Discovering North Cyprus

Historical outline Cyprus

For eleven thousand years, Cyprus has been a melting pot of great civilisation. From the first inhabitants of Neolithic settlements (700 B.C.) on the northern coast, to the Egyptian, Persian, Roman, Venetian, ottoman and British Empires, its strategic location at the crossroads of East and West has bestowed the island with a rich and colourful history spanning centuries. During the course of its vibrant past, the island has been visited by legends such as Alexander the great and Richard the Lionheart, each leaving their mark behind.

It was during the Ottoman period in the 16th century A.D. that the two main communities emerged in Cyprus the Turkish Cypriots of the Ottoman population, and the older Greek Cypriots. In 1960, independent Republic of Cyprus was established, ending the British colonial rule in the island. In 1974, North Cyprus began its journey towards independence following a Greek military coup a violent civil war between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was formally established in 1983.


Wherever you travel in North Cyprus, its history comes alive. The island’s museums are well worth a visit as they house fascinating array of artefacts discovered in cave dwellings, oldest dating 7000 B.C. You can visit 2,300 year-old shipwreck in Kyrenia Castle or rub shoulders with the ancient Persians and Romans as you discover the splendid sites at Salamis, Soli and Vouni with their beautiful pillars and mosaics. Alternatively, you may be tempted to explore the Byzantine legends in the castle of Kantara, Buffavento and St. Hilarion, as well as the countless churches, mosques and monasteries that pepper this paradise island.


Art & Culture

North Cyprus is home to a rich diversity of arts and culture ranging from the folk dances to the local events and festivals like yacht races. Lefkara embroidery and lace is an old Cypriot tradition going back countless generations. Women still produce beautiful and intricate bed covers, tablecloths and headscarves. Rug weaving and Wicker basket weaving are other age-old Cypriot traditions.


Local Food & Drinks

The cuisine of Northern Cyprus owes its heritage to a mixture of Mediterranean and oriental influences. Savour the local dishes that are prepared from natural fresh produce. The ‘Meze’ is a speciality of Cyprus and consists of a large number of cold and hot appetizers such as different salads, meats, vegetables and seafood. One traditional way to finish your meal is with a small cup of Turkish coffee. Northern Cyprus produces a variety of local brandies and the aniseed based ‘Raki’ which is famous in the region and served in almost all bars on the island, along with Efes and various brands of imported alcohol. A must try is the famous to the island of Cyprus is the Cypriot brandy sour, a delicious local cocktail.



A wide range of bars can be found all around the island. A good selection of restaurant in major hotels serves world-class international cuisines. The coastline has ancient harbours where you can dine al fresco and many hotels and restaurants stage live traditional music or local shows during the summer. Bistros all over the island offer local Turkish Cypriot cuisine and flavours. Kyrenia Harbour is an ideal place to dine in a picturesque surroundings.


Northern Cyprus is strictly secular state. The majority of the population is non practicing Muslim very few attend mosque services, but they do celebrate religious festivals.


Turkish is the official language of North Cyprus, but because of the islands European influence English is widely spoken and understood.

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