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Top Attractions in North Cyprus

Top Attractions in North Cyprus

The northern part of Cyprus is well known for its great variety of attractions and activities. There is plenty to do for families on holiday or couples taking a romantic break to the beautiful island. Another big draw for tourists travelling to the island is how inexpensive many of the attractions are, while you can find lots of cheap accommodation which is perfect for those looking for a budget trip away. Here are some of the top attractions you can visit in the north of Cyprus.

Kyrenia Castle

If you are a big history buff, then you will be spoilt with a visit to Kyrenia Castle, which is home to plenty of charming history from as early as the 2nd century. Inside the castle you will find a church, dungeon, tomb and an arsenal, which was constructed in the 1500’s in order to protect the harbour.

Kyrenia Castle
Kyrenia CastleJungle_Boy / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Entrance to the castle is free and you can walk around at your own pace and once you have finished exploring the castle interior, head over to the Shipwreck Museum which is located on the outskirts of the castle grounds. Here you will find various ships and their cargos, some thought to be as old as 2300 years.

Bellapais Monastery

The Bellapais Monastery was created by monks who travelled over to the island from Jerusalem in 1198 and is a beautiful location to explore some ancient architecture. While much of the monastery now lies in ruins, there is some reconstruction taking place, commissioned by the local government.

Bellapais Monastery
Bellapais MonasteryGeorge M. Groutas / Foter / CC BY

You can wander around the grounds without the help of a tour guide and there is still plenty of beautiful architecture for you to admire. If you have been fortunate to come to Cyprus in May, you will also be able to enjoy the Bellapais Music Festival which is hosted there every year. This festival is a unique experience, so book flights to Cyprus at Cheapflights and make sure you get down there!

St Nicholas’ Cathedral

Located in Famagusta, this cathedral was built in the 14th century. The architecture of this beautiful church is styled in a French Gothic style and you will notice similar styles in many of the churches and cathedrals in France today. Outside on the courtyard you will also be able to stop by the oldest standing tree on the island, a well loved fig tree.

Cathedral or Mosque?
Cathedral or Mosque?Jungle_Boy / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The cathedral has recently been turned in a mosque, the Lala Mustafa Pasha, so as long as there are no services running at the time of your visit, you are allowed to explore. Donations are used as entrance fees.

Boat Cruises

Boat cruises in the north of the island are only offered during May till October. These one day cruises include lunch and stop offs at different ports such as Paphos and Larnaca meaning you will get to explore different parts of the north in one day. There are also other options of taking cruises, such as the half day cruises that are reasonably priced and include drinks and dinner.

While it is true that Cyprus has plenty of beautiful beaches for you to relax on, there are also plenty of great hills for the more adventurous. Tours of these areas generally start around 7 am and finish around midday, but be sure to bring appropriate footwear and drinking water.