Welcome to the island of legends that basks year-round in the light of the warm Mediterranean sun. A storied past 10,000 years long has seen civilizations come and go and the likes of everyone from Alexander the Great to Cleopatra stake their claim here but then, people do tend to get possessive when faced with such beauty. Aphrodite made her home on Cyprus and travelers throughout antiquity came here just to pay her tribute.
North Cyprus is a corner of earth touched by heaven. With its unique historic treasures and natural beauties, North Cyprus is a paradise island situated in the blue Mediterranean.
Cyprus, which is the third biggest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardunia, is covered with pine, carob and olive-clad mountains and verdant valleys fringed with golden beaches streching away for kilometers. In addition to luxury hotels, clean beaches and traditional Turkish hospitality, here you can find little and cosy restaurants, typically of North Cyprus which provide various spiced Turkish dishes like Kebab, stuffed vegetables and other delicacies.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) covers an area of 3,355 square kilometres. The official language of the country is Turkish. English is also widely spoken. The capital is Lefkosa (Nicosia).
Cyprus is the the easternmost island in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Syria, south of Turkey, north of Egypt and in close proximity to the east of the Greek island of Rhodes. Prominent geographic features include the Troodos massif that occupies most of the southwestern part of the country, the Pentadaktylos range in the north around Kyrenia and the Messaoria Plain in between them. It is here that the capital city, Lefkosia is located. The elongated Karpasia Peninsula occupies the northeastern part of Cyprus.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an autonomous state - part of the island of Cyprus lying in the warm waters of the eastern Mediterranean. It combines the ancient with the modern, rural and urban and is justly described as an island for all seasons. Dominating the island is the Troodos range of mountains which is snow capped in winter offering a number of ski resorts. The mild year round climate dictates a leisurely and laid back way of life where the joy of life is predominant. Although it is an island, Cyprus is easily accessible and centrally located. England and Western Europe are only 3 to 4 flying hours away and adjacent countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt are less than 11/2 flying hours away.
The island has 4 main towns; its capital Lefkosa (Nicosia), Guzelyurt (Morphou), the center of the citrus industry, and the resort towns of Gazimagosa (Famagusta) on the eastern coast and Girne (Kyrenia) on the northern coast. From Sahara Oasis it is a mere 10 minute drive to the charming port town of Girne boasting an excellent marina, ancient culture, modern harbour, night life and varied cuisine. Exciting night life can be found in one of the many casinos that are located within a couple of miles of Sahara Oasis. Feel at home, not only is driving in Cyprus is on the left hand side of the road, but English is the second language.
Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers from mid-May to mid-October and with mild winters from December to February, which are separated by short autumn and spring seasons. Summer is the season of high temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breezes create a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas. Winters are mild with some rain, but even in January(usually the coolest month) there are generally six hours of bright sunshine during the day. During the summer months very light clothing is all that you will need. In spring and autumn daytime temperatures are generally warm enough for light summer clothing, but in the evenings, one might feel the need for a light jacket or pullover. In winter, you should be prepared for all kinds of weather that a European spring may bring. It is advisable to pack a light jacket and pullovers, although you may not need them during the day.
A valid passsport is necessary for entering and a visa is granted on entrance to Northern Cyprus. Since 1993 Turkish citizens can visit Northern Cyprus by identity card.
The geography of North Cyprus is characterized by a unique blend of mountains , plains and beaches. The Kyrenia Range, with its magnificent jagged limestone peaks, the highest of which is Mount Selvili at 3357 ft. runs along most of the north coastline to form a startling backdrop. To the east of the island the mountain range loses height as it extends along the narrow peninsula known as Karpas or `The Panhandle`. Along it one finds the best beaches in Cyprus . Miles of empty bays with pure white sand. To the south of the Kyrenia range lie the plains of Mesaoria. Here, is situated the divided Capital Nicosia (Lefkosa). Other major centers are Guzelyurt in the west of North Cyprus where most of the citrus produce comes from , The resort town of Kyrenia (Girne) is on the northern coast, and the second resort town of Famagusta (Gazimagosa) in the east.
Quite apart from the huge range of cultivated flowers, North Cyprus and especially the Karpas peninsula is a rich botanical area with literally hundreds of species of wild flowers from crown anemones and pink rock roses to purple iris and yellow crowfoot. From February to June many areas of Northern Cyprus are carpeted with colourful wild flowers. The birds and the butterflies also are glorious, lizards abound, and the loggerhead and green turtle still come ashore to lay their eggs in North Cyprus`s unspoiled beaches.
When one mentions Northern Cyprus, sun and sea naturally come to mind. Thousands of tourists, local and foreign, find accomodation in high quality resorts in order to take full advantage of this what is freely available on this beautiful island.
Since nature has been carefully preserved in Northern Cyprus, you can enjoy the Mediterranean, one of the most beautiful seas of the world, from virtually any part of the island. During the hot days, if you are left unfulfilled by just swimming, the holiday resorts here can provide you with a variety of water-sport choices.
In the unmatched beauty of the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean choose a craft that suits you and leave yourself to the vastness of the sea.
With a bit of effort, however, it`s possible to escape the hordes and immerse yourself in a culture that draws on Europe, the Middle East, and 9000 years of constant invasion. Crusader castles rub shoulders with ancient vineyards, frescoed monasteries overlook citrus orchards, and sandy, sun-soaked feet tread Roman mosaic floors.
The island of Cyprus through the ages has had many different names; some of them are: Asi, Yatnana, Alasiya, Iantannai, Atnana, and Khettim.
Inland, behind the rocky Girne range and the imposing Five Finger Mountain, stretches the huge fertile Mesaoria plain, Ercan airport and the island`s capital, Lefkosa. Along the east coast lies the ancient fortified city of Gazimagosa and the nearby ruins of Salamis. To the north east, the landscape becomes more broken and open fields give way to small pastures enclosed by stone walls and interspersed with olive trees and rocky outcrops.
An island in the far eastern Mediterranean Sea, below Turkey and to the west of Syria, Cyprus is is actually two countries - the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey) and the southern Republic of Cyprus. There are two large mountain ranges on the island: the Kyrenian Range in North Cyprus and the Trodos Massif in the centre of the Republic. The northern mountains are mainly limestone, the southern are volcanic rock. These ranges are separated by the Mesaoria Plain.
Cyprus has always been an island, and many Cypriot species, particularly plants, are found nowhere else in the world. There are three main habitats in Cyprus: the mountain ranges, the coastal plains and the cultivated lands. The coastal plains are irrigated by seasonal streams, and some support citrus orchards, but native flora and fauna have been largely displaced by tourism.
The Cypriot climate is typically Mediterranean, with very hot summers in July and August. Most of the year is dry, with unpredictable rains falling in December, January and February. Cyprus often suffers drought years, and water is such a scarce commodity that it is often rationed.
The unique climate of Cyprus offers year-round opportunities for a perfect holiday. Rainfall is concentrated in December and January,and the average sea temperature is above 20 C for more than half the year. Cyprus is renowned for its wild flowers which carpet the island in spring (there are more than 38 species of orchid alone) and scent of orange, lemon and grapefruit blossom fills the air.
When to Go
The shoulder seasons - April/May and September/October - are the most pleasant times, climatically, to visit Cyprus. Summer - June to August - can be very hot, and winter is sometimes wet but still pleasant.
The population of TRNC is around 200 000. The language of the TRNC is Turkish and the community adheres to Islam. Lefkosa, the thousand-year-old capital of Cyprus is better known to foreigners by its mediaeval name, Nicosia. It lies just to the north of the geographical centre of the island at an elevation of 160 metres and is the seat of government as well as the main business centre. The city`s origins go back in history as the earliest human settlements found in the vicinity of the modern city date back to the 3rd millennium BC. The first inhabitants were attracted by what was then a rich river. Today`s dried up stony river bed is a far cry of its former bygone glory. It was only about 1000 years ago that Lefkosa (Nicosia) became the capital of Cyprus at a time when the island`s rulers were forced to withdraw inland in order to protect themselves from the raiding Saracens, who were marauding the coastal towns. Ever since it has remained the capital sharing the country`s fate through the centuries.
There are several plains on the coasts of the Island. These are divided into two groups.1. Alluvial coastal plains, 2. Eroded coastal Plains. The TRNC has 396 km of it. In the north is the Girne valley with its narrow dentelated coasts, in the west is the Guzelyurt valley; in the east is the Magusa valley. Coasts of Cyprus are 783 km. long. The most important gulf of the island are Hacisofu, Guzelyurt, Gazimagusa, Iskele, Limasol and Yalova. The capes are as follows: zafer, Poyraz, Pile, Dogan, Ikizler, Arnavut and Korucam.
The coastline of North Cyprus offers some of the finest and safest bathing in the Mediterranean. Although most holiday establishments have modern pools, the crystal clear waters of the eastern Mediterranean are wonderful for swimming, snorkelling, sailing and skiing.
Beaches are a principal attraction in North Cyprus, and vary widely in character from the busy hotel beaches, which offer many facilities, to the secluded stretches of sand in the Karpaz, where the visitor may have an entire beach to himself. Some of the beaches are unfortunately spoilt by accumulations of garbage: visitors are urged to take their rubbish away with them. A tip: tar may be removed from clothes or the skin by rubbing gently with olive oil. Take a small bottle with you to the beach. Do not forget to use sun-screen lotion - after 20 minutes under the summer sun, you will begin to burn.