Northern Cyprus- Things To Do On A Mysterious Island

Renting a car and exploring Northern Cyprus is the best way to get around and to see all hidden and mysterious places. Car hire is quite cheap in North Cyprus so why not get off the beaten track.

300 days of sunshine a year

Any time is a good time to visit Northern Cyprus. Pack your suitcase, take a flight and enjo yourself.

We decided to stay in a very nice and fancy Hotel called Ada Hotel in Girne/Kyrenia. It is a quiet expensive hotel but it has a lot to offer: a pool, direct access to the sea and a private beach, the food is good, and the staff is friendly. The wifi does not work in the rooms close to the beach, but in the main building the wifi does work perfectly. This hotel has especially many British guests which makes it fun and lively.

Karpas Peninsula

Karpas is a long, finger-like peninsula that is one of the most prominent geographical features of the island of Cyprus. Home to a national park packed with rare flora it also features miles of lonely beach and  dunes. It is fun to spend time with donkeys approaching your car as soon as you enter that area.

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Most of the activities in the Karpass Peninsula are related to agriculture, fishing, and hunting. Local farmers take advantage of this natural environment to grow different fruits and vegetables. The region is mostly known for its “Karpuz” (“Watermelon”). Several tourist businesses can be found in the town of Rizokarpaso.

Due to its geographical position, the Karpas is for a big part protected from human interference. This makes it a pristine natural environment, home to many inland and marine species.

Eat Fish in Girne/Kyrenia

Only minutes away from the waxwork castle are many  fish restaurants at the harbour, which line the quayside underneath the Venetian warehouse at the spot where the fishing boats unload their catch. Stick to the castle end of the harbour if you like very fresh fish and chilled white wine.

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Kyrenia-Tank Route

Climb up a mountain by car along the narrow road over the Kyrenia mountains following  “the Tank route”. This route leads you through some very spectacular scenery until you come across the remains of a Greek tank. That tank  got knocked out by 2 Turkish anti tank units during the war in August 1974. The tank is concreted into the mountain side where it was halted.

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Yoga on the mountains

Varosha- Ghost Town

This is the most interesting “thing” I have seen on the whole island.
Varosha in Turkish: Maraş or Kapalı Maras, is an abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta. Prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, it was the modern tourist area of the city, and one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. Its inhabitants fled during the invasion, when it came under Turkish control, and it has remained abandoned and under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces ever since. As of 2016, the quarter continues to be uninhabited and is described as a ghost town. Entry is forbidden to the public, but it is possible to see through the barriers.

After decades of neglect, high-rise hotels and apartments, restaurants and residences are crumbling, and the land has been reclaimed by overgrown vegetation. It is still possible to go to the untouched beaches and crystal-clear water in front of this ghost town, turn around and look into all those broken windows of the hotels which line the beach. Signs forbid photographs and videosand Turkish soldiers stand guard and make sure the rules are being followed.

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The 1974 war divided the island and peace between Cyprus’ Greek and Turkish communities. Today both sides are expressing a desire to return Varosha to its former glory. There have been proposals to rebuild the ghost town and reopen it to the world, but no work has begun yet.

Referece: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3461893/Varosha-drone-footage-shows-stunning-view-Cyprus-ghost-town.html

Museum of Barbarism (Nicosia)

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I am not a fan of any kind of museum, however, this museum of barbarism was one went to even though I normally refuse to go to musea related to war and violence. As expected it was extremely disturbing. It triggered a lot of emotions. I needed hours to proccess what I had seen. Most people seem to forget that for a number of years, there was a civil war in Cyprus.  In the early 1960s there was effectively ethnic  cleansing of the Turkish Cypriots who were “encouraged” to move  into their own areas. Sporadic violence by one faction against another was rife, but came to a head over Christmas 1963. It comes as a surprise that the division of Nicosia into Greek and Turkish areas predates 1974 by many years.

On the 24th December 1963, Greek Cypriot irregulars forcibly entered the house of Dr Ilhan, who was a Major in the Turkish army, and was on duty that night. The Doctor’s wife, three children and a neighbour were killed by machine gun fire, and 6 neighbours were seriously injured. The house remains almost as it was found that Christmas eve.

The inside of the bathroom where the murders took place was left intact, with captions explaining that the spots on the walls are the actual blood of the four victims. In the other rooms are photographs of other victims of ethnic violence over the years.

Reference: http://www.whatson-northcyprus.com/interest/nicosia/north_nicosia/barbarism.htm

Mavi Köşk – Blue Summerhouse

(Camlibel, Guzelyurt, Cyprus)
The Mavi Köşk is an almost secretive place.  It’s a place hidden away in an army camp belonging to the Turkish Peace Forces and located out towards Güzelyurt.  There is not much information about this place online but once you go there the guides will tell you the stories as if you were living during those times.
It’s a called a Köşk, which means a  summerhouse. On arrival you can get an immediate sense of what the place used to look like!
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fountain

The house has a chequered past and is most commonly known to have belonged to a gentleman by the name of Paulo Paolides (or sometimes Pavlides), a Greek of Italian extraction. He was a gun smuggler, lawyer to Archbishop Makarios, who was President in Cyprus after Britain signed away Cyprus in 1960, and also an ex

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Make a wish and throw a coin over your shoulder

-landlord. His alleged criminal activities also apparently involved relations with the Mafia as well as large weapons dealings with the Middle East. It is said that members of the Mafia often visited Mavi Köşk and held meetings in its once sumptuous dining hall.

Mavi Köşk itself was built in 1957, it’s two stories high and consists of 16 rooms with well-tended grounds, all sitting on a plateau overlooking the Güzelyurt to Lefkoşa mountain road. Pavlides was no doubt an eccentric, flamboyant man who tended to build his houses in remote areas to ensure his privacy.
There are several secret tunnels leading from the house to a bunker where there would have been a car waiting to whisk the owner away in an emergency probably.
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Tunnels

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Mavi Köşk is an interesting place to visit if you want to have a day out to the countryside.

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One thought on “Northern Cyprus- Things To Do On A Mysterious Island

Add yours

  1. The hotel that you stay at is way nice~~~ (love). *LOL* Funny that you mentioned English guests haha. I lived in London for a year and I lost something like 3-4 foundation shade. Casper wahahah

    Nicosia sounds psychotic. Having that bathroom intact is good? but #$@#%!$% scary.

    Liked by 1 person

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