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Kyrenia - The pearl of the Mediterranean

Kyrenia, also called Girne in Turkish, known for its natural beauty, rich history, and cultural significance. It is an important commercial and tourist center. The town is home to several historical landmarks, including the Kyrenia Castle, Shipwreck Museum, Bellapais Abbey and Hilarion Castle.

Kyrenia is also famous for its picturesque harbor, which is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors. The harbor offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Kyrenia Mountains.

In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Kyrenia boasts several beautiful beaches and natural areas. Visitors can explore the nearby mountains, hike in the countryside, or relax on some of the most stunning beaches in Northern Cyprus. Kyrenia is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene, with bars, clubs, and pubs catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

The iconic harbor

The harbor of Kyrenia is one of the town’s most iconic and picturesque landmarks. It is a popular destination for tourists visiting the area. The harbor is lined with charming cafes, bars, and restaurants, serving up a range of delicious local and international cuisine. From fresh seafood to traditional Turkish mezze, visitors can indulge in a range of culinary delights while soaking up the beautiful harbor atmosphere.

The most striking feature of the harbor is the imposing Kyrenia Castle, which dates back to the 16th century. The castle overlooks the harbor and provides a stunning backdrop for photos. The harbor area is also home to a range of shops and boutiques, selling everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. Visitors can browse for unique gifts or pick up some local handicrafts to take home as a memento of their trip.

Overall, the iconic harbor of Kyrenia is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Cyprus. Its combination of history, stunning views, and lively atmosphere make it one of the most captivating and enchanting harbors in the Mediterranean.

Kyrenia castle

Kyrenia Castle is a medieval castle and is one of the most famous landmarks of the region and attracts a large number of visitors every year. The castle was originally built in the 7th century by the Byzantines to defend the town against Arab raids. It was later rebuilt and fortified by the Lusignans in the 13th century and then further expanded by the Venetians in the 16th century.

The castle has a unique architecture, with its thick walls, towers, and battlements. Inside the castle, visitors can explore a range of galleries and rooms, including the castle’s museum. The museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that depict the castle’s rich history and the history of the region.

One of the most impressive features of Kyrenia Castle is its panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and the town of Kyrenia. Visitors can climb the castle’s walls to reach the top and enjoy stunning views of the town and the sea. The castle’s view is especially breathtaking during sunset, making it a popular spot for romantic couples and photographers.

Kyrenia Castle also hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, such as concerts, theater performances, and art exhibitions. The castle’s courtyard provides a unique and atmospheric setting for these events, adding to the castle’s cultural significance.

Bellapais

Bellapais is a small village located in the Kyrenia, where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create a truly enchanting experience. At the heart of Bellapais lies the magnificent Bellapais Abbey, a Gothic-style masterpiece that transports visitors back in time to the 13th century. Immerse yourself in the abbey’s rich history and marvel at its stunning architecture, while taking in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

After exploring the abbey, indulge in the delicious flavors of traditional Cypriot cuisine at one of the village’s charming restaurants or cafes. Savor every bite while soaking up the authentic atmosphere and hospitality of this quaint village.

Hilarion Castle

Hilarion Castle is a historic landmark, overlooking the picturesque town of Girne (Kyrenia) and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the most impressive and well-preserved castles on the island, with a fascinating history that dates back to the 11th century.

The castle was built by the Byzantines to protect the island from Arab raids, and later used by the Lusignans and Venetians during their rule of Cyprus. The castle’s strategic position on a rocky peak provided a natural defense against invaders, and it was considered impregnable.

Visitors to Hilarion Castle can explore the ruins of the fortress, including the fortified walls, towers, and gates, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and coastline. The castle’s interior includes several chambers, tunnels, and passageways that were used for storage, defense, and living quarters.

Beaches, nightlife and 5-star hotels

For a more laid-back experience, head over to one of Kyrenia’s beautiful beaches, where you can soak up the sun and take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. And when the sun sets, Kyrenia comes alive with an exciting nightlife scene, featuring lively bars and clubs.

But that’s not all – Kyrenia boasts a variety of luxurious 5-star hotels, offering world-class amenities like swimming pools, spas, and casinos, to make your stay truly unforgettable. The Merit Royal Hotel & Casino, the Cratos Premium Hotel, and the Rocks Hotel & Casino are just a few examples of the luxurious accommodations available in Kyrenia. Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway, a fun-filled family vacation, or a relaxing escape from everyday life, Kyrenia has it all. 

Facts about Kyrenia

Population: 78000 (2023)
In Turkish: Girne
In Greek: Kyrenia

Distance:

Esentepe: 20 km
Famagusta: 75 km
Nicosia: 39 km
Iskele: 78 km
Karpaz: 143 km
Ercan Airport: 38 km
Larnaca Airport: 76 km

Tourist attractions:

Kyrenia Harbor, Kyrenia Castle, St. Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia Archaeological Museum, Bellapais Abbey and Karmi Village.

 

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