I was spending a week visiting family in Cyprus and we spent a night over in the stunning and magical Kyrenia which is part of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
How to Get There
You can drive through at any number of border crossings. We crossed in Nicosia, and it’s an easy crossing; all you need is your passport. The border guards will likely search your car, and you have to buy ‘insurance’ for your car when you enter the northern portion of the island (not really insurance, but a money-making sort of thing). Also, be aware, there is a UN Buffer Zone between the two portions of the island so be vigilant.
How to Get Around
A car is definitely necessary to get around, as public transit is few and far between. From our hotel in Kyrenia down to the Harbour where we watched sunset and had dinner we took a taxi, and these are generally pretty reliable. If you’re staying at a hotel, have the concierge add the taxi fees to your hotel tab so as to get the standard rate rather than being ripped off (they like to try and make more money off of unsuspecting foreigners!).
Where to Stay
We spent the night at Kemerli Konak Boutique Hotel, which is hands down one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The design was completely authentic, and the rooms were massive with stunning views over the valley and across towards the ocean.
What to Eat
For breakfast, we went for the all-inclusive option at our hotel. A delicious Turkish breakfast was served, complete with olives and halloumi cheese!!
For dinner we went to the delicious Niazi’s Restaurant. We ordered a traditional Turkish kebab dinner which basically means multiple rounds of meats, cheeses and yummy pita fillings.
What to Do
Watch the sun go down over Kyrenia Harbour.
Find beautiful floors.
Take in the rugged landscape.
Wander through the town of Girne.
Visit Kyrenia Harbour Castle.
Hang out with the cats that roam free around the streets.
Spot the massive Turkish flag imprinted into the mountainside.
Explore gorgeous Turkish mosques.
The main language spoken here is Turkish, although almost everyone knows a bit of English. The currency is the Turkish Lira, although some places also accept Euros. Most restaurants have people standing outside trying to persuade you to come inside; just politely decline and keep walking and they won’t bother you further.
*Including photos by Michelle & Shaun