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  • Quiz | Whats On In TRNC

    Take Our Quiz & Enter Our Draw For a "Costa Cuisine" 1000TL Voucher First name Last name Email 1. Who is the President of Northern Cyprus? Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Ersin Tatar Tufan Erhürman 3. Ceviz Macun is a local dessert made from what? Walnuts Lemons Pomegranates 2. What is the main ingredient of Ayran? Milk Cream Yogurt 4. Lahmacun is what type of local dish? Pizza Pastry Bread 5. Pekmez is a local syrup made from which tree? Lemon Carob Olive 7. What is “Lion’s Milk” better known as? Pastis Raki Ouzo 9. Babutsa is the local name for what? Prickly Pear Bitter Lemon Apricot Brandy 11. Which English King was married in Cyprus? Henry I Richard II Charles III 13. Mustafa Pasha Mosque is in which city? Mağusa Girne Lefkoşa 15. TRNC name was created when? 15 November 1983 16th March 2005 29th August 1974 6. Pilavuna is what type of local delicacy? Pastry Bread Pizza 8. A Şeftali Kebab is what type of dish? Sausage Shish Kebab 10. Zinavia is what type of spirit? Brandy Gin WIne 12. Which famous play is linked to Famagusta? Hamlet Pygmalion Othello 14. Britain annexed Cyprus in which year? 1963 1914 1974 16. What does KKTC stand for? Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti Kuzey Kibris Teknik Çarşı Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • General Guides | Whats On In TRNC

    Guides > General Borders Education Govt Departments New Year Post Residency Visas Business Embassies History Overview Practical Information Retiring Weddings Children Ferries Internet/TV Phones Religion Rough Guide Wills Climate Free Trade & Duty Free M.I.C.E. Police Relocating Transport Guides > General > Border Crossings There are nine crossing points between North and South Cyprus but if you intend to use a particular crossing, you'd be wise to check it's open before making your journey, just to make sure. West to east, these are the names of the Cyprus border crossings: Yesilirmak (Limnitis/Kato Pyrgos) near Guzelyurt (Morpho) Lefke (Lefka) Bostanci/Guzelyurt (Astromeritis) Metehan (Agios Dometios) Ledra Palace - Official cars only Ledra Stree t - Pedestrains Beyarmudu (Dhekelia) – SBA crossing Akyar (Strovilia/Agios Nikolaos) - SBA crossing Dherynia (Famagusta/Gazimagusa) Border crossings are quite well signed in the north if you want to go south, but not so well in the south if you want to go north. Names above are Turkish names, those in brackets Greek. These two names aren't necessarily the same place, but the names of the nearest village or town on each side of the border, as there's often a short drive between the two. Crossing points are mainly designed for cars, but there is one pedestrian-only crossing point in the capital Lefkosa known as Ledra Street. It's possible to walk through some crossing points if you're being collected by a car or taxi on the other side (for example Metehan ) but note some crossing points are rural with limited facilities on either side and some crossing points have a long distance between them so walking isn't allowed (for example, Yesilirmak ). All crossing points are open 24/7 but if you need to buy car insurance, you should use Metehan which offers 24-hour car insurance service. The other border crossings tend to offer car insurance services only in-office hours. You'll need your passport as well as the car documents, insurance and driving licence if you're taking a car across. The most used crossing is Metehan which is about 20-minutes drive from Kyrenia. The Sovereign Base Area (SBA) British Army crossing point of Beyarmudu is actually nearer to Larnaca Airport but the journey to Kyrenia is longer, so it tends to be used for those visiting East Coast locations of Iskele or Famagusta . If you fly via Paphos , you'd be better to use Metehan as well. Lefke and Yesilirmak may look closer, but they're mainly used by locals, involve mountainous roads and are not really suitable for first-time visitors or new tourists, particularly at night. You can use sat nav or google maps or Waze to find the Cyprus border crossings but once through reset your device to your final destination. If you're a first time visitor to North Cyprus and arriving at night in the South , take a taxi over the border and hire a car in the north. This gives you fully comp insurance plus breakdown cover and stops you getting lost in the dark. You might also want to book that pickup in advance with a North Cyprus company rather than an airport taxi as many Greek Cypriot taxi drivers won't know the way on the north side. Top Guides > General > Opening a Business Foreign Direct Investment has helped develop the TRNC economy, especially in tourism, construction and services. That's why the government welcomes foreigners opening businesses and provides them with full rights to the company in many sectors with or without local partners. Businesses may be a small shop, spa salon, restaurant, investment company or a five star hotel. Many companies are foreign owned and ran for years. To open a business at least two people will be needed. They can be foreigners or partner with Turkish Cypriots. If the business is real estate or construction related, the foreigner must hold 49% shares and the local representative 51% . To set up your business you'll need to deposit US$100,000 . into a local bank if you don't have local partners, and US$49,000 if you do. Seeking advice of a solicitor is wise as there's different rules for different types of companies. You'll also need a local accountant to make appropriate applications to the Council of Ministers. Memorandums and Articles will specify the company’s function, management structure and share information. You'll also need a business permit (a stamp in your passport), which is specifically issued to Company Directors, which is different to work or residency permits. Other permits might also be needed e.g. if you're serving alcohol, a beverage license from the local council. You'll need to register with the tax office , the social security and pensions departments . There will be costs involved for any workers you employ, paying for their permits and their monthly state contributions. As a Director you'll also need to make state contributions. Tax Certificates and Certificate of Incorporation have to be displayed in your premises at all times and must be kept in their original forms. Top Guides > General > Places for children Top Guides > General > Climate Climate inTRNC is “intense Mediterranean ” meaning short mild, temperate winters and long hot summers. Temperatures and rainfall vary depending on elevation. It's obviously cooler at the top of St Hilarion or Buffavento Castle than it is in Kyrenia harbour. Summer can begin as early as March, though officially it doesn’t start until June. By then, temperatures are in the 30s (around 86°F) . June to September there's no rain, days are long and hot, evenings are balmy and relaxing, though nights can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable and you'll love your air-con unit. In October the weather begins to change but you can still sunbathe. Rains usually fall in the first two weeks of October bringing plants and trees a much needed drink. After the long hot summer, drains are full of dust and leaves and this makes for an interesting driving experience after the first few days of rains. It doesn’t rain that much in Northern Cyprus but the rains bring greenery which soon bursts into colourful bloom. Springtime in Cyprus is an incredible sight . If you only ever visit in summer you’ll find it hard to believe that the sometimes desert-like interior landscape greens over and then gives birth to thousands of beautiful flowers, but it does. Officially the seasons in North Cyprus are Autumn in October ; Winter from November to March ; Spring in April and May ; and Summer from June to September . Average daily temperatures in July and August start in the mid 30s, whereas April, May, June, September and October start in the mid 20’s. This means an average 300 days of sunshine a year. December and January are the worst months for weather in Northern Cyprus, night time temperatures can be very cold, occasionally dropping below freezing in the mountains. Rainfall when it comes, can be very heavy and stormy, and if you’re lucky enough to have a sea view, you can watch incredible lightning shows out at sea. March and April are two of the most popular months to visit the island, with warm days but not the sometimes oppressive heat of high summer. There's plenty of flowers to look at and beaches and harbour side cafes are quieter. December and January do get some warm days and some beautiful blue skies, but you also get overcast and even cold days. If you want a heady mix of long hot days for beach flopping and long warm nights for partying then visit from May to September and you’ll be assured perfect sunny weather and plenty of fun-packed days and nights. Month Hrs Sun High Night Rain Number January 5 14°C 5°C Some 1 February 6 15°C 5°C Some 2 March 7 18°C 7°C Showers 3 April 9 22°C 9°C Showers 4 May 10 28°C 14°C 5 June 12 30°C 19°C 6 July 12 36°C 21°C 7 August 12 34°C 21°C 8 September 10 26°C 18°C 9 October 8 26°C 14°C Start 10 November 7 21°C 10°C Some 11 December 5 16°C 7°C Some 12 Top Guides > General > Education Kindergarten Children below age 6 , can attend kindergartens of public and private institutions. Kindergarten is not mandatory. Elementary school Provides 5 years of education for children between the ages of 6 and 11. All are public and free. High sch ool High schools provide a minimum 6 years of education, where 3 years are for junior high school (Ortaokul). There are different kinds of high schools such as standard public high schools, private high schools, science high schools, vocational high schools, technical high schools and fine arts high schools. Universities ​ You might be surprised to learn that Northern Cyprus has numerous international Universities offering world-class education, in English, to nearly 100,000 students from over 100 countries . TRNC has a welcoming visa policy and multi-cultural atmosphere which encourages students to easily utilise degree courses . and the Government has education at the top of its agenda, leading to a boom in student numbers. For example, Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) student numbers have grown by almost 400% in recent years. Education is contributing close to $1 billion to the government’s budget - well over 50% of its total. Private investors include Suat Gunsel , a Forbes list billionaire, who invested into his own Near East University in Lefkosa. NEU boasts a state-of-the-art teaching hospital drawing patients from South Cyprus and internationally; a journalism department broadcasting 24-hour programs from its own tv and radio studios; and an Olympic-size swimming pool. The boom in student numbers creates demand for accommodation, attracting investors to buy rental properties close to Universities. Many families are buying properties for their student children to use with the added benefit of it being a perfect base for family holidays during university vacation times. Students at TRNC Universities are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week to help pay fees if required, and full medical insurance is included in all fees. There's also a prep year available to learn English if a student needs to improve that before starting their course. Crucial to the success of the universities is the fact that diplomas and degrees are accepted by most universities around the world. Students who've moved on to other countries confirm they encountered few problems in the transition. Name District Since Type University of the West of Scotland Lefkoşa 2016 Public Netkent Research & Science University Lefkoşa 2014 Private Near East University Lefkoşa 1988 Private University of Mediterranean Karpasia Lefkoşa 2012 Private International Business Management School Lefkoşa 2011 Private Cyprus Social Sciences University Lefkoşa 2015 Private Cyprus International University Lefkoşa 1997 Private Atatürk Teacher Training Academy Lefkoşa 1937 Public Anadolu University Nicosia Campus Lefkoşa 1982 Public American University of Cyprus Lefkoşa 2014 Private European University of Lefke Lefke 1989 Public Middle East Technical University Güzelyurt 2005 Public Cyprus Health & Social Sciences University Güzelyurt 2016 Private University of Kyrenia Girne 2013 Private Girne American University Girne 1985 Private Final International University Girne 2015 Private Cyprus Science University Girne 2013 Private Arkın University of Creative Arts & Design Girne 2017 Private European Leadership University Gazimağusa 2017 Private Istanbul Technical University Gazimağusa 2011 Public Eastern Mediterranean University Gazimağusa 1979 Public University of City Island Gazimağusa 2016 Private Cyprus West University Gazimağusa 2015 Private Top Guides > General > Embassies Several nations have embassies , high commissions or foreign missions in Northern Cyprus and they can help with passport renewals, birth certificates , and legal advice among others. Local Turkish Cypriots wishing to travel to the countries which are represented on the island are required to visit that nation’s offices to obtain visas for their journey. You'd be surpried how much information and advice these offices can give you. Below are the main offices available in North Cyprus, which are mostly located near to the Ledra checkpoint area in Lefkoşa. Some of them only operate on certain days of the week so you might want to call ahead and make an appointment. ​ Australia ‘Australia Place’ – Australian Information Bureau 20 Güner Türkmen Street, Köşklüçiftlik, Lefkoşa, North Cyprus Telephone: +90 (0)392 2277332 Fax: +90 (0)392 2285458 Website: France French Cultural Information Centre (Association Culturelle Française Chypriote-Turc) 1, Hasene Ilgaz Street, Köşklüçiftlik, Lefkoşa, North Cyprus Tel: +90 (0)392 2283328 Website: UK British High Commission (North Nicosia Office) Shakespeare Avenue 29, Mehmet Akif Caddesi, Köşklüçiftlik, Lefkoşa, North Cyprus Telephone: +90 (0)392 2283861 Website: USA American Embassy (North Nicosia Office) 20, Güner Türkmen Street, Köşklüçiftlik, Lefkoşa, North Cyprus Telephone: +90 (0)392 2272443 Website: ​ Germany German Embassy (North Nicosia Information Office) No:15, 28 Kasım Street, Lefkoşa, North Cyprus Telephone: +90 (0)392 2275161 Website: Türkiye Turkish Embassy Bedrettin Demirel Avenue, Lefkoşa, North Cyprus Telephone: +90 (0)392 2272314 Fax: +90 (0)392 2282209 & +90 (0)392 2285518 Website: Other Countries TRNC has ‘representative offices ’ and consulates in many other countries around the world. These are sometimes useful, for example, if you need official papers such as a power of attorney notarised at their offices, to save you travelling to TRNC. Google your particular nation to see if there's a representative office in that country. Top Guides > General > Ferries Akgünler İşletmeleri A.Ş. Ltd . has been serving the TRNC tourism industry since 1978 and continues to expand. The company has 1 catamaran and 2 roro / passenger ships in its fleet with the largest passenger and freight capacity in the TRNC. The Company and ships conform to the International Safety Management Certificate (ISMC), the International Ship and Security Certificate (ISPSC), are constantly audited by Lloyds registered entities and operate in accordance with all international maritime rules. ​ Via Mare Via Mare is a German-made RoRo / Passenger-type ship that is 118m long, 21m wide. She has a capacity of carrying 470 passengers, 46 trucks, or 260 saloon vehicles. Her max speed is 15 knots per hour. She also has 15 cabins with two beds and four beds, with private bathrooms and toilets. Via Mare makes regular trips between Taşucu a an d Girne ports on 3 days a week for 12 months. Via Famagusta Via Famagusta is a Swedish-made RoRo / Passenger-type ship. She is 110m long, 16m wide and can carry 113 passengers, 41 trucks, or 220 saloon vehicles. ​ Her max speed is 12 knots per hour. She has regular trips between Mersin and Famagusta ports, 3 days a week for 12 months. Famagusta is the famous historical port of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Akgünler 3 Akgünler III is a Norwegian-made catamaran-type fast sea bus that is 38 meters long, 9 meters wide. She can carry 384 passengers at a speed of 32 knots per hour. This fast ferry makes regular trips between the ports of Taşucu and Girne during May and October. The journey takes only 2 hours. Akgünler III is the only fastest option for your day trips between TRNC and TC. ​ Ferry Schedule (Tasucu - Girne - Tasucu) Ferry Schedule (Mersin - Mağusa - Mersin) ​ FAQ Can I travel with my Turkish ID? Yes, unless they are taking a car in which case they MUST carry a passport as well. What do I need to prepare when I travel from TRNC to Türkiye with my car? A vehicle exit permit from the Tax Office (Motor Vehicles). An exit permit from the bank if the vehicle is mortgaged. G-104 form if you’ve come via South Cyprus. What do I need to prepare before I travel from Türkiye to TRNC with my car? A vehicle can only be taken out of Türkiye by the registered owner. A power of attorney (POA) can be given to a third party. Anyone travelling with a car requires a passport. If the POA isn't a sibling or parent of the car owner, the vehicle must be <3 years old. POA is not accepted for any vehicle >5 years old. If the vehicle is owned by a company, all company partners are required to issue a POA. If there are loan payments for the vehicle you require a letter from the bank with the content "The vehicle can leave Türkiye". Vehicle owners must obtain at least 1 month vehicle insurance upon arrival at Northern Cyprus. Northern Cyprus students must have the student certificate from the school, valid for 1 year from date of receipt. Northern Cyprus students must obtain at least 3 months vehicle isurance upon arrival at Northern Cyprus. Form "G - 104" will be given to drivers by Northern Cyprus customs upon entry and is required when leaving Northern Cyprus.. Traffic is on the left. Local or international driving licenses can be used. Is driver free when I book a vehicle? Yes. The driver only pays the departure/arrival taxes. I am a Turkish army personnel. Must I pay the departure / entrance tax? If you have document "Husut Çıkış Belgesi", choose that option while buying your ticket online. Can I change the trip date of my ticket? Yes, but subject to any price difference. I'm not going to use my ticket and want to cancel it. Cancellation more than 24 hours before departure - full refund. Cancellation from 24 hours before departure to 6 hours before departure - 75% refund. Cancellation within 6 hours cannot be changed or converted to an open ticket unless there's a valid personal reason. The ticket can only be cancelled with a 50% penalty. All unused/unchanged tickets - no refund will be made. Open tickets are valid for 1 year from date of issuance. What discounts are there? There are discounts for students, soldiers, diplomats. I bought my tickets for vehicle and passengers. Is there anything else I need to pay in and out of ports? Entrance and exit taxes for passengers and vehicles are included in the price. You'll have to pay for vehicle insurance upon arrival. Can passengers under the age of 18 travel alone? If travelling with an ID Card: Passengers under 18 cannot go abroad without a "notarized or official consent" received from the notary public of the parent/legal guardian who will NOT travel with them. If the minor will travel with only the mother, a notarized or official consent of the father will be required. If the minor will travel only with the father, a notarized or official consent of the mother will be required. If the minor will travel with someone other than the parents or alone, the consent of both parents is required. If the child's custody is in a legal representative, a notarized or official consent is required indicating the consent of the legal representative. If travelling with a passport: Permission and notarized or official consent of parents IS NOT required. Which ports do you operate from? Türkiye: Taşucu Port and Mersin Port TRNC : Kyrenia Port and Famagusta Port Which port do the ships dock at in Taşucu? All sea traffic from Taşucu is from SEKA port.P Passengers with tickets are required to go to the Akgunler office in Taşucu city center first, 2.5 hours before the departure time. After completing their boarding procedures there is a complimentary shuttle bus to Seka Port. Do you have shuttle buses from Kyrenia and Famagusta? No. You have to use taxis or local transportation. Useful numbers Taşucu Port Police 0324 741 4195 Taşucu Port Customs 0324 741 4039 Kyrenia Port Police 0392 815 1799 Kyrenia Port Customs 0392 815 4984 Mersin Port Police 0324 231 5910 Mersin Port Customs 0324 241 2800 Can I travel with my pet? Entering North Cyprus: you can bring your pet (only cat, dog and bird) with you. Entering Türkiye: You can bring 2 pets (only cats or dogs) and 10 fish. You’ll need a veterinary health report, certificate of origin and vaccines and identity document. How many suitcases can I take with me for free? Is there a weight limit? 3 suitcases or parcels with you on Roro Ships (Via Mare and Via Famagusta). On the Catamaran fast ferry(Akgunler 3) - 2 suitcases and 1 handbag/backpack. There is no weight limit. Can Turkish citizens take their TRNC plated vehicles Türkiye? Yes, temporarily, providing proof of residence is supplied. What can I take with me as "duty free" when entering Türkiye? Tobacco Cigarettes 600 pieces Cigarillos (cigars weighing no more than 3 g each) 100 pieces Cigars 50 pieces Chopped tobacco (with 200 sheets of cigarette paper) 250 gr. Alcohol Alcohol and alcoholic beverages with an alcohol degree exceeding 22% 1 lt. Alcohol and alcoholic beverages with an alcohol degree not exceeding 22% 2 lt. Cosmetics 5 skin care products and make-up materials, cologne, perfume, lavender, essence or lotion, not exceeding 600 ml Food products Tea 1 kg. Soluble instant coffee 1 kg. Coffee 1 kg. Chocolate 1 kg. Candy etc 1 kg. Top Guides > General > Free Trade & Duty Free North Cyprus Duty Free Allowances You're allowed to bring in the following items free of any customs and duty for personal use only: Tobacco products - 400 cigarettes or 500 grams of smoking tobacco Alcohol - 150cc of either spirits, wine or beer Perfumes - 100cl of perfumes and lotions Non commercial goods - 75 EURO free, above may be charged Controlled items The following are controlled items & cannot be exported, nor imported Controlled Drugs - Opium, heroin,morphine, cocain, cannabis etc Firearms & Munitions - Including fireworks Antiquities - Including statues Obscene Publications Counterfeit Money Archaeological Goods Animals & Birds ​ Don't attempt to export antiquities or archaeological goods from Northern Cyprus. There are heavy fines and the threat of jail for removing such items. Establishing a Free Zone Company TRNC has become an investment hotspot with Free Zone companies (FZC) the preferred form of incorporation by both domestic and foreign investors. A FZC in TRNC offers proximity and ease of access to Türkiye, Europe and the Middle East and is particularly appealing due to tax advantages it offers. The Free Trade Zone in TRNC is located at the port of Famagusta. Long established as the center of transit trade, import-export, warehousing and production, today companies providing remote services such as IT, tourism and consultancy are attracted and the number of companies established in the zone is increasing day by day. Free zone companies are established in the free trade zone but carry out their commercial activities abroad. Although they're subject to TRNC Companies Law, they operate with a special company status. The biggest advantage of FZC is that since they're accepted to be outside of the customs line, they're completely exempt from all taxes such as customs tax, income tax, corporate tax, VAT etc. on income from all activities carried out with any country other than the TRNC . Dividends are also tax-exempt and the earnings can be freely transferred abroad . Since FZC are completely legal entities, the revenue obtained from a FZC can be transferred to any other country the same way as any foreign company. As long as the transfer of income is not carried out illegally, you shouldn't expect to encounter any problems in the process. FZC can be established both in offices and/or warehouses/factories located in the Free Port Area. Mailboxes can also be used and are the preferred method used by consultancy, software development, advertising, or companies that provide virtual services as they don't need a physical office. Many online service providers recognized in the Republic of Türkiye and around the world have established a FZC and are active in the TRNC Free Trade Zone due to its tax benefits. The minimum initial capital required for the establishment of a FZC is currently 50,000 Euros which can be used for company activities after approval for the establishment of the company. Apart from admin fees and taxes payable during establishment, FZC don't pay an annual fixed fee. FZC can use banks registered in TRNC as well as branches of Turkish banks. Banks will search shareolder's business activity, trsutworthiness and background before authorising any new bank accounts. Decisions to provide accounts are entirely at the discretion of the bank so past and/or ongoing relations with them are definitely an advantage. Top Guides > General > Practical Information ​Phones IDD Code – International Direct Dialling Code is +90 Landline numbers start 0392 Mobile numbers start 0542 (KKTC Telsim) or 0533 (Turkcell). Public Holidays Ramadan & Kurban Bayram (Feast of the Sacrifice) -Varies annually New Year’s Day - January 1st Children's Day - April 23rd Labour Day - May 1st Youth and Sports Day - May 19th Peace and Freedom Day - July 20th Communal Resistance Day - August 1st Victory Day - August 30th Turkish National Day - October 29th Independence Day (Proclamation of TRNC in 1983) - November 15th Climate Winters - Wet & mild with temperature from 6°C-18°C October - First rains October to April - Rainy season April to June - Greenest months with bright displays of wild flowers July to August - Hot & humid with highs of 40°C+ and little relief at night. September - Humidity starts to drop and days are still hot October - Cool breezes, lightning displays over the sea Christmas - Visitors will typically swim until Christmas Currency The currency is the Turkish Lira , with a constantly fluctuating exchange rate. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners are fully conversant with all major currencies and bills can be paid in UK Sterling, Euros, Dollars as well as local currency. There are many exchange bureaux in all the major towns and money is changed with little problem. Major UK Credit and Debit cards are widely accepted and can be used in ATMs, but you should inform your bank before you travel so they don’t block your card. You should also enquire about charges to use your card abroad. Travellers Cheques and Scottish banknotes are not widely accepted. Banking Unless you intend to take up residency it’s unlikely you’ll need a bank, unless it’s to make a money transfer. Electricity Supply is 220/240 volts and is provided via three-pin plugs as in the UK. Medical Care In the case of accidents and emergencies, all hospitals will provide medical care. Minor cuts and bruises will usually be treated free . Major medical treatment can incur a hefty bill, so you need comprehensive insurance to cover your holiday period, making sure any pre-existing health conditions are notified to your insurance company prior to travel. The GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) and EHIC (European Health Insurance Card ) are NOT accepted in Northern Cyprus. Legal TRNC has rules and laws that are there to be obeyed. Drugs are absolutely not tolerated and possession of even a minute amount will result in a hefty prison sentence. Although North Cyprus is a safe country, care should always be taken with personal belongings, and important items should be kept in a safety deposit box. Driving Drive on the left , the same as UK. If you have a paper licence you must bring all parts to be able to hire a car. Minimum age to hire a rented vehicle is 25. You must carry your driving licence, insurance, and rental agreement at all times when driving. Visitors, if stopped by the police, will be treated kindly but driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs, as well as dangerous driving, is an offence, not tolerated, and heavy fines are imposed. Parking restrictions are evident by the painting of black and white on the kerb stones, or double yellow lines and should not be infringed. There are plenty of car parks and the fee isn't expensive. Language The language spoken in Northern Cyprus is Turkish, however many of the older Cypriots will speak English and are proud of the fact that they can. Hotel staff will usually speak a certain amount of English and are always happy to improve it. Visitors that attempt some Turkish, even if only to say Please (Lutfen), Thank you (Tessurker Ederiz) and Hello (Merhaba) will be rewarded with a beaming smile. Business / Shop Opening Hours Due to the heat of summer, most civil service offices will work from 0800 to 1400 . Winter opening hours, can and do, vary from department to department but usually they're operational from 0900 to 1230 and 1400 to 1730 . These hours will apply to most of the retail outlets with supermarkets staying open until quite late. Time Difference North Cyprus is GMT+2 hours in winter and GMT+3 hours in summer . There’s always 2 hours difference between UK time and TRNC time as clocks are altered on the same days of the year. Passports and Visas It's your responsibility to ensure that you're in possession of a full and valid passport/visa for travel. Please note if you're traveling into Larnaca (LCA) this is in Southern Cyprus, if you are travelling into Ercan (ECN) this is in Northern Cyprus, which could have different immigration. For more information before traveling to North Cyprus, please contact Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Representative Office in London, 29 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3ED, UK. Phone: +44 20 7631 1920. For more information before traveling to South Cyprus, please contact High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus in London, 13 St James's Square, St. James's, London SW1Y 4LB, UK. Phone: +44 20 7321 4100. Airports and Border Crossing Points The two airports of Ercan and Gecitkale (Military Airport) and all crossing points on the border that divide the island, are legitimate points of entry. They’re subject to passport control regulations and whatever restrictions are in place regarding the importation of goods. It’s always advisable to check duty-free allowances for alcohol, perfume, and tobacco, and the monetary value of goods for personal use before travelling. These restrictions apply equally to crossing the border from north to south and vice versa. Water It’s not advisable to drink tap water, bottled water is best. Safety You should take care whenever you’re in a foreign country. If you’re going out on your own, let someone know where you’re going and what time you’ll be back . Store important items in a safe. Don’t carry large amounts of money or your passport with you unless necessary. Always keep a small amount of money in case of emergencies and ensure you have the contact numbers for police/ambulance/embassy etc if you need them. Emergency Phone Numbers Police:155 Fire:199 Forest Fires:177 Ambulance Emergencies:112 General (State) Hospital Phone Numbers Nicosia/Lefkosa0392 2285441 Kyrenia/Girne0392 815 2226/8152254 Famagusta/Magusa0392 3662876/3665328 Guzelyurt0392 7142125 Top Guides > General > Govt Departments Title Phone Website TRNC Presidency +90 392 228 3444 TRNC Prime Ministry +90 392 228 3141 TRNC Assembly Presidency +90 392 227 4656 Deputy PM & Ministry of Foreign Affairs +90 392 228 3241 Ministry of Interior +90 392 228 3213 Ministry of Finance +90 392 228 3116 Ministry of National Education & Culture +90 392 228 3136 Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry +90 392 228 3735 Ministry of Public Works and Transport +90 392 228 3666 Ministry of Labor & Social Security +90 392 228 3213 Ministry of Health and Social Aid +90 392 228 3173 Ministry of Economy and Tourism +90 392 228 6838 Ministry of Youth and Sports +90 392 228 2172 Turkish Court of Accounts +90 392 228 4128 Public Service Commission Presidency +90 392 228 3247 Personnel Department Directorate +90 392 228 6947 TRNC Attorney General +90 392 228 4691 State Printing House +90 392 228 2285 State Department of Real Estate & Materials +90 392 228 5940 Public Hospital +90 392 228 5441 Police Headquarters +90 392 228 3411 Post Office +90 392 228 5982 Flag Radio & Television Corporation +90 392 225 5555 Electricity company +90 392 228 3648 Top Guides > General > Cyprus History Humans were in Cyprus In the Stone Age along with dwarf elephants , pygmy hippos , dogs, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, foxes, and deer. By 6,000 BC cattle had disappeared, deer were still hunted, but the economy was based on sheep, goats and pigs. 10,000 years old water wells have been discovered. In 2004, a cat was discovered buried with its human owner and was estimated to be 9,500 years old - older than Egyptian civilization. The first cities were built in the Bronze Age when copper was mined and traded. Buildings were used to process and store olive oil , a product the island is still famous for today. Copper ingots recovered from shipwrecks show widespread metal trade. Cyprus was part of the Hittite empire governed from Northern Syria. Achaean Greeks settled from the 1400 BC and Dorian Greeks arrived around 1100 BC. Pottery indicates early trade with Crete . In the 8th century BC the number of settlements increased significantly and monumental tombs, like the 'Royal ' tombs of Salamis appear for the first time. This is likely the start of what is known as the Cypriot kingdoms . 10 kingdoms are listed in an inscription from 673 BC - Salamis, Kition, Amathus, Kourion, Paphos and Soli on the coast and Tamassos, Ledra, Idalium and Chytri in the interior. Cyprus gained independence around 669 BC but was conquered by Egypt and then by Persians around 545 BC. At the beginning of the 4th century BC, the King of Salamis, took control of the whole island and tried to gain independence from Persia, but was crushed by Artaxerxes in 344 BC. During the siege of Tyre, Cypriot Kings sided with Alexander the Great , then in 321 sided with Ptolemy I. Ptolemy lost Cyprus briefly, but it remained under Ptolemaic rule till 58 BC and was ruled by a governor from Egypt . Strong commercial relationships developed with Athens and Alexandria. Full Hellenisation took place under Ptolemaic rule, as Phoenician and native Cypriot traits disappeared, as well as the old Cypriot syllabic script. Cyprus became a Roman province in 58 BC. Mark Antony gave the island to Cleopatra of Egypt but it became a Roman province again after his defeat at the Battle of Actium, in 30 BC. A Jewish uprising of 115/116 AD led to great losses and it was placed under the control of and governed by a proconsul. Several earthquakes led to the destruction of Salamis at the beginning of the 4th century, at the same time drought and famine hit the island. After the Roman Empire, Cyprus came under the rule of Constantinople . The Arabs and Muslims invaded in the 650s, but in 688, Emperor Justinian II and the caliph Abd al-Malik reached a remarkable agreement where, for 300 years, Cyprus was ruled jointly by both the Arabs and the Byzantines as a condominium, despite almost constant war between the two parties on the mainland. In 965, Cyprus was conquered by a resurgent Byzantium. In the 12th century Cyprus was targeted by crusaders. Richard the Lionheart landed in Limassol on 1 June 1191 in search of his sister and his bride Berengaria, whose ship had become separated from the fleet in a storm. Richard married Berengaria in Limassol on 12 May 1192 and continued to occupy Cyprus and raise taxes until he sold it to the Knights Templar . Soon after, the French arrived, establishing the Kingdom of Cyprus. Latin , then French , become the official language, with Greek as a second official language. In 1196, the Latin Church was established, resulting in the Orthodox Cypriot Church being persecuted. Maronites from Syria settled on Cyprus during the Crusades and still maintain some villages in the North. A small Roman Catholic population was mainly confined to coastal cities such as Famagusta as well as Nicosia, the traditional capital. The independent Eastern Orthodox Church of Cyprus, with its own archbishop and subject to no patriarch, was allowed to remain on the island, but the Latin Church largely displaced it in stature and holding property. The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas was consecrated in 1328, and is the largest medieval building in Famagusta, where the Kings of Cyprus were crowned also as Kings of Jerusalem . In 1571 having fallen to the Ottoman Empire, it became the Mosque of Mağusa, and remains a mosque today. In 1268 , Hugh III of Cyprus claimed Cyprus and its territory of Acre as well as Jerusalem thus uniting the kingdoms. Like Jerusalem, Cyprus had a High Court . The island was richer and more feudal than Jerusalem, so the king had more personal wealth and could afford to ignore the court. Cyprus became the centre of European trade with Africa and Asia after the fall of Acre in 1291 and became dominated in the 14th century by Genoese merchants. In 1489 the last Queen, Catherine Cornaro, was forced to sell the island to Venice . Ottomans started raiding Cyprus immediately afterwards, and captured it in 1571 . This is the historical setting to Shakespeare's Othello , the play's title character being the commander of the Venetian garrison defending Cyprus against the Ottomans. Turks and Cypriots coexisted harmoniously on the island which was rich in salt, sugar, cotton, grains, and other export goods. It was also a centre of Syria-Venice trade and served as the eastern Mediterranean's main emporium for Venice's maritime trade. The Ottoman Empire was predominantly Muslim, so there was a cultural and religious clash when it conquered Cyprus. More Muslims came to Cyprus, mixing in with the Orthodox Christian Greek population of the island and led to the Millet System , which allowed authorities to rule over their religious minorities to keep peace in the Country. The 1878 Russo-Turkish War ended Ottoman control with Britain taking over who annexed the island unilaterally in 1914, after it declared war against the Ottomans during the First World War. Under British rule, the island enjoyed increased freedom of speech, something which allowed development of Greek Cypriots' ideas of enosis (unification with Greece). In the 1920s, representatives were repeatedly sent to England to request union with Greece but to no avail. In 1925, following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Britain declared the island a Crown Colony, and made it clear that unification was out of the question. In October 1931 the October riots resulted in autocratic rule known as Palmerokratia ("Palmerocracy"), named after governor Richmond Palmer, which until the start of World War II. In 1950 , the Orthodox Church of Cyprus organized a referendum on union with Greece, but the international community showed no desire to support their request. In 1960 , a new constitution createdpower-sharing, where the vice-president and at least 30% of members of parliament would be Turkish Cypriots. Archbishop Makarios III would be the President and Dr. Fazıl Küçük would become vice president. The constitution also created separate local municipalities so that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could manage their own municipalities in large towns. In 1964 , the United Nations were forced to send peacekeeping forces to protect the vastly outnumbered Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriot attacks and they remain on the island today. In 1974 , the Makarios Government was planning to eradicate Turkish Cypriots completely, but a military coup with the support of the junta in Greece led to Turkey intervening in the north of the island to protect Turkish Cypriots. In 1975 the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus was created. The name was changed to The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , on 15 November 1983. In 2002 the UN started negotiations for unification. In 2004 a plan for unification emerged, supported by the UN, the EU and the USA. Turkish Cypriots accepted the plan, but Greek Cypriots rejected it. After Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, the euro replaced the Cypriot pound in 2008 while Northern Cyprus continued to use the Turkish lira. Top Guides > General > Internet & TV Northern Cyprus Internet connectivity is generally fast and good quality, with monthly packages low cost compared to western Europe or the UK. If you’re coming for short periods on holiday, you may be happy to use mobile broadband via your own mobile phone on roaming, or by purchasing a local sim card and data package, but if you’re purchasing a property you’ll more than likely want to have your own Wi-Fi installed. Coverage All of Northern Cyprus, apart from very remote country areas, has good mobile signal reception and high-quality internet operates via the mobile broadband system. Some apartment sites offer free internet restaurants or reception areas and if your property happens to be near to these, you might just get get free internet by virtue of your property location, but in most cases you'll want to have your own installed. Installation Contact one of the service providers and give them your address and they’ll be able to give you the best package for that location, arrange a time to come and fit your router, and give you all the price details. You’ll need to pay monthly in advance. Cost Exchange rates vary but broadband in Northern Cyprus is typically around half the cost of most European countries. Internet/Broadband providers Extend Multimax Nethouse Fixnet Turkcell Superonline Flynet Comtech Satellite Internet The Starlink satellite internet system, provided by Elon Musk's company. has scheduled TRNC coverage from late 2023. Mobile broadband It’s a good idea to purchase a local Telsim or Turkcell sim card upon arrival (they’re sold at the airport), and get the package which offers the best amount of data included. You may be able to use this to tether to your laptop or tablet too and this may suit you for short visits. English language TV You can receive local TV channels with a normal antenna, a few of which are in English. All English language TV is now accessed via the internet in Northern Cyprus. You can get quite a bit of TV from your own country using a VPN (virtual private network), and accessing TV via your own mobile data, but if you’re moving here or spending extended times in the country, your Internet/Broadband provider or the Satellite TV companies, listed here, can assist you. Satellite TV providers All North Cyprus English language TV is now accessed via the internet. Around the island, you'll see lots of places showing English Premier Leagure football. BEIN sports is very popular and this allows you to watch pretty much every EPL game live. Firesticks are also popular, and there are a number of providers who can set these up for you. Netflix is also popular in TRNC. Digiturk – Satellite TV Satellite Cyprus TV Local TV You can receive local TV many channels with a normal antenna. Top Guides > General > M.I.C.E. Tourism Climate, natural beauty and state-of-the-art facilities are making Northern Cyprus one of the fastest growing destinations for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions ) tourism, attracting businesses from far and wide. Pretty much all 5-star hotels cater for conferences and exhibitions, whether it be small seminar halls, or large convention centres. There's plenty of choice for business of all industries and sizes. As an incentive , business can now offer employees a safe, multicultural island, in the Mediterranean, with 10 months of sunshine, sandy beaches, spectacular mountains, superb hospitality, international entertainment and bundles of exquisite cuisine. Ancient civilisation sites; cultural tours; a championship golf course; spa treatment; Turkish baths or simply a dip in the pool or sea, ensure everyone will enjoy their time away from the meeting rooms. Top Guides > General > New Year Top Guides > General > General Overview Top Guides > General > Mobile Phones Mobile Telephone Operators KKTCell - Commonly referred to as Turkcell. (0533 / 0539 numbers) Telsim - part owned by Vodafone. (0542 / 0548 numbers). You shouldn’t experience any issues in North Cyprus because both firms use GSM, which can be found on most modern mobile phones. GSM bands include 850, 900, 1800, and 1900. Both have agreements with all major international networks, so you shouldn’t have any trouble connecting after you arrive if you wish to use your usual mobile number while you're here. Coming from the UK Vodafone & O2 offer unlimited call and text roaming in North Cyprus &Türkiye at a cost. Vodafone also roams without additional charges in the South. For other networks, check with them before travelling to see what packages they’re offering. If Türkiye isn’t included, you’d be better to bring a second phone with a pay as you go Vodafone sim card in it. Alternatively, you can buy a sim card from Turkcell or Telsim. Offers available include pay as you go data packages as well as calls and texts. The larger supermarkets, including Lemar , generally have stands for both networks. There’s also one at Ercan Airport so you can buy a sim card immediately on arrival. South Cyprus If you have a mobile phone registered in Europe, roaming is free for South Cyprus whatever your network at home, although charges are higher in the North, unless you’re on Vodafone or O2. If you want a south Cyprus sim card, corner shops have a wide range of sim cards available. Using Turkcell or Telsim in South Cyprus Before crossing to the south: TURKCELL – text "GUNEY "(South) to 1717 to start roaming in the South. Text "KUZEY " (north) to 1717 to stop. TELSIM – text "AC " (open) to 7075 to start roaming in the South. Text "KAPAT " ( close) to 7075 to stop. Text before you cross the border, or you’ll be hit with different rates. Be careful when close to the border as you could roam accidentally. Using South Cyprus mobile phones in North Cyprus Contact your service provider to see if you need to activate roaming for the north before crossing the border. It may well be automatic. Charges for South Cyprus users visiting the North, are generally cheaper than for North Cyprus users visiting the South. Summary UK visitors : if you're coming for short periods to North or South Cyprus, a UK Vodafone or O2 pay as you go sim card or contract will include your usage on both sides of the border . European visitors : North Cyprus counts as Türkiye. South Cyprus is Europe. Your mobile phone will roam without additional charges in the south . It’ll incur costs in the north unless your provider includes Türkiye . Check with your provider. Buying local sim cards : Available at supermarkets and allow roaming on both sides of the border for a cost. Turkcell or Telsim sim card users need to activate roaming before they cross the border to avoid higher charges. WhatsApp WhatsApp is very popular in Northern Cyprus and many individuals and businesses use it. Top Guides > General > Police North Cyprus has a modern, well-equipped police force that carries out not just crime fighting, but traffic, immigration, drug and fraud divisions for example. They also assist other countries when they're investigating their nationals who may be residing in North Cyprus. They're very quick to deal with any crime committed against tourists, as infrequent as they are. The police report to the Security Council and Ministry of the Interior, with the Commander in Chief sitting on the Council along with representatives from the Ministries of Interior and Defence and the President. There are police stations in all main cities and towns , although villages usually have to rely on their nearest town for a police station and service. If you’re in any situation which requires the assistance of the police, you can rest assured that they will do all they can to help you . You may also find that local Turkish Cypriots will try to help you as well, translating and accompanying you to a police station if necessary for example. ​ Emergency Police Number - 155 Location Number Police Karpaz +90 392 381 2325 Police Guzelyurt +90 392 714 2140 Police Famagusta +90 392 366 5310 Police Kyrenia +90 392 815 2014 Police Nicosia +90 392 228 3311 Top Guides > General > Postal Services The postal service here is run by TRNC Postal Office which has branches in all major cities, towns and villages. Be aware that branch opening hours may not be the same as branch parcel acceptance & delivery hours. Contact your local branch to find out more. Addresses When sending letters from abroad it’s important the address includes “Mersin 10, Turkey ” and the postcode should also be included. These are not individual address codes, but relate to fairly large areas. This add-on routes post to Türkiye, where the “Mersin 10” lets them know it needs to come to Northern Cyprus. The postcode then tells the TRNC post office which area o it needs to go to. Make sure you don’t include ‘’Cyprus ’’ in the address, or it’ll be sent to the South of the island, who'll just return it to you. ​ Example address with postcode: 123 Abc Sokak Karakum, Girne Mersin 10 99320 Türkiye Post can be collected from your local post office, who also have yellow PO Boxes in many branches, but there’s often a waiting list for renting them. You can rent one between a few families if there’s a limit on boxes available. Stamps Post offices sell stamps which you’ll need for posting letters, as well as any official documentation such as work and residency permits, taxing cars etc. If you’re buying stamps for official document purposes, buy plain stamps, not special edition stamps, as these are often not accepted by Government Departments. 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. ​ Postal Charges Current postal charges - Prices are in Turkish, but your local postal office can advise you regarding prices. Post can be sent on standard or registered/tracked mail . TRNC Post Office Service has an online “Track and Trace ” service to allow you to check the delivery status of any items ordered simply by entering the barcode number shown on an order receipt. Domestic Post – letters can be delivered throughout the island ​Surface Overseas Mail (by land & sea) - done by ferry from Famagusta. Divided into two groups: Türkiye and other countries. International Air Mail - Via Ercan Airport. Overseas air mail transportation to Turkey is sent to Adana, Ankara and Istanbul Postal Directorates. Post to the rest of the World is provided through the TC Post Directorate in Istanbul (European Side Postal Processing Centre). ​ ​Postal fees are set according to criteria accepted by the International Postal Union. Countries are in four charge groups based on distances. The groups are: Türkiye Middle East, Europe, North Africa, India, Pakistan US, African Countries outside North Africa, China, Japan Far East, Australia. Small Package Service - shipping of items <2 kg in weight Parcel Service – shipping of items >2 kg in weight Rapid Mail Service (APS) – reach recipients quickly, usually within 3 days Remittances - domestic and international postal remittance services Registered Mail Service - extra cost and the recipient must sign to receive it Express Courier Service - extra cost but delivered urgently via courier. Return Mail Service - Returned to the sender if not delivered and a return address has been provided. Reasons for return of letters are usually: Incomplete/Incorrect address, rejected letters, recipient has died, defective packaging, missing stamps (even if the sender's address is known), recipient or sender has moved to a new address. Sending mail to the TRNC from the UK If you want to send a letter or parcel from the UK, visit . They offer 3 main international services; Standard, Tracked, and Tracked & Signed. Tracked/Tracked & Signed, supply a tracking number, which you can use to follow your delivery until it gets to Istanbul. After it reaches Türkiye, you can view progress on the Turkish Tracking System in Turkish or ask your local post office and they’ll check it for you. Tracked Mail usually takes roughly 10-15 working days to arrive and are generally a more reliable method of ensuring your post arrives safely in TRNC. Cargo Companies Cargo companies that offer domestic and international post/package shipment. ​ Yurtici Kargo MNG Kargo TNT Kargo UPS Kargo DHL Kargo ​All have offices in Lefkosa, some in Girne and Famagusta. Branch addresses are available on their websites. Top Guides > General > Religion Northern Cyprus is a completely secular state, with therefore no official religion, although it's predominantly populated by people of Islamic faith. There are other religions and ethnic groups active on the island, some of whom are descendents from the various cultures that make this place such a mixed and special place to be. ​ Muslim Islam was introduced when Uthman the 3rd Caliph conquered Cyprus in 649. Turkish Muslims settled during Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878. The Ottoman Empire gave land to its soldiers provided they and their families stayed permanently. During the 17th century the Turkish population grew rapidly, and Islam is now the main religion practised in North Cyprus. You can hear the call to prayer five times a day from most places on the island, but the faith is not practised to such an extent that women cover themselves, nor do people abstain from alcohol in North Cyprus. ​ Maronite Cypriots ​ The Maronite community is based in the north-east of the island in Kormacit/Koruçam. They're of Christian origin, descended from those who came from Lebanon and Syria around 1200 years ago. They speak in an Arabic dialect, although many Turkish and Greek words are used. The Maronites belong to the Greek Cypriot community to which, owing to similar religious, linguistic and cultural bonds, they are much closer. They have a Maronite Archbishop who is elected by the Holy Synod of the Maronite Church in Lebanon and confirmed by His Holiness the Pope. Anglican A large number of Church of England expats and foreigners attend Anglican churches in North Cyprus. There's St Andrews Church in Kyrenia which holds services on Sundays and Thursdays, and St Marks which has services on a Sunday both at the Boğaz Hotel and St Georges Chapel in Famagusta. Roman Catholic There are also Roman Catholics in North Cyprus, with mass held at St Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church in Kyrenia near to the Dome Hotel every Sunday. ​ Bahá’i This religion is based upon the spiritual and is an independent religion practised worldwide with a small group in North Cyprus. Its principles are to bring about the oneness of humanity as there was only one Creator, the spiritual truth of all religions is the same. There are also smaller religious and ethnic groups, such as Armenian Cypriots who first arrived on the island in around 1915, Latin Cypriots who practise Catholicism, as well as Romany Gypsies who are reported to have arrived in Cyprus at the time of the Lusignans. Top Guides > General > Relocating If you’re thinking of relocating to Northern Cyprus here’s a guide to moving your possessions, car, family and pets to your new property. Importing furniture & possessions You can easily import them using an international removals company. They’re free of tax if they're all over 12 months old. If you’re moving from South Cyprus, you can bring one car or vanload of household goods. You should allow at least 6-8 weeks for items to arrive and you must be in Northern Cyprus to receive the goods in person. Alternatively, you could buy a fully furnished property and just ship or bring your most precious personal effects with you. If you’ve decided to import furniture, try Euromed , Olaytrans , Britannia Movers , Aspin International and Emel Shipping or search for others online. Some companies visit your home to review what you wish to ship and give a customised quotation. The quote will depend on how much of a 20- or 40-foot container your possessions will occupy. Some companies will also come and pack for you, at a cost, and offer a full door-to-door service; others will offer a door-to-Famagusta dock service. The company you choose should keep you updated on progress and inform you of the likely time and date of arrival. The quickest period from overseas is likely to be a month but you should allow longer. Once your goods arrive at the dock, it can take 5-10 days for customs clearance. The time can be affected by x-raying, physical inspection, volume of traffic at the port and the levy of any import duties or taxes. At the port you’ll need: ​ • A complete inventory list of the contents of the container (in English and Turkish ). • A letter from the Muhktar (Mayor) of your TRNC village confirming your address (you may need a rental or sales agreement to get this). • An “in and out” letter from a police station (details your trips in and out of TRNC to date). Once you have these, you'll be advised to visit the customs office in Lefkoşa where they'll be stamped and authorised. Take this completed paperwork to your shipping agent offices in Famagusta. When packing, create an inventory of everything English and Turkish (the customs official checking it upon arrival in TRNC might not speak English). When the container finally arrives at your house, a local customs official will arrive with it to check it contains what you say it contains. At last, you're reunited with your possessions in your new home. Importing a car You can officially bring one car in if it's under 3 years old (or over five years old with you as registered owner for the last five years) but experienced ex-pats generally recommend against importing a car to TRNC due to the bureaucracy. You’ll also have to pay import duty of 40-60% of the Glasses guide mid-range value within 12 months of the car arriving. You may also find it more difficult to get comprehensive insurance, face restrictions on its resale for periods of time, and face difficulty sourcing spares and parts. General consensus is it’s not worth the effort or hassle, unless you really can’t be separated from a particular car. Second-hand cars often cost more in Northern Cyprus than other European countries due to import taxes, so it may be more sensible to shop around for a good second-hand car or long term car rental once you’re here. You can drive initially on your driving licence from your own country, but if you become resident in North Cyprus, you'll need to apply for a TRNC licence. ​ Importing Pets The first thing you need to ensure is that the property you buy does allow pets, because some complexes don’t. You’ll ideally need some private outside space with a ground floor apartment or a villa set in a private plot. The British run KARS (Kyrenia Animal Rescue) charity in Karakum, Kyrenia, can help you organise the import. Not only do KARS rescue and care for stray and unwanted animals in Kyrenia, it has become THE information centre for cat and dog import and export to Northern Cyprus. TRNC isn’t in the EU, hence not part of the Pet Passport Scheme so you can import an animal but not bring them for short term visits or holidays. Before you move to North Cyprus, book an appointment with KARS. Your pet will need a current ‘Pet Passport’ with the Rabies vaccination done no less than 30 days prior to entry and the Serology Test being done no more than 12 months prior to entry. There are requirements for vaccinations for both cats and dogs which KARS has full details of. Quarantine is no longer required, but an import licence is. This will be issued in Lefkosa if the paperwork is in order. KARS can tell you how to organise this and can also advise on the export procedure. Importing family Many ex-pats move to Northern Cyprus with children or older relatives. There are excellent English-speaking junior schools, high schools and Universities for young people, and you might want to take into account driving time to school when choosing a property. When you apply for residency, you must prove you can support relatives who come with you who are under 18 and older relatives will need to prove a source of income or pension. There's excellent and affordable private health care in North Cyprus. With the growth of English education and increasingly sophisticated health care in North Cyprus, it’s becoming far more common for ex-pat families to arrive who have younger, and older, family members. Gone are the days when the only ex-pats relocating to North Cyprus were retirees, with facilities available for family members of all ages. The two main English speaking schools in Northern Cyprus, which cater for children from as young as 3 right up to 18, are the Necat British College in Alsancak (west of Kyrenia) and the English School of Kyrenia in Bellapais (East of Kyrenia). These excellent schools have affordable fee structures and are now attracting ex-pats to relocate to North Cyprus purely for the excellent quality of the education. If you’re a working age couple with elderly relatives, you might consider bringing them to live with you as the Mediterranean climate is ideal for older people and tends to lead to improvements in health. The main consideration at this point is health care as there's no free healthcare in Northern Cyprus. There is, however, excellent and affordable private dental and healthcare with many visitors coming especially for surgery, dental work and other procedures and with all pharmacists and doctors/specialists generally speaking English. Excellent and affordable pharmacies can fulfil prescriptions from elsewhere and are usually cheaper. Top Guides > General > Residency There is no automatic right to reside and work in the TRNC for EU citizens . If you want stay in TRNC longer than the period of a tourist visa, you have to get a residency permit . The first port of call is the local police station’s immigration department. You’ll need to produce to the police the following documents: ​ Passport original and photocopy If you have the title deeds to property in your name, the title deeds (original) and photocopy. If you have purchased a property under Contract of Sale, but have not yet received the title deeds to the property, the Contract of Sale (original) and photocopy. If you are living in rented accommodation the Tenancy Agreement (original) and photocopy. A letter from your local village chief (Mukhtar ) to say you reside in his village. This letter is called Ikametgah Belgesi in Turkish. You can usually find your Mukhtar in the centre of the village where you live, near to the local municipality (Belediye) building or the post office Bank documents showing that you have a TRNC bank account which has sufficient funds or a regular income to enable you to support yourself in the TRNC without working. 2 passport photos 6YTL stamps (Damga Pulu in Turkish). The amount required is constantly changing, so take spares in case more are required. The police will then refer you to the Lefkosa State Hospital, or a licensed clinic, for a health test . The test will check for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and TB . After you’ve had the health test, take the results, unopened, to the immigration office in Lefkosa for the residency permit to be stamped in your passport. The immigration office is called the ‘Muhaceret Dairesi’ in Turkish. ​ A residency permit only entitles you to live in the TRNC, not work or set up a business . It’s valid for 1 year and must be renewed every year by following the same procedure (except for the hospital check). Children under the age of 18, don’t require residency permits so families moving to TRNC only need apply for residency for the adult members of the family. Non-citizens who give birth to a child in TRNC, need to notify their embassy or consulate of the birth. Once this has been done and a letter to this effect has been obtained from the embassy or consulate, you apply to the District Office (Kaymakamlik ) in the area in which you live, to register the child’s birth. ​ Becoming a citizen of TRNC is more complex. Citizenship is granted to all whose mother or father is a Turkish Cypriot or to those married to a Turkish Cypriot. Presently, there is a new law in Parliament to allow foreign nationals to become citizens of the TRNC after 10 years of residence in the TRNC. ​ This guide is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The information provided is on the basis of current law at the time of writing. Top Guides > General > Retiring “We only came here for a week’s holiday. That was ten years ago!” Many who eventually move to live in the north of the island initially arrive for a holiday and quickly realise that the TRNC is the perfect retirement destination. There are now over 10,000 British, European and other international expat residents living happily alongside the over 300,000 resident Turkish-speaking population. So why do so many people choose North Cyprus for retirement?T here are a huge number of benefits to retirement in the TRNC. Probably the most frequently quoted reason is simply the fabulous Mediterranean weather – out of 365 days in a year, you can expect sunshine on around 340 of them ! The Cyprus climate verges on the semi-tropical and although there is of course the much-needed rain in the winter, it's generally at least 10° hotter than the UK on any given day of the year, with frost almost unheard of. It's well known that people 60+ benefit hugely from warmer weather and increased natural sunlight , with doctors recommending a Mediterranean climate to those with certain health conditions including arthritis . Private healthcare and hospital facilities are “state of the art” with new centres including the Near East University Hospital and Medical School boasting world-class equipment and treatment opportunities. More and more visitors arrive to take advantage of the far lower prices for private healthcare and operations and find better healthcare in Cyprus than in their own country of origin. Although those retiring to North Cyprus do need to consider private medical insurance, the specialist consultation prices are so low that it can be cheaper just to “pay as you go”. Prescription and over the counter medicines are often far cheaper. For the active retiree, the sky is actually NOT the limit for the number of leisure activities you can pursue. Well-known British centenarian and former TRNC resident, Peggy McAlpine, was world-famous for her Guinness Book of Records paragliding feats aged 104 from the 2,400 ft peak of the North Cyprus Besparmak (Five Finger) mountains down to the coast. For those preferring land or water-based leisure activities, Korineum Golf & Beach Resort boasts an impeccably maintained 18 hole golf course with stunning mountain and sea views. There are marinas as well as a host of diving and waters ports clubs. For those who like socialising , the various English-speaking societies organise dances, talks and other fundraising events. There's a host of new expat bookshops , cafes and weekend markets where expats meet and relax together in the sun. North Cyprus is officially a Muslim country but welcomes people from other faiths. Church goers are delighted to find the lovely traditional St. Andrew’s church in Kyrenia with regular Sunday services run by an Episcopal vicar resident at the nearby Hermitage. The British Residents Society and "Foreign Residents Society" hold “clinics” where experienced ex pats are happy to dispense advice to new arrivals and where membership can be obtained. Top Guides > General > Rough Guide Top Guides > General > Transportation As an island in the Mediterranean, travel to Northern Cyprus is mainly air , although transportation from Türkiye by sea is also an option. Once you’re here there’s a number of transportation options to choose from. Air Travel Ercan Airport (ECN) , located near the capital Lefkoşa, serves over 4m passengers a year. Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Jet and Pegasus Airlines are the main carriers. Charter flight carriers include Freebird, Tailwind and Corendon Airlines. A major extension of the runway as well as construction of an eco-friendly new terminal opened on 20 July 2023. The size of the new terminal building, described as the TRNC’s “window to the world”, is 20,000 square meters , sitting on grounds that measure some 7.8 million sq meters – six times the airport’s old size. The terminal parking area is 34,000 sq meters and its new main runway will be 2,755 meters long, in keeping with international standards for commercial aircraft. The airport apron has room for 30 parked aircraft, 9 of which have passenger boarding bridges. Inside the new terminal building, there are 60 check-in desks and 44 passport control points . Security has been enhanced with 26 modern x-ray devices and a baggage screening and handling capacity of 5,000 per hour . The new larger space and improved facilities mean the airport’s passenger traffic can grow to 10 million passengers a year. Most travellers currently come from Turkiye, but tourism to the TRNC from Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East continues to rise. Ercan Airport is located 14 kilometres from Lefkoşa, 40 km from Famagusta and 44 km from Kyrenia. Ease of access to Ercan and its direct links to global travel hub Istanbul Airport, has made it an increasingly popular choice for residents living in South Cyprus too. ​ Shuttle Service Services to and from Ercan Airport to five major towns, Kyrenia, Nicosia, Famagusta, Güzelyurt and Lefke are organised around inbound and outbound flight times, offering visitors a consistent and economic means of transport. Many Tour Operators also offer transfers and door to door services for visitors booked through them. ​ Car Rental Global and local vehicle hire operators are stationed throughout the island, with those running at Ercan offering pick up and drop at the airport. Car hire prices differ, based on season, brand, passenger capacity and length of hire. Visitors intending to explore the island are well advised to arrange car hire to make the most of their experience. ​ Taxis Renowned for only driving luxury vehicle models, vacant taxi drivers are almost always stationed at their bays and not likely to be stopped roadside. All hotels will have a designated taxi partner readily on call, and in most town centres travellers will pass by a near taxi bay. Taxis are metered and charge per kilometre distance travelled, although rates do change between daytime and night. When travelling between towns, on mid to long distance journeys, most drivers will be able to quote a fixed price beforehand, and if you really wnat to get local, try bargaining the fee before you get in. ​ Public Transport Not the most advanced service or infrastructure, small minibuses also known as “Dolmuş ” (dol-moush) pick up passengers’ roadside and transport over short distances, connecting main towns to villages. Very frequent in most towns as well as cheap, there's often no regulated schedule nor do they stray off any main roads, an important consideration when planning for your visit. ​ Sea Travel If you're considering crossing the Mediterranean by sea, daily ferry services operate from Famagusta and Kyrenia to Mersin province in the southern coast of Türkiye and final plans are under way for services connecting Alanya near to Antalya, with North Cyprus. Depending on the type of ferry available, the shortest duration from Kyrenia to Mersin Taşucu is 2.5 hours . ​ Driving Regulations Traffic in North Cyprus uses the left-hand side of the road and driving regulations are similar to that of the United Kingdom. Short-term visitors and tourists can drive non-commercial vehicles using most global driving licences, including EU and UK. ​ Pedestrians Pedestrians are reminded that traffic moves on the left side of the road and are advised to look both right and left carefully before crossing any road. If pavements aren't available, you should walk on the right side, towards any oncoming traffic. ​ Top Guides > General > Visas & Entry There are two distinct ways of entering North Cyprus. Directly via Türkiye into Ercan airport, or via South Cyprus and crossing over the border. Via Ercan airport ​ British, EU and US passport holders don't need tourist visas for North Cyprus entry and up to a 90-day stay may be granted. Tourist visitors staying at hotel or rented accommodation will normally be issued a visa for a maximum of 30 days. If they can submit documents showing that a prior payment has been made for lengthier accommodation, a visa up to 90 days may be granted. A visa up to 90 days may also be issued to those who come for official visits, business meetings, conferences, seminars, meetings, festivals, fairs, exhibitions, sporting events, cultural and artistic events, health tourism and similar purposes. Citizens of the European Union and Schengen Area Countries travelling to North Cyprus can show a National Identity Card, whereas citizens of other countries are required to present a valid Passport . Ercan Airport, located just outside the capital Nicosia, currently serves over 4million passengers a year, and major carriers include Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines as well as several charter flight carriers.. Upon arrival to Ercan, visitors fill out personal details on a white slip which will be stamped on entry and should be retained throughout the visit. Citizens of countries that don't have an Embassy, Consulate General, Consulate or Representative Office in North Cyprus, or that are not members of the EU, must have a passport valid for at least 6 months to be able to enter the country. Citizens of countries that do have an Embassy, Consulate General, Consulate or Representative Office in North Cyprus or are citizens of EU countries, must have a passport or travel document valid for at least 2 months to be able to enter. It's worth noting that visitors transiting Türkiye en route to Ercan, may decide to leave the airport in Türkiye to visit for a few hours or days, in which case they will have to purchase a visa available upon exit through passport control. ​ Via South Cyprus You can cross the border at one of the many Turkish Cypriot passport controls points, and the same conditions apply. There are no restrictions on how many times you cross and border crossings are open 24 hours a day. There are limitations on the volume of goods you can cross the border with, especially duty-free items, such as cigarettes and alcohol or contraband. Any person found to be violating these restrictions will have their goods confiscated and a fine can also be imposed. ​ Northern Cyprus Visa Applications Passport with a minimum of 2 blank pages that will be valid for at least 90 days after the end of travel. Copy of the first page, including personal data and previous visas (if obtained) also must be provided. Completed and signed visa application form along with one color biometric photo, that are not older than 6 months. Proof of travel, with confirmed two-way tickets. Bank account details, proving the passenger can sufficiently fund their travel. Evidence of occupation in the form of certified documents such as; letter from an employer, student certificate, document of registration or demonstration of pension funds. Accommodation details through an invitation letter or proof of hotel reservation throughout the stay. Documentation of travel health insurance throughout the period of travel and that is valid within the entire Schengen area. There are specific documents that need to be attached to an application depending on employment status. ​ Employed: Employment contract (original certificate of employment indicating position in company and salary) Bank account statement of the past 6 months Approval letter of leave from employer Income Tax Return (ITR) Self-employed: Proof of business license (company registration) Company’s bank account statement of the past 6 months Income Tax Return (ITR) Student: Documentation of University enrolment No-objection certificate from school management Retired: Pension statement documenting the past 6 months Unemployed: Proof of financial resources is required If the person is not able to finance their own expenses, proof of a sponsor is mandatory. Visa Sponsorship Students or unemployed/retired people who aren't in a position to cover their own travel expenses will need to demonstrate support from a sponsor who will bear all costs. The sponsor must be a first-degree relative and will have to prove sufficient resources by meeting certain requirements such as filling out the sponsorship form and submitting the requested documents. ​ Northern Cyprus Visa Rules Visa applications shall be submitted to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Embassy or Diplomatic Mission. It's advised to submit applications at least one month prior to your travel date. Visa applications are concluded in three days. Citizens of Syria, Nigeria and Armenia are required to process their visa applications in person. Citizens of other countries may obtain their visas at the border by Immigration Officers. However, the terms of entry differ depending on the nationality of passport holders. Flights to Northern Cyprus are connected from Türkiye. Thus, travelers may need a transit visa from Republic of Türkiye depending on their nationality of origin. Turkish citizens may face problems obtaining a Greek visa if their passports have an entry or exit stamp from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Therefore, it may be recommended to travel with national identity card. Turkish Citizens Turkish citizens can visit Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus without any visa requirements. A valid passport or identity card is needed. Top Guides > General > Weddings & Honeymoons Good enough for royalty Weddings and Honeymoons in Northern Cyprus are really special. The warmth of the people who place marriage at the centre of their culture just adds to the occasion. Since Richard the Lionheart chose to marry his Queen, Berengaria in Cyprus, the island has always held a romantic attraction for couples. Convenient marriage laws and spectacular wedding locations make Northern Cyprus a truly great destination for your wedding. Whether it be the party itself, or the getaway after, Northern Cyprus has been soaring in appeal in recent years. Marriages in TRNC are legal, accepted and recognised worldwide, so it doesn’t matter where you're from. The law is based primarily on English law, which simplifies the whole marriage process, making it easier to understand and meaning wedding services and marital documents are all in English. Legal requirements for a wedding to take place include: bride and groom to have stayed in TRNC for at least 6 days before their wedding ; copies of passports; birth certificates, a form to be completed for submission to the District Officer; and a decree absolute if divorced. You'll find everything you might want which takes the stress out of the whole process. Personalised bouquets and arrangements are widely available. Standard or personalised wedding cakes only need a few days advance order. Custom designed wedding rings are widely available and usually less expensive. Hair and beauty salons are on almost every street corner or you can book a stylist to come to your venue and spend the day by your sides. Professional photographers and camera operators are on hand. Live entertainment , musicians, orchestras, English speaking singers and artists as well as DJ’s, are in abundance and easily found. Hen and stag nights can be catered for. Spa days, group nights out for dinner , raving at one of the best clubs in the Med, private boat trips or anything else you can come up with - it's all here! ​ With the average cost of a wedding spiralling in Europe, it’s no wonder thousands of couples are looking to TRNC for their dream day where costs are commonly a third of a similar wedding at home - with almost perfect weather. Many friends and family make the trip to share in your dream wedding in the sun, often making a holiday of it themselves. Even if you do get married in Europe, North Cyprus offers a grand choice for honeymoons . Booking as a honeymoon couple will usually get you the “honeymoon suite”, decorated for the occasion and a generous welcome package. Pamper yourself at the spa, laze on golden beaches, bathe in the blue Mediterranean, sip cocktails, dine in style overlooking the shores or with a mountain backdrop and soak up the nature. It'll be a holiday to treasure and tell the kids about in years to come. Korineum Golf & Beach Resort Boasts breath-taking landscapes and 360° views with the Beşparmak Mountain Range on one side, the Mediterranean on the other and luscious lawns in between. Proceedings are set apart from the main hotel grounds ensuring your day remains private and intimate. For couples wanting luxurious facilities, but in green and peaceful surroundings, it's the perfect choice. Set amongst natural forest of umbrella pines and olives it’s an experience you’ll never forget. They also offer their private beach for weddings and events. ​ Doğanköy Church If you’re looking for a quaint little church off the beaten track for your wedding in North Cyprus, Dogankoy Church could be perfect for you. Doğanköy is a small village located to the south east of Kyrenia. The church is one of the oldest buildings in the area and was recently restored to make it a really attractive wedding venue, away from the hustle and bustle of the town. The cool whitewashed walls inside the church make it very welcoming on a warm day, so you can share an intimate wedding ceremony under the white stone arches, surrounded by beautiful flowers and your close friends and family. ​ Bellapais Abbey If you want a stunning historical backdrop for your ceremony then Bellapais Abbey is perfect. You can’t overstate how romantic it is to have a wedding surrounded by the arches of a 13th century abbey, with a backdrop of rugged mountains and spectacular views down to the Mediterranean. The Bellapais Monastery is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, and almost certainly the most famous of all North Cyprus’ architectural treasures. The Monastery remains in a wonderful state of preservation, providing a haven of peace and tranquillity for your wedding. The nearby Kybele restaurant can cater for post-wedding celebrations, with great food for formal dining, or a drinks reception in the beautiful gardens. Alternatively, there are plenty of options in Bellapais Monastery Village for your wedding reception or accommodation for your guests. ​ Bellapais Monastery Village Perfect for couples looking to marry in a peaceful, luxury retreat . The hotel is located at the foot of the Five Finger Mountain range, with panoramic views down over Kyrenia town and harbour. It’s just a short uphill walk from Bellapais Village and Bellapais Abbey. The hotel accommodates 130 guests in villas, rooms and luxury suites. There’s a rooftop restaurant for your wedding breakfast, a tranquil garden for reception drinks and space for live entertainment, making it perfect for the entire wedding party. ​ Ambiance If you dream of a wedding by the sea , you’ll fall in love with Ambiance as a venue. The decking that stretches out over the water makes it a truly unparalleled wedding venue with one of the best beach front locations in North Cyprus. During the day there’s a pool area with sun loungers, but the evenings take on a whole new look, with sophisticated dining for you and your guests. As the sun sets over the Mediterranean you can dance by the sea and party late into the night to your own choice of music and the sound of the sea lapping against the rocks. ​ Karpaz Palm Beach Hotel The Palm Beach Hotel in Famagusta is a small boutique hotel offering 5-star luxury and a magnificent private golden beach. Weddings are held on the private sandy beach, pool area and decking area. ​ Shayna Beach Club The perfect venue for an affordable beach wedding . Located right by the sea, with a private beach that can accommodate up to 500 people and a restaurant with a capacity of 120, everything you need is on site. The restaurant specialises in traditional Turkish or fresh fish meze, which are perfect for guests to sample local delicacies. There’s plenty of boutique hotels and luxury five-star facilities nearby. ​ Five Mile Ideal for a fairy tale beach wedding , right on the sea front and with a backdrop of a stunning mountain range. Clean water and warm temperatures make it one of Kyrenia’s top swimming beaches as it curves round a gentle bay, fringed with trees and protected by the foothills of the Kyrenia Mountains. It’s overlooked by the restaurant of the same name, which provides all the facilities you need. They provide luxury 3 course wedding breakfasts or a cocktail party with canapés for your wedding reception, with a tailored menu. ​ Hideaway Club Weddings at The Hideaway Club Hotel offer stunning views of both mountains and sea , all within one of North Cyprus’ top boutique hotels. Just three miles from Kyrenia, The Hideaway Club sits in the foothills of the mountain range, flanked by the majestic St Hilarion Castle. You and your guests can take in views of Kyrenia and the Mediterranean coastline from beside the pool. ​ Ambellia Village Resting 1000 feet above sea level in the Five Finger Mountains, you’ll struggle to find a wedding venue with better views . Every balcony and patio offers panoramic views of the coastline and the town of Kyrenia. With the sea in front of you, the mountains as the backdrop and Bellapais Monastery in the distance, you can be sure your guests will be wowed, and your wedding photos will be remarkable. Nature lovers enjoy springtime weddings in Northern Cyprus, when the island becomes a paradise of wild flowers and beautiful birds, and Ambellia Village is a perfect wedding venue to take it all in. ​ The Colony Style and sophistication for your dream wedding venue means The Colony Hotel. In the heart of downtown Kyrenia, the 5* hotel reflects the grandeur and opulence of the past, blending colonial style architecture with the glory of the Ottoman era. There’s a rooftop swimming pool, a spa and a restaurant with amazing views so your guests will be sure to be wowed. You can even arrive in your very own horse drawn carriage. 94 rooms and suites, means you and all your guests can enjoy the luxury of The Colony for the whole of your wedding. ​ Churches There are some beautiful venues to choose from if you're dreaming of a church wedding in North Cyprus. Saint Andrews Church is situated behind the magical harbour, and it’s a perfect spot to have a Christian blessing before being taken by horse and carriage to one of the luxury hotels for your wedding reception. The church was built in 1913 and is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The relatively small resident congregation in Northern Cyprus is regularly joined by visitors to the island, and is extremely welcoming to new couples. Saint Elisabeth is a Catholic church located in Kyrenia. It’s close to the harbour, and provides a beautiful setting for a church blessing. ​ Altinkaya Hotel Perfect for couples who’d like an outdoor wedding in the sun . This small, friendly hotel caters for weddings of all sizes around their beautiful pool and terrace area, with breathtaking views of the mountain range. It’s just 1km east of Kyrenia and 1.5km from Bellapais Abbey. There’s a rooftop and an indoor restaurant, so you can adapt your wedding depending on what the weather brings, and with plenty of on-site accommodation, you can relax knowing all your wedding guests are being well looked after. Top Guides > General > Making a Will You may be surprised to know that the majority of expats in TRNC don't have a Will. Making a Will ensures all your belongings will go to who you decide. If you die intestate (i.e. without leaving a Will) your spouse won't automatically inherit your estate if there are surviving children. Under TRNC law, no Will means your spouse would get 1/6th of your estate and the remaining 5/6th would go to any surviving children . If there's no children, then other relatives will get a share. ​ A common misconception people have is that the State automatically gets an estate if there's no Will - this isn't true . The State only becomes entitled to an estate if there's no “next of kin”. Given there are six degrees of kin, there's usually someone living to inherit, not the State. Six degrees means a Second cousin or Great Great uncle’s son, for example. If you die with no “next of kin”, you're considered to have died without heirs, and your estate will go to the State, just as it would go to the Crown in the UK under the same circumstances. Be aware, that a Will prepared outside of TRNC doesn't cover your estate here, so you do need a separate one prepared. Also, include only assets in TRNC and not ones you have in your home country; they should be kept totally separate. A lawyer will talk you through the process and establish your requirements and who you wish beneficiaries and executors to be. Normally a Will includes property, any additional immovable property, real estate, leasehold rights, movable property, all rights for monies lodged in North, all personal belongings and items that are unique to you. The wording is generally quite standard and similar to Wills prepared in other countries and will normally be written in English . You need to be of sound mind and aged over 18 to make a will. Two witnesses need to sign it in your presence then it's lodged with the Probate Registrar at the local court (this isn't legally required but is sensible practice) who will check everything is correct, that you're the person making the will, and issue you copies with an official receipt. When you die your executor applies for a Grant of Probate or Administration, which will be issued by the Probate Registry allowing them to proceed with administering your estate and carry out yo Top

  • Contact | Whats On In TRNC

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  • 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

  • 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

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    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

  • 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

  • Whats On In TRNC | North Cyprus

    TRNC - Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

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