Kyrenia In Your Pocket: Your Guide to North Cyprus


As tourists continue to turn towards North Cyprus, Kyrenia is ready to be the focus. Known as Girne in Turkish, the city hugs the sea with all its might, making the most of this advantageous position to serve up a conveyor belt of beautiful beaches on either side of its famous harbour.

Girne (Kyrenia) Castle is situated in the heart of the old town © Zairon, CC-BY-SA-4.0
The sandy beaches are arguably Kyrenia’s most potent weapon, offering everything from adventure to absolute serenity, from water sports to nesting turtles, and so much more. There can be few experiences more peaceful than an afternoon spent strolling along the waters in Kyrenia.

It hasn’t always been this way, of course. The city hasn’t escaped the tumult that has punctuated the island’s history. Founded by the Achaeans, Kyrenia has passed through the hands of numerous empires and rulers over the centuries, many of whom have left their mark on the city. The Romans, Venetians, Byzantines, Ottomans, even the British, they all had a go, leaving their fingerprints on the city’s architecture, culture and heritage. The geography that makes Kyrenia so appealing for tourists today has ensured its strategic importance for centuries; Turkish forces landed nearby in 1974, responding to the crisis on the island and setting in motion the state of affairs we find ourselves in today.

Not that tourists need to busy themselves with thoughts of conflict and tumult. There is simply too much joy to be had. Kyrenia’s old town is a maze of magic, with echoes of the past harmonising with modern optimism, while the hotels, nightclubs and casinos of the area offer long nights and comfortable beds for sleeping them off. Throw in the predictable delights of local cuisine and some of the best cocktails on the island, and you’ve got something truly splendid. Kyrenia is a city of sound and splendour, where relaxation and restoration go hand in hand with excitement and enthusiasm.
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