In 2001 the Kuşkor Ringing Scheme was founded by Kuşkor officials and qualified British ringers. In 2015 Kuşkor became a member of the European Union for Bird Ringing (EURING). Adopting British Trust for Ornithology conventions and regulations and British-sourced metal rings headed ‘Kuşkor North Cyprus’, the Kuşkor scheme has welcomed qualified ringers who have been trapping birds at sites across Northern Cyprus, assisted by resident ecologists. Cyprus is at the heart of the vast Eastern Mediterranean flyway and has resident, passage migrant, migrant breeding and wintering populations of birds about which relatively little is known, which makes them perfect subjects for ringing studies. As well as adding significantly to our general understanding of birds at the study sites, ringing-based articles from Kuşkor ringers have been published on the breeding Eurasian Reed Warbler, Nightingale and Cyprus Warbler and the presence of the scheme has continued to give focus to avian conservation issues in Northern Cyprus. ​ Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands The remote, relatively un-spoilt and picturesque Karpasia Peninsula, with its rolling hills, juniper-dominated shrubland and low-intensity farmland is one of the outstanding IBAs in Cyprus, important for its characteristic Mediterranean bird community. The site is also an Endemic Bird Area, and significant for no fewer than 4 species of global conservation concern, like the Roller and the Audouin’s Gull. The rocky Kleides islands and the islet of Lefkoniso are the only breeding sites in Cyprus for this gull species. ​ Pentadaktylos Mountains This site encompasses most of the Pentadaktylos range, which stretches along the north coast of the island. The steep slopes of the range are sparsely vegetated on the southern face but covered in scrub and mixed forest of pine and cypress on the wetter north-facing slopes. The site is of importance for many breeding forest birds including the Black-headed Bunting and the Bonelli’s Eagle and for its characteristic Mediterranean bird community. It's an Endemic Bird Area site, with significant populations of the endemic Cyprus Wheatear and Cyprus Warbler. ​ Kormakitis Peninsula On the north-west of the island, Kormakitis Peninsula with its rocky coastline, extensive areas of low scrub, patches of lowland pine forest and low-intensity cereal-growing land, is of importance for passing waterbirds along its coastline and for breeding birds, like the Nightjar and the two endemics. ​ Mia Milia Sewage Treatment Plant A man-made set of sewage treatment pools and surrounding agricultural land on the outskirts of Nicosia. The site attracts breeding waders and has regularly attracted small but significant numbers of the globally threatened White-headed Duck in winter. ​ Mesaoria Plain This extensive site captures an important part of the central Mesaoria plain and is almost entirely dominated by cereal fields. Though more intensively managed and man-dominated than most other IBAs, it is the top breeding site on the island for three species typical of open, flat and dry landscapes: Stone Curlew, Crested Lark and Calandra Lark. ​ Famagusta Lakes An extensive though fragmented complex of fresh and brackish marshes and pools on the outskirts of Famagusta town, the site attracts a wide range of waterbirds, notably breeding Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing. The lakes are also the only known breeding site for Glossy Ibis in Cyprus. ​ Other bird watching sites in North Cyprus Cape Andrea’s (Zafer) Avtepe / Kuruova area The north cost around Kaplica Tuzluca Marsh Silver Beach Akova Reservoir Demirhan pools Akdeniz Reservoir Cape Koruçam Geçitköy Reservoir Acapulco and Arapköy Reservoir Haspolat The Five Fingers Mountain and Herbarium ​ Wild Birds Found in Northern Cyprus Top Guides > Nature > Butterflies Butterflies indicate a healthy environment, and are generally described as the essence of freedom, peace and nature. Northern Cyprus is famed for rural diversity, the beauty of which acts as one of the main draws to this jewel in the Mediterranean. From stunning mountain ranges to powder soft beaches, the landscape is as picturesque as it is varied. Little wonder then that Northern Cyprus attracts thousands of holiday makers year upon year. The very same reason that it’s loved by an altogether different breed of visitor...the humble butterfly. Northern Cyprus acts as a resting point for over 50 different species as they make their yearly pilgrimage. Hundreds upon millions of butterflies migrate each year, flooding the skies with colour while navigating their way, ensure their continuing survival. Fully grown butterflies appear in February in coastal areas such as Kyrenia and Famagusta. They’re on the wing until May in lowland areas, and at the beginning of July appear in mountain areas. Butterfly watching is a growing hobby in North Cyprus for nature lovers, who find, identify and record their behaviour. It’s particularly amazing on the Five Finger Mountains and Alevkaya areas, where you’re likely to see Cyprus Grayling and Cyprus Meadow Brown . You can also spot gorgeous butterflies in bushes, nearby flowers or shady locations. If you take a stroll through the Alevkaya forest between May and September, you may have the unique chance to see the wonderful Hermit and Eastern Rock Grayling . ​ One of the most easily recognisable visitors, is the Vanessa Cardui or Painted Lady. This particular species, distinguishable by its warm orange wings, edged in black and spotted with white polka dots, has an impressive wingspan of up to 9cm. During March this delicate creature travels up to 15,000 kilometres from is wintering locations in Africa, through the Mediterranean and onto Europe before making the return trip in Autumn. Several varieties of butterfly are endemic to Northern Cyprus, which means that these beautiful insects can be appreciated throughout all four seasons. The Paphos Blue or Glaucopsyche Paphos is one of the island’s permanent residents and unmistakable due to its blue wings. February sees adult butterflies start to emerge in coastal regions and are visible on the wing until June. The Levantine Leopard or Apharitis Acamas appears in June and is a rare and spectacular sight. With wings bearing a distinctive leopard print on the underside, edged in a fine line of silver scales, these delicate wings hold a secret only revealed in the sunlight. Each hind wing possesses two tails, the larger of which is painted with an area of blue and only visible when the light hits it. Most commonly seen between April and October at all altitudes, is the Cyprus Meadow Brown or Maniola Cypricola . A lover of fragrant herbs such as thyme, the females have wings painted on the upper side in shades of amber and yellow, with a distinctive jet-black eye spot. Interestingly, the males of the species are less boldly marked. Another butterfly that enjoys the warmth of the Northern Cyprus climate is the Vanessa Atalanta , or Red Admiral. Easily recognised by its black velvet wings, intersected by striking red bands and specks of bright white, this specific butterfly is fiercely territorial. So much so, that females will only mate with males that hold territory. Unusual in the fact that this butterfly is regarded as ‘people-friendly’, the Red Admiral is only too happy to use humans as a comfortable perch to rest on, just one more reason to make Northern Cyprus your holiday destination. Top Guides > Nature > Carob Trees Carob has been cultivated in Cyprus since the 1st century and was one of the island’s major exports from the medieval era right up to the end of British rule. The carob (harnup), is a flowering evergreen tree or shrub in the legume family, Fabaceae, that can reach 10 metres in height and has a broad thick-bowed crown. It’s widely cultivated for its edible pods, but also has many other uses. Although native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East, it's also found in North America. It’s usually planted together in mixed cultures with olives, pruned and grafted at an early stage. ​ History As Kyrenia region harvested over a quarter of the island’s carob tree pods, Kyrenia Harbour became the centre for its trade, and harbour-front buildings were used as warehouses to store the carob harvest before it was packed into hessian sacks and shipped out to Europe, where it was fed to cattle, sheep and horses. The trade of this cash ​ crop was very profitable for the island and helped to produce such abundant wealth it was named the “Cyprus Black Gold ”. Although the international carob trade collapsed in the 1960s, it continues to be harvested by local farmers. Carob Tree The best carob growing areas are within the Kyrenia mountain range, and can be found anywhere, whether it be dry or stony terrain, to 600 metres above sea level. Its leaves are pinnate, smooth-edged leathery leaflets, dark green to russet in colour. The tree produces clusters of long pods, which in early growth resemble a curved goat’s horn, hence referred to locally as keçiboynuz. It blossoms in July to October, when the catkins appear hanging from mature branches. By the end of the summer the mature pods are 10-30 cm long and flat. During ripening, these gradually turn to a rich dark brown colour and before the pod dries out in the summer heat, it's harvested. ​ Modern Day Uses Carob is a feed substance that's highly nutritious and full of sugar, so in addition to being used for animal fodder it has other domestic uses. Carob pods are naturally sweet, not bitter, and contain no theobromine or caffeine. The carob tree fruit is widely used in medicine, as it's rich in such vitamins as A, B, B2, B3 and D . The ripe, dried, and sometimes toasted pod, is often ground into carob powder, which is sometimes used to replace cocoa powder. Carob bars are an alternative to chocolate bars and are globally available in health and vegan food stores. However, the local pekmez (molasses) condiment, produced by boiling carob powder into a reduction, is a healthy favourite found in all supermarkets. The carob is also an excellent source of firewood, and the resin extracted from the seeds is used in cosmetics, paper and textile industries.You can just enjoy eating the fresh dark-brown pods itself, filled with natural honey-like juices and enjoyed by many other mammals alike. ​ Landscaping The carob tree is widely cultivated in the horticultural nursery industry as an ornamental plant for Mediterranean climates and other temperate regions around the world, and is especially popular in California and Hawaii. It's very drought tolerant, and if the size of the fruit harvest is not of importance, it can be used in xeriscaping designs for gardens, parks, and public municipal and commercial landscapes. Carats The carat (the unit of measurement for the size of diamonds and other gemstones), is based on the weight of a carob bean, which is remarkably consistent from pod to pod and tree to tree. There are records of carob beans being used to weigh gems as early as Roman times, and it's thought that the word carat actually derived from these pods. Top Guides > Nature > Cumbez Tree In Famagusta town centre lies this colossal ancient tree. Outside Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque , this tree according to botanists, was planted at the time when building of the original St Nicholas Cathedral structure commenced, making it over 720 years of age , and the oldest living tree on the island. The tree has many names, including Ficus sycomorus,(sycamore fig) or the Fig-mulberry as its’ leaves resemble those of the mulberry, but locals refer to it simply as the “Cumbez”. ​ The Cumbez is native to Africa south of the Sahel and north of the Tropic of Capricorn, and is a tropical fig species that has been cultivated since ancient times. The main trunk of the tree is surrounded by smaller trunks springing up from the massive root system, which have grown into the main one, providing it added support. According to local folklore, there are seven trunks round the main trunk, each representing every 100 years of its past. In the Bible, the sycomore is referred to seven times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. This monumental tree is what botanists call simple deciduous. Its' leaves will have all but disappeared in the winter giving the illusion that the tree has died, yet in a month, towards the beginning of spring, all the leaves cover the whole tree with dense green foliage, throwing a magnificent shade over the courtyard of the cathedral converted mosque, welcoming travellers visiting during the hot summer days. The Cumbez is the oldest living thing in Cyprus and what a story it's witnessed – Lusignan knights, Venetian builders, Ottoman sieges, earthquakes, and only the tree knows what more. It’s listed under the Department of Culture’s National Heritage List and is protected by the Department of Forestry Famagusta Office. Top Guides > Nature > Flora & Fauna Springtime is by far the time best viewing season with 100+ Cyprus endemic species and 19 North Cyprus endemics to discover . Crocus, cyclamen and muscari do bloom during the winter months, but late February to end of April are best months for seeing Cyprus in bloom. The flora depends on how much rain fell in winter, as the heat from April onwards brings an end to blooming wildflowers. ​ Flowers The first colour of Spring is the bright yellow of the Oxalis pes-caprae . An agricultural nuisance but a welcome splash of colour, this is soon followed by the anemones in white, pale mauve, blue and red, and after them come some of the Ophrys and Orchis species such as Ophrys fusca (the Brown Bee Orchid) and Orchis morio (Green-winged Orchis), which are widespread and can be found in the pine forests and on rocky hillsides. The Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) has flowers in the white to dark blue spectrum, and grows as a flat cluster of broad green leaves with the flowers nestling in the middle. It can easily be seen along road-sides and on many of the ancient sites. The Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum coronarium), est of the island. covers the fields and verges with pale orange, bathing the countryside in sunshine. As the weather starts to get warmer, the most colourful of the Spring flowers clothe the scene. Asphodels, Calendula and three varieties of Cistus (Cistus creticus, Cistus parviflorus and Cistus salviifolius) produce a host of shades. The giant fennel (Ferrula communis) is an inedible plant and grows unchecked in fields and mountains. It grows to a height in excess of 2m with a feathery leaf, used by the local florists in flower arrangements. With many heads of bright yellow flowers, towering over all other species it’s unmissable. The vibrant blues of the anchusas (Anchusa azurea), tall, bright and hairy, and Anchusa undulata, low growing, dark blue almost purple), mix with the paler blue of the Dyer’s alkanet (Alkanna Lehmanii), and the equally colourful echiums, (Echium angustifolium, narrow-leaved Bugloss, and Echium plantagineum, viper’s Bugloss). Flowering from February to May are the ranunculus that grow in the foothills of the mountains. The turban buttercup or Persian crowfoot (Ranunculus Asiaticus), grow in a variety of colours from cream to yellow, deep scarlet, and white flashed with red. Though similar, they’re not to be confused with the anemones that share the same habitat. The common pink corn flag (Gladiolus italicus) can be found in the corn fields as can the Cyprus black tulip (Tulipa cypria), not truly black but very dark red. The Arabian sun rose (Fumana Arabica)and the endemic Cyprus sun rose (Helianthemum obtusifolium) favour the same habitat and are very similar, with papery thin yellow petals, growing in rocky terrain they flower from February to May. North Cyprus is also well known for its tulips, and a Tulip Festival is held yearly in Tepebaşı which is a village located between Kyrenia and Güzelyurt on the north west of the island. ​ Orchids North Cyprus is home to around 30 different orchids, all of which are protected species, with the Ophrys Kotscdhyi variety only growing in Cyprus. You can join walking tours specifically tailored to see some of the varieties growing on the island. Mixed in with the orchids, you’ll see brilliant splashes of colour after the rainy season, with poppies and cyclamen mixed with crocus and cyntius. Trees Olive trees are another feature of North Cyprus, with destruction of these ancient trees completely illegal. In the autumn you’ll often see families out on their land, shaking olives from trees and taking them to be pressed for oil. Other North Cyprus trees include the jacaranda with its beautifully coloured bark; the wonderfully scented frangipani and jasmine; the purple flowering Judas tree; delicate pepper trees; and the staples of almond and carob trees which litter the gardens of many . Fig and mulberry trees are also common. ​ Citrus Trees Around November, you’ll regularly see orange, lemon and grapefruit trees bursting with fruit. There’s three types of oranges grown in North Cyprus, and each has a specific purpose and many people still have them growing in their gardens. Pomegranates are also grown. ​ Ranunculus Asiaticus (Turban Buttercup, Persian Crowfoot) The Turban Buttercup is a perennial with sparingly branched stems up to 30 cm high, bearing bright flowers of many colour forms, from white to cream, yellow to orange, flame to scarlet, salmon pink , deep salmon pink, carmine and many amalgamations of these. These beautiful flowers have many different colours, which makes spotting them exciting. For the complete novice, identifying them can be confusing, because at first sight they’re not unlike Crown Anemones. The quickest way to differentiate between them is to be sure that there are green sepals below the petals; there’s no green bract wrapped around the stem under the flower. Habitat: Rocky or grassy hillsides, pastures, roadsides, in ditches, foot-hills of the Kyrenia range on open scree below the north face; sea-level to 2,200 feet alt. Flowers from February to May. Cyclamen Cyprium (Cyprus or Autumn Cyclamen) Flower stalk slender c.10 cm high erect bronze/purple, bearing a sweet-scented flower in the autumn before leaves appear. Petals white or very pale pink with conspicuous deep magneta (noses) blotch M-shaped where they turn sharply up/back; after flowering the stalks curve down forming small tight "springs" bearing a seeding-box (you can pull gently on the coil and feel the spring-tension which pushes the ovary against the ground, enabling ants to carry away the seeds); seed coat dark brown, rough, very sticky when newly shed. Leaves spade-shaped, fleshy grey-green, marbled; leaf underside rich purple or crimson. Tubers with rough greyish bark, about 7 cm diameter or less; roots appear from one side of lower surface. Habitat:Shaded calcareous or ingenious rocks, on steep hillsides, banks, under shrubs or trees; sea-level to 3,000 ft alt. ​ Anemone Coronaria (Crown Anemone) This is one of the most memorable and beautiful Mediterranean plants because of its brightly-coloured flowers, which are among the first to appear in the early spring (although exceptionally bad storms of rain or hail and cold winds have been known to retard the flowering time until the sun encourages them to appear). Flower stems 10-30 cm high, bearing a solitary flower head, leaf-like twice cut into narrow segments. Flowers large, 4-8 cms across, without green sepals, which distinguishes it clearly from the Asiatic Buttercup; 5-8 oval petals, in lavender, lilac, deep purple, red to scarlet, rose-pink, magneta, and more rarely white, blue or in many and various intermediate shades, sometimes two-coloured, with a white or pale base; even the white have a circle of white in the area near the stamens (the white petals make this circle more difficult to see, but caught in the sun at certain angle the white circle shines silvery-white or white). The red form and the shades of purple are the most widespread, but it is very exciting to find the rarer pale apricot pink and the deep salmon pink. Fruiting heads become taller and more cylindrical as the petals fade. Stamens numerous; filaments pink, violet or red; anthers purplish or black; styles threadlike 1-2 mm long, blackish. Torus ovoid; nutlets densely woolly. Leaves broadly triangular, 3-12 cm across, divided into 3 triangular, stalked, pinnatifid or deeply divided segments, ultimate divisions narrow, variously toothed; stalks 3-7 cm long. Habitat:Habitat of both normal and dwarf forms (var. parviflora) with just as many brilliant colours, but with flowers no larger than a lady's small watch-face, open spaces, grassy slopes and hillsides, in cultivated and fallow fields, by roadsides; sea-level to 2,900 ft alt. on the Kyrenia range, near Five Finger mountains and across from the south face towards the Nicosia road. Flowers from December to April. Narcissus Serotinus (Late Narcissus) Small perennial with ovoid bulb 1.5-3 cm long, with a thick papery dark brown covering. One or two flowers on slender green stems (with tendency to coil or curve); flowers fragrant, with perianth tube narrow, pale green; petals white, apex rounded to slightly pointed; corona very small, with six semi-circular orange lobes, only 1 mm long. Capsule 1 cm long. Leaves only 1-2, very slender, usually appearing after flowering. Habitat:Shallow soil over rocks, open areas; sea-level to 800 ft alt. Flowers October to early December. ​ Crocus Veneris [var. Cyprium (Cyprus or Autumn Crocus) Perennial herb with a corm, in flower 4-8 cm high. Flowers 1-2, fragrant; six white segments, often with a violet stripe or feathering on the outside of the outer three. Leaves 3-4, equalling the flower in height, but occasionally with only the tips showing; up to 1 mm wide, bright dark green, with a narrow silvery median stripe on the upper surface. Habitat: Stony and grassy places in maquis or open conifer woods; 300-2,500 ft alt. Flowers November to January. ​ Tulipa Cypria (Cyprus or Black Tulip) This tulip appears to be bright scarlet, but in normal reflected light resembles its common name - Black Tulip. (Note that the scarlet flower with yellow inside is considered by botanists to be a distinct species, Tulipa Agenensis). The cup or the solitary head, has 6 oval petals with pointed tips, the black basal blotch on each petal being only slightly bordered by yellow; stamens thick and sturdy, with bright yellow polen borne on dark red oblong anthers; stigmas creamy, conspicuous on top of the ovary. Stalk 30 cm high, pale yellow-green. Leaves at bases spreading sideways, about 20 cm long, grey-green with undulating margins; those part-way up the stem smaller, narrower and sharply-pointed. Habitat: Mostly in cereal fields, hidden below the level of the wheat, but in great numbers. Flowers Mar-Apr. Helianthemum Obtusifolium (Yellow Cyprus Sun Rose) Straggling shrublet with branches to 25 cm long, growing on stony ground; flower-buds hairy, purple-black striped with two outer sepals and 3 inner broader ones like pointed spades; 5 pale yellow petals 15 mm long; stamens 4 mm long with distinct oblong anthers which show clearly in the open-plan arrangements of the stamens. Habitat: Dry rocky hillsides in garigue; sea-level to 3,000 ft alt. Flowers February to May. 5 Flowers that Solely Grow in Cyprus Officially, there are 140 recorded endemic plants that only grow on the island. Here’s 5 to for you to admire. If you find yourself out in nature, by all means look for them but don’t pick them as you might be putting the species in danger. Tulipa Cypria Commonly known as the Cyprus Tulip, the Tulipa Cypria is one of the rarest flowers of the island, making it difficult to stumble upon, but an exciting occasion if you do! Considered a strictly protected species, this tulip flowers during the months of March and April. The Cyprus Tulip is small in size, growing up to 15-40 centimetres high, while its particularity is its two larger leaves at the lower end of its stem. Its striking dark, blood-red colour makes it hard to miss! ​ Bosea Cypria In full bloom from April until July, this evergreen shrub can be seen in abundance hanging on the side of cliffs, stone walls or even trees and it’s usually found not too far away from the sea level. Prevalent in the Akamas Nature reserve in the Paphos region, the shrub isn’t hard to miss with its bright red berries! ​ Alyssum Akamasicum The Alyssum Akamasicum borrowed its name from ‘Akamas’, the notable natural reserve in the Paphos region where it can be found. Notably, there are 11 locations where it can be seen in the Paphos region only. Known to grow close to the sea level, researchers believe that there are only about 3,000 of its kind in the area, justifying its listing as a vulnerable species. ​ Ophrys Kotschyi Known as the Cyprus Bee Orchid, the Ophrys kotschyi has 3 subspecies to its name, 1 of them being native to Cyprus. Prevalent in grasslands and open pine woodlands, this beautiful and distinctive orchid is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. ​ Cyclamen Cyprium The Cyclamen Cyprium is also known as the Cyprus Cyclamen. It is the national flower of the island. Flowering from November to March, the Cyprus cyclamen likes to grow in the mountainous regions. Its leaves are heart shaped with rigged edges, while its petals are pale pink with magenta streaks on the edges. ​ Herbarium If you’re interested in the flora of North Cyprus, then the Herbarium is well worth a visit. You’ll find it in the Alevkaya Forest Station on the mountain ridge between Esentepe and Degirmenlik and it has over 1,200 native plant species. ​ Illustrated Guide North Cyprus is a fantastic place to view hundreds of different types of flora and flowers and “An Illustrated Flora of North Cyprus ” by Dr Deryck Viney, is an invaluable guide for amateurs and professionals alike if you want to become even more familiar. Top Guides > Nature > Hunting Love it or hate it, Cyprus has had a culture of hunting for generations. Hunting season is normally between September and October. Hunters can use dogs to hunt game such as pheasant, snipe, quail, crow, magpie, and rabbit . It's absolutely prohibited to shoot any bird that isn't on the list issued to hunters, especially birds of prey. Hunting for small game doesn't allow dogs and is mainly for smaller migratory bird species. ​ The Game and Wild Bird Law Covers Hunting Season, Hunting Animals, Hunting Regions and Hunting Days. North Cyprus has its own Hunting Federation who oversee and govern hunters and the issuing of licences. They're also involved in breeding programmes to replenish stock and conduct patrols, to ensure hunters are compliant with the laws. Over recent years environmental groups, biologist groups and the public, have voiced concerns about decimation of wildlife, the rise in the number of illegal hunters being caught and the use of illegal hunting methods to trap song birds. Hunting will always be a sensitive issue, but other detrimental effects on the natural habitat are also to blame for decreases in bird population, such as major road building projects and prolific property development. In addition to permanent game protection zones and no hunting zones, it's forbidden to hunt, kill, catch or chase any game or wild birds in the following areas: ​ 500 meters or closer to dams and ponds 300 meters or closer to picnic areas 300 meters or closer to Eleousa Monastery 200 meters or closer to residential areas 200 meters or closer to the Tashkent Nature Park 200 meters or closer to the Central Prison buildings 200 meters or closer to Haspolat Treatment Plants 200 meters or closer of all shooting ranges 200 meters or closer to the new Ercan Airport runway construction 200 meters or closer to universities 200 meters or closer to formalized corral areas 200 meters or closer to Muratağa, Atlılar and Sandallar martyrdoms and massacre pits 100 meters or closer to the Animal Waste Storage Area The TRNC Flag drawn on the rocks over the Tashkent village 200 meters or closer to the adjacent meteorological station Top Guides > Nature > Incirli Cave Within a hill near the tiny village of Cinarli, sits the largest cave on the island . Taking its name from a nearby fig tree, Incirli Cave is a naturally formed gypsum cave located about 2km to the northeast of Cinarli, containing a fascinating collection of stalagmites and stalactites. To better understand the speleology of Incirli, (the study or exploration of caves), here's some key words to get your head around. ​ Gypsum : A soft sulphate mineral that's widely mined and used as a fertilizer and the main constituent in many forms of plaster, blackboard chalk and dry wall. Stalactites : Icicle-shaped formations with pointed tips, that hang down from the ceiling of a cave. Produced from water dripping through the cave ceiling. Stalagmite: Upward-growing mound of mineral deposits made from water dripping onto the floor of a cave. Most have rounded or flattened tips. ​ The Cave Incirli cave is a fascinating collection of stalagmites and stalactites. Hidden away off a signed beaten track, the entrance to this amazing cave is so small that you'd hardly know it was there if it weren't for the nearby symbolic fig (Turkish: incir) tree. Two flights of steps take you down into the widest and longest part of the cave. The only known developed gypsum topography cave in Northern Cyprus or Türkiye, it's very well illuminated for visitors with hand rails to make it easy to make your way through. Lined with unique cauliflower shaped structures formed out of the white mineral, coarse stalactites hang from the ceiling whilst smooth stalagmites rise from the ground. Columns extending to the ceiling and sandstone rock formations add to the beauty. The air inside is dry and refreshing and the rocks will remind you of coral. The cave extends to a depth of about 250 metres. It's 5-10 metres wide at points, and 4-7 metres high, which is said to change according to the phases of the moon. Towards the end, the passageway narrows and sharply turns, providing a maze-like tour, with small corridors branching off into darkened nooks and rock formations swept upwards in exquisite curves. ​ Legendary Tales A long time ago, there were three thieves who hid their stolen goats in this cave. Villagers followed the footprints of the animals all the way to the fig tree where they mysteriously disappeared. After days of patrolling the area and with the help of local police, they laid an ambush which led to the discovery of the cave entrance nearby. As they watched the thieves enter the cave at midnight, they guarded the entrance until sunlight to make their move. Entering the cave the next morning, they were shocked to find no trace of the thieves nor the animals. Rumour has it the thieves escaped from a second entrance, close to the village of Altinova, some distance from Cinarli – this entrance is still waiting to be rediscovered to this day. In the 1950’s and 1960’s this cave was also known to be used as a hideout for nationalist guerrillas that fought a campaign for the end of British rule. Getting There The village, also referred to as ‘Platani’ and ‘Bladan’, is in the foothills of the Besparmak Mountains, famous for its organic honey and accessible from all directions. From Kyrenia, drive east along the coast towards Tatlisu and you'll see a sign post which will take you along a stony, windy road for about 4 km until you get to the car park. If you prefer, you can bypass this first sign and carry on a few kilometres where you'll see a second sign which takes you there via a much easier tarmac road. From Famagusta or Nicosia, the road bypassing Gecitkale towards the coast will take you directly to this second sign. A more scenic countryside stretching from Iskele via Sinirustu is yet another course to this remarkable site but the roads are simle to say the least. There is a car park and a ticket office office where you can buy some water or take a toilet break if required. The fig tree at the entrance that this cave takes its name from, has fruits believed to have healing powers. If you visit in the peak of summer you may find some to pick from the lower branches, assuming you beat the locals to it. Caves were amongst the earliest forms of shelter for mankind and one of the first places where humans began to pictorially depict their world around, in wall inscriptions and paintings. The Incirli cave is a fine example of the mysterious and astonishing world that caves represent for the curious and intrepid explorer. Top Guides > Nature > Karpaz National Park Jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea’s easternmost reaches, the Karpaz Peninsula, otherwise known as the “Panhandle ”, is a welcome diversion from the hustle and bustle of everyday life further inland. Almost 80 km from one end to the other, this peninsula is perhaps the Mediterranean’s last piece of unspoilt tranquillity, where green and azure meets history. Sparsely populated, with a wealth of deserted golden sand, life’s a beach here. Crop farmers, still relying on archaic horse-drawn implements, cheerily go about their work, while the Cyprus donkey roams freely in abundance. Along with multiple amphibians, reptiles and birds passing through on their migration routes, loggerhead and green sea turtles are also proud to regard this unspoilt stretch of land as home, sensing idyllic nesting grounds when they see them. From here, Maquis, Cypress and Pine trees pepper the countryside and scurry up hills to altitudes of around 1,000 metres, comprising a handsome backdrop to the serene sapphire blue of the gently caressing ocean. The surrounding waters have a wonderful clarity, ideal for snorkellers while those of a less intrepid nature may opt for a spot of fishing instead. Blessed with a biodiversity so rich, the entire area has been rightfully deemed a national reserve. The architectural eye candy includes several ruins, Kantara Castle and the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas, dedicated to Saint Andrew. The peninsula has lonely white sandy beaches, including the famous Golden Beach. Natural sanctuary The main reason for making Karpaz a conservation area is its natural flora and fauna. It's home to many endemic and protected species. Plant species number about 1,600 (22 endemic), bird species about 350 (7 endemic) and 26 reptile and amphibian species, so the biological diversity is especially rich. ​ Plant species Springtime sees colourful flowers like anemones, turban buttercups, poppies and gladioli. Although the area was cultivated with tomatoes, bananas and fruit trees, the "terra rossa" soil derived from limestone, red in colour due to the iron compounds, hosts orchids and lime-loving plants as well. The area on the whole is a landscape of rolling hills and grain fields, partly domesticated with vineyards, tobacco fields, olive or carob trees. Up to an altitude of 1,000 metres the hills are covered with pines, cypress and maquis vegetation. Wildlife Karpaz peninsula is one of the main migration stops for birds between Eastern Europe and Africa with around 300 species, amounting to millions of birds following this route in early spring and late summer. The remotest tip of the Karpaz, the Klídhes islands, allows sea birds such as Shag or Audouin's Gull to nest undisturbed. The cliffs provide secure strongholds for nesting Peregrine Falcons, as well as Doves and Pigeons. About 46 sandy beaches in the Karpaz are natural habitats and the main nestling ground to loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ) and green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) who come to lay eggs on sandy beaches east of Cape Plakotí. Cyprus donkeys live freely in the Karpaz national park. Generally black, sometimes ginger, approach them with care. ​ Life in Karpaz Almost free from heavy population and industry, the region is one of the least polluted in the European Mediterranean. Fishing is the main industry of the countryside, with Bogaz and Kumyali the most important fishing villages. Many tourists visit to have a trip, admire the abandoned civilization of Byzantine churches, or just enjoy the nature and wide sandy beaches. Among the historical sights is Apostolos Andreas Monastery, a popular meeting point of many worshippers and visitors at the very tip of the Karpaz peninsula. Top Guides > Nature > Monumental Olive Trees Think of the Mediterranean and you'll picture perfect coastlines, spectacular mountainsides and landscapes lined with olive trees. The “Monumental Olive Trees ” may not be the first attraction you consider visiting in Northern Cyprus, but these gifts of mother nature are certainly overwhelming. Located in the village of Kalkanli on the North West coast, just outside Guzelyurt , these are the most ancient olive trees in Northern Cyprus, believed to have been planted in the 11th century Lusignan period. Some 2,000 colossal trees over 700 years in age , this area is one of the most important projects in the Natura 2000 initiative under EU protection. The area is a living cultural and natural heritage and makes a very popular attraction. If you enjoy nature and unique sights, these majestic trees in the wilderness are definitely a must-do on the list. ​ Usually on the last Sunday of March, the annual “Kalkanli Monumental Olive Trees Walk” is held with the aim of promoting olive trees and their importance to Northern Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot cultural heritage alike. Think of the Mediterranean and you'll picture perfect coastlines, spectacular mountainsides and landscapes lined with olive trees. The “Monumental Olive Trees ” may not be the first attraction you consider visiting in Northern Cyprus, but these gifts of mother nature are certainly overwhelming. Located in the village of Kalkanli on the North West coast, just outside Guzelyurt , these are the most ancient olive trees in Northern Cyprus, believed to have been planted in the 11th century Lusignan period. Some 2,000 colossal trees over 700 years in age , this area is one of the most important projects in the Natura 2000 initiative under EU protection. The area is a living cultural and natural heritage and makes a very popular attraction. If you enjoy nature and unique sights, these majestic trees in the wilderness are definitely a must-do on the list. Top Guides > Nature > Mushrooming Mushroom hunting is serious business in Northern Cyprus – really. A mushroom is actually the fruit of a fungus, which is simply a net of threadlike fibres called a mycelium, which grows in soil, wood or decaying matter. Most mushrooms are edible and highly delicious, some aren’t edible, and the rest are deadly poisonous, so if you want to go mushroom hunting in Northern Cyprus – take notice! The function of a mushroom is to produce spores which are the bits that make it reproduce. Spore identification is the master key for fungal identification. Some mushrooms produce their spores on gills (gilled fungi); some in pores (pore fungi), some on teeth (tooth fungi), some inside a leathery pouch (puffballs), some on the inside of shallow cups (cup fungi) and some simply on the surface of the mushroom (coral fungi and others). The spores fall off, get blown away by wind, or are carried by animals, water or insects. If a spore lands in a suitable spot, it germinates and grows into a new mycelium. ​ Mushrooms fall into two major groups. Ascomycota includes morels, cup fungi and truffles. They produce their spores in a closed ascus which opens upon maturity, and are called spore shooters. Basidiomycota ​includes gilled agarics, boletes, polypores and jelly fungi. They bear their pores on naked basidia called droppers, because they drop down the gills as they mature. The mushrooms most people recognise are the gilled fungi. These typical parasol-shaped mushrooms have caps with bladelike gills on the underside and stems with or without rings. The pore fungi are similar in appearance but have a spongy layer of tubes of pores on the underside of the cap instead of gills. Mushroom collecting requires the simplest of equipment: an ice box or flat-bottomed basket; small plastic or polystyrene boxes; a roll of waxed paper; a digging tool; and paper for notes. Be sure to collect the entire mushroom, including the base. Take only fresh, young mushrooms that are free of insect damage. Each type of mushroom should be wrapped separately in waxed paper and kept in small polystyrene boxes along with any notes you might want to make about the habitat and appearance of the mushroom. Don’t use plastic wrap as it just hastens decay. It’s a good idea to note where the mushroom is growing (on wood, soil or moss for example); whether it’s single or in clusters, the colour of the caps, gills and stem; and any other distinctive features. The more you can observe about the mushroom in the field, the easier it will be to identity. ​ Individual spores are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but you can make a spore print to show the colour of the spores which is an important identifying characteristic for many mushrooms, especially the gilled fungi. To make a spore print, cut the stem off and place the cap gill-side or pore-side on a piece of white paper for coloured spores or coloured paper for white spores. (For best results use white paper and black paper). Cover with a bowl or jar. If the mushroom is at the right stage, not too young, old or deteriorated, the spores will slowly collect on the paper. A spore print will be visible in 12-24 hours. There’s over 100 different species belonging to 60 different genera in Northern Cyprus. Top Guides > Nature > Reptiles & Amphibians Herpetofauna All of the amphibians and reptiles that exist in a specific area. The herpetofauna of Northern Cyprus is represented by 3 amphibian and 23 reptile species (3 are turtles), 11 lizards and 9 snakes. The biodiversity of Cyprus fauna may not be as wide as continental Eastern Mediterranean countries, but due to its’ geographical isolation, endemism is high. Animals on Cyprus have been separated from their continental counterparts for so long they’ve evolved slightly differently. The Troodos lizard is one of 7 endemic species on the island. Geological formation of the island occurred over three geologic time periods. In the Palaeozoic period, Troodos Mountains started to emerge as an island. In the Mesosoic period the Pentadactylos Mountains started to take shape as another island. During the Cenozoic period, with sea levels changing, the Mesaria plain took shape and formed the island as it is today, so Cyprus has been separated from the Anatolian mainland for around 5 million years. This isolation had a crucial role in forming the present day herpetofauna of Cyprus and is probably the main reason for endemic reptile races. There are no venomous lizards or frogs in Cyprus but 30% of snakes are. Cat Snake and Eastern Montpellier Snakes are usually harmless. Even if they bite your fingers their fangs are way back in their upper jaws so they’re unlikely to pierce your skin. The Blunt-nosed Viper however, can be dangerous to mammals, including humans, as it has a large pair of venom fangs in the front of its upper jaw. ​ If you’re bitten by a venomous snake: ​ Reassure and calm the person. Immobilise the bite area, as movement may spread the venom. Immediately go to a hospital with antivenin facilities. If medical attention is going to be more than an hour away, a firm, but not tight, ligature can be applied over the bite area to slow the venom spreading. Cutting with a sterile razor or sucking the wound is not recommended. The first may induce shock and the second might poison the sucker! Washing with strong disinfectants or with potassium permanganate should be avoided. People who happen to be highly sensitive to snake venom may collapse. Get them medical attention asap. ​ Northern Cyprus Herpetofauna Name Family Endemic Budak's Skink Scincidae No Ocellated Skink Scincidae No Spotted Skink Scincidae Subspecies Level Worm Snake Typhlopidae No Large Whip Snake Colubridae No Dahl's Whip Snake Colubridae No Coin Snake Colubridae No Levantine Dwarf Snake Colubridae No Dice Snake Colubridae No Cat Snake Colubridae Subspecies Level Eastern Montpellier Snake Colubridae No Blunt-Nosed Viper Viperidae Subspecies Level Green Toad Bufonidae No Lemon-Yellow Tree Frog Hylidae No Levantine Marsh Frog Ranidae No Balkan Terrapin Geomydidae No Loggerhead Turtle Chelonidae No Green Turtle Chelonidae No Kotschy's Gecko Gekkonidae Subspecies Level Turkish Gecko Gekkonidae No Starred Agama Agamidae Subspecies Level European Chameleon Chamaelontidae No Spiny-Footed Lizard Lacertidae No Troodos Lizard Lacertidae Species Level Snake-Eyed Lizard Lacertidae Subspecies Level Top Guides > Nature > Snakes Snakes normally generate dread as people imagine they're going to jump out and bite, but the reality is that snakes just want to be left alone, so if you do come across one, leave it be! Even non-poisonous snakes may bite or whip their tails to defend themselves if they feel threatened, so simply turn round and walk the other way and they'll more often than not simply slide away or not react at all. Worm Snake The pink worm snake (Typhlops Vermicularis) is the most uncommon snake in Cyprus. It’s small, only 25-40 centimetres long, and its shape makes it look like a worm. It lives and hunts underground, eating ants, ant eggs and maggots, as well as spiders and insects. Snakes are an important part of the ecological system and their extinction would have grave consequences. There are many natural predators, including cats, which were imported in large quantities on the orders of a saint in the 4th century, and they are very effective at their job. The Large Whip Snake or Black Snake The Black Snake (Coluber Jugularis) is common in North Cyprus and non-venomous, but it does kill its prey by constriction (squeezing them to death!). Can grow to around 3 metres in length and is considered the longest snake in Europe. Up until 5-6 years of age, it has a brick colour with dark brown spots but later takes its' characteristic black colour. Can be found in heights up to 1,500 metres, habitat can be fields, forests, mountain areas and sometimes up a tree raiding a bird’s nest for eggs. Its diet consists of small mammals, bird, lizards and even other snakes. It was imported to keep the numbers of poisonous varieties down. It is completely harmless but considered dangerous when thretened. If found in danger, it lifts its body to bite, which is not poisonous but may last longer due to the curviness of its teeth. It is this snake which is most often seen on the island, and you can often see them on the road where they have been run over by a car. An adult has gleaming black skin with a bluish tint. The younger snakes are light brown with dark spots or stripes. The whip snake eats rodents and other snakes, and is a powerful enemy of the poisonous blunt-nosed viper. The Cyprus Whip Snake Non-venomous species endemic to Cyprus. Changes from olive-brown to a dark brown-black on maturing. Can grow to around 1.5m, is often seen in rocky, well vegetated areas near to streams and mainly feeds on lizards, snakes, frogs, rodents and inssects. It is completely harmless and will flee in the presence of humans. It's a rare breed on the island and located at heights up to 2,400 metres. It moves day as well as night. Ir prefers wet shady area near streams or dams which are covered by bushes or other vegetation. ​ The Coin Snake The coin Snake (Coluber Numifer) is non-venomous and often mistaken for the Blunt Nosed Viper, which is very dangerous, but the circles on its back are brighter and more distinct. Will hiss loudly if it feels threatened and can give a painful bite. Grows to around 1.4m, has a large head, is yellow or gray brown in colour and has distinctive markings on the top and side of its head with a roundish pattern along its length. Feeds on lizards, mice, small birds and geckos. Most often seen in the coastlines and mountain areas. ​ The Cat Snake Hunts at night so you may not see this one so much. Slow moving and venomous but not known to bite humans. If threatened, will coil up into a ring, raise itself and hiss at you. Can grow to around 1m in length, has a yellow-brown body colour covered with black spots and lives mainly on a diet of lizards. Not a common species, but you may find them in some coastal areas as well as the Troodos mountain area.You can find this snake at all heights, in open forest areas as well as residential areas and can lay to 8 eggs. It mainly feeds on small mammals as well as lizards. It hunts at dawn and dusk and kills its prey with venom and then swallows it. T he Montpellier Snake Venomous but very rarely would bite and the poison is not life threatening anyway, but would cause swelling and headaches so take note.. Usually grey-brown in colour and can grow to 2m in length. Has coarse scales which sound like grinding when slithering and ridged eyebrows make it look quite menacing. Found in forests, open fields, coastal and mountain areas, it feeds mainly on lizards, small mammals and insects. It also feeds on other snakes while the young feed on insects and mainly beetles. On the back of its jaw it has two large poisonous teeth. Its large eyes are characteristic of its good eyesight which is its main sense. The Blunt Nosed Viper The most dangerous snake in North Cyprus with a potentially deadly bite. It's also a protected species so it's illegal to kill them (even though their bite might kill you!). Grey-brown colour camouflages it with the rocky terrain it favours, so keep alert if you're walking in mountain areas. They're also known to like areas around swimming pools during the hotter summer months, because of wildlife that comes to drink at pool-sides. Can be quite fat in appearance and growing to around 1.5m with a diamond patterned back. It will warn you of its presence with hissing (how considerate!), but will attack quickly if threatened. Its bite is made more dangerous by the fact that it imbeds its fangs into tissue and pumps large amounts of poison into the wound. Top Guides > Nature > Tulipa Cypria This perennial bulb plant is a Cyprus endemic belonging to the Liliaceae family . Grown on the pastures around the Tepebaşı and Avtepe villages, the deep red flower blossoms can be seen in March and April. Under protection and picking forbidden, the absence of references to this endemic tulip species in ancient literature suggests that the Cyprus Tulip may be a recent mutant of a species which arrived within the last 300 – 400 years. Tulipa cypria, the Cyprus tulip, is an erect perennial bulbous herb, 15–40 cm high (in blossom), with glabrous, glaucous leaves. It flowers March–April. The fruit is a capsule. The Cypriot tulip grows in juniperus phoenicea maquis pastures and cereal fields, on limestone at altitudes of 100–300 m (330–980 ft) above sea level. The plant is endemic to Cyprus, on Akamas, Kormakitis and some areas of the Pentadaktylos range. It's very rare and strictly protected. Top Guides > Nature > SP OT ( Society for the Protection of Turtles) Top Guides > Nature > Water A new £270 million undersea water pipeline from Türkiye (Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project) puts water “on tap” in North Cyprus. Previously water come solely from rainfall and costly desalination and dry summers saw drinking, golf course and irrigation water shortages. Now the Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project, initiated by Türkiye 40 miles away, has guaranteed clean, pure drinking water for everyone in the TRNC and, potentially, eventually for the whole island. ​ Alakopru dam , built in Anamur in the Mersin province of Southern Türkiye, holds up to 4.61 billion cubic feet of water. The water goes to a pumping station which pumps it through an 80km (50 mile) long pipe, 250m nder the sea, to a pumping station in Northern Cyprus. There, it gets pumped to the massively expanded, spectacular Gecitkoy Dam , which nestles behind the Besparmak hills close to Kyrenia. This project has enhanced irrigation, agriculture and hence the standard of living, as well as ensuring that all residents and visitors never have to face water shortages in the future. The pipeline will also potentially provide electricity to Northern Cyprus from Türkiye. Dubbed “Peace Water” or in Turkish “Baris Su” – many experts hope the water can act as a catalyst for increasing co-operation between North and South Cyprus, as the South is urgently in need of a reliable supply of fresh water too. Half of the new water will be used for irrigation and half for domestic consumption . One thing's for sure – you can now benefit not just from the reported increase in land prices as a result of the pipeline, but also from beautifully pure and healthy Turkish spring water. On tap! Top Guides > Nature > Wild Donkeys You might have bumped into these lovely animals while exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Karpaz Peninsula, or paying a visit to the Apostolos Andreas Monastery , or out towards Zafer Burnu . Descended from the African wild ass, donkeys were domesticated around 4,000 BC. Traditionally, donkeys played an important role in agriculture on the Karpaz Peninsula, to carry olives from the groves and cereals from the fields to mills. Households often had one or two donkeys which were sure-footed and often able to carry more than a horse. However by the 1970’s, tractors and trucks began to replace these donkeys which were abandoned and left to fend for themselves. All stray donkeys across the island were subsequently rounded up and taken to the Karpaz , and despite farmers installing fences to protect their crops, many donkeys escaped into the wider area which is the protected National Park. ​ These hardworking, faithful, reliable and docile creatures with strikingly beautiful eyes are a must see for island sightseers. You’d be forgiven if you thought you saw horses at first, thanks to their sizeable bodies, but don’t let their size fool you, these donkeys are actually quite friendly. Lovers of open fields and tasty carrots or carobs, they enjoy being patted and given treats. Just make sure you don’t squeeze them too much because they'll show some attitude if you step too far into their comfort zones. The most popular and widespread type of the Cyprus Donkey has a dark coat with a white belly and is probably of European origin. This is the unusually large breed, which is a favourite amongst tourists. There’s also a smaller type of donkey that typically has a grey coat and has African roots. One thing is certain about both breeds: no matter their size or coat, you’ll love them just the same. The Cyprus Donkey isn’t the only animal unique to Cyprus. There’s the majestic Cyprus Mouflon , a wild sheep, which is classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Mediterranean Monk Seal is also under the “endangered” category, and has been spotted along the shores of Cyprus in increasing numbers over recent years, even though they’re not unique to Cyprus. Perhaps it was the focus on preserving these animals or many others, like green and loggerhead turtles, that left the friendly Cyprus Donkey slightly underappreciated over the years. When news broke out in 2008 that their numbers were declining, the reaction of the Cypriot population was so heartfelt that it sparked one of the first collaborations between both sides of the island in years. Top

  • Phonebook | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > Phonebook If there are any inaccuracies in this information, you would like your business added to this phone book, or have it listed in multiple categories, please Contact Us for further details. Search by Name Search Phonebook Filter by Category Name Number Category 1001 Airport Mall +90 392 444 1001 General Goods 11 Torch Development +90 533 841 1525 Unions & Associations 1cyptur Real Estate +90 548 880 2222 Estate Agents 33 @ Tims Cafe Bar +90 548 844 9256 Bars-Restaurants-Cafes 3b Bar & Restaurant +90 533 870 0321 Bars-Restaurants-Cafes 4 x 4 Uzbek Motors +90 533 868 2977 Car Sales 8 Design Interior Architecture & Env. Design Bureau +90 533 861 6018 Architecture A & D Construction Ltd +90 392 650 5040 Contractor A & G Industry & Trade Ltd +90 392 365 4504 Water & Gas A & G Industry & Trade Ltd +90 392 365 4504 Beer & Wine A & P Trading Ltd +90 392 236 8805 Food Products A & S Atun Ltd +90 392 365 5570 Customs Clearance A Final Sports Training Center Association +90 533 842 0388 Unions & Associations A New Me Dietitian Beauty +90 533 861 7635 Beauty Salons A Umut Internet Cafe +90 542 851 4151 Bars-Restaurants-Cafes A Unal Estate +90 542 854 5166 Estate Agents A-One Rent A Car +90 542 852 3006 Car Hire Aaron Guryel +90 533 860 3812 Legal Aaron Panther +90 533 821 5029 Hairdressers Aaron Said +90 542 853 8639 Catering Aaron Tosun +90 533 851 2112 Local Authority Aaron Turan +90 542 854 7410 Nature Abant Rent A Car +90 392 815 4524 Car Hire Abbasoglu Pharmacy +90 392 227 1664 Pharmacy Abbey Estates +90 533 840 5326 Estate Agents Abdican Ergin +90 533 836 5696 Car Hire Abdo Okur +90 542 852 1110 Auto Electrics Abdo Yurtgezer +90 542 866 1693 Furniture Abdul Jabbar +90 548 825 3230 Food Store Abdulaziz Sanverdi +90 533 836 0868 Bars-Restaurants-Cafes Abdulbaki Dilekci Ticaret Sti +90 533 852 2083 Food Store Abdulbaki Gokhan +90 533 843 3205 Construction Works Abdulgani San +90 533 842 5635 Furniture Abdulhalim At Abukuwaik +90 533 866 6116 Appliances & Accessories Abdulhamit Ildiz +90 533 844 5979 Bars-Restaurants-Cafes Abdulileh Kuday +90 533 832 8736 Hairdressers Abdulkadir Akturk +90 533 840 6861 Furniture Abdulkadir Astan +90 533 860 7491 Construction Works Abdulkadir Ayda +90 533 866 2946 Gifts & Souvenirs Abdulkadir Ercan +90 542 864 0809 Doctors Abdulkadir Ercan +90 392 366 8297 Doctors Abdulkadir Ermis +90 533 834 7578 Butchers Abdulkadir Odevci +90 548 875 8395 Food Store Abdulkadir True +90 533 877 9478 Construction Works Abdulkadir Ucar +90 542 872 0999 Health Products Abdulkadir Ucar +90 542 872 0999 Metal Workers Abdulkadir Yanar +90 542 851 4781 Water & Gas Abdulkafi Tumurlenk +90 533 836 4713 Construction Works Abdulkerim Eger +90 533 870 6929 Hairdressers Abdullah Akin +90 533 849 2926 Insulation 361

  • Experiences | North Cyprus - Whatsonintrnc

    Experiences > Below are some of the fabulous experiences North Cyprus offers. How to Make Cypriot Coffee / Kibris kahvesi / κυπριακο καφέ Play Video Easiest Flaouna, Pilavuna bread (Cyprus Cheese, Halloumi / Hellim & Eggs Savoury Snack) Play Video How To Drink Yeni Raki Play Video How to peel and eat Prickly Pear or Cactus Fruit in Cyprus. The Art of Peeling Prickly Pear Play Video Circassian Chicken Recipe - Traditional Turkish Recipes Play Video Cyprus Famous Potato Meatballs Recipe | How to make Cypriot Kofta, Keftedes Play Video My Turkey: The quest for the best Turkish delight Play Video Turkish Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe | How to make the Best Sarma Play Video Foodie Watch Now Easiest Flaouna, Pilavuna bread (Cyprus Cheese, Halloumi / Hellim & Eggs Savoury Snack) Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Discover Buyuk Han, Cyprus Play Video Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (Saint Nicholas's Cathedral), Famagusta, Northern Cyprus Play Video Porta Del Mare (Sea Gate) Famagusta, Gazimagusa Play Video Varosha,Ghost town, Famagusta by drone Phantom 3 Play Video Let's Explore #OurSharedHeritage - Nicosia Walls Play Video The Round Tower, Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus Play Video Amazing 4K walking tour around Famagusta Walled City in summer 2023! Play Video OTHELLO TOWER BRINGS CYPRIOTS TOGETHER Play Video Sightseeing Watch Now Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (Saint Nicholas's Cathedral), Famagusta, Northern Cyprus Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close We are the champions ! Ranch Riders celebrate victory ! Play Video North Cyprus Wedding short film Play Video 3 STUNNING Hikes in Northern Cyprus! Play Video FISHING in NORTH CYPRUS with LADYBOSS Play Video North Cyprus ATV Riders Club - Video no.1 Play Video Kyrenia Wednesday market, North Cyprus walking tour 4k 60fps Play Video Kaplica Beach | Zipline Adventures | Short Version | Flor Daza Play Video Travel North Cyprus with Cansu - My Favorite Sports In North Cyprus Play Video Things To Do Watch Now North Cyprus Wedding short film Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Travel North Cyprus with Cansu - Orange Festival Play Video Fazıl Say Concert Play Video The Truth About the Evil Eye - Your Guide to a Powerful Good Luck Charm! 🌟🔮 | Stay Protected Play Video Cittaslow North Cyprus Play Video Documentary The Noble Peasant Play Video Culture Watch Now Fazıl Say Concert Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close North Cyprus Health System Episode 3 Play Video North Cyprus Health System Episode 4 Play Video North Cyprus - Carrington's Spa full movie Play Video North Cyprus Health System Episode 5 Play Video North Cyprus Health System Episode 1 Play Video YogaKioo Institute Türkiye Play Video Health Watch Now North Cyprus Health System Episode 4 Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close The sunset View, From Besparmak Mountains, Northern Cyprus Play Video Tulipa cypria - Cyprus tulip, Τουλίπα η κυπρία - Κορμακίτης - Endemic to Cyprus - 19/3/2023 Play Video Cypriot blunt-nosed viper Play Video North Cyprus Water Project Play Video Incirli Cave in North Cyprus(Turkey side) Play Video Wild donkeys in Karpaz, North Cyprus Play Video Travel North Cyprus with Cansu - Spot Turtle Organisation Play Video Flora of Cyprus Play Video Nature Watch Now Tulipa cypria - Cyprus tulip, Τουλίπα η κυπρία - Κορμακίτης - Endemic to Cyprus - 19/3/2023 Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Interview with an investor in North Cyprus | Elections in Turkey | Earthquakes Play Video Visit Thalassa Beach Resort & Spa in Virtual Reality! Play Video Cyprus Residencies, North Cyprus Play Video Property Watch Now Visit Thalassa Beach Resort & Spa in Virtual Reality! Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Savyon Village, Catalkoy, North Cyprus Play Video Lefke, North Cyprus Play Video Wonderful view of Zeytinlik- Cihanara Tourism & Investment Play Video LAPTA, North Cyprus | Nordzypern , Кипр. Drone Cyprus. Play Video Northern Cyprus Bogaz Area Play Video Alsancak Camelot Beach from drone Play Video Villa For Sale Ozanköy, North Cyprus Play Video Bahamas Homes, Bahceli, North Cyprus | Phase 3 On Sale Now! Play Video Locations Watch Now Lefke, North Cyprus Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Why school education in North Cyprus is the best for your kids? Play Video North Cyprus, 300 days of summer! Play Video Ercan Airport Play Video Travel North Cyprus with Cansu - Places for Kids In North Cyprus Play Video Visit North Cyprus Play Video A Rough Guide to Northern Cyprus Play Video North Cyprus 2020 Official Movie (English) Play Video Travel North Cyprus With Cansu - New Year in Kyrenia Play Video General Information Watch Now North Cyprus, 300 days of summer! Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Venedik Sütunu (The Venetian Column), Lefkoşa/Nicosia Play Video Varosha,Ghost town, Famagusta by drone Phantom 3 Play Video Soli Ruins / Soli Harabeleri Play Video Salamis Ruins Famagusta | North Cyprus 4K Play Video The Round Tower, Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus Play Video Porta Del Mare (Sea Gate) Famagusta, Gazimagusa Play Video Petra Tou Limnidi Cyprus Play Video OTHELLO TOWER BRINGS CYPRIOTS TOGETHER Play Video All Videos Watch Now Varosha,Ghost town, Famagusta by drone Phantom 3 Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close Top

  • Churches | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > Churches Apostolos Andreas Bellapais Abbey Sourp Magar Monastery St Francis Church St Mary Church Ayia Zone Ganchvor Monastery St Andrews Church St George of the Greeks St Nikolas Church Ayios Philon Panagia Chrysopolitissa St Anne Church St George of the Latins St Simeon Church Ayias Trias Basilica Panayia Pergamininiotissa St Barnabas Monastery St Mamas Monastery The Twin Churches Guides > Churches > Apostolos Andreas Monastery The easternmost monastery on the island, for hundreds of years it's served as an important resting place for followers of the Orthodox faith on pilgrimage to the Holy Land . As an important multi-faith place of pilgrimage, visitors from all over the world to this monastery offer their devotion or pray for healing. It's almost at the end of the Karpaz peninsula, and is a place of reverence by both Turkish and Greek Cypriots. It's thought there's been a monastery here since Byzantine times, and is possibly the location of the surrender of Isaac Commenos to Richard the Lionheart in 1191. St Andrew, a follower of John the Baptist, was the first man who was called to become a priest, and as such received the title of “O Protoklidos”, which means “the first one to have been called”. One of the stories about him is that on his way to Jerusalem, the boat in which he was sailing ran out of water, As the captain, who was blind in one eye, was wondering how he would find water, St Andrew told him that he would find water in the place where the monastery now stands. Those who went ashore found water there, as they had been told. The water was brought back to the ship, and as the captain drank the water, sight returned to his eye. He wanted to reward Stndrew by giving him valuable goods but St Andrew would not accept them. Instead, the captain and his crew converted to Christianity. Afterwards, the captain bought a very valuble icon of StAndrew and put it by the well. Thereafter, the site became a place of pilgrimage known as "the Lourdes of Cyprus " and in the 15th century, a small chapel was built close to the shore, where you can still collect the healing water. The church of the main monastery dates to the 18th century, with main buildings 100 years younger. ​ Although St Andrew is known primarily as a saint who is able to cure health problems related to the eyes, those who have other incurable illnesses or worries believe that they can be cured by praying to him too. Those who have their wishes granted, depending on the nature of their problem, leave a small figure of an eye, ear, hand or child made out of wax or metal next to the religious icons. Amongst the offerings made to StAndrew are money, silver, gold and other jewellery. Those who cannot come to the monastery can make an offering to him by taking a bottle of olive oil and throwing it into the sea at the closest point. It's believed that by taking control of the winds, St Andrew will ensure that sooner or later the bottles will be taken to the priests at the monastery. Mass pilgrimage only dates to the early 20th century. Apparently, in 1895, the son of Maria Georgiou was kidnapped. Seventeen years later, St Andrew appeared to her in a dream, telling her to pray for her son's return at the monastery. Living in Anatolia, she embarked on the crossing on a crowded boat. Telling her story during the journey, one of the passengers, a young Dervish priest, became more and more interested. Asking if her son had any distinguishing marks, and on hearing of a pair of birthmarks, he stripped off his clothes to reveal the same marks, and mother and son were reunited. ​ On your arrival, you'll see a courtyard, surrounded by cloisters where the pilgrims once stayed. Looking towards the sea, you 'll see the bell tower of the church where you'll find some icons and normally some nuns or a retired priest acting as caretakers. The small chaperl which has been built next to it in the Gothic style is the monastery's oldest building, thought to have been built in the 15th century. The church to the far west of the chapel was built in 1867 by the priest of DIpkarpaz, Babayuannu Ilkonomou. The monastery rooms which are set arounf the church and chapel qwew built attsome poit after1912. Further down the slope, you'll reach the oldest part of the monastery and the holy well. On two days of the year, the monastery is really busy; August 15th, Assumption Day (when Mary was "assumed" into heaven to be reunited with her soul), and November 30th, which is St Andrew's day. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece, Cyprus and Russia. Although the monastery fell into disrepair in recent years, funding for refurbishment was provided by Church of Cyprus, EVKAF Administration and the United States Agency for International Developmen t (USAID). The first phase concerned the restoration of the main church, and the building of a new north arcade. On November 30th, St Andrew's day, the completed first phase was handed back to the Church of Cyprus, and a service was held. Phase two will see the chapel and the fountain close to the shore renovated. Phase three will see the restoration of the buildings to the north of the church, and the final phase will involve the completion of external works below the main road, and landscaping. Top Guides > Churches > Ayia Zone Church Ayia Zone is typical of Orthodox churches built in later medieval times, with Gothic architecture incorporated into otherwise Byzantine forms. In the south east of Famagusta, close to St Nikolas church , it's one of 3 remaining Byzantine churches in the area, the other being St Simeon . A simple cross-shaped church it may well stand on earlier foundations. It's likely this church was abandoned or used for other purposes during the Ottoman reign, as it's maintained itself very well throughout hundreds of years. Ayia Zone is dedicated to the sacred belt of the Virgin Mary . According to tradition, the Holy Belt was made by the Virgin Mary herself out of camel hair,. was about 90cm long, with strings at the end to tie it up. Three days after she died, during her ascension, she gave the belt to the Apostle Thomas. Thomas and the other Apostles opened her grave, but didn't find her body so the belt is seen as proof of her ascension into heaven. At some point, it must have had a piece of this cloth, a sacred relic of the clothing of Mary. It's currently used as a rehearsal room for a local theatre group and contains fragmentary frescoes of the Archangel Michael . Top Guides > Churches > Ayia Philon Church Dating to the 10thcentury, this church was dedicated to the saint who converted people of Karpaz to Christianity in the 4thcentury. It was built on top of ruins from Hellenistic and Roman periods and is pretty much all that remains of the Phoenician port of Karpasia. Founded by King Pygmalion of Cyprus , it was a flourishing trading port between Salamis and Anatolia. It was abandoned in 802 after Arab raiders sacked it and inhabitants moved inland, founding Dipkarpaz. Traces of the old harbour wall can still be seen offshore, but the majority of the village is now under sand dunes west of the church. The church is named after St Philo , who converted locals to Christianity, and had been ordained by St Epiphanios in the 4th Century. (St Epiphanios' Basilica is at Salamis). It's a typically domed Byzantine church, with a 3-part apse and a courtyard surrounded by columns. There's a cistern and baptising room, as well as numerous mosaics from the earlier structure. Top Guides > Churches > Ayias Trias Basilica To the North of the small village of Sipahi , this basilica has been dated to the end of the 5thcentury. Destroyed by Arab raiders in the 7th century, it was discovered by accident in 1957 and is famous for its well-preserved mosaics, but they've been left to the elements and their colours are fading. It must have been a grand building in its day, with the richness of the floors suggesting wealth of the surrounding areas in Byzantine times. Decorated with geometric, leaf and cross motifs, there's also an inscription in front of the main apse which credits a deacon called Heraclos as having “paid for the building of this part of the structure”. There are 3 unusual areas of mosaic. Two show pairs of sandals, one facing in and one facing outward as well as a representation of pomegranates. The site boasts remains of what must have been an impressive solea , a barrier running down the middle of the church, marking out spaces for clergy and other members of the congregation. A cross-shaped baptismal pool can be seen in the baptistery. There's also a number of wheat mills, thought to have been used to grind wheat for bread used in religious ceremonies. In May 2018, plans were announced for preservation works. Top Guides > Churches > Bellapais Abbey Bellapais Abbey, also known as Bellapais Monastery, was founded by the French ruler Aimery , to house Augustinian monks expelled from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre when Jerusalem fell to Saladin in 1187. Known as the “Abbaye de la Paix”, (Abbey of Peace), most of what remains dates from 1267–84, with the cloisters and refectory added in 1324–59. In its early years the monastery adopted strict beliefs, but as time went by it became known as a place where monks ate and drank to excess, took wives (sometimes two or three), had children, and would then only accept their own sons into the monastery as novices. Very French you might say. Though it built up considerable wealth, its treasure was plundered by the Genoese in 1373. After the Ottoman Conquest in 1571 the abbey became derelict, and was raided for its dressed building stone, although the church escaped as it was used by the local Greek Orthodox community. ​ Vandalization of the monastery continued under the British, who even used the refectory as a rifle range. Very British you might say. It's not uncommon for Monasteries and abbeys to be built in spectacular locations and this is no exception. The ruins overlook the sea from a small square filled with trees, lawns, flowerbeds and park benches. When you go in, you’ll see the Kybele Restaurant , which occupies the abbey’s kitchen court, and a set of steps to the abbey’s medieval tower which is far too good a photo-op to miss.Tall Gothic arches standing shoulder to shoulder invite you into the cloisters. This is one of the iconic images of North Cyprus and a must visit place on your holidays. The flat roofed church is the most complete part of the monastery. North of the church are the cloisters, the most atmospheric part of the abbey. Poplar trees were planted in the quadrangle in 1940, and are now home to a flock of sparrows whose constant chirping just adds to the unique atmosphere of the place. To the north of the cloisters, accessed via a superb doorway with dog-tooth edges and three Lusignan coats of arms, is the refectory. 30m long, 10m wide and 12m high, it’s covered by a single-span stone vaulted roof, an architectural triumph considering it stands at the edge of a cliff. It's illuminated by natural light that streams through its windows, throwing shadows across the columns. At one end was the Abbot’s high table in front of long tables of the monks. There’s also a pulpit where scriptures would be read to silently eating monks. Outside the refectory is a fountain where monks would wash their hands and if you look carefully you can make out the Roman sarcophagus into which it’s been incorporated. Concerts and musical events take place in the abbey from May to October , mostly in the refectory. It’s also used for weddings during summer months, and it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful and romantic setting. ​ Lawrence Durrell lived in Bellapais from 1953–56. His house is up from the abbey square, past the Tatlisu market on Aci Limon Sokak (Bitter Lemon Street) and has a ceramic plaque above the door. Across the road is the public water fountain (marked “ER 1953”), which played a prominent part in the tortuous and hilarious process of buying the house, which takes up a whole chapter in his book. Another chapter of the book is devoted to the “Tree of Idleness ” that stands opposite the abbey. Durrell was warned never to sit under it because “its shadow incapacitates one for serious work”, a belief that arose from the idle hours spent by many villagers under the tree. Legend has it that those who sit under the tree will become so lethargic and relaxed they’ll be unwilling to work, and Durrell was struck by how true this legend seemed. It‘s now the centrepiece of a pretty good restaurant. The Village Halfway between St Hilarion and Buffavento , 210m above sea level, is the flower-covered village of Bellapais. Full of narrow lanes and steep hills with views of Kyrenia, Bellapais is best known for its medieval abbey, one of the most beautiful in the eastern Mediterranean. The village itself is a step back in time, with quiet lanes and whitewashed houses. The name Bellapais comes from the French ‘belle paix’, meaning ‘beautiful peace ’. It's popular because of the abbey, but was also made more famous by English author Lawrence Durrell who lived here in the 1950s ,and included descriptions of the village and its inhabitants in his classic holiday reading book “Bitter Lemons ”. To find Bellapais, head east from Kyrenia, turn right at the Bellapais-signposted “peace” roundabout (with its two figures holding olive branches), then take the first main turning left. At the top of the hill, turn left at the roundabout, and continue on to the village where there’s parking. There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in the village, with many in the square overlooking the abbey. While the abbey is definitely a must see, there’s also ancient crusader paths that criss-cross the mountains where you can follow in the footsteps of Richard the Lionheart. Accommodation There’s a good choice of accommodation if you’d like to stay in the village. A stone’s thrown from the Abbey is The Abbey Inn , a small boutique hotel with only ten rooms, small pool and a restaurant. Close by is another small but quality hotel called The Residence . Then there's Bellapais Monastery Village , and further down the road, about half-way to Kyrenia, is Altinkaya Holiday Village . A short walk from the abbey takes you to Bellapais Garden Top Guides > Churches > Ganchvor Monastery Ganchvor Sourp Asdvadzadzin is the Armenian Apostolic church located within the walled city of Famagusta. The Armenians escaped Mameluke attacks against Ayas of Cilicia and arrived from the southern coast of Turkey, before the French Lusignans arrived. Like other non-Latin or non-Orthodox Christians, they settled in the Syrian quarter of the city, especially populated with Carmelites . The Armenian church was built in 1346 by Armenian refugees from Cilicia in a typical fortress-like Armenian style with Cypriot masonry. and was part of an important monastic and cultural centre, where Saint Nerses Lampronatsi is said to have studied in the 12th century, suggesting it was an important theological institute. A scriptorium devoted to the writing, copying and illuminating of manuscripts operated here, manuscripts of which survive at the Armenian Saint James’ Monastery in Jerusalem. After the Ottoman siege, the church became unused from 1571. Records show that until 1862, it featured a small bell-tower. It was preserved by the Department of Antiquities in 1907 and in 1936 it was leased to the Armenian community of Famagusta for a period of 99 years. After repairs between 1937 and 1944, the first liturgy was held on 14 January 1945 by Archimandrite Krikor Bahlavouni, but it was partially burnt by militia in 1957. After being repaired, it was used as a church until 1962. It was taken over by Turkish Cypriots and then in August 1974 by the Turkish military. Even after the partial lifting of movement restrictions by Northern Cyprus in 2003, it was still inaccessible, as it was located within a "military area". It’s now accessible. It's small, with only one aisle and a cylindrical apse. The roof is in the shape of a cruciform, and the apse is covered with a semi-dome. There is some evidence that a second chapel was added to the north east, but this hasn’t survived. Outside the church, crosses have been inscribed on the wall by pilgrims as a declaration of faith. Beyond the southern door, you can also see traces of a medieval sun dial . It adjoins the Carmelite church, which was established at a similar period, as part of a monastic complex dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Top Guides > Churches > Panagia Chrysopolitissa Kyrenia's Oldest Church. Dating to the 1500’s it was built as a Latin church and set in narrow back streets behind Kyrenia Harbour, almost opposite the rear entrance to the Folk Art Museum . The interesting architectural feature is a Gothic doorway on the north side. The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is also depicted on the wall of the front entrance. Though now blocked up it doesn't appear to be in its' original state and may well have come from another, and larger, Gothic building. Top Guides > Churches > Panayia Pergamininiotissa A late Byzantine church, dating from the 11th century in Tatlısu, an unspoilt coastal village 20 km from Esentepe. Has a interesting cylindrical apse but the building is square shaped, with the roof in the form of a cross, topped with a drum on which sits a small dome. It may have been built over a much earlier one, as foundations were exposed outside the apse during renovation. Wall paintings from the 11th and 12th centuries have mainly been removed, although some still remain. Look carefully and you can see the overgrown ruined foundations of buildings that once surrounded the church, reached via some paths. Works to prevent deterioration of the building means it is no longer possible to get inside, however it is still worth taking a look at, especially if you plan to tour the Minia Cyprus Museum within the same grounds, another must-see for visitors. Top Guides > Churches > Sourp Magar Monastery Also known as Magaravank , this is an Armenian monastery set in a forested valley in the Alevkaya range. First established in the 11th century as a Coptic (Egyptian Christian) monastery, it came into Armenian hands about the 15th century. The Armenians retained control of its lands under Venetian and Ottoman rule when it was often called the Blue Monastery, on account of the colour of the doors and windows. 530 metres above sea level, also referred to as the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, Sourp Magar had been a religious centre for Armenians for centuries, the quiet surroundings providing a haven for clergymen and laymen alike. The Armenian community in Nicosia used it as a summer retreat, and it became a stopover for pilgrims headed for Jerusalem. It once housed a collection of manuscripts and other sacred items which were relocated to the Holy See of Cilicia in 1947. Upheavals in the Ottoman empire at the beginning of the 20th century resulted in the arrival of thousands of Armenian refugees to the island, and the monastery opened its doors to orphans and those in need. It helped feed the hungry by developing farming on monastery lands which ran to around 3,000 acres. Although the last monks left in the early 20th century, the monastery remained a favourite place for Armenian families and schools to visit, as the grounds were particularly pleasant, especially in hot summer months. The residential buildings at Sourp Magar are extremely important for the history of architecture in Cyprus, being the best-preserved and most extensive examples of late medieval domestic building on the island, even in its current state. It consists of an irregular rectangle of two-storied residential buildings constructed around a generous precinct, sited on an overall slope. Two small churches or chapels, standing in the north-east part of the central courtyard, stand side-by-side. The largest chapel, with its vault still in place, was built in 1814. The line of residential buildings facing towards the north and east probably belong to the 15th century judging from the shape and style of the Gothic windows and doors. One window has a chevron design, a characteristic feature of later Gothic building in Cyprus. These buildings were probably put up when the Armenians first took possession of the site. Internally, the buildings are two-storied, with a simple arcade below and a walkway above. The walkway was originally edged by stone posts with wooden lintels. The roofs throughout rested on wooden beams and were covered with curved tiles. Inside the monastery enclosure you can still see the remains of an orchard with a tiny church and pilgrims’ cells lining the east and south perimeter walls. It's well worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere, marvel at the distant views or even picnic in the grounds. Armenians retain great attachment to their ancient establishment and pilgrimages have been made there in recent years. Access to this monastery lies on the road that leads from the Five Finger Mountain to Alevkaya. After driving for about 6.5km, looking down at the valley below, the monastery buildings will be seen nestling among the pine trees. Top Guides > Churches > St Andrews Church One of two Anglican churches in North Cyprus, St Andrew’s was built in 1913 thanks to the generosity of a lay reader Ernest Eldred McDonald and a wealthy Scottish mine owner George Houstoun, and is approaching 110 years of service to the Kyrenia community. The site of the Church was well chosen. A few yards from Kyrenia Castle and the Harbour , it's near to the centre of the town and much of the congregation is holiday visitors. Well seen from the outside, the church tower itself was constructed 25 years after the main build. Items of interest within the church include the bowl of the font, which is a domestic marble mortar found in 1949 at Lambousa and dated to the 6th century A.D. It's part of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf (one of the four dioceses that make up the Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East), which includes Cyprus, the Gulf States, Iraq and Yemen, and also a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Top Guides > Churches > St Anne Church The church of St Anne was probably built in the early 14th Century and was part of a monastic complex. It was erected in what was known as the Syrian quarter and was originally a Latin, Catholic church before it was passed to Maronites later in the century. Located in the walled city of Famagusta, next to the Martinengo Bastion , it forms part of the “Martinengo Cluster” – a collection of monuments conserved to promote the economic growth and territorial development of those regions. St Anne was restored by both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities in 2018. It consists of a single nave with 2 bays, with groin vaults separated by transverse ribs. The walls are supported by external buttresses, between which are tall windows, a typically Gothic feature. It's believed the original facade supported a belfry. Top Guides > Churches > St Barnabas Monastery Head west from Salamis and you’ll come to the Monastery of St Barnabas, once one of the most important Christian sites, now an archaeological and icon museum. Said to have been built as the result of a divinely inspired dream, it consists of the church of St Barnabas and monastery cloisters, which is a colonnade of pillars on three sides of a lush and well-tended garden. An extension. further colonnades and a campanile, though modern, fits in pretty well with the rest of the building. The white domes are the local landmarks. ​ The buildings An archaeological museum housed in rooms that overlook the garden, contains Neolithic axe-heads, Bronze Age pottery, Iron Age antiquities and Ottoman artefacts. A stunning collection dating back to the 7th Century BC, they're kept in the monks' old cells and are mostly intact. It also has a small gift shop and restaurant. ​ An Icon Museum housed in the church of St Barnabas is a large collection of lit-up icons, depicting mostly well-known religious figures which are in great condition. Some of the Orthodox furnishings remain, including the pulpit, a chair and the iconostasis or screen. Four frescoes to the right of the entrance tell the story of the finding of St Barnabas’s body. What is said to be the tomb of the Barnabas himself is housed in a 1950s-built mausoleum about 100 yards from the monastery, built on the spot where his remains were discovered. Brief History St Barnabas is the patron saint of Cyprus . Over the years, Cyprus had rulers with different religious beliefs which have intermingled and the result is an island with mixed religions, churches and mosques. In Roman times most people practised Judaism, including St. Barnabas who came from Salamis. He travelled to the Holy Land to study law, met Paul the apostle and converted to Christianity. He was made the Archbishop of Salamis, returned, founded the Cypriot church and became a preacher. See The Bible Acts 4: 36-37, & Acts 13: 1-5 for reference. He convinced the Roman ruler Sergius Paulus to adopt Christianity, making Cyprus the first country in the world to have a Christian ruler. Together with his cousin Mark the Evangelist and the pivotal St Paul, he travelled extensively in both Cyprus and Asia Minor, spreading the gospel. Barnabas was so successful the Jewish elders in Salamis had him stoned to death around 75 AD. Mark retrieved his body and buried it secretly in a cave to the west of the city. Over time, the location of the cave was forgotten. 400 years later Cypriot Church under Archbishop Anthemios was faced with a takeover bid by Antioch , the patriarch of which claimed the right to rule over the island’s Christians, a claim supported by Byzantine Emperor Zeno . In 478 AD, when all seemed lost, Anthemios was visited in a dream by the spirit of St Barnabas, who told him where his body was buried – beneath a distinctive carob tree on the western edge of Salamis. Anthemios discovered a skeleton along with a copy of The Gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew by St Barnabas himself. Anthemios shot off to Constantinople, donated the book to the Emperor and the Church of Cyprus was triumphantly granted autonomous status. Zeno also paid for a monastery to be built over the saint’s final resting place. In Cyprus, most churches feature an icon of Barnabas holding St Matthew’s gospel, placed in the backrest of the bishop’s chair. St Barnabas is said to be the patron saint of peace making and hailstorms , with St. Barnabas day taking place on June 11th. The monastery crumbled over the years and was replaced in the 18th Century. It was rebuilt with three domes, but lack of foundations and soft soil made one of the domes and an apse collapse. The third dome wasn’t replaced but the walls of the original apse can still be seen. Top Guides > Churches > St Francis Church During the life of St Francis of Assisi, this was the most important structure of the Franciscan order in Cyprus. It was part of a Franciscan monastery in the north of the Royal Palace of Venice, built by priests. Today it can be found close to the Venetian Palace. It consists of a three-sided apse with a small chapel off the south side. Buttressing supported the external walls. It was built in the 14th Century with funding supplied by Henry II who was known for his close ties with the Franciscans. Henry's reign was anything but peaceful. He saw the fall of Acre in 1291, was imprisoned himself from 1306 to 1310, and saw the disbandment of the Knights Templars in 1313. He funded the building of this church, the fortification of Famagusta, and the start of the rebuilding of St Nicholas Cathedral. The Franciscans were founded in 1209 by Francis of Assisi as part of the Catholic Church. Followers gave up all their possessions and life to live in poverty and they became famous for their love, simplicity and practices. Francis himself was believed to have visited Cyprus during a trip to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The Franciscans are one of the oldest and most important Latin religious groups in Cyprus, and their monasteries in Famagusta have become some of the city's most important religious structures. The site housed a monastery that occupied a large area within the city and because of its proximity, the Royal Palace once had a private entrance to the monastery and church, through a steeped road. Nobles from Famagusta, Genoa and overseas who contributed to the construction of the church are buried in this area. Archaeologists discovered tombs dating back to 1314-1474 under the church. Structurally, it resembled the Church of Mary with side chapels added. Outside walls are supported by struts, and visitors can see medieval stone workmanship outside the western gate. The monastery, which didn't survive, was believed to be located to the southwest of the church. Top Guides > Churches > St George of the Greeks Church This Nestorian Church , officially known as the Church of St George the Exile r, is in Famagusta. Not to be confused with St George of the Latins , it is the second largest church in Famagusta, and during the middle ages served as a Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Built in the 12th century around the time St Nicholas Cathedral was initiated, it was financed by East Syrian Nestorian merchants, the Lakhas brothers, who were known for their immense wealth. It's architecture and decorations were reminiscent of Southern French and Italian Gothic churches of the time, and may have been influenced by King Peter I’ s visit to Avignon in 1363, although its' architecture is also reminiscent of the 12th–13th century Crusader architecture in Palestine and Syria. ​ The Orthodox Cathedral When the French Catholic Lusignans took rule of the island in 1191, they inherited an island that was predominately eastern Orthodox, and they immediately reduced the power of the church. In doing so, the southeast corner of Famagusta became a compact Greek quarter, and a conglomeration of several churches came about, most still inherent today and within close proximity of one another. Although there was a perfectly serviceable cathedral church, namely the small Byzantine St Simeon Church , the Orthodox community wanted a place of worship that rivalled its neighbouring counterparts. They built the much greater church with a wide central nave, two side aisles and huge columns that held up the nave vaulting. Gothic elements were also added to the church’s north side to create a hybrid form of architecture that makes this 14th century Byzantine figure somewhat rare amongst Mediterranean churches. The central nave also featured chapels on both sides, leading to a cross nave, all with rounded apses. St George of the Greeks became the Orthodox cathedral of Famagusta and was dedicated to St Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis , who had gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. It's believed the saint’s remains were formerly buried at the adjacent St Simeon before his body was taken to Constantinople by Emperor Leo in the 9th century. Unfortunately, the structure was too large, with insufficient buttressing and a roof that was just too heavy, and years of modifications and renovations followed. The pillars throughout the nave were expanded to take more weight, and the roof was inserted with large upturned terracotta pots to spread the load. The church was not in existence long enough to find out if the revised compositions were sustainable. Taking the brunt of the Ottomans, evidence of which is still very evident in the remaining walls, the main of the build stood for a little over a hundred years. ​ Siege of Famagusta After the capture of the city, the church was converted into a stable for camels , with worship here only being permitted once a year, during the feast of St George the Exiler. The Ottoman siege in 1571 left its marks on the structure and visitors today can still see cannon ball marks on the top of the church and cannonballs still embedded in the walls. Consequently, little remains of its vaulted roof. It's believed that during this era the apse was used as a shooting gallery, and there is much evidence in the form of bullet holes to be seen. By the 18th century, it was more or less abandoned, with only a handful of residents living near to the desolate churches. Sailors from the nearby port would disembark and come into the city, sometimes sketching drawings of their ships into the plaster of these derelict churches. Some of these etchings can be seen at the western end of the St George Greek church. In 1905, the British administration handed the church to Greek Cypriots , who used it as their parish. By the 1930’s, many frescoes that were previously observed had disappeared, and between 1937 and 1939, Greek Cypriots undertook excavations and repaired some parts of the build. The church is still nevertheless home to numerous frescoes dated to the 14th and 15th centuries, depicting the life of Christ. Unlike Byzantine Orthodox churches, the frescoes in the Nestorian Church were not part of a unified design, and many were painted in differing periods by various artists. Visitors can still make out the faint outlines of once-rich frescos upon the interior stone walls. The apse on the other hand may have had a unified design, but this is impossible to ascertain given the level of damage. The church walls are made of ashlar and the structure has three naves and three apses. All three naves have entrances to their west. Originally, the church was built with a single nave and a protruding apse while the other two naves and two minor apses were added at a later date. Some fragments of wall paintings still cling to the walls of the eastern apse, and pieces of pottery jars sit within the ceiling, which were thought to improve the church acoustics. During the pre-Ottoman modifications, collars were added to support the overweight, and visitors will notice the remains of the iron clamps that were used to hold the blocks together. A drawing of the church from the 18th century shows a dome on the church, not unlike the one on the nearby St Nikolas Church , an octagonal drum with the dome sat on top. Even with the extra support added to the pillars, eventually the dome has fallen to inexistence. Along the walls of the church, you can see several arched niches. These alcoves were the tombs of the patrons of the church. The sarcophagus was at ground level, while the brackets you can see would have held a stone slab, probably with an effigy of the deceased carved on it. It's believed these niches were built after the walls, and their construction further weakened the roof support. Excavations on this site have also unearthed coloured glass, most likely from the old church windows. The only church in Famagusta that still has a bell, the Church of St George of the Greeks is one of the best-preserved from medieval times despite the damage incurred and yet another impressive ruin to add to your visit list with much to discover. Top Guides > Churches > St George of the Latins Church Sitting amid a traffic intersection, St George of the Latins is one of Famagusta’s oldest churches. Located in the northern part of the old city, close to Othello’s Tower , the remaining walls with their distinctive lancet windows, are a great example of early Gothic architecture. Though the precise date of its construction is unknown, evidence of a fortified parapet where defenders could protect the church, indicates that St George was built at a time when the Lusignans had not yet completed the city walls, most likely in the last quarter of the 13th century, using materials removed from Salamis. Its design is said to be inspired by Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture, and consecrated in 1248. Despite what remains today is predominantly the northern and eastern walls, the remnants indicate what the edifice may have looked like in its prime. ​ Thin columns built into the walls were usually elaborately carved with religious figures or with coats of arms belonging to benefactors of the church. Areas of the walls between the pillars were structured to be relatively free of weight, one of the main features of Gothic architecture, granting huge windows and substantial sunlight to enter the church. In the south west corner, the first steps of what was a spiral staircase leading up to the roof can be seen, and to the north west, remnants of a guard house with a conical roof, the entrance doorway still unmistakable. Following the line of the roof you can still see some of the protective wall, complete with arrow slots, another reason researchers believe the church was built before the city walls were completed. As was the case with most of the towering buildings, the city walls didn't provide complete protection and the church suffered damage during the Ottoman siege of 1570 – 1571, some of which can still be observed on the eastern wall of the church. The only entrance which survives is to the north, and this is comparatively well preserved. It's surrounded by carvings – a gargoyle in the form of a monk opening his mouth with his hand, most likely used to drain water from the walls, and also of a lion devouring a lamb. Not to be confused with the similarly named St George of the Greeks church which is a few minutes walk away. Top Guides > Churches > St Mamas Monastery Dedicated to the island’s beloved tax-repelling patron saint, the monastery was formerly the site of a pagan temple. St Mamas Monastery in Guzelyurt is the third most important place of worship for the Greek Orthodox in North Cyprus, after the St Barnabas Tomb at Famagusta and the Apostolos Andreas Monastery in Karpaz . Today it also houses several significant icons and artefacts. ​ Legendary Tales According to local legend, Mamas was a hermit living in extremely poor circumstances in a cave outside of town. When the authorities tried to tax him, he pleaded poverty and evaded them for some time. Soldiers were sent out to recoup the levy and arrested him at his dwelling. On the way back he escaped by jumping on to the back of a ferocious lion attacking a lamb, and he rode it all the way into town while carrying the injured lamb in his arms. On seeing this sight, the Byzantine authorities were so impressed that they decided to exempt him from paying taxes for the rest of his life and of any punishment. Since then, St Mamas has been the Patron Saint of tax avoiders and so famous locally there are over 10 churches on the island dedicated to this Christian Saint. Another tale says Mamas was killed in Anatolia and placed by his family in a stone coffin aided by Jesus Christ. The story continues with the coffin swept away to sea and washed up on the shores of Guzelyurt Bay. Discovered by a local farmer, he harnessed the immensely hefty coffin to two oxen and hauled it as far as the beasts could manage, and when they could go no further, a church was built around it. ​ The Church Most of this compound dates from the 18th century but its Iconostasis, the lavish wall of icons and religious paintings separating the nave from the sanctuary, is a gorgeous sample of artful wood carving of the 16th century. The church in the monastery was originally a Byzantine building, built on the site of an Aphrodite temple. It has been reconstructed at various times over the centuries, and most of the buildings today date to the 18th century, when the large central dome was also added. The side portals and columns of the nave survive from an earlier Gothic church built by the Lusignans. A strange mixture of Gothic and Byzantine styles, it’s more spacious than many other Orthodox churches on the island. It has a central nave, apse, and two side aisles, with the grand dome that rises above the nave at the altar end, pierced by six tall narrow windows. The columns are decorated with foliar carvings, vine leaves and visages carved with clear delineation. Into the Iconostasis are incorporated marble panels that are carved with Venetian coats of arms, and there are two marble pillars on either side of the Holy Door that are evidence of early recycling, probably from an earlier church, though not necessarily on this site. The pulpit was built in 1711, and the oldest icon is dated to around 1745. There’s no evidence this church was ever in use by members of the Catholic faith and therefore presumably it has always been a place of Orthodox worship. The most beautiful exhibit in the church is the magnificent crystal chandelier that hangs in the centre of the apse and surprises every visitor upon entry through the side entrance as its plain outer façade gives no hint of the splendid interior. Hundreds of droplets glow with all the iridescence of the spectrum when the lamps are lit, and it's flanked by smaller, though equally elegant, examples of the glass-blowers craft. St Mamas is shown as a relief on the outside of the church, as well as on several icons inside. Monastery buildings are to the north and east, and records show them as being built in 1779. Architecturally, the arches on the front of the northern buildings that reflect a traditional style, are quite different to those on the eastern side, which have a resemblance to 18th century Ottoman inns, with stone columns on the ground floor and timber balconies on the second. ​ Tomb of St Mamas The marble sarcophagus of the Saint can be found forming part of the north wall of the church, surrounded by richly carved decorations, many in the shape of ear drums, depicting scenes of excruciating martyrdom. It’s said that during Ottoman rule, believing there was treasure hidden in the coffin, they pierced holes into its lid, from which in turn an ointment liquid oozed out. This liquid, which appeared at irregular intervals, was purported to have curative properties. Around the tomb you will see offerings in the shape of ears since St Mamas is not only the Patron Saint of tax avoiders, but also of those suffering ear aches and infections! ​ Icon Museum Whilst the Icon collection isn't as extensive as the collection at the St Barnabas Monastery, St Mamas remains without doubt the most beautiful and best kept of all the Orthodox churches that are preserved as Icon Museums on the island, and is the highlight of any visit to Güzelyurt . The magnificent collection of religious Icons is certainly worth seeing, as is the skilled art and craftwork dating back many centuries. Top Guides > Churches > St Mary Church Located in the bastion precinct, this church was one of the city’s larger buildings. In the 13th century, middle eastern Christians fled the Holy Land and although Christian, their beliefs weren't Latin or Orthodox and they tended to congregate in the same area. In1311, Pope Clement V allowed the Carmelites to settle in Cyprus. Two other mendicant orders, the Franciscan and Dominican , were established 15 years prior and the Augustinians, the last of the mendicant orders, arrived shortly after. The Carmelites originated from the Carmel mountains of Northern Israel and settled in what later became known as the Syrian quarter of the city. The church was built in the 14th Century as part of a monastic complex dedicated to the Virgin Mary , hence its name. Other churches were built in the town at the same time, as Famagusta was one of the richest cities in Christendom. It was close to where the Venetians would later build the Martinengo Bastion in the 16th century. It adjoined the Armenian monastery, established at the same time, and was next to other monasteries Located in the bastion precinct, this church was one of the city’s larger buildings. In the 13th century, middle eastern Christians fled the Holy Land and although Christian, their beliefs weren't Latin or Orthodox and they tended to congregate in the same area. In1311, Pope Clement V allowed the Carmelites to settle in Cyprus. Two other mendicant orders, the Franciscan and Dominican , were established 15 years prior and the Augustinians, the last of the mendicant orders, arrived shortly after. The Carmelites originated from the Carmel mountains of Northern Israel and settled in what later became known as the Syrian quarter of the city. The church was built in the 14th Century as part of a monastic complex dedicated to the Virgin Mary , hence its name. Other churches were built in the town at the same time, as Famagusta was one of the richest cities in Christendom. It was close to where the Top Guides > Churches > St Nikolas Church This is one of 3 remaining Byzantine churches in Famagusta. St Nikolas is a small double-aisled church that history has taken its toll on, although some parts still remain and are visible. The structure had 2 domes , noticeable at the top of the piers. Below the window of the dome, a visible groove indicates something was lowered from here, possibly a chandelier or maybe the church bell. Three small holes in the wall create a triangular formation and behind these are hollow spaces made of clay pots that have been built in – a technique that lightened load to make it structurally more reliable. At the same time, these pots were thought to create better acoustics , creating a more heavenly aura. If you try chanting you can judge for yourself.. Top Guides > Churches > St Simeon Church In the early 14th century, the Church of St Simeon in Famagusta was described as the metochion of a Sinai monastery. Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt , controlled by the Church of Sinai and part of the Greek Orthodox Church, owned lands in Cyprus. The Sinai founded the priory of Saint Simeon, which Pope John XXII endowed with privileges in 1334. The term metochion when used with a monastery describes a dependent of the senior monastery, almost like a child that's being given blessing and support, to develop into an autonomous monastery or society. The metochion would perhaps receive clergy from that monastery or other forms of support. St Simeon is one of 3 churches remaining in Famagusta that were built during Byzantine rule, the others being Ayia Zoni and St Nikolas. An orthodox Bishopric was established early, and the Agios Simeon became the Orthodox Cathedral when citizens of Salamis moved to Famagusta. The cathedral was cruciform in shape and would have supported a dome. There were two aisles, each with a semi-circular apse and altar, situated behind a decorated iconostasis. It's reputed that the remains of St Epiphanios, Bishop of Salamis, were once enshrined here although his remains were taken to Constantinople by Emperor Leo in the 9th century. The St George church is also attached to the north wall, dedicated to this Bishop who had gained a reputation as a defender of orthodoxy. The Orthodox community built this newer and grander church alongside the old Simeon which later became abandoned. Top Guides > Churches > The Twin Churches Among the many churches in Famagusta, these two medieval buildings have an exhilarating story. Officially named Templars Church of St John and Hospitallers Church of St John they were built alongside one another within the same century, and together are known as the Twin Churches. The larger and older of the two is the Templars and together they were the centres of the two orders in Cyprus. Also known as the Knights Templa r, they formed one of the three great military orders of knighthood, founded around 1119 to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. They quickly rose to legendary wealth and influence for two centuries. At the head of the order was the Master of the Temple at Jerusalem until 1291. With the gradual loss of their possessions in the Holy Land and the fall of the Latin kingdom, the Templars relocated their headquarters to Cyprus which they had once previously acquired from King Richard I of England in 1192. The Hospitallers were a Christian organisation founded in Jerusalem in 1080, founded by St John the Almoner of Amathus , son of the Byzantine Governor of Cyprus Epiphanios, and provided care for poor, sick or injured or injured pilgrims to the Holy Land, and soon became the other Christian force in the region. After the first Crusade it became a military order, charged with upkeep and defence of the Holy Land. They soon became the most powerful Christian groups in the area, enjoying similar privileges and prosperity to the Templars, and, like them, sought refuge in Cyprus in 1291 after the fall of Acre, the crusaders’ last Levantine bastion. After their heyday, the two famous fighting orders of the Crusaders’ period met with very contrasting fates. Following the failed papal attempt to merge them into one, the Hospitallers were able to establish a lasting rule in Rhodos , while the Templars, persecuted by Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V , were dissolved and many of them burned at stake. The Hospitallers became involved in Cypriot politics. After the Templars were dissolved, they took over their Cypriot properties. Nonetheless, they constructed their own church abutting the older church, hence the Twin Churches of Famagusta, a testimony to the two orders’ adventures in Cyprus. A later addition saw a passage built connecting the churches. Above the doorway of the Templars, you can see a small rose window and above the opposite door, the coats of arms of the Knights Hospitallers are still visible. The belfry of this church is a much later addition, dating to the 16th century. Various Byzantine frescoes from the same period can be seen to this day on these walls. These churches have been since restored and are an historic site for thousands of visitors each year. A hundred metres over from the Twin Churches is the Somineli Ev or Chimney House , a hybrid of exterior Venetian architecture meets interior Ottoman design. The building has been modified since and is used for arts and crafts exhibitions. Top

  • Things To Do | North Cyprus Whatsonintrnc

    Things To Do > 39 Steps Casinos Eating Out Golf Luxury Hotels Rock Climbing Beaches Clubs Fishing Hiking Markets Water Sports Boat Trips Cycling Trails Fruit Picking Horse Riding Painting Classes Zipline Bowling Diving Go Karting Jeep Safari Quad Bike Things To Do > 39 Steps to a memorable experience Step Image Become a Foodie Catch your supper Climb to a castle Discover history Dive for treasure Drink with the local Drive thru the mountains Eat at a banquet Enjoy the lakeside Feed the Wild Donkeys Fly like a kite Gamble for fun Get to know Shakespeare Go under ground Haggle at markets Have fun in the water Hike thru the hills Hit the night life Marvel at history Pamper yourself silly Pay your respects Play championship golf Pray in an Abbey Relax and unwind Ride like the wind Sample the Lion's Milk Search thru a graveyard See things in focus Shop till you drop Soak up the sun Stay at a vineyard Style a new haircut Take in a boat trip Trek thru the Park Unleash the throttle Visit a theatre Walk through a ghost town Watch evolution Wet yourself with excitement Top Things To Do > Beaches Alagadi Beach, Kyrenia Alagadi Beach in Kyrenia consists of gorgeous wild flowers and soft clean sand. Nature photographers are guaranteed great shots of the white flowers growing there which are a protected species, so be careful. as there are big fines for picking them. If you want to see marine turtles this is definitely the place.The beach provides nesting for sea turtles, which is why it’s closed to visitors at night. But if you look up the Alagadi Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Centre , you may be able to join one of the groups that get to observe nesting. Golden Beach, Dipkarpaz Located on the Karpass Peninsula is beautiful Golden Beach at Dipkarpaz. The town is an eco-tourism centre, known for its historic architecture and the wild donkeys that still live there. Nearby, Apostolos Andreas Monastery is a popular pilgrimage destination as well as a haven for art and history lovers. Golden Beach provides opportunities to sunbathe and recharge but lacks shade, so pack plenty of sun-tan lotion. The water is crystal-clear, the sand a beautiful golden brown and restaurants nearby offer simple but delicious meals. Glapsides Beach, Famagusta A perfect choice for families. The sea is warm and very clear, with shallow water for kids to play in. It offers comfort and safety, and the gorgeous views complete the experience. You can enjoy local cafes or hire parasols and sunbeds or, if you prefer something livelier, Famagusta offers a wide range of bars, restaurants, organised nature tours, museums, and casinos. Between the relaxing beach and vibrant city nightlife, Glapsides is a popular choice for couples and honeymooners. ​ Escape Beach, Kyrenia Perfect if you love water sports and want to enjoy jet skiing, pedal boating, canoeing, volleyball, banana boats or scuba diving. The beach is very clean with lots of amenities, including showers available in restaurants, and the water is shallow with tiny waves. It’s very popular but somehow rarely overcrowded, with lawns next to the beach for comfortable lounging, and plenty of shade. Don’t miss out on the local clubbing scene either, as this is one of the hottest locations on the island, with a memorable vibe. ​ Silver Beach, Famagusta Crystal-clear water makes this beach a favourite for snorkelling. It’s wide, with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sand and fresh air, allowing you to explore the sea daffodils and other marine life uninterrupted. For adults, the water is only thigh-high for a long way in, so parents can relax and let their little ones get acquainted with the sea at their own pace. Sunbeds are available and there are restaurants nearby. ​ Acapulco Beach, Kyrenia Connected to a hotel and spa complex, non-guests pay for sunbeds, changing rooms and showers. Acapulco Beach is noted for extremely clean sand, water sports, tennis and golf. The nightlife is excellent as well. An interesting option is the Neolithic settlement of Vrysi on the eastern part of the beach, where you can visit the excavation site. ​ Agios Filon Beach, Dipkarpaz Another gorgeous beach for marine turtles, with scenic rocks you can climb if you’re in the mood for adventure. The beach is also close to one of the finest historical sites Northern Cyprus has to offer. Agion Filon (also known as Ayios Philon), is home to both a 5th-century and a 12th-century church. The newer church was built partly over the remains of the older one. You can see beautiful tiled floors, a hallmark of Byzantine architecture, as well as apses and parts of the roof. ​ Palm Beach, Famagusta A really unusual seaside location. Popular among locals, it has fine golden sand and the water is warm and clean. There’s a hotel there but just beyond the edges of the beach, you’ll find a string of dilapidated hotels, and further south, barbed-wire military fence. This is Varosha, the ghost town of North Cyprus. It’s not open to the public but you can see many abandoned buildings around the fenced-off area. In the 1970s, Varosha was an international tourist spot, attracting celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, and Richard Burton but in the political turmoil that split Cyprus, it was abandoned. A strange monument to the past, there are plans to reopen it. Top Things To Do > Boat Trips Vela Yachting Daily boat trip from Kyrenia to enjoy spectacular scenery, brilliant service and freedom to explore the coastline. There’s no better way to experience the taste of elegance and style than on board a well-arranged luxury yacht such as the Vela. They do day or sunset trips where you’ll feel the privilege of a limited number of guests and enjoy exquisite Mediterranean buffet of lunch and fruits. Day Trip with lunch and fruits 10:30 to 16:30. Sunset trip with dinner and fruits 18:30 to 22:30. ​ Cyprus Active A boat trip is a fun and enjoyable day out for all ages. The Kyrenia Harbour boat trip involves swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing and a Cypriot meze lunch along the picturesque Northern Coast. ​ Musa If you’re looking for a relaxing day out around Girne, book a boat trip with Musa. He’s had a trip advisor Certificate of Excellence for 5 years and is in their Hall of Fame. He’s also mentioned in the Lonely Planet tour book. You can book as a boat trip, dedicated fishing charter, or private trip with an opportunity to swim in the warm crystal waters along the coast. The boat drops anchor in areas usually busy with a variety of fish to swim among. ​ Scuba Cyprus Boat Trips Scuba Cyprus is a family run business, that offers quality services at affordable prices. The scuba Cyprus gullet situated in Kyrenia harbour is a traditional Cyprus built boat with twin engines. The boat is available on daily boat trips or for tailor made private hire trips. ​ Blue Bird Boat Tours Blue Bird Boat Tours offer a range of boat trips from the harbour in Kyrenia and travel along the coast, serving lunch along the way. A relaxing peaceful trip, Captain Bayram and his crew let you enjoy a wonderful trip out with our Traditional Turkish gullet. Lunch or dinner cooked by the Paptain, his famous fish and chicken and a range of homemade fresh mezes, finished off with fresh fruit. Blue Bird caters for daily tours, sunset trips, short trips, private trips or special occasions. ​ Happy Sea Yacht Tours Family operated company. See their Facebook page. Sailor and Civil Engineer University and sailing courses Turkish German English Professional tour guide ​ Sabrina Boat Tours Day and sunset trips for quiet times or parties. Good food Nice crew Nice boat Jumping off the boat into the sea What more can you ask for? See their Facebook page. ​ Go North Cyprus Take to the water to explore the coastline in a traditional wooden boat. Relax with a gentle swim, a delicious Mediterranean lunch and a snooze in the sun or get the adrenaline pumping with water sports. Relaxing cruise on traditional wooden boat Swim in clear sea direct from the boat Delicious grilled lunch with meze included Snorkel and meet the local marine life Optional sports including parasailing Professional, fun, English speaking guide Go North Cyprus will collect you from your hotel in Kyrenia, Nicosia or Famagusta. At the harbour, board your traditional wooden boat moored alongside fishing boats and pleasure craft. Watch the captain ease out into the sparkling sea beyond heading west in the direction of Escape Beach (most of the time) or east towards Acapulco Beach, depending on weather conditions. Your Captain knows all the best places to swim, so he’ll drop anchor at the very best. Enjoy a swim in the sea direct from the boat, or bring your own mask and snorkel. Freshly-cooked lunch is onboard, with a choice of grilled fish or chicken served with traditional meze selection. After lunch, snooze and sunbathe or sign up for jet skis, banana boating, or paragliding. There’s often time for an extra dip before you head back to Kyrenia. Get your camera out for some great selfies on board and lots of photos of Kyrenia and its landmarks from out at sea. The team will take you back to your hotel in Nicosia, Famagusta or Kyrenia. Departure time is between 09:00 am and 10:00 am. Duration is 8 hours. Top Things To Do > Bowling Great during the day or evening, bowling is something thr whole family can enjoy and is excellent value. As well as the bowling lanes, downstairs in The Kings Centre in Kyrenia is an arcade equipped with small kids rides as well as arcade games, pool tables, etc. You purchase a card topped up with as little or as much as you like to credit the machines and you can win tokens on many rides and games that can be exchanged for goodies. Lots of fun for all ages, individuals and groups. Food also available, reasonably priced food and drinks. Burgers, Pizzas, kids menu.... ​ No need to book, can just turn up and have fun or you can book for groups and parties. Definitely an ideal place on any given day no matter what time of year. Highly recommend. Top Things To Do > Casinos The casino scene in Northern Cyprus has really taken off in recent years attracting tourists and serious players alike. By day you can drive through spectacular mountain scenery then gamble the night away if you want. Casinos here have become a serious alternative for high rollers. People who went to Las Vegas, Macau or Monte Carlo now prefer our relaxing Mediterranean location and it's little surprise. Island wide casinos offer all the games punters are looking for including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, punto banco, baccarat and all their variations. North Cyprus is a destination of the World Poker Tour (WPT) drawing thousands of Texas and Omaha aces and there are several guaranteed prize tournaments held throughout the year. Even if you don't like gambling, the Hotel and Casino resorts offer a host of other amenities. Deluxe accommodation, spa and wellbeing centres, fine dining, beach clubs, spectacular stage shows, piano or jazz bars, pubs, cocktail roof bars and discos are all normal. Casino resorts like to go big and they draw international artists suchas Turkish pop megastar Tarkan , Swedish Iranian singer and judge of Persia’s Got Talent, Arash , world renowned flamenco and salsa group Gipsy Kings , even American socialite and DJ Paris Hilton ​. Hotel & Casino resorts combine luxury, elegance, indulgence and excitement but they're all walk in - you don't have to be staying at the associated resort to go in and play . If you are a high roller expect ultimate comfort and pleasure suchas private jets, king suites, Gurkha Royal Courtesan cigars to mention just a few. North Cyprus boasts more than 20 casinos. Most of them are located in Kyrenia, with some also in Famagusta and Nicosia and most ask men to wear a suit and tie and ladies to wear formal dress for the gaming rooms. Smart casual is usually accepted for the slots area but Jeans or sport shoes are not normally allowed. * One final request. Please gamble responsibly within the limits of your own budget,and take regular breaks if playing for extended periods of time. The Colony Lords Palace Elexus Merit Crystal Cove Rocks Hotel Linak Deluxe Cratos Premium Merit Crystal Cove Merit Royal Kaya Palazzo COncorde Merit Park Kaya Artemis Acapulco Top Things To Do > Clubs You’ll probably be pleased to know there’s plenty of nightlife in Northern Cyprus to keep you occupied. Northern Cyprus is as peaceful and tranquil as you want it to be, but once in a while it’s nice to know you’re not far from entertainment like dancing, singing or just listening to some good music within a disco atmosphere. Concept parties, stage performers, live PA’s, light shows, fireworks’ displays, and sublime cocktails can be expected in a ‘normal’ night. All venues have security, and anti-social behaviour is not tolerated. Northern Cyprus prefers calm and cool, and ladies on their own have nothing to be nervous about their surroundings. Dress codes are important, smart casual is always a must for men, and most venues don't allow groups of guys only. “If you prefer style and lavish head to the North, if you prefer chavish go to Ayia Napa!” If you’re after a cosier atmosphere, roof bars and beach bars offer a calmer and stylish ambiance with DJs, live music, jazz or latin popular in smaller concept venues. BTW, clubs and discos are most definitely clubs and discos in Northern Cyprus. Night clubs are something different where ladies of the night earn a living. Just so you know! ​ Open Air Clubs Often located in or next to hotels or beach clubs. One of the most popular is Escape Beach Club in Alsancak, and is well known for fantastic international DJ nights and having a fun party twist. Escape has a well-stocked bar and heaps of room to dance around, allowing you to have a memorable night out!. Escape is open really only for the main summer months but it’s definitely one of the best clubs on the island, North or South. Other clubs around the same area of Alsancak and Lapta are Sunset Beach and Camelot . ​ Club Nightpark in the heart of Kyrenia and next to the main car park area, is one of the best clubbing hotspots at weekends. Again they have DJ slots and play heaps of up-to-date club music. They even carry on in the winter-tim,e with DJs travelling from all over to put on some excellent party nights. Others are stalwarts for DJ sets and club music nights, such as Club Acapulco which is located within the Acapulco Resort itself, and even some of the hotels have some good nightspots like the Zeta Club at the Jasmine Court Hotel. Slightly further east, you also have the Mansion Club which has been opened by the Malpas Hotel, with a beachfront location and chilled out décor and decent DJs. In Famagusta, you have Lions Gardens , which is a huge complex offering more than just a club venue. It carries on throughout the year with international DJ sets, and it finds a wide variety of excuses to hold various parties! Some of the bigger hotels such as the Salamis Conti and Bilfer Palm Beach, also have their own disco facilities. To get in to any clubs in Northern Cyprus, you have to be aged 18 or over and should carry some ID with you if you think you look younger. Lads do have to pay to get into some of the clubs, whereas girls often get in for free. Taxis are always around, and the clubs should look after you by calling one if you require, but bear in mind that there are also water taxi services to take people back to Kyrenia. Top Things To Do > Cycling Trails With perfect weather conditions, varied and challenging terrain, and beautiful scenery, Northern Cyprus is a firm favourite for leisurely and competitive cycling, all year round. Enthusiasts love the island’s rugged character, which can go from rocky to clay, and steep to flat, within the space of 10km. Whether venturing out on your own or following one of the myriad of routes, the roads ahead unfold across scenic urban, rural, mountainous and coastal terrain, with plenty to discover along the way. You'll find all manner of sights including streams, forests, quaint villages, the natural, the cultural and the historical, and it's easy to end up somewhere delightfully unexpected. ​ Biking Holidays Biking holidays are becoming more and more popular and many travel agents offer these. A typical itinerary would be something like this: DAY 1 - Start in Famagusta DAY 2 - Famagusta by bike DAY 3 - Famagusta - Salamis - Bogaz DAY 4 - Cross Karpaz peninsula to Karpaz Gate Marina DAY 5 - North coast then inland to Dipkarpaz DAY 6 - Through Karpaz National Park - Cape Andreas DAY 7 - Cycle then drive to Kyrenia via Kantara DAY 8 - Trip ends Kyrenia This tour would cycle 177km over 5days (an average of 35km per day), but you could extend that by a further 70km if you wish. Bike is typically a 21 gear mountain bike with front suspension, water bottle holder and facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish . Spare parts and maintenance would be taken care of. All you'd need to bring is your own head gear. ​ Biking Trails Extensive biking trails span from the west to to Karpaz. Along these trails, you'll find agricultural fields, pine forests and carob and olive orchards in the Akdeniz Protected Area. The trails in these areas are mostly flat and smooth dirt roads among the fields, and sandy and rocky trails along the coastline. The Kyrenia Mountain Range offers a wide variety of trails at different levels of difficulty. There are two fairly flat roads which provide alternatives for the more difficult dirt roads with many ups and downs. The trails are mostly through Pine forests, along the North and South facing slopes with views over the Mediterranean Sea and Mesaoria Plain . The mountain range extends into the Karpaz Peninsula and the trails become less steep here and reach the famous Apostolos Andreas Monastery near the tip of the Island. The network is comprised of 580 km of trails covering the Northern part of the island. Boards with maps and information about the area are installed at most of the trail heads, and all trails are marked with white and green signs to make them easier to follow. The trails are all connected to each other and intertwine, allowing you to choose the best path for you and completely personalise your biking experience. ​ Top Trails Alevkaya Bellapais-Buffavento Restaurant Buffavento Castle Catalkoy to Besparmak Karmi to St Hilarion Karsiyaka to Lapta Kyrenia Muntains to Alevkaya Lapta Coastal Walkway Top Things To Do > Diving Northern Cyprus has one of the longest diving seasons in the Med, with crystal clear waters giving visibility up to 30m and the most exciting reef formations. The warm water around North Cyprus attracts marine life from the Red Sea, via the Suez Canal, and gets washed in by the gentle currents. You’ll find an unbelievable variety of fish such as Stingrays, Grouper, Scorpion, Amberjacks and Wrasse. Coral and sponges grow in abundance and among the rocks lurk eel and octopus. It’s also a major breeding ground of Green and Loggerhead Turtle, so this is one of the few places where divers can swim with turtles. There’s more than 20 unique diving sites east and west of Kyrenia as well as diving safaris to other places along the coast or to the south of the island. You can try scuba diving for the first time; take a basic PADI course; or go for one of the speciality courses available. Private groups and families are catered for and dry suits ensure dives won’t be spoiled if the water temperature falls below comfortable. Equipment available to rent or buy: Regulators, BCD's, Masks, Fins, Snorkels, Dry/wet suits, Boots, Gloves. Services available by qualified technicians : Servicing, Repairs, Hydrostatic Tank Testing, Air Fills. ​ PADI , The world's largest diver training organisation has authorised centres in Northern Cyprus offering: Try Dive and Bubble Makers - First underwater experience for children 8+. Discover Scuba Diving - 1st step diver education. Min age: 10 Open Water Diver Course - Entry-level. Trains to be qualified to dive anywhere to a maximum depth of 18 meters. Advanced Open Water Dive r - Extension of the Open water Course. Qualifies diving to a maximum of 30 meters. Emergency First Response (EFR) - CPR & First Aid. Recognised by UK HSE and can be used in the work place. EFR Instructor - Qualifies you to teach CPR and first aid. Rescue Diver Course - Teaches to organise and assist in a diving emergency and how to administer oxygen. Divemaster Course - Leadership training and professional membership of PADI. Assistant Instructor Course - Preparation for Open Water Scuba Instructor training. Instructor - Qualifies you to teach and certify PADI Scuba programmes, enrol on speciality courses or start a new business. IDC Staff Instructor - Prepares you to shape the next generation of PADI Professionals. Some of the Speciality Courses available in Northern Cyprus: Boat Diving Underwater Navigation Deep Diving Underwater Naturalist Fish ID Wreck Diving Multilevel Diving Equipment Specialist Night Diving Digital Underwater Photography Nitrox Emergency Oxygen Provider Underwater Naturalist Underwater Navigation Example of a dive site – Plane Wreck 500m north of a beach close to Esentepe sits a lonely rock known as DOMUZ TASI, and 100m to the east of that lies the wreck of a WW2 twin-engine bomber. Originally thought to be a WELLINGTON, RAF Hendon has suggested that it could be a BRISTOL BEAUFORT or BEAUFIGHTER. In 1944 a squadron of Wellingtons was based in Malta, then superseded by Beaufighters, which required less crew. Photos are being studied by the RAF museum at Hendon and the Imperial War Museum to provide a positive ID. The dive boat is boarded from a beach, and 5 minutes later you’ll be anchoring close to engine number 1 of the plane. Generally, visibility is very good (in excess of 20m). There’s usually a westerly current, which varies in strength depending on wind direction. Water temperatures vary from 27° in summer to about 15° in winter. The seabed is mostly Neptune grass with sandy gully areas dotted around. Engine number 1 lies in 12.5m of water and engine number 2 in 14m. Moving south-west from engine number 1 for about 20m brings you to the machine gun and electrical generator, and what looks like an air intake for the engine. This is home to a large Octopus, so no further exploration has been done so as to not disturb this guest. North from there you’ll find the engine oil coolers, then north-west to a depth of 23m you’ll find the fuselage in a sandy gulley. Northeast from there, the cockpit section containing throttles, dials and engine controls also comes into view. Up to now, this site has been dived relatively few times, and each dive seems to produce a new piece of wreckage with, it's hoped, much more to find. Because of the size of the area it’s very easy to become immersed in discovery, so it’s very important to monitor air supply. Example of a dive site - Power Station The Power station is about 1.5 miles north of the large power plant west of Kyrenia. The setting is exposed, so checking the weather forecast beforehand is a must. This is a large site and usually warrants two dives to cover the whole complex of rock formation. Unlike a classic reef structure, this site reminds you of three large pyramid rock structures, with other large boulders and rocks scattered about. The tops of the rocks are at 9 metres and extend down to 30-34m. As you enter the water, drop down to 9 metres and fin to the north end of the site. The bare rocks are pitted with indentations full of marine life. Around the rock you’ll see striped groupers, moray eels, amberjacks, stingrays, sea breams, parrotfish and large schools of mackerel, especially in September and October. On the sandy bottom, at around 30m, you’ll find rocks covered by colourful sponges filled with soldier fish. At the end of the site where the grass begins, there’s a large cave at 31m. The wide entrance and interior of the cave is decorated with a variety of colourful sponges, lobsters and small marine life. You’ll also see black-spotted nudibranch on the sponges. Moving to the outer edges of the site, you’ll start to see the predominant Neptune grass. You can slowly ascend along the rock surfaces and enjoy the rich marine activity of this dive site. You’ll never tire of this dive site. It’s a little off the beaten track so the marine life is secure and abundant in their isolation. ​ Example of a dive site - Zenobia Around 2:30am on 7 June 1980, the Zenobia capsized and sank in Larnaca Bay, 1500 meters from the shore, at a depth of roughly 42m/138ft, taking her estimated £200 million worth of cargo with her. There were no casualties in the disaster. The wreck is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 recreational dive sites worldwide. As a dive site, Zenobia provides a wide range of challenges, from a fairly simple dive to 16m depth along the starboard side of the ship, to a more advanced dive inside the upper car deck and accommodation block, right up to extremely adventurous dives within the lower car deck or the engine room, which are only suitable for very experienced divers. Day trips to the Zenobia dive site can be organised from Northern Cyprus. Departing around 6.20am and arriving back about 3:30pm, the trip includes two dives and a BBQ lunch. Other Dive Sites Ancient Wreck – the ship sank in this area more than two thousand years old. The wreck was discovered in 1965 and restored by underwater archeologists. The remains of the 15m long vessel lie at a depth of 24m. Diving here is for the history, rather than for marine life. Location: Kyrenia Type of dive: boat dive Sea bed: sand Requirements: BSAC Sports Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water ​ Bambi – this is a shallow (14m) and easy dive, ideal for beginners. It's a more or less flat area and can be a good location for night dives. Divers can admire a beautiful 150m long reef, large boulders, colourful fish and other marine organisms. Even turtles can be seen in this area. Location: Kyrenia Type of dive: shore dive Sea bed: sand Requirements: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water ​ Fred – this site offers beautiful coral formations, but the real attractions here are the friendly fish such as groupers, breams and triggerfish, waiting for food that divers bring (boiled eggs, bread). The depth ranges from 13m to 29m. Location: Girne Type of dive: shore/boat dive Sea bed: rock Requirements: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water ​ Karpaz Wreck – the wreck lies at a maximum depth of 16m. Divers can also admire picturesque scenery with colourful sponges and abundant marine life. There is a wide cave at a depth of 28m in this area. Location: Karpaz Peninsula Type of dive: boat dive Sea bed: sand Requirements: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water ​ Paradise – this is a deep and excellent dive. With a depth ranging from 24m to 43m it's a diving paradise. Reef, walls, holes, canyons and abundant marine life. Location: Sunset Beach (Kyrenia) Type of dive: boat dive Sea bed: rock Requirements: BSAC Sports Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water ​ Pinocchio – the scenery here is very picturesque, with boulders and rock formations, colourful sea slugs and abundant fish species. The average depth is 20m. Location: Sunset Beach (Kyrenia) Type of dive: boat dive Sea bed: rock Requirements: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water Diver ​ Zephyros – the main attractions are large reef systems, unique rock formations and old anchors. Maximum depth is 32m but there is also much to see at 20m. This dive site is good both for beginners and advanced divers. Location: Sunset Beach (Kyrenia) Type of dive: boat dive Sea bed: rock Requirements: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water ​ Zeyko – Main attraction is a beautiful reef and some magnificent rock formations (walls, holes). Colourful sponges, corals and fish species make this dive a good choice. The depth ranges from 12m to 40m. Location: Kyrenia harbour Type of dive: boat dive Sea bed: rock Requirements: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water ​ Northern Cyprus Diving Centres Amphora Dive Centre North Cyprus British Scuba Centre Scuba Cyprus Dive Hub Blue Dolphin Top Things To Do > Eating Out Top Things To Do > Fishing Offshore fishing is available at either Sunrise or Sunset and you should allow up to 5 hours for the trip. All fishing tackle, safety equipment and refreshments are usually supplied, and catches include Albacore Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Mediterranean Spearfish and Dorado. Private trips can be arranged and fishing is year round with catch depending on season. ​ Friend Ship North Cyprus Ex 737 pilot Captain Bekir Kasapoglu operates this 29’ boat, powered by twin 115 HP Mercury engines. Accommodates up to 8 and features a toilet, kitchen, fridge, multi-media system, & tons of seating. GPS and Fish Finder help locate targets & the live well keeps bait fresh. Beginners, pros, or families are all welcome. The warm Mediterranean waters are home to plenty of delicious Tuna including Skipjack, Dogtooth, and Bluefin. You’ll also have your shot at Grouper, Barracuda, and Mahi Mahi. Capt. Bekir brings all the gear you need, as well are lures and fishing licenses. Snacks and drinks are provided so you can fully relax and enjoy your time. At the end of the trip, he’s happy to clean and fillet any catch you choose to keep. For a truly unique experience, choose a trip that includes a visit to Capt. Bekir’s restaurant, where you’ll prepare and enjoy your fresh catch in an authentic environment. Friend Ship North Cyprus really is a trip to remember! North Cyprus Fishing A 33’ Dawson flybridge operated by Australian Captain Dennis Davut , whose spent decades fishing there and in Cyprus. Accommodates 8; has twin 300 HP Cummins with a top speed of 30 knots; GPS; fish finder; A/C; cabin with kitchen; plenty of seating; private toilet; beds; quality Penn and Shimano fishing gear; fighting chair; tuna tubes to keep your bait fresh; and outriggers to extend your reach. On half day excursions, expect Jacks, Common Pandora, Barracuda and Yellowtail. Full day excursions expect Swordfish, Tuna, Dusky Grouper, Mahi Mahi, and Spearfish. Children 8+ welcome. Life jackets provided for everyone. Most Popular Features: Live Bait, You Keep Catch, Drinks, Toilet, Child Friendly, Air Conditioning, Ice Box, Rods, Reels & Tackle, Fighting Chair, Food (Lunch & Snacks). Targeted species: Amberjack, Barracuda (Great), Common Pandora, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi). Fishing techniques: Light Tackle, Heavy Tackle, Bottom Fishing, Trolling, Jigging, Popping, Deep Sea. Trip includes: Rods, Reels, Tackle, Penn & Shimano, Live Bait, Lures, Snacks, Drinks, First Mate, Lunch. ​ Cyprus Offshore Fishing Captain Barbaros Özkaptan operates from Kyrenia Hrbour with a 44’ Wellcraft boat with a top speed of up to 30 knots, thanks to twin Volvo engines, she can take up to 8 anglers. Professional navigational and safety gear on board; tuna tubes; outriggers; downriggers; fighting chair; A/C; toilet; shower; kitchen; beds; wheelchair accessible; multimedia system and a TV. Note that smoking on board is not allowed. Head north for Tuna, Swordfish, Grouper, Marlin, and whatever else crosses your path, and get ready for some jigging, trolling, deep dropping, and more. Charter covers all fishing gear including spearfishing equipment, as well as licenses, food, drinks, and catch cleaning. Just bring your lucky rod if you have one and an adventurous spirit! Most Popular Features: Fishing License, Live Bait, Catch Cleaning & Filleting, Drinks, Toilet, A/C, Ice Box, Rods, Reels & Tackle, Fighting Chair, Food (Lunch & Snacks). Captain Barbaros Özkaptan is a passionate fisherman with over 15 years fishing experience, including international offshore fishing tournaments. He specialises in putting his customers on top of the hottest bite that local waters can offer, and loves sharing his knowledge with his guests. Targeted species: Amberjack, Great Barracuda, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Dusky Grouper. Types of fishing: Offshore Fishing Fishing techniques: Trolling, Spinning, Jigging, Popping, Drift Fishing, Deep Sea Fishing Trip includes: Rods, Reels & Tackle, Live Bait, Lures, Catch Cleaning & Filleting, Snacks, Drinks, First Mate, Fishing License, Lunch, Fly Fishing Equipment ​ Fishing With Ladyboss Captain Ozgur Gokasan , with his decades of experience, will make sure you have an incredible time fishing with him. You’ll spend the day on a 34’ custom built Turkish wooden boat that accommodates 6, has a 185 HP Perkins engine, and with her fishfinder, you’ll have your lines wet before you know it. Capt. Ozgur knows where the fish are and will get you trolling for Mahi Mahi, Bonito, and Tuna. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved with fishing. Kids over 12 will love this rare opportunity to fish offshore. Fishing With Ladyboss fully supports sustainable fishing, so once you’ve caught more than you could possibly eat, they’ll ask you to catch and release the rest of your haul. Let the crew know which restaurant you’ll be taking your fish to. Sandwiches, snacks, and soft drinks are provided. If you fancy a stronger drink, you’re welcome to BYO. You’ll use Penn rods and reels, with Rapala lures. No live bait is used. Most Popular Features: License, You Keep Catch, Catch Cleaning & Filleting, Drinks, Toilet, Child Friendly, Ice Box, Food (Snacks). Ozgur Gokasan has been fishing his whole life and running charters for 20 years. He’s fished all over the world, from Turkey to South Africa to Florida. He loves targeting Tuba as it’s exciting to catch. Targeted species: Bonito, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Albacore Tuna, Skipjack Tuna. Fishing techniques: Trolling Trip includes: Catch cleaning & filleting, Snacks, Drinks, First Mate, Fishing License. ​ Kn Fishing Stores Trips KN Fishing Stores are retailers of fishing tackle equipment in Larnaca and Nicosia. Captain Constantinos combines selling fishing tackle with knowledge of fishing to provide a team of passionate fishermen. The 18’ Aquamar boat is located at Larnaca Marina. accommodates 4 and is powered by twin 90 HP Suzuki engines with a maximum speed of 25 knots. Along with necessary navigational and safety equipment, the boat also features a live bait tank, ice box, tuna tubes, and downriggers. You’ll explore nearshore and offshore fishing spots, targeting a variety of fish species, such as Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, and Tuna. You can keep the catch after the trip, so pick a restaurant where you want to take the catch and have it prepared. Taking a trip with a crew that runs a tackle shop has its perks. They’ll provide tip-top equipment, so you’ll know you’re using the best quality gear. You only need to purchase your fishing license and prepare some snacks and drinks for the day. Enjoy this unusual day at Cyprus and catch some tasty fish on the way! ​ SEAze The Day – Larnaca Captains Panayiotis, Andreas, and Nicolas are brothers who share the same passion for life on the ocean. They’re locals with years of experience in fishing and diving, know every corner of this island, the best fishing spots it has to offer and launch from 5 different marinas. From Larnaca Bay you can expect deeper, sandy waters with multiple reefs and target giant Amberjack, Grouper, Dentex, Pargus, and more. There’s a limit of 3 kilos of fish that you can keep, so make sure the ones you take taste great. The captain will clean and fillet your catch for you. Once you get back to the marina, he’ll recommend a great local restaurant where you can have your fish prepared in a traditional way. “Arkalos,” is an 18’ inflatable DiveRib boat. She can accommodate up to 4 guests and can take you to the fishing spots very quickly and comfortably. This high-speed boat can reach a maximum speed of 40 knots and reach offshore spots within 30 minutes. Snorkelling equipment is also available free of charge. If you’re interested in using it, just make sure to mention it in advance, so everything can be prepared in time. Fishing adventures with SEAze The Day are available year-round. Top Things To Do > Fruit Picking Top Things To Do > Go Karting For anyone used to European go-karting tracks full of scruffy piles of tyres and less than glamorous facilities, North Cyprus go-karting tracks will come as a very pleasant surprise. Go-karting is for young and old, ages 7 to 70, and gives you the thrills of motor-racing without the need for Formula 1 major sponsorship deals. The single engine karts zip around at speeds of up to 90kmp, and being close to the ground, hug the corners far more effectively than a normal car. It’s as much about skill as speed, as any F1 fan will tell you, so youngsters can enjoy trying their go-karting driving skills in a safe and well-monitored environment. So, when the beaches have warmed you to perfection, and you feel the need for speed, here’s where to go karting: ​ Zet Karting There can be few go-karting tracks that are set in a botanical garden, but the Zet Karting track is one such facility. The Zet Karting circuit was built to meet international standards as laid down by the go-karting governing bodies, the CIK and FIA. Safety barriers are erected for maximum protection for drivers as well as spectators with fire extinguisher placed at strategic places for safety precautions and a fully equipped First Aid room in line with International Safety regulations. This family-run go-karting centre is suitable for both first-time drivers and experienced go-karters, thanks to its excellent design and range of facilities. It’s no surprise to discover that the family who built the centre really love their karting; their father raced saloon cars in Britain before the family moved to North Cyprus. It soon became apparent that the family’s love of karting was outgrowing the streets and bus garages where they raced, so they clubbed together to set up the island’s proper karting circuit. The Zet Karting circuit is 1200 metres long and 7 metres wide, and you can race in one of five different track modes; from 300 metres to 1200 metres. You can even race at night thanks to a very efficient floodlighting system. There are two kinds of karts available; the 120cc single engine karts for those aged 7 to 14, which can reach speeds of 40kmp, and the 270cc single engine karts for adults, which can reach speeds of 90kmp. The kids will love zipping around the 300-metre circuit, specially designed with them in mind. The central control tower keeps a computer record of very lap time and speed, so you can analyse your performance after each race, and plan how to race better next time. The centre also has a bar and cafeteria, and in a typically North Cyprus touch, a barbeque serving local dishes as well as international ones. The fully airconditioned Bar is open for special occasions, such as Theme Nights and Birthday parties.You can also take professional karting lessons here and even race Remote Controlled cars if you prefer not to be in the driving seat. ​ Cemsa Karting Located in North Nicosia. and 5 minutes away from the city centre, the 1650m outdoor circuit is designed to CIK/FIA standards and open 7 days a week. They also offer a wide range of services to companies and institutions, from small organizations to large tournaments. With the timing system, you can compare your scores at the end of the race with those of your friends and improve yourself. If you want, you can continue this sport with professional go-karts accompanied by trainers, participate in championships and develop your own career. Don't forget that even master Formula 1 drivers are trained in Karting. Maxmile Power Go Karting If you're thinking about where to go except pool and sea, call out your friends and meet at Max Mile Go Karting in Famagusta. Wear your flat cap and choose your go kart one by one then get ready to a cut throat competition! Max Mile Power Go Karting invite you to Famagusta to have a great, fun karting competition! In the last thirty years, karting has evolved from a simple weekend pastime, to a nationally organized competitive form of motor sport. Yet a great deal of the original appeal of karting remains today. Karts are still the most inexpensive way to enjoy the thrills and excitement of motor racing. Whether you're looking for family fun or downright serious competition, the versatility of karting provides it all. Karting is fun, competitive and challenging. The first look at a kart is usually deceptive. It's hard to take anything so small seriously, yet closer scrutiny reveals that whilst a kart is simple in construction, it is quite sophisticated in design and theory. Top Things To Do > Golf Korineum Golf and Beach Resort The first golf hotel in North Cyprus, set in beautiful countryside, surrounded by umbrella pines and olive trees, between the impressive Five Finger Mountains and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, Korineum is the perfect vacation resort for golf, spa and dining experiences in Northern Cyprus. If you’re looking for a golf break away from the hustle and bustle of city life, then it’s a perfect location. High standards of accommodation, beautifully decorated and furnished rooms, an attractive outdoor pool and sumptuous spa facilities. These impressive amenities are everything you would expect from a top-class resort complex. ​ ​ Golfers will be delighted at the immaculately kept course and excellent practice facilities. Spreading over 6,232 meters this par 72 gem is designed for golfers of all ages and standards. Enjoy mountain and sea views from every hole, making for a breath-taking experience. The paspallum playing surface is maintained in excellent condition all year round, and with strategically placed bunkers and water hazards players face a true challenge. Five tees at each hole gives players of all abilities the opportunity to enjoy their round. Buggies are available, allowing play to be more relaxing but also giving players a chance to absorb the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area. The beautifully manicured lawns and impeccably kept golf course are not the only marvels of the Resort. With a private beach and a deluxe Boutique Hotel, the experience offered is one of Celebrated Relaxation. The dramatic beauty of the Resort is sure to take your breath away with its stately grandeur. The landscape is carved from a natural forest of Umbrella Pines, Carob and Olive trees and will ease you into the steady beat of island life. If you’re picturing blue skies, acres of green, a delightful drink and a good book, then you’re envisaging Korineum. Top Things To Do > Hiking Self-Guided Hiking Tour This is a must-do day trip if you're in the Kyrenia area and have some extra time! The hike is not long (4.5 miles), but it’s all above 2,000 feet so, while it’s challenging, it’s also one of the best day trips which can be tailor made to suit your requirements. ​ What's Included Bottled water Air-conditioned vehicle Hiking shoes or hiking boots Walking poles Your guide will meet you at your hotel in Kyrenia the evening before your hike, to finalise details and ensure all your questions are answered. Pick up can also be arranged from Nicosia, Larnaca, Bafra and Limassol hotels, The hike begins above the village, passing through a young pine underwood. Gorgeous views over the shore and the Mesaoria plain will please your eye until the walk ends in the small village of Kantara, where you can enjoy a break and some cold refreshments at the Kantara Restaurant. The walk then continues as an undulating track to the Crusader Castle of Kantara. The enormous castle rises 650m above sea level at the beginning of the Karpaz peninsula. On a clear day, you can spot Cape Zafer, Türkiye, in the distance. ​ 7-day Hiking Trip Kyrenia to Kyrenia Adventure is calling you for a seven-day hiking trip that’ll have you experiencing this incredible region like many never do. Discover beaches, forests and villages on foot around the Kyrenia Mountains, a breath-taking range along the northern coast that’s still mostly a cherished local secret. Travel Style: Active - made for outdoor types. Service Level: Standard - Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport. Physical Rating: 3 - Average. Trip Type: Small Group - Maximum 16, Average 12. Age requirement: 12+. Under18s must be accompanied by an adult. Itinerary Day 1 In the evening, meet your fellow travellers and choose whether to head out for dinner with the group. Day 2 Discover Kyrenia on today's walks through the Old Town, Kyrenia Castle and the nearby town of Lapta. Visit Kyrenia's ancient harbourfront and stroll the seaside. Meals included: Breakfast Day 3 Travel east to the village of Esentepe, where few tourists visit and the local way of life moves at its own pace. With scenic trails through forested areas, enjoy a guided walk that ends at Antiphonitis Church, built as a monastery in the 12th century. Meals included: Breakfast Day 4 Visit Incircli Cave, the largest in Cyprus, rich with folklore and intricate rock formations. Continue to Kantara Castle, the first of two Crusader castle ruins to explore. Take a scenic walk down to the beach and enjoy free time for a swim. Meals included: Breakfast Day 5 Climb up to the ruins of St Hilarion Castle, a majestic maze of stone walls with a very famous lookout point. It's said that Walt Disney took inspiration for one of his fairy-tale castles here. Continue to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. Wander the Old Town and see the striking Selimiye Mosque and Arab Ahmet quarter. Visit a bakery and observe how traditional foods, such as lahmacun (dough topped with minced meat) and olive breads are made. Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch Day 6 Visit the ruins of Soli, one of the ten ancient kingdoms of Cyprus. Walk the steps of its Roman amphitheatre and admire its beautiful floor mosaics, dating back to the 6th century. Continue to the village of Lefke by hiking through a fertile valley filled with citrus trees. Meals included: Breakfast Day 7 Depart at any time. Meals included: Breakfast Top Things To Do > Horse Riding There are many beautiful ways to see Northern Cyprus, but what better way than to do it on horseback ? Seasoned rider or novice, you can take a trek with various organisations in a relaxed and safe environment. Horse riding and pony trekking in Northern Cyprus has been a popular pastime for hundreds of years, with families keeping horses as part of the family for travelling and pulling agricultural machinery. Today, horses are kept for trekking, showing and competition. Several riding clubs have flourished, and you can now find regular competitions across Northern Cyprus. Facilities are modern, up to date, and animals are well loved and cared for. Most riding clubs offer riding lessons within the club grounds, catering for beginners to advanced level, in spacious paddocks with jumping arenas. They’ll provide all the necessary head gear and advise you on how to go about getting into the saddle comfortably and safely. One of the nicest ways to travel on horseback in North Cyprus is by going on a hack, which can take you on really beautiful routes in the mountains. Here, you’ll take in views across the island, as well as ride past historical churches and other monuments. ​ Hacks can be group or private, and guides will know the best and safest ways to navigate routes, as well as the less well-trodden tracks and paths. Depending on where you'd like to ride, there’s several clubs. More central and heading towards Lefkosa, is Besok Riding Club . They also have an animal farm for kids to enjoy. A little further along in Balıkesır is Yusuf Efendi Ciftliği , a long-established riding centre whose family has kept horses for 3 generations. In Famagusta area, you’ll find the Royal Riding Club , not far from the sea. This is a very active riding club comprising all ages, which regularly holds its own competitions as well as competing in wider events. Last, is the wonderful Ranch , located west of Kyrenia, in Karsiyaka. Promoted also as a Petting Farm, the place buzzes with activity, from ducklings to donkeys. A very popular place for local residents and holidaymakers. Top Things To Do > Jeep Safari A fun and exciting jeep adventure, exploring the Kyrenia Mountain range of North Cyprus. Discover an abandoned tank, deserted monasteries and some of the most spectacular views North Cyprus has to offer and make sure you bring your camera! ​ We can’t promise you lions, tigers and bears, but we can promise you a great day out. A fun and safe off-road 4x4 adventure takes you on a scenic tour of the Kyrenia mountain range. Experienced and knowledgeable drivers will take you on an adventurous, yet safe, trip into the hidden heart of Northern Cyprus. Jeep Safari is a friendly, informative, cultural and fun experience, suitable for all the family, with amazing views and hidden places. A truly adventurous and exciting experience not to be missed! ​​ INCLUDES Pick up and drop off at hotel Off road 4X4 Jeep Safari adventure Refreshing breezes and a cooler temperature in the mountains Visits to a deserted village, a memorial tank, forgotten churches and abandoned monasteries Breathtaking views Spectacular scenery Nature & wildlife Cypriot lunch at a rural beach restaurant AVAILABLE Tuesday to Sunday DURATION 0930 to 1530 Check when booking if swimming costumes are needed, as during the hotter months it includes a beach stop. During peak season, June - September, book early to avoid disappointment. Top Things To Do > Luxury Hotels Top Things To Do > Markets Northern Cyprus's farmer markets are unique in their long history, and they also have a rather strange work schedule. Many years ago, local farmers had a tradition of taking their products to the surrounding cities for sale, and this tradition still exists today. The market begins on Wednesday in Girne, then moves to Famagusta on Thursday, Iskele on Friday, and Lefkosha on Saturday and Sunday. The market opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 16:00-18:00 p.m. There, you'll find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers, as well as spices, nuts, and candies. Pay close attention to the sellers of fresh local fish and seafood. You'll also find authentic Turkish coffee in a variety of grinds and varieties. Also, you can find clothing, bedding, and even carpets at a very attractive price. A great tip, beginning from 16:00, vegetable and fruit sellers offer huge discounts on their fruits and vegetables. However, starting from 16:00, all other goods are likely to be packed or transported to another city. ​ Lambousa Market The Chateau Lambousa Saturday Market is a must to visit whether you're visiting North Cyprus for a short time or you spend your life here. It offers a cheerful atmosphere where locals trade with one another. You are sure to find someting you might like among the range of goods available at this market. Antiques, clothes, books, plants, jewelry and many more. The market is open from dawn till noon every Saturday. Early birds get the worm! go there early before all the good ones are taken. The market is situated behind the Chateau Lambousa hotel in Lapta, Kyrenia. Top Things To Do > Painting Classes Explore the world of Art ​ Island Studio provides an environment for children and adults to explore the world of art. It’s led the way inbuilding quality art lessons for art lovers or first timers. Classes are to learn, socialise, have fun, relax or be as creative as you can be. Previous classes include acrylic painting, life modelling, still life painting and drawing, marbling paper, watercolour techniques, and drawing with soft pastels and charcoal. Newer classes are oil painting and glass painting, with many more to come. If you’d like to join a class, all you need to do is to show up. Island Studio provides all necessary materials to accommodate you in the art class. It also provides painting parties with a minimum of 4 persons to a maximum of 8 people. Painting parties are usually held on Fridays from 6:30 to 8:30. Art classes are held on Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00. Private lessons are avaiable upon request. Island Studio is located in Ozankoy, Kyrenia. Also check out Art Gallery Cyprus . Top Things To Do > Quad Bikes Cyprus is a very popular destination and thousands visit every year to relax on the beach and get some sunshine. Quad bike safaris are a great way to spice up your holiday by getting some excitement in a controlled and safe environment. This activity is suitable for all ages and is a great way to explore beyond the beach as they take you into the interior of this beautiful island. 2-Hour Village Tour About the trek: First is a demonstration of how to operate and safely ride your quad bike, then you’ll be given all relevant safety equipment. You’ll start on flat tarmac, progress to dirt tracks, then be led off through the traditional villages of Voroklini, Kellia, Troulli and Pyla which is located on the buffer zone. On tour, you‘ll experience the untamed countryside in a way you’ve never seen before, covering over 50km of terrain through mountain trails, farm treks and country roads, with stunning views and scenery. Trained staff will guide you on a 2+ hour awe-inspiring trip with 2 stops for resting. Continue through the hidden beauty and magnificent picturesque Cyprus which can only be achieved by a self-driven quad bike. Tours can also be tailored to ensure groups of all ages an experience of their own adventure! ​ Half-Day Village Tour About the trek: ​Turn your stay in ​Cyprus into an adventure that you’ll not soon forget. See some of the most incredible scenery seen by very few. The ​Half-Day Village Tour take​s​ you through ​beautiful villages​, areas with mountain and sea views. During uour ride you’ll have 3 stops for resting and lunch in a traditional Cypriot tavern. Join the hundreds of satisfied first timers and repeater customers who chose Quad Bike tours with confidence. Fun and excitement is guaranteed for singles, couples and families. This half-day tour includes safety briefing​​. Top Things To Do > Rock Climbing Garga Suyu Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. Named after the nearby spring ‘Garga Suyu ’, the massive rock outcrop on the Kyrenia to Buffavento main road, is the birthplace of rock climbing in North Cyprus. The climbing area has 15 climbing routes which lead up the rugged cliff, parallel to an impressive cave on the rock face. With a 5-minute easy approach from the main road, this climbing area attracts a small but growing group of rock-climbing enthusiasts. Getting ready for a climb, Görkem ties a ‘figure 8 knot’ to secure his harness to the climbing rope while Sertunç is watching. Bolt is a point of protection permanently installed in a hole drilled into the rock, to which a metal hanger is attached, having a hole for a carabiner or ring. Görkem is the lead climbing, while Sertunç is belaying on the ground. Görkem is collecting the express sets (carabiner pairs) on his way down the route, after clipping the rope through the top anchor point. Physically connected to each other by the rope, the climber and the belayer connect in mind as well. Communication and trust between them is necessary for a safe and comfortable climb. Outdoor Artificial Climbing Wall Members of the Nature Sports Club in the Middle Eastern Technical University can test their skills on a difficult route on the outdoor artificial climbing wall. The 11-meter-high climbing wall offers numerous difficulty levels. Wall climbing is used as training for climbing on natural rock formations with most beginners introduced to climbing via an artificial climbing wall. Learning particular techniques and special moves are necessary to be able to ascend up routes with higher difficulty levels. ​ Artificial Rock Walls Rock climbing can also be practiced on artificial rock walls, as well as on natural rock formations. The aim of rock-climbing is to safely reach an endpoint through a pre-defined route using ropes. In top-roping, an anchor is set up at the summit of a route, before the start of a climb. Rope is run through the anchor; one end attaches to the climber and the other to the belayer, who keeps the rope taut during the climb, and prevents long falls. This type of climbing is widely regarded as the safest type of climbing, with the lowest chance of injury. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport requiring strength, endurance, agility and balance and mental control. It can be a dangerous sport, and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialised climbing equipment is crucial for safe completion of routes. ​ Kyrenia Mountains Rock Climbing In 2007, the leading rock-climbing enthusiasts of North Cyprus Nazife ‘Nazo’ Canıtez and İnan Taşlı invited the professional rock climbers of Türkiye, Tunç Fındık and Doğan Palut to open the first routes on the Kyrenia Mountains together. This pioneer group designated the Kartal Kayası rock outcrop to be the most suitable and accessible place, and installed climbing bolts to create the first climbing area in Northern Cyprus. Rock type is very important in designating climbing areas, as outcrops must be free of easily crumbled rocks, which may break during a climb. The Kyrenia Mountains are particularly suitable for rock climbing as there are plenty of outcrops of very strong dolomitic limestones, mostly recrystallized and brecciated. ​ Lead climbing In lead climbing, one person, called the “leader”, will climb from the ground up, with rope directly attached to their harness (not through a top anchor). The second person, “belays” the leader by feeding out enough rope to allow upward progression without undue slack. As the leader progresses, they clip the rope through intermediate points of protection (bolts,) with quick express carabiners, to limit the length of a potential fall. Top Things To Do > Water Sports A must of your holiday in North Cyprus is water sports. The lure of the clear blue waters of the warm Mediterranean Sea is almost irresistible, so there’s plenty of water sports on offer to make the most of this fantastic aquatic playground. Most seaside hotels offer water sports or you can take part in them via specialist firms at Kyrenia or other ports. ​ Windsurfing The north coast is ideal for windsurfing, with enough wind to enjoy yourself without being blown to Turkey. Beginners can learn in calm coves where errors only mean a dip in the sea. The main windsurfing hire companies and training schools are based west of Kyrenia and at resort hotels near Salamis. For stronger winds, expert windsurfers should head off the capes and ride the waves in style. ​ Water skiing and Mono-skiing Beginners are well catered for since the sea is usually calm and warm for those inevitable spills. Beach tuition is available, experienced skiers are also welcome and you can also mono-ski. ​ Banana Boats The only skill needed for these fun rides is the ability to hang on tight and scream a lot. Fun for all the family, these rides are very popular on the beaches. Just pop on a life jacket and join in the fun. What holiday video would be complete without footage of a banana ride? Jet skiing You might need a driving licence to hire a jet ski, but once you do these mean machines are great fun to zip around the coastline, but make sure you avoid any nesting turtle beaches or military zones. Kyrenia has jet skis available for hire for use off its 1km long sandy beach, and the public beach at Glapsides north of Famagusta also have jet skis to hire. ​ Power boating North Cyprus powerboat trips come complete with an experienced driver. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as the magnificent coastline of Northern Cyprus flies past in a flurry of spray. ​ Canoeing Canoes can be hired from most major hotels, and for a peaceful paddle around the coast they can’t be beaten. Ideal for spotting fish or swimming turtles, without even getting wet! ​ Sailing/Yachting Courses can be found in the local harbour towns. Sailing is a very calm and tranquil way of skirting the coastline, with the summer weather meaning the seas are extremely calm. It’s become a very popular pastime since the first Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally in 1990 which visited North Cyprus as part of its route, and is now a major feature of the yachting calendar featuring around 100 vessels. ​ Water Parks Another favourite for kids and adults alike. The Oscar and Acapulco Resorts to the east of Kyrenia, both have great water slide parks to spend hours mucking around in, with slides, huge pools, flumes and even organised daily pool activities for children in the summer. Both are open to non-residents of the hotel for a fee. On the west coast of Kyrenia there’s the slide park and wave pool at the Club Lapethos in Lapta, or in Famagusta there is the Club Exotic which has a slide park. Paragliding As you soar like a bird with a para glider, the umbrellas lined up on the bright white beach and the colour of the turquoise blue sea make you feel like you’re looking at a giant tourist brochure. ​ Swimming There’s plenty of places to have a dip in the Med, and you can either drive along the coast to find secluded and sheltered spots, or spend the day at one of the many beach clubs around the central areas. There’s indoor and outdoor pools at the major hotels that are also open to non-residents, normally free if you have a bite to eat while you’re there. Other Water Sports Yes, there’s more! You can also hire a water bicycle, go tubing, knee boarding, wake boarding and almost any other kind of boarding you can imagine! Just ask your hotel reception for details, or see what everyone else is doing on the beach. Top Things To Do > Zipline Top

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It includes, but is not limited to: ​ claims arising out of or relating to any aspect of the relationship between us, whether based in contract, tort, fraud, misrepresentation or any other statutory or common-law legal theory; claims that arose before this or any prior Agreement (including, but not limited to, claims relating to advertising); claims for mental or emotional distress or injury not arising out of physical bodily injury; claims that are currently the subject of purported class action litigation in which you are not a member of a certified class; and claims that may arise after the termination of this Agreement. References to "we," "you," and "us" include our respective subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, employees, licensees, licensors, and providers of content as of the time your or our claim arises; our respective predecessors in interest, successors, and all authorized or unauthorized users or beneficiaries of Services under this or prior Agreements between us. Notwithstanding the foregoing, either party may bring an action in small claims court seeking only individualized relief, so long as the action remains in that court and is not removed or appealed to a court of general jurisdiction. This arbitration agreement does not preclude you from bringing issues to the attention of federal, state, or local agencies. Such agencies can, if the law allows, seek relief against us on your behalf. You agree that, by entering into this Agreement, you and we are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action. This Agreement evidences a transaction in interstate commerce, and thus the United States Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this provision. This arbitration provision shall survive termination of this Agreement. (2) Pre-Arbitration Notice of Disputes: A party who intends to seek arbitration must first send to the other a written Notice of Dispute ("Notice"). The Notice must (a) describe the nature and basis of the claim or dispute; and (b) set forth the specific relief sought ("Demand"). If we and you do not reach an agreement to resolve the claim within 30 days after the Notice is received, you or we may commence an arbitration proceeding. During the arbitration, the amount of any settlement offer made by us or you shall not be disclosed to the arbitrator until after the arbitrator determines the amount, if any, to which you or us is entitled. ​ (3) Arbitration Procedure: The arbitration will be governed by the Consumer Arbitration Rules ("AAA Rules") of the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"), as modified by this arbitration provision, and will be administered by the AAA. (If the AAA is unavailable, another arbitration provider shall be selected by the parties or by the court.) The AAA Rules are available online at , or by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879. All issues are for the arbitrator to decide, except that issues relating to the scope and enforceability of the arbitration provision or whether a dispute can or must be brought in arbitration are for the court to decide. The arbitrator may consider but shall not be bound by rulings in other arbitrations involving different customers. Regardless of the manner in which the arbitration is conducted, the arbitrator shall issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain the essential findings and conclusions on which the award is based. Except as provided in subsection (6) below, the arbitrator can award the same damages and individualized relief that a court can award under applicable law. ​ (4) Arbitration Fees: If the arbitrator finds that either the substance of your claim or the relief sought in the Demand is frivolous or brought for an improper purpose (as measured by the standards set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b)), then the payment of all such fees will be governed by the AAA Rules. If you initiate an arbitration in which you seek relief valued at greater than US$75,000 (either to you or to us), the payment of these fees will be governed by the AAA rules. ​ The arbitrator may make rulings and resolve disputes as to the payment and reimbursement of fees, expenses at any time during the proceeding and upon request from either party made within 14 days of the arbitrator's ruling on the merits. (6) Requirement of Individual Arbitration: The arbitrator may award declaratory or injunctive relief only in favour of the individual party seeking relief and only to the extent necessary to provide relief warranted by that party's individual claim. YOU AND WE AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR OUR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS, REPRESENTATIVE, OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL PROCEEDING. Further, unless both you and we agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person's claims and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative, class, or private attorney general proceeding. If, after exhaustion of all appeals, any of these prohibitions on non-individualized declaratory or injunctive relief; class, representative, and private attorney general claims; and consolidation are found to be unenforceable with respect to a particular claim or with respect to a particular request for relief (such as a request for injunctive relief sought with respect to a particular claim), then that claim or request for relief shall be severed , and all other claims and requests for relief shall be arbitrated. ​ (7) Future Changes to Arbitration Provision: Notwithstanding any provision in this Agreement to the contrary, we agree that if we make any future change to this arbitration provision (other than a change to the Notice Address), you may reject any such change by sending us written notice within 30 days of the change to the arbitration Notice Address provided above. By rejecting any future change, you are agreeing that you will arbitrate any dispute between us in accordance with the language of this provision. ​ 13. Miscellaneous . These Terms of Use and any operating rules for the Site established by us constitute the entire agreement of the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede all previous written or oral agreements between the parties with respect to such subject matter. The provisions of these Terms of Use are for the benefit of us, our parent, subsidiaries, other affiliates and our third-party content providers and licensors and each shall have the right to assert and enforce such provisions directly or on its own behalf. If you access the Site, including its Interactive Areas, from any location, you accept full responsibility for compliance with all local laws. No waiver by either party of any breach or default hereunder shall be deemed to be a waiver of any preceding or subsequent breach or default. If any part of these Terms of Use is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, it will be replaced with language reflecting the original purpose in a valid and enforceable manner. The enforceable sections of these Terms of Use will remain binding upon the parties. The section headings used herein are for convenience only and shall not be given any legal import. ​ Neither we nor you shall be liable for damages or for delays or failures in performance resulting from acts or occurrences beyond their reasonable control, including, without limitation: fire, lightning, explosion, power surge or failure, water, acts of God, war, terrorism, revolution, civil commotion or acts of civil or military authorities or public enemies: any law, order, regulation, ordinance, or requirement of any government or legal body or any representative of any such government or legal body; or labour unrest, including without limitation, strikes, slowdowns, picketing, or boycotts; inability to secure raw materials, transportation facilities, fuel or energy shortages, or acts or omissions of other common carriers. ​ ​ 14. Copyrights We respect the rights of all copyright holders and in this regard, we have adopted and implemented a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of users and account holders who infringe the rights of copyright holders. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide us the following information required by the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512: ​ 1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; ​ 2. Identification of the copyright work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site; ​ 3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material; ​ 4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact the complaining party; ​ 5. A statement that the complaining party has a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and ​ 6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. ​ These Terms of Use were last updated on July 31, 2023. © All Rights Reserved. Top

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