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Undiscovered Cities of North Cyprus

In the middle of the Mesarya Plain sits Nicosia, the capital of the TRNC, and here you can find traces of many civilisations. Rebuilt by Ptolemy I Soter’s son Levkon (or Levkos), of the Egyptian dynasty, it was named Lvkonteon (or Levkontheon). The city grew to become a magnificent centre of beautiful houses, cathedrals and palaces during the Lusignan Period. With the Venetians came the high walls, erected in 1560 with eleven bastions. The aim of these thick walls was to keep out the Turks.

The city is divided in two by a “green line.” To the south live the Greek Cypriots and to the north the Turkish Cypriots.

There is a great deal of Gothic and Ottoman architecture in Nicosia, and certainly the 300 years of Ottoman presence is felt everywhere. The Ottomans built aquaducts to bring water to the city and to make it green. They provided public fountains, baths, inns and mosques.

Places of touristic interest in Nicosia are: Bedesten; Haydar Pasha Mosque; Selimiye Mosque; the Ethnographical Museum; the Armenian Church; the Museum of Stone Works; the Mevlevi Tekke Museum; Buyuk Han (Great Inn); the Gambler’s Inn; the Museum of Barbarism; the Sultan Mahmut II Library; the New Mosque; the Mehmet Pasha Mansion; the National Struggle Museum; the National Monuments; the Dervish Pasha Mansion; Arabahmet Mosque; Sacakli Ev (the Eaved House); the Lusignan House; and the shopping areas and handicraft outlets of the historical walled city.

Bedesten (covered market)

The Church of St. Nicholas was built in the gothic style in the 14th Century. It is located to the south of the Selemiye Mosque. The Ottomans made a few changes to it, and it became a covered market, or bedesten.

Haydar Pasha Mosque

The Church of St. Catherine built in the gothic style in the Lusignan period in the 14th Century was converted to a mosque by the Ottomans who also added a minaret.

Selemiye Mosque

Also built in the Lusignan Period (1209 – 1326) in the gothic style, St. Sophia Cathedral was also converted into a mosque by the Ottomans and named Selemiye. There are two minarets and, inside, a pulpit and a niche were added.

Buyuk Han (Great Inn)

This two storey traveller’s inn was built by the first Ottoman governor of Cyprus, Muzaffer Pasha, in 1572. Recently restored, it contains 68 rooms, many of which now house little shops selling local crafts.

The Sultan Mahmut Library

Built next to Selemiye Mosque in 1829 during the reign of Muahmut II, the ceiling of the Library is decorated with a poem by Cypriot poet Hoca Hasan Hilmi embossed with gold leaf.

Lusignan House

A small mansion, this house within the city walls was built in the 15th Century. The entrance has gothic arches and a coat of arms. Inside an Ottoman ceiling has been added.

Sacakli Ev (Eaved House)

South-east of Selemiye Mosque on Kutuphane (Library) Street, this house takes its name from the thick eaves it sports to support the heavy upper rooms. The lower floor is characteristically Lusignan, and the upper floor is Ottoman.

Saman Bahce Houses

Within the city walls there are sixty-eight very similar small houses grouped together around a central fountain. Built between 1918 and 1925 on Islamic Trust land, these homes were allocated to poor families.

The Turkish Bath

Built on the ruins of the Church of St. George of the Latins, this Turkish bath is still in use today.

The Museum of Barbarism

The house in which Turkish army doctor Major Dr. Nihat Ilhan and his wife and three children hid during the troubles at Christmas 1963 and were subsequently murdered by Greek Cypriots is now a museum.

The Obelisk

Inside the walled city in the middle of Ataturk Square stands a seven metre high granite obelisk with a coat of arms at its base symbolizing Venetian sovereignty.

Arabahmet Mosque

The Ottomans built this mosque in 1845, but its dome is in the style of the 16th Century, and it is a typical example of an Ottoman city mosque. The graves in its garden are lovely examples of stone work.

The Gambler’s Inn

In Asmaalti Square to the north east of the Great Inn is the Gambler’s Inn, a fine stone building typical of Ottoman merchants’ hotels.

New Mosque

Inaugurated by adding windows and a minaret to an existing church, the Ottomans created a mosque and graveyard featuring some beautiful tombs.

Turunclu Mosque

This single minaret mosque was built in 1825 as the Fethiye Mosque. The minaret has a single decorated gallery.

Iplik Pazari Mosque

Built in the 19th Century by the last Ottoman governor of Cyprus, Haci Ahmet Aga, this mosque takes its name from the thread (iplik) market nearby. Its other name is the Vali Haci Ahmet Aga Mosque.

Sarayonu Mosque

To the south of Ataturk Square in central Nicosia, this mosque is built on a square stone base. Its decorated single minaret is a separate structure.

Dervish Pasha Mansion

In the Arabahmet area of the walled city, this fine house was built in the early 19th Century by Dervish Pasha, publisher of the first Turkish newspaper, Zaman. It is a characteristic example of an Ottoman town mansion.

Yigitler Burcu

One of the eleven bastions of Nicosia’s walled city, this one is used as a park. The Taksim sports pitch where Cetinkaya Football Club play, Ledra Palace and Dragos Square and Paphos Gate on the Greek side can clearly be seen from here.

The Stonework Museum

Housed in a historical building from the 15th Century, this Venetian structure is now a museum of the stonemason’s art.

Mevlevi Tekke

On the left hand side of the road as you proceed from Kyrenia Gate on your way towards Ataturk Square, there is an early 17th Century building called the Mevlevi Tekke. The Mevlevi philosophy of Islam was spread by Mevlana Celaleddin- i Rumi, the Afghan born founder of the Order of Dervishes. Probably born around 1207, he moved to Konya where he established his Order, which subsequently spread to Cyprus. This creed accepts all people regardless of their religion, language or nationality; and it became an important part of Turkish Cypriot cultural and religious life. The building is now a museum to the Order. Once a year, in December, there is a performance by the Whirling Dervishes arranged by the Rumi Institute.

Monuments

Nicosia is also rich in monuments. The Ataturk Monument was unveiled on 29th October 1963 at Kyrenia Gate; there is a monument to Dr. Fazil Kucuk in Inonu Square within the walled city; there is a monument to the martyrs; the Salahi Sevket Monument; the TMT monument opposite the Dr. Burhan Nalbantoglu state hospital; the National Struggle and Deliverance Monument at Gonyeli roundabout; the Martyr Huseyin Ruso monument; Gonyeli Martyr’s monument; the Turkeli (Ayvasi) Martyr’s Monument; the Kucukkaymakli Peace at Home and Peace in the World Monument. There are also the martyr’s graves in the Dervish Tekke garden, in Dikmen, Ortakoy and Duzova.

Mausoleum

Dr. Fazil Kucuk, leader of the Turkish Cypriot struggle for freedom, died on 15th January 1984. As a symbol of the gratitude of the nation, a mausoleum and monument to Dr. Kucuk was opened on 8th December 1989. In a hall there are pictures of Dr. Kucuk and the national struggle.

The Museum of National Struggle

On the Musalla Bastion of the walled city, this museum documents the national struggle of the Turkish Cypriots from 1878. On display are guns and technical equipment, flags, banners and photos.

In conclusion

Nicosia is a city of fine buildings. The Courts, the Presidency Building, the Prime Ministry, the Turkish Embassy and the public offices are all examples of interesting architecture.

Two universities are located in Nicosia – Near East University and Cyprus International University. Ercan Airport is close to the city and connects Turkish Cypriots with the world. And at Metehan and Ledra Palace checkpoints, Cypriots connect with each other across the divide as they have been able to do since 2003.

In the industrial estate of Nicosia economic sectors such as the automotive, textiles, foodstuffs and construction are located. At the city fairground International Trade Fairs are held and local products are displayed.

Kyrenia

Although we do not really know the exact date of its foundation, Kyrenia is thought to have been established by Akas in the 10th Century BC. The earliest settlements tended to be by the sea. Since then Kyrenia has seen Egyptians, Hittites, Phoenicians, Persians, the Macedonians of Alexander, Romans, Byzantines, Lusignans, Genoans, Venetians, Ottomans and the British.

Kyrenia is the most developed tourist area in North Cyprus. It is bustling with activity, entertainment, nightlife, restaurants. It is a tourist paradise. The most magnificent aspect of the city is the castle by the harbour surrounded by narrow Mediterranean streets. The harbour is a mooring for yachts and a place to spend an idyllic mealtime at one of the many charming restaurants. There are fish restaurants with a variety of local cuisine, and cafes and bars.

Places to see in and around Kyrenia are: the Aga Cafer Pasha Mosque, a beautiful Ottoman structure; Ottoman tombs; the Peace and Freedom Monument at the landing beaches; Karaoglanoglu Martyr’s graves; the Peace and Freedom Museum; the Maritime Martyr’s Monument; St. Hilarion Castle; the stricken tank from the Peace Operation on the cliffs near St. Hilarion Castle; Bogaz Martyr’s Graves; the Fine Arts Museum; Bellapais Monastery; the Tomb of Omer; the Shipwreck Museum; Buffavento Castle; the Folk Art Museum; the Icon Museum; Vrysi and Lambousa ancient archeological sites.

Kyrenia also has a modern working harbour serving as the region’s port. There is an American University outside the town and an electricity generating power station.

The Tomb of Omer

This is a highly religious site. Situated in Catalkoy to the east of Kyrenia, Omer the commander of the Muaviye Army and his six comrades are buried.

Bellapais

This pretty village is situated in the foothills of the Five Fingered Mountain range around four km east of Kyrenia. The most noticeable feature of the place is its sense of profound peace. There is a monastery with attached church which serves as a museum. Within the monastery there is a courtyard with tall cypress trees and a refectory in which classical concerts take place. The whole structure is illuminated at night – a sight to see. Tourists who take a coffee in Kybele restaurant in the precincts of the monastery come back again and again to drink in the wonderful air. The classical music playing softly in the background adds to the timeless mystery of the place.

St. Hilarion Castle

Built in the 10th Century, the castle walls are 500m above the approaches, and there are nine bastions. It has been turned into a museum with modern technological methods, and, lit up along with Bellapais Monastery and Kyrenia Castle, St. Hilarion adds to the pearl necklace effect along the north coast.

Kyrenia Castle

Kyrenia Castle is a unique survival from mediaeval times. It is rectangular in shape. When the Ottomans conquered the city they replaced the wooden access bridge with one of stone, which is now the way in, and is more in keeping with the character of the building. Inside, by the entrance, is the tomb of the Algerian Admiral of the Fleet Derya Sadik Pasha. Displays from various periods in history can be seen inside the bastions, including themes from the earliest settlements at Vrysi and Kirni, as well as from the Lusignans and Venetians. St. Georges Church, the cistern and the shipwreck museum will take you back in time and make you feel like you are living those days.

Concerts are held in the castle courtyard, and the whole area of castle and harbour constitute a very important part of Kyrenia’s tourism infrastructure.

The Shipwreck Museum

Inside the castle in Kyrenia there is a museum housing the remains of a ship which sank around 300 BC. The keel is the oldest survival of its kind in the world. Found in the ship were amphorae, and some tools and other equipment. Also discovered were cereals, almonds and olives along with some seeds – and these well preserved exhibits attract the most visitor attention.

Buffavento Castle

Buffavento Castle was built by the Byzantines as an early warning system against Arab raiders. It is situated 954 metres high on the Five Fingered Mountain range. The name means, “the one which does not bow before the wind,” and this castle gets a lot of wind. You can approach the castle on an asphalted road, after which you must climb a great number of stairs. Towards the top the clouds congregate and seem to dance with the battlements. You should choose a cloudy day to visit, for this is one of the miraculous scenes from nature.

Descending after your visit and driving towards Taskent, you may pass Kayakopru (Rockbridge), a natural formation, on your left 100m below the road. Here you can make a wish, and it may even come true.

The Icon museum

Anchangelos Church, a ubiquitous feature of photographs of Kyrenia Harbour, with its while bell tower, was built in the 8th Century and now houses an icon museum.

Monuments and graves of the martyrs

There are a large number of monuments to the fallen and graves of the martyrs around Kyrenia adding to its value. Remembered are H. Ibrahim Karaoglanoglu who fell here, and Squadron Leader Fehmi Ercan, who gave his name to Ercan Airport. The Peace and Freedom Museum comprises guns and military vehicles in a garden. There are also the Karaoglanoglu Martyrs Graves, the Limmasol Martyr’s graves, the Maritime Martyr’s Monument, the Bogaz Martyr’s Monument; the Taskent Martyr’s Monument.

The Blue Mansion

An interesting place from an architectural point of view, this country house is located in Camlibel forest between Kyrenia and Guzelyurt.

Herbarium

The herbarium at Alevkaya in the Kyrenia mountain range is an important destination for nature lovers and researchers. It contains 1100 Cypriots plant samples and a collection of butterflies and other insects. The “rock with a human face” which sits atop the site is a curiosity of nature.

Antiphonitis Monastery

Situated in a Kyrenia range valley to the east of Kyrenia, this monastery’s name means “Jesus who gives the answer.” Its church has eight Byzantine pillars and a dome. Inside there are frescos depicting the life of Christ. It is now a museum. The approach to the site is alone a very lovely mountain lane which is worth walking, especially in spring when the flowers are out and the orchids are at their best.

The ancient city of Lambousa

One Akalar returning from the Trojan War around 1200 BC founded the city of Lambousa (Lapitos) as the centre of one of the kingdoms of Cyprus. The name means “shining,” and it is just to the west of Mare Monte hotel. The city was abandoned in Lusignan times when a new settlement at Lapta was established. There are tombs, a pool and some city walls to visit in this open air museum.

Vrysi ancient settlement

Within the Acapulco holiday village on the way form Catalkoy to Tatlisu this is one of the most beautiful ancient sites in Cyprus, overlooking as it does the sea and the shore from a headland.

Karaman/Karmi

A village in the foothills overlooking Kyrenia, Karmi is worth visiting for its pretty lanes and houses and gardens and for its amazing views.

Vounos

This early bronze age tomb has yielded a great deal of information about the period.

Baldoken Cemetery

In lower Kyrenia there are three Ottoman cemeteries and two water fountains. The tombs are of cut stone on a square base – typical examples of Ottoman work.

The Aga Cafer Pasha Mosque

On a street of the same name, this mosque was built by Aga Cafer Pasha in 1589. The north facing wall is covered with a wooden cage giving it a singular appearance.

The Port of Kyrenia

The main means of arriving in North Cyprus by sea is through the port of Kyrenia, opened to international traffic on 16th November 1987. Ferries of the Akgun and Fergun lines ply the routes to the southern shore of Turkey daily. There are also yachts waiting in the slips to set sail.

Guzelyurt

The name Guzelyurt means “beautiful place,” and so it is. To the north west of the island it is surrounded by citrus groves. Due to the fertile soil and abundance of underground water the area is filled with grapefruit, orange, lemon, tangerines, melons and vegetables. Citrus products, both concentrated and fresh, are an important export. There is a disused railway station and an abandoned locomotive here, a statue of Ataturk which came from Paphos by way of exchange and is now erected by the museum, and there is a mosque with two minarets. Nearby there is a beach at Akdeniz reached via the village of Yayla. There is a water treatment plant, the citrus processing plant, and the new Middle East Technical University in Kalkanli in the hills above Guzelyurt.

Guzelyurt Natural History and Archeology Museum

The most important building in Guzelyurt is the museum. It is full of archeological treasures and exhibits from nature. Children especially love the entrance section where stuffed animals are displayed – snakes, fish, tortoises, sheep and a pelican. There are also insects including a collection of butterflies. On the first floor is the archeology section with relics from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages laid out in chronological order. The finds from the Tumba Tu Skuru hillside digs are here, as are exhibits from the Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine periods.

St. Mamas Monastery

Another important structure in Guzelyurt is the monastery of St. Mamas, and it has an interesting history. According to legend this Mamas refused to pay his taxes to the king and was consequently arrested and carried off by some soldiers. On route to the city and Mamas saw a lion which was about to kill and dismember a sheep. He saved the sheep, took it in his arms, and rode into the city on the back of the lion. The Byzantine officials of the city were most impressed by this entrance of Mamas and they decreed that he would never have to pay tax again.

Tumba Tu Skuru

On the road from Guzelyurt to Kyrenia, close to the campus of the Middle East Technical University is the late Bronze Age city of Tumba Tu Skuru. You approach it along a narrow road through orange groves. The largest dig in the Guzelyurt region, the yield of earthenware, gold, silver, bronze objects and other items has been considerable. These are now in the museum in the town, and the site itself is an open air museum.

Pigades Shrine

Between Camlibel and Yilmazkoy lies a late Bronze Age (1600 - 1050 BC) shrine with a raised alter situated in a place of deep peace.

Lefke

Situated in the north west of the island in the foothills of the Troodos mountains, Lefke is an excellent example of an Ottoman town. You can walk among fine Ottoman buildings and gardens and riot of flowers hearing all the time the sound of water running in the irrigation channels. The friendly locals will offer you a cup of coffee, and they may pick an orange from the tree telling you that you can find no finer orange than this – and it is quite true. And when the citrus trees are in blossom the scent is in the air everywhere in Lefke and Guzelyurt.

Now Lefke has a university – Lefke European University – but once it was an industrial area mining copper. The ruins of the industry can be seen from the road – heavy equipment, quays and a light railway. There are dams and a lake and the old bath houses for the workers which are of recent historical interest. Also in the Lefke region are the villages Gemikonagi and Yedidalga, there is a golf course, the Cengiz Topel monument and the two ancient sites Soli and Vouni.

Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque

The church of Ay Yorgi, built in 649 AD fell down betimes, and was replaced by the governor of Paphos Ebabekir Bey who named it after his grandfather Piri Mehmet Pasha. The ornamented marble tomb of Vizier Osman is an interesting feature. Lower down in Lefke is the Abu Bekir Mosque or “Court Mosque” or “Lower Mosque” also from the Ottoman period.

Soli

Soli is thought to date from the sixth century BC. Under the Romans it had its heyday as a copper exporting harbour. In digs there gold and silver items and a statue of Aphrodite have been unearthed. The basilica of Soli is floored with mosaics, and there is an amphitheatre in the Hellenic style dating from the Roman period.

Vouni palace

High up on a hill between Lefke and Yesilirmak, Vouni is a magnificent palace of 137 rooms with a breathtaking view. There is a cistern for storing rainwater, and next to it a large statue (now half gone). You get to the palace along a windy precipitous lane, and there you can wander around this open air museum and, something hard to tire of, trace the changing colours of the Mediterranean Sea below. In the direction of Yesilirmak you can see a large tooth of rock that is the last little island before the limit of North Cyprus. All around Lefke and Yedidalga and Gemikonagi there are pleasant lanes turning around the foothills of the Troodos mountains offering views of the sea.

The Village of Yesilirmak

Yesilirmak is the last village of North Cyprus, although further along on the Greek side there is also Erenkoy, which is visited by boat from Yedidalga on ceremonial occasions. Fruit and vegetables are produced here, and the first strawberries of the season are sent from the village to all parts of the island. You may be surprised to see so many huge leaves here. These are kolokas, a well loved local vegetable a little like a sweet potato. The beach is full in summer, and there, rising from a seaside restaurant, is the world’s biggest grapevine of the Verigo type, entered in the Guinness Book of Records in 1947.

Famagusta

Famagusta was founded around a lagoon between 285 – 247 BC by the Egyptian king Ptolomy II Philadelphus and was named after his wife as “the city of Arsinoe.” Later on the people of Salamis came here to escape the ravages of Arab pirates and they renamed it Ammakhostos, or “hidden in the sands.” This is its name today. The Venetians built the city walls and flooded a moat around it forty-six metres wide. The important sites of Famagusta are: Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque; Salamis ruin; Othello Tower; the city walls and moat; Canbulat Tomb and Museum; St. Barnabas Monastery and Museum; Salamis graves; Tuzla(Enkomi); Famagusta Castle; Sinan Pasha Mosque (Buğday Mosque); Akkule Mosque; Namik Kemal prison; Çanakkale Graves; Venetians Place; The medresse building; Kutup Osman Tomb; Cafer Paşa; Kertikli and Kızıl Baths; Mustafa Zühtü Efendi and Mehmet Öner Efendi Tombs; Cafer Pasha Tap; Yirmisekiz Celebi Tomb; touristic assets; thin sandy beaches; Maraş Area which is closed to publick; Famagusta Port which is second sea port; Akyar Border Gate and one of the six universities of Cyprus; Eastern Mediterranean University.

Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque

St. Nicholas cathedral was built in the Lusignan Period between 1298 and 1312. On commencement of construction a fig tree of the genus ficus sycomorus was planted in front of the structure and this ancient tree is now quite enormous and still produces its much loved fruit and is still beautifying the cathedral square. When the Ottomans invaded they converted the cathedral into a mosque, adding a minaret.

Sinan Pasha Mosque

Built as a church in 1360 by a Syrian merchant Simone Nastrano, this building has withstood the ravages of time remarkably being very robustly constructed. The Ottomans also converted this church into a mosque in 1571 adding a minaret.

Othello’s Tower

The Lusignans built Othello’s Tower in the 14th Century to protect the harbour. The city walls had as their main entrances the Land Gate and the Sea Gate, and the tower is by the latter. The name Othello’s Tower came into use during the British time in reference to Shakespeare’s tragedy which takes place in “a harbour city in Cyprus.”. The bastion that housed the arsenal is now known as Canbulat Bastion.

The Canbulat Museum and Cemetery

Canbulat was an Ottoman commander who fought on all fronts during the conquest. Having served in the Nicosia campaign, Canbolat came to besiege the Venetians in Famagusta. He was killed and was buried where he fell, was revered as a martyr, and this place is now a museum.

The Venetian Palace

After the Ottoman conquest, the Venetian Palace was used as a prison. The entrance with its triumphal arch is an attractive and unusual feature.

The Namik Kemal Prison and museum

Built on the ruins of the Venetian Palace, this two storey prison’s most distinguished guest was Namik Kemal, known as the poet of the nation and the people. He had offended the authorities in Istanbul with his play “Silistre or the Nation,” at the Gedik Pasha Theatre on 1st April 1873 and had been exiled to Cyprus on the 9th April. He was to spend three and a half years here until his release on 3rd June 1876 when Sultan Murat V pardoned him.

Outside the city walls is the Victory and Freedom Monument built in 1980. At the top is Ataturk, and below Dr. Fazil Kucuk, Rauf Denktas and figures of the soldiers and families who lost their lives during the Peace Operation.

The Namik Kemal Monument in the square of the same name was unveiled on 17th March 1953 – the first monument to be built in Cyprus by Turks. The statue of Ismet Inonu was unveiled on 25th December 1981 outside the walls on the Namik Kemal High School road.

The monument to the Canakale Martyrs

Turkish soldiers fighting at Gallipoli on the Hicaz and Kanal fronts were taken to Cyprus as prisoners of war. The martyrs monument was inaugurated on 15th February 1980 to the memory of those who died here.

St. Barnabus Monastery and Museum

St. Barnabus was born in Salamis to a wealthy Jewish family, was educated in Jerusalem, and was killed on his return to Cyprus while he was spreading Christianity. This was in 45 AD. In 477 a monastery was built on the site of his tomb. Restored during the Ottoman period, the monastery is now a museum housing exhibits from archeological digs including various vessels, statuettes, guns and jewelry. There is an icon museum in the church, which also houses some frescos.

The Tombs of the Kings at Enkomi

Enkomi is one of the oldest settled areas in Cyprus, close to Salamis, and it became important due to the copper trade in the Bronze Age. Warriors were buried in large tombs here along with their horses, chariots and harnesses. Do not miss the skeletons of the horses. The site is now an open air museum, and there are some pictures and some exhibits from the time housed here.

Salamis

Archeological evidence points to Salamis dating back to the 11th Century BC. When Enkomi was hit by an earthquake in 1075 BC, the people moved towards the coast and built and settled Salamis. Money was first coined here in the 6th Century BC, the Romans left their mark on the place, and then, in the 4th Century AD Salamis in turn was destroyed by and earthquake. Salamis is an open air museum with an amphitheatre, a gymnasium, Roman villa, the basilicas Kamponopetra and Aya Epiphanios, and agora, a cistern, baths, a market, a Temple of Zeus and mosaics of the sun. Every year fresh digs take place with students from Eastern Mediterranean University Famagusta and students of Ankara University participating.

Iskele

The Iskele area covers the whole peninsula up to Cape Zafer. The town itself is on the Nicosia – Famagusta road and is immediately recognized by its twin minarets which can be seen from all directions and lend the town a special beauty. There is an icon museum here with some fine works displayed. The wider Iskele area has the finest beaches on the island.

Kantara Castle

The last castle along the Five Fingered Mountain range, Kantara was built by the Byzantines as an observation post.

Nitovikla Castle

To the south of Kuruova village on the road to Dipkarpaz, this Middle Bronze Age castle sits on a headland.

Avtepe Queen’s Cave

On the road from Avtepe to Kaleburnu there is a man-made cave of several rooms leading into the foothills of a mountain. There is a nature walk here and I advise visitors to come in March to make the most of the orchids.

Kaleburnu King’s Hill

This is a ruin dating from 13 – 12 BC on hill overlooking the sea. Copper and bronze vessels and some plates and tools were uncovered here and are now displayed at St. Barnabus Monastery.

Ay Philon

Ay Philon was built on the ruins from the Hellenic and Roman periods in the 5th Century AD.

Aphendrika

Aphendrika was one of the six cities of Cyprus and was established in the 11th Century. There is a castle, rock tombs, a temple and a now-silted-up harbour.

Sipahi (Aya Trias) Basilica

The basilica in Sipahi village was built in fifth or sixth century AD. The well preserved mosaics are well worth seeing.

Dipkarpaz

The last settled area on the finger-like peninsula, Dipkarpaz is within the conservation zone of Karpaz National Park. It is here that the famous Karpaz donkeys roam free. Turks and Greeks live together in the village.

Apostolos Andreas Monastery

Overlooking the sea, the monastery stands on the south coast of the peninsula just beyond Golden Beach in the National Park. It is a magnet for tourists. Water springing from a tap here is said to heal your ills with its holy properties.

Kastros Neolithic site

Settled from 7000 BC, this truly ancient site is at Cape Zafer.

Gigantic Statues

The most interesting features of Kastros are the gigantic statues. Opposite Theresa Hotel up the mountainside there are two. One is almost three and a half metres in lenght, half its body is buried and it looks as if it had never been completed. The other is human sized. Once it stood, but its ankles broke and it never got up again. There are underground tombs in the vicinity, and it is a pleasant place for nature walks.

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