Kyrenia (Girne)

Situated along the north coast of Cyprus, Kyrenia is an enchanting and picturesque harbour town sitting amidst a stunning backdrop of dramatic mountains and villages ensconced within its foothills; making for some of the most stunning scenery on the island.

The restaurant-lined harbour is steeped in a 6,000 year long history and boasts its own guardian castle which dates back to Byzantine times.  The castle played host to the Ottomans, Crusaders and British over the years, however its current façade featuring huge round towers is testament to the Venetians who wanted to increase the strength of this spectacular citadel.

Kyrenia castle is in fact open to tourists for those wishing to explore its wonderful history, and experience the spellbinding views of the sea port and impressive peaks of the Kyrenia mountain range.  Just a short drive away inland from the Kyrenia harbour town, you will also find the equally stunning castle of St. Hilarion built during the crusades , and the nearby Bellapais Monastery nestled within the Besparmak (Five Finger) mountain range.

The ancient and circular harbour is full of yachts, fishing boats and pleasure craft offering all-day tours along the coast.  This makes the summer month’s particularly busy, attracting large numbers of tourists who enjoy dining at the many water-side restaurants and bars on offer (particularly lovely during the evenings when the harbour is beautifully lit and there is a gentle sea breeze).  Here you will be able to sample fresh fish, grilled meats, mezes and other mouth-watering local fare.

Shopping in the labyrinth of the old quarters charming cobbled streets is also a must.  Playing host to gift shops, patisseries, cafes and markets, you can buy delicious Turkish Delight (Lokma) stuffed with pistachios, the traditional blue beads (Nazar Boncugu) to ward off evil spirits, and the usual array of clothing, accessories and mementos.

The main hotel strip and beaches are found along the coast west of Kyrenia, whilst the east coast has been traditionally underdeveloped you will find some charming restaurants serving fresh fish over-looking the sea.

Filled with historical buildings, stunning scenery and a wonderful calm despite being one of the busier regions; Kyrenia is one of the most alluring parts of the island both aesthetically and authentically.

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

Comments are closed.