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For those among us who’ve have ‘gone travelling’, the concept of taking in multiple destinations over the course of one trip is nothing new. Without it the point of travelling would be baseless. Indeed, the traveller would scoff at the mere thought of restricting themselves to dual destinations. I have no definitive idea, but I imagine a sojourn of two or three months in travelling terms might typically yield anything upwards of 20 ‘centres’. But the point of the twin or multi centre holiday is not to emulate the liberation or adventure of going travelling (when you’re dealing in days and weeks, who has time to gamble with rats and cockroaches?) but to merely add a second dimension to your temporal budget. Looked at it this way, the twin centre holiday isn’t as extravagant or frivolous as it might at first seem.
For starters, the twin centre holiday depends on establishing either a geographical or logistical common ground, and often both. This is to say, if it is to make any financial sense – giving up a chunk of time and blowing out that second annual trip abroad so many of us have become accustomed to – then the countries that one “twins” have to have something that obviously binds them: normally a physical proximity, but it could also come down to a shared airline or tour operator who can put together a package that works.
How to choose your twin centre stay
Having said all that, to match like for like almost defeats the whole object; after all, twin holidays ask that you give up the best part of the day to make the transfer – time that could be spent lying on the beach, strolling around town or, at the very least, stuck in the hotel bar. The “twins” need their own distinct personalities to make it worth your while. The whole idea is to include countries one genuinely finds appealing – killing two birds with the proverbial singular stone – not tack another country on to your holiday for the sake of doing so; that would be extravagant and frivolous.
One particular combination that has been proving popular lately is the pairing of Turkey and North Cyprus. You can see why: geographically they’re little more than 100km apart, and they share the same language, currency and climate. So if you’re partial to the weather in one you’re bound to like it in the other – same with the food, more or less – and you won’t have to suffer the hassle of doubling up on your currency. Ostensibly, they might seem almost too close and too similar, but they can actually fulfil two very separate roles.
Firstly, there’s the small matter of Istanbul, a city not just markedly different to the rest of Europe but completely at odds with most of Turkey too. In fact, if you like culture on a grand scale and plenty of things to see and do – maybe with a bit of night-life thrown in for good measure – then there’s not going to be any conflict of interest whatsoever, because Northern Cyprus just can’t compete on this level. If, on the other hand, you’re all about sitting in the sun, preferably on a sandy beach with a deep-blue sea spread out in front of you, then you might have to plan a little more carefully. Still, Turkey has this all covered – and more. It’s got almost everything, in fact. It has the modern, sprawling metropolis, family-orientated coastal resorts, it’s got the beach and bar thing going on, and it has ancient ruins – proper ruins too, dating back to pre-Roman times. It even offers an impressive side-line in eccentricity: Cappadocian Fairy Chimneys, for example, or ancient monasteries built into the side of steep cliffs.
So where does North Cyprus fit into all this? Why not just split your time between, say, Istanbul and Oludeniz? The first reason that comes to mind is because that’s what everybody else is doing. Most tourists don’t give North Cyprus a second thought. Most people assume it’s just the northern half of Cyprus, without realising that the people who live there, and their Turkish cousins, recognise it as a separate country entirely. This is why you don’t have to worry about an ever-strengthening Euro – or a continually weakening Pound – and can just stock up on Turkish Lira instead, which exchanges more favourably.
More importantly, though, there’s still something of the ‘untouched’ about North Cyprus, which can’t be said about Turkey any more. And it’s more manageable: there are beaches to rival those in Turkey, and mountains inland just as picturesque; the harbour towns have character, and there’s a degree of nightlife if you want it (although not of the kind you’d expect to find in some of Turkey’s more bloated resorts) – and you can have it all because everything is within easy driving distance of each other.
North Cyprus, then, can be seen as either a state of recovery or of preparation. Whatever the geographic and climatic similarities, the tourist will find a very different ambience in Northern Cyprus than they will in Turkey. And this is what the twin holiday is all about. It’s not about slumming it so you can turn a country or a continent inside out. Nor is it about constantly being on the move, stopping for a night here or a day there – that’s what pleasure cruises are for. It’s about economy: economy of time and economy of money, and of off-setting one experience against the other to create a holiday that serves a dual purpose. And maybe you’ll end up somewhere that you’d only previously given cursory consideration, and it might actually end up being the favourite half of your holiday.
Want to book a twin centre holiday?
Direct Traveller allows travellers to experience two cultures with a stop off in another destination alongside your main choice of destination. Whether you fancy seeing the South of Cyprus or having the contrast of a city break in Istanbul, or the luxury of Oman then the choice is completely yours. Contact us today on 0844 414 1686 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A symbol of how Cyprus has changed over recent years in terms of agriculture and transport is most certainly the donkey. A traditional way for farmers and families to take goods around the island due to their durability, hardy nature and immense strength, donkeys have been used for hundreds of years in place of horses for their brute strength but since tractors and lorries have become common replacements, the Cypriot donkeys have been unfettered from their lives of labour.
Walking around coastal areas of the Karpas peninsula it’s easy to find them rambling through scrub, hunting for a snack. They vary in colours from brown to grey and black, and although it’s easy to consider them as adorable and sweet animals, appearances are most certainly deceiving as the nature of the donkeys are anything but. Curious and largely unafraid of humans, the donkeys are bad tempered and tolerate very little in the way of interference, so if you’re travelling with children or those who don’t know better, make sure to advise them away from touching or approaching the animals. However, as they live on the far reaches of the peninsula, it’s uncommon to come across one without fair warning of a long distance sighting, and there’s no worry of stumbling across one and unknowingly irritating it.
Despite their temperament, the donkeys are still a classic symbol of ancient Cypriot life and (as long as you’re at a fair distance) are pretty delightful to watch roaming around. Although their numbers have dwindled, and they create an annoyance for farmers with their foraging natures, they are undoubtedly a heart warming sight and if you’re passing through the peninsula a spot of donkey watching is a must for animal lovers.
I find ghost towns fascinating in the way that they can be time capsules to the past, and also a creepy reminder of how the world would look if we were to just suddenly disappear.
Kaya village, also known as Kaykoy is 8km south of the Fethiye region in Turkey. It has been deserted since 1923, after a population exchange agreement between the Turkish and Greek governments. Now the village is an interesting destination for tourists to visit, considered a ‘museum village’, with snacks and drinks available for those looking to spend the most part of a day here exploring.
Much of the scenery is still untouched and in ruins, though some of the houses have been restored. The two Greek Orthodox Churches in particular are highlights to see, along with a fountain source from the 17th Century. It has since been adopted as a world friendship and peace village of UNESCO. You’ll find some magnificent views surrounding the area too, with the Greek island of Rhodes being visible on a clear day.
A little side fact about Kaya is that it is thought to be the basis for the fictional village of Eskibahçe, which author Louis de Bernieres used for his novel ‘Birds without Wings’. If you’re in the Fethiye or Oludeniz area then this is a great day trip idea, with a somewhat haunting and lonesome atmosphere that creates a strong historical presence.
The International Bellapais Music Festival is one of the best known music festivals in North Cyprus, and has been running since 1996. It is hosted annually in Bellapais Abbey, which is near to the Kyrenia region. This setting provides beautiful gothic architecture as scenery that perfectly emphasises the grandeur and sweeping clarity of classical music. The abbey also brings to life an atmosphere of the past and present, providing an experience that is full of enlightening spirit.
Festivals are all about bringing people together, and every May/June the Bellapais does just that through gathering some of the most talented classical musicians from around the world. It is not just about promoting the North Cyprus culture, but about becoming grounds upon which there can be an inspiring collaboration of joint passion for music and art. You’ll find staged classical performances along with modern concerts, jazz, piano recitals and brass performances also. Seeing some of these amid such incredible nature and architecture gives a festival experience like no other.
If you'd like to find out more about the festival you can visit their website here.
You might find that this post is kind of stating the obvious, and I guess you could be right. Though if you’re anything like me (one of those last minute “it’ll be fiiiiine, I’ll pack in the morning before we go!” types) then this might actually be useful!
North Cyprus is pretty much your standard beach resort in terms of which essentials to bring. Let’s start with the big one: Sun cream. I know, I know, I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but just a reminder that North Cyprus can get extremely warm, especially in the midst of the peak summer months. Besides, the Aloe Vera lathered lobster look is never a comfortable one!
Similarly to the above, a hat and sunglasses are good essentials for keeping the rays at bay and staying comfortable in the heat.
Whilst you may just be planning on staying beach/poolside for your holiday, North Cyprus has many exciting activities on offer if you change your mind and feel like doing something a little different. Mountain hikes in particular are popular, especially around the Kyrenia mountain range. For this reason a good pair of walking boots/shoes would be advisable. These will also come in handy if you’re planning to explore the many historical sites such as the Salamis ruins.
Scuba diving and snorkelling are extremely popular, and even if you’re not planning on doing either of these things be prepared that when you’re faced with the crystalline waters of North Cyprus, their waves winking reflections of sun, you might be swayed to change your mind! Whilst there are rental services available for this equipment, you may still want to come prepared.
A camera is definitely advisable. With such an abundance of beautiful scenery and fascinating historical sites, you’ll find plenty of picture-worthy moments (that you can also use to make friends and family back home jealous when you do the obligatory photo album share!)
Lastly, North Cyprus is a wonderful location for driving around, with so much vast landscape that is scattered with history and beautiful Mediterranean nature. Just make sure you remember to bring your driving licence if planning to rent a car.
I’ll leave it there I think. Perhaps mentioning a reminder about clothes and money is a little too obvious.
Direct Traveller is proud to announce that it has won the British Travel Award (BTA) for being the Best Small Tour Operator to East & Southeast Europe.
At a glamorous ceremony held on the 1st of November, the multi-award winning North Cyprus tour operator, Direct Traveller was recognised for its quality service through winning a prestigious British Travel Award!
Managing Director Ramadan Ozdemir has responded with:
“An amazing night, with an exciting result! Thanks to everyone for voting and everyone at Direct Traveller for their hard work! We are proud to be recognised for our level of service by the British public, and hold our place at such a key industry event”
The BTA’s are the largest consumer voted awards programme in the UK. More than one million votes were cast this year, and competitors included well known travel companies such as Thomas Cook and Abercrombie & Kent.
For each of the seventy-five categories, nominees must first be approved by a panel of industry insiders before facing the public vote. The outcome is not only judged by customers though, but also must be confirmed and audited by Deloitte LLP. BTA chief executive, Lorraine Barnes Burton has said of the award: “It is a benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business of travel for the UK consumer.”
The BTA logo is one that is recognisable as reassurance of quality and professionalism. This acknowledgement emphasises Direct Traveller’s trustworthy image for ensuring the comfort and safety of travellers, as well as reflecting the company’s high levels of customer satisfaction.
This wonderful achievement also coincides with Direct Traveller’s approaching 10th year anniversary, illuminating how far the company has come with much hard work.Winning a British Travel Award marks the start of many more exciting developments to come!
This post is a little loose in terms of relating to Direct Traveller holidays. In fact, its only real connection is the fact the artist of these pictures below is Turkish. Still, I saw it over the weekend and thought it might be something that would interest a few of you readers out there.
If ever there was something to entice you into craving more fruit and vegetables, this geometric display of the stuff by Sakir Gökçebag surely is it.
Each piece of food has been cut and arranged by the artist to create the delicious asymmetric lines and meticulous patterns seen before you. It’s this satisfyingly strategic quality that makes them so addictive to keep staring at, I find!
There’s something quite weird about seeing colourful fruits like apple and watermelon placed into a strict format, so that you have this familiar organism that has been organised into something so stylized as to become quite unreal!
The geometric inspired designs are skillfully done, and must have taken Gökçebag a painstaking amount of time and patience to complete! It certainly looks worth it to me, anyway, leaving behind something aesthetically pleasing and visually mesmerizing!
It also makes me wish I’d developed my ‘playing with food’ skills as a kid. Smiley faces and chip towers and mash bunkers I’d create to hide my peas under could have all been the start of an incredible talent, like this guy! (Or at least I’ll keep telling myself that).
You’ll find that many hotels in Turkey host a Turkish themed night, in which it’s more than likely some belly dancing will feature. So, whether you’re thinking of going to Turkey and want to be prepared or just fancy learning a few new moves to impress your friends with this next bit of information should hopefully give you a helpful insight.
Turkish belly dancing is an especially liberating dance, with a flirtatious and un-restrained style. Against what the title would suggest almost every part of the body is featured. It plays on the natural movements of the female body, accentuating curves through isolating other areas, and emphasising the rhythm of the music most prominently with the hips. It is both energetic and sensual; an enigmatic representation of the mystique Turkey’s culture exudes!
The colourful bedlah style costumes that belly dancers wear also provide a vibrant entertainment atmosphere. This traditionally consists of a top that is usually a bra with a fringe of beads or coins on, and a skirt/ harem pants with a hip belt fitted over the top, fringed again with coins or beads.
For many belly dancers the zils (finger symbols) are an important added tool to the dance (but you don’t need to worry about that for now). Below is a video featuring one of the most famous Turkish belly dancers: Didem Kinali.
And if you want to get some basics down now then there are plenty of beginner’s steps on YouTube for you to have a go at. Here’s an example:
Belly dancing is a colourful spectacle to watch. It’s also a great form of exercise and a way to for a moment feel the spiritual energy of some Middle Eastern culture. If you get the chance, give it a go!
Art is always an important aspect of any culture, capturing unique expression from the minds of those that have been inspired by their surroundings. Film in particular is something that creates an intensely powerful message, as viewers lend themselves to a narrative for an hour or more and commit to the characters and their perspectives, no matter how different these may be from their own. The style of various international films can also be a fascinating way to gain an insight into how different cultures portray the world.
Yesilçam (Green Pine) is the name given to the Turkish cinema industry, its very own version of Hollywood in other words. This name originated out of the fact the Turkish film industry grew from its base at Yesilçam Street of Beyoglu, in Istanbul. It had a quiet start, at first influenced by the theatre and World War II, but then experienced a boom in the 60s, becoming the fifth biggest film producer in the world! One especially influential Turkish film maker within the period of 1948 to 74 was Ömer Lütfi Akad, while directors such as Osman Fehir Seden , Atif Yilmaz and Memduh Un were the most prolific.
Unfortunately the success of this period came to a halt in the 70s, as Yesilçam struggled with the increase in Turkish television popularity along with other political and social circumstances that had led to a reduction in cinema attendance. In 2001 however the film Vizontele, based on the idea of technology being introduced into a small Turkish town in the 70s, proved a helpful catalyst in stirring interest in the industry once more. ?Turkish cinema has certainly had difficulties in making itself known over the decades, with many of its features being played on television rather than released theatrically. Festivals such as The Istanbul international film festival, which is officially the oldest international film festival in Turkey, aim to spread the word of the talent in Turkish film making and broaden the viewing material of audience members. This seems to be proving effective too, with many award winning films having been produced over the last few years, such as Faith Akin’s Head-On.
Cinema really can be the route to a countries heart, so if you get a chance why not try out watching some Yesilçam classics?
Coffee is an important part of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot culture. It dates back to around the 16th century, with an Ottoman chronicler reporting the opening of the first coffeehouse in Istanbul in the 1640s. Turkish coffee is different to your average Starbucks style coffee though, being made in a specific fashion in which focus is placed on obtaining a thick layer of foam on the top.If you’re ever in Turkey, or North Cyprus this is a must try, providing a sociable and comforting break along with a chance to mingle with locals and soak up the traditions of the culture.
What I really want to talk about though is tasseography. This is the art of fortune telling through interpreting patterns found in tea leaves, or in this case coffee grounds. This is a popular practice with Turkish coffee, its thick consistency leaving behind a gloopy layer of grounds at the bottom of each cup perfect for reading. Now, if you’re considering trying this out it’s important to note that you must first drink your cup of coffee as you would normally. You should take your time, maybe mull over in your head which issues in your life you’d like some insight into. Leaving the residue of your coffee the cup is then covered with a saucer, shook and then turned over to cool. The patterns that then form on the inside of the cup provide the psychic symbols. There are of course many different translations, but some examples of what various symbols mean are the following:
·Birds – good news
·Cat – deceit
·Circle – success/completion
·Eye – someone watching over you
·Heart – love/trust/health
·Triangle – something unexpected
·Zebra – adventures
·Raven – bad news/death
·Kite – wishes coming true
Though it is a subject of scepticism, fortune telling can often provide a therapeutic consideration of ones life, whether the details are true or not. You could even give this a go yourself and contemplate what you feel you see. It could bring up some interesting details of your subconscious! Though of course, if you’re quite happy to just enjoy a cup of coffee to escape the rush of life for a moment without thinking about the bigger philosophies of your life, well, then that’s understandable. PS – If you can, have your coffee with some Turkish delight on the side! Delicious.
Today I’m going to talk about North Cyprus folk dancing. Despite having grown up doing ballet and tap dancing lessons, I’m still one of those people you see at the side of the dance floor at parties, bobbing awkwardly to the beat and picking at the buffet food. I’ve never seen it as an activity representative of expression so much as one of great embarrassment! North Cyprus has a completely different idea though, with folk dancing being an expression of emotion and enjoyment shared with others. It is a big part of the countries culture and tradition.
This style of dance dates back to around 1910, with the performance of the kartchilamas, which is still to this day one of the most popular of the folk dances. This consists of a series of dances that vary considering the performer, the location and the era. They form a part of a whole, with the kartchilamas often being followed by other folk dances including the Syrtos, which involves dancing in a circle holding your partner.These moves are brought out at weddings and other such ceremonious celebrations.
The music played to accompany the folk dancing is traditional, using a reed instrument named a Zurna that creates an ambient sound of the Middle East. Two types of drums are also played in order to create a beat: the darbuka and dayyul, which are hit with a stick.
The dance also has its own unique costume, which can slightly vary but is mostly made up of a colourful head dress, scarf embellished with gold coins and a white knee length dress with embroidery on for women. Men wear a white shirt, black knee high trousers and a cloth belt. They also accessorise with a pocket watch and handkerchief.
So next time you’re in North Cyprus why not give it a go? Trying new things and feeling a bit silly is all part of the holiday experience after all! You’ll find that many hotels offer a folk night as part of their entertainment, while there is also the Kyrenia Municipality Folk Dance Group, who tour their folk dancing shows at festivals all over the world, showing others the spirit of carefree enjoyment and happiness that makes the folk dancing of North Cyprus such a proud tradition of the country. You can check them out below:
It’s true that North Cyprus is a quiet and peaceful place, undisturbed by its tourism and resting beside a sleepy coast. Don’t be fooled however, you might be surprised at the amount of exciting activities you can find to explore out there. So, where to start? I guess I’ll launch right in with paintballing. Not your typical beach holiday hobby but all the more a unique experience for that reason! The Kyrenia landscapes can provide a chance to participate in some paint splatter fuelled combat with the chance to recover in the sunny climate and cool seas nearby after. Staying on the adrenaline inspired track there’s also the option to go karting with the ZET international Karting Circuit, known for having one of the best racing surfaces in the region.
North Cyprus has some wonderful wildlife and exotic nature, so with this in mind there are of course many activities for those that want to soak up the surroundings. There are hiking tours for people of all ages to enjoy, horse riding opportunities in certain areas and a beautiful national park in the Karpaz Peninsula where you’ll share the scenery with a vibrant show of wild life, including donkeys, birds and turtles. If you really want to embrace the Cypriot nature you could always go camping, with some official camping sites in Kyrenia.
Exploration shouldn’t stop there either, with those beautiful sapphire seas a haven to spot all the colourful Mediterranean underwater life. Turtles in particular are a rarity to the North Cyprus region and roam in protected areas available for visitors to go turtle spotting in. Scuba diving along with a variety of water sports such as jet skiing and wind surfing are musts for some fun in the sun. For the ultimate in giving your holiday an adventurous edge there is paragliding, which takes you to a height of 2500 ft and offers some incredible birds eye views of the scenery below.
For the more relaxed holiday goer there is bird watching and even a herbarium to visit, along with sightseeing tours and the chance to go yachting. What makes the areas activities unique is its nature, though this also provides brilliant inspiration for photographers and a consistently peaceful and fascinating backdrop for even those that just want to casually wander the area. Whatever your interests rest assured you’ll always be able to find something that leaves you with some fun anecdotes for friends and family back home.
For more information on holidays to North Cyprus and activities there, why not check out our website at http://www.directtraveller.com/ ? Or give our travel advisors a ring on 0844 414 1686.
Are you a fan of olives? Yes? Well, this will excite you. If it was a no (which I can’t believe) then don’t worry. There are still plenty of non-olive related things involved in this post too.
The North Cyprus village of Zeytinlik (zeytin meaning Olive) was the central area for olive oil production and many olive groves still exist here today. The town is a calm retreat with some welcoming eateries, and with an old olive mill as one of its main attractions you couldn’t find a more fitting host for the International Olive Festival.
Having started up in 2001 the festivals popularity is ever growing. It is an event that will allow tourists to mingle with local life as well as experience culture from all over the world. There’s such a vibrant plateau of entertainment on offer, with art, music, drama workshops, dancing, puppet shows and even some culinary competitions. There are sports such as tennis and football, or perhaps a quiet game of chess? The entire festival has a family friendly atmosphere, with something for everyone to enjoy.
Whilst one of the main causes of this event is to encourage olive production, it also generates an occasion through which to bring together a variety of people who each have something unique of their own culture to contribute.The festival usually begins around the start of October and goes on for a week.Unfortunately this years has just finished, though if you chose to visit the Kyrenia area around this time in the future then it would certainly make a great stopping point. It’s a fun way to get acquainted with the area, meet interesting people, browse some exhibitions and maybe even pick up a few new skills. If you love olives, well, that’s just a plus!
If you’re going on holiday, you surely want to experience as much of the culture as possible. Whilst the amazing beaches and historical sights may stand out as highlights, local cuisine can be a huge part of a countries identity.This is particularly true for the North Cypriots, whose hospitality manifests in their flavoursome cooking and generous portions. There’s nothing like a good bonding session over how delicious a meal is after all, when everyone takes their first mouthful and then pauses before going “mmm” in unison. I’m hoping reading through the following list might get some similar reactions.
To help you get a feel for what food in the North Cyprus area is like, I’ve put together a short list of some of the most popular (and delicious!) foods on offer.
Let’s start with the classic Meze dishes. These consist of a variety of hot and cold starters that can be served as a main course also. They generally consist of a choice in meat, fish, salad and vegetable dishes, though the most common are the following:Grilled halloumi cheese, olives, Cacik (seasoned yoghurt) and Sigara Borek (feta cheese wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried). The great thing about a meze is that it’s a sociable food and perfect if you’re eating out with others.
Next up is Kleftico lamb. For all the carnivores out there this will undoubtedly be a pinnacle in your meat eating days. Slowly cooked in a clay oven it is so tender by the time it’s served that it just falls off the bone, bathed in the flavour of its own rich juices. Staying on the topic of meat, another Cypriot specialty is the rather un-glamorous sounding Shish Kebab. This is of course the traditional skewers of lamb or chicken that are marinated and then cooked over charcoal – a hearty treat.
Not forgetting vegetarians, there is the c also known as stuffed vine leaves. These are filled with rice, onions, tomatoes, and have an addictive saltiness that gives them an intense kick.
Those with a sweet tooth will be happy to know that a popular dessert is the Lokma, otherwise described as a doughnut covered in honey. What more is there to say?
You can finish off your meal, or stop at anytime for a break to grab some Turkish coffee too, which is a popular beverage for those living in North Cyprus. What makes Turkish coffee unique from normal coffee? Well, the coffee beans are grounded into a fine powder and then cooked with sugar to form a thick cream on top. It’s a much sweeter affair, though when ordering there are usually three options: Sah-de (unsweetened), Ortah (moderately sweet) and Shekerli (very sweet).
So there you have it, a few examples of some good old North Cyprus specialties. This of course isn’t extensive, and you’ll find that there are many more colourful dishes to be tried. A tip would be to explore the area of Kyrenia for some of the best and most visited eateries, with a variety of cuisine available and in particular a good deal of fresh fish restaurants around the harbour.
To explore one of the Mediterranean’s best kept secret is to hire a car.In North-Cyprus Car-Rental is essential as it allows you the freedom to see the sights and enjoy your holiday without being rushed.North Cyprus has so many sights for you to travel around but some of which can be difficult to reach by public transport.The buses of North Cyprus are also non air-conditioned so travelling in them during the height of summer when the temperatures are well above 30oC can make for a very unpleasant and distressing experience.
Visits to places such Bellapais Abbey and the ancient cities of Salamis and Famagusta are a must on your holiday to North Cyprus but irregular bus schedules can sometimes make it tough to plan the trip in advance.It is for these reasons North-Cyprus Car-Rental becomes useful.
North-Cyprus Car-Rentalis easy with Direct Traveller we can provide cars in either manual or automatic and with or without air-conditioning. We would however recommend an air-conditioned car during the summer months as temperatures can go above 30oC and it can get a little uncomfortable. Direct Traveller is also able to arrange to have your car dropped off and picked up from your hotel so you do not waste any time queuing and start enjoying your holiday from the moment you arrive.
Direct Traveller is a specialist tour operator organising holidays to North Cyprus for last 8 years.As an independent tour operator we are able to select only the cars that are regularly serviced and meet the safety requirements.There are some legal requirements that need to met for North-Cyprus Car-Rental which include drivers must be 25 years or over and be able to show a valid UK or international driving license.Hired cars are not permitted through the border to the Southern side but you are able to drive up to the border, park your car at the check point and walk across the border if you wish to visit South Cyprus whilst on holiday.
Get in touch with Direct Traveller on 0845 123 5383 or visit our website www.directtraveller.com and see how we can help organise your holiday to North Cyprus and arrange North-Cyprus Car-Rental to make you stay comfortable and enjoyable one.
Direct Traveller cannot be beaten in price or choice when it comes to Kyrenia Hotels. Direct Traveller has more 30 hotels to choose from, ranging from 5 star luxury hotels to small boutique hotels. Kyrenia Hotels are well known for their warmth and friendly nature that many people have been returning to Kyrenia year after year.
Kyrenia is a beautiful seaside resort in Northern Cyprus with the Mediterranean Sea to one side and Five Finger Mountains to its back. Finding a Kyrenia Hotel to suit your budget and the location of your choice is easy, especially with Direct Traveller. You can find accommodation right in the centre of Kyrenia Town or if it is a beach location you want there are hotels available there also. There are hotels situated amongst the Five Finger Mountain range overlooking Kyrenia Town to give you magnificent views.
Some of the best Kyrenia Hotels recommended by our customers include The Dome, Pia Bella, Vuni Palace and Bellapais Monastery Village and all of these hotels are offered by Direct Traveller. Whether it is a relaxing holiday for two or a family holiday that is packed with fun filled activities, there is a hotel to suit your needs. For those looking for a romantic getaway Bellapais Monastery Village comes highly recommended, being nestled in the mountains it offers fantastic scenic views.
Kyrenia Hotels are fast becoming very popular with excellent service and high quality accommodation you are sure to want to go back again and again. Let Direct Traveller help you choose the best Kyrenia Hotel for your next North Cyprus holiday.
You can find Direct Traveller hotel directory on www.directtraveller.com or call and talk to one our specialist travel consultant on 0845 123 5383 and find out we can do for you.
Direct Traveller has been named by the British Travel Awards (BTAs) as one of the shortlisted contenders for the Best Tour Operator to East & Southeast Europe.
Direct Traveller, a multi award winning tour operator to North Cyprus has once again been shortlisted in its efforts of providing North Cyprus holidays with exceptional service, prices, and quality.
Managing Director Ramadan Ozdemir said.
“At Direct Traveller, we are proud of our reputation and determined to maintain it in the only way we know, namely to provide all our clients with excellent holidays and service. This nomination is great for us and North Cyprus and we see this as another way to promote this beautiful destination.
BTA’s chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “Direct Traveller is to be congratulated on reaching the finals of the prestigious British Travel Awards. The largest consumer voted awards programme in the UK, The BTAs are designed to reward the best companies in travel, and the winning accolade is the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business of travel for the UK consumer. Good luck to Direct Traveller”
All companies entered for an Award were put before a core selection of industry professionals, drawn from the BTA Academy, a panel of respected individuals in business from both in and outside the travel industry, who whittled the nominations down to the list of final nominees in each of the seventy-five categories. The next stage sees the shortlisted companies put before the public vote with voting promoted through BTA media partners who include The Times, Sunday Times, The Sun, Sunday Sun and the Global Radio stations, including LBC and Classic FM. Shortlisted companies are also encouraged to lobby their happy customers for votes!
The winners will be the companies with the most votes - in 2011 over 700,000 votes were cast with the voting process and results scrutinized and audited by independent auditors Deloitte LLP. The winners of the 2012 British Travel Awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony on 1 November.
How to vote for Direct Traveller
To vote for Direct Traveller as the Best Tour Operator to East & Southeast Europe. - Click here - Register your details - Click on the heading ‘Who is the best tour operator to destinations around the world' (2ND Option Down) - Click on ‘Best Tour Operator to East & Southeast Europe' (11TH Option Down) - Vote for Direct Traveller
With the British weather looking ever more depressing with showers, storms and even flooding, many of us are looking to getaway from the bad weather of Britain.
Did you know that the weather in Kyrenia North Cyprus is super sunny this week? Temperatures are in the mid 30’s and with unbelievable sunshine you will surely recharge those batteries and shed the gloomy British weather blues from your system.
You may ask yourself what I can be doing in Kyrenia. It’s all good and well has amazing sunshine but is there really much out there for me to enjoy? Well Kyrenia is an amazing harbour town with so much on offer.
For holidays with plenty of drama and history but also with beauty and charm visit Kyrenia. Once a sleepy seaside fishing village in Northern Cyprus, Kyreniahas since become a very popular tourist destination. Kyrenia as a destination offers the whole package, sun sand and sea for those looking to laze about on the beach. Lots of water sports activities such as water-skiing, jet-skiing and wind surfing for the adventurers looking for the next adrenaline rush including Scuba Diving. In fact Kyrenia is the place where the oldest shipwreck ever was found. North Cyprushas a history going back thousands of years and Kyrenia is the perfect base to explore the region.
At the heart of Kyrenia is the amazing Venetian harbour. Take a stroll along the U-shaped harbour with fishing boats and yachts moored there you will be amazed by the beauty of the place. Along the way pop into one of the many charming cafes and restaurants for lunch, an evening meal or even just for coffee and watch the world go by. The main attraction of the harbour is the majestic St Hilarion Castle giving the whole place character. The castle is home to a fascinating museum dedicated to the shipwreck found off the coast of Kyrenia.
Of course it is not just the town centre that has all the attractions; Direct Traveller can arrange day trips and excursions to all other major tourist attractions such as Bellapais Monastery on the outskirts of Kyrenia. If you want to go little further afield then there is the historic town of Famagusta and Salamis where you will find many ancient ruins.
Contact Direct Traveller to speak to one of our specialist travel consultants and see what we can do for you in Kyrenia. Direct Traveller has many packages to Kyrenia to suit all budgets and meet all expectations. Direct Traveller is ATOL bonded and also ABTA members for your peace of mind. Call us on 0844 414 1684 or log onto www.directtraveller.com and book your next holiday to Kyrenia and explore Northern Cyprus.
With the wake of the economic downturns in Europe and indeed around the world, along with UK austerity measures trying to reduce the deficit, many UK holidaymakers are looking to fulfil their desire for luxury but by paying less.
Luxury 5* Malpas Hotel & Spa
If luxury is your priority, but you find that you must cut down your budget this year for your holiday, then Luxury North Cyprus holidays are the ideal option for you. With the benefit for an amazing exchange rate from Turkish lira to UK pounds sterling, many luxury holidays in North Cyprus are at amazing prices.
There are many luxury options for holidaymakers to take advantage of including the 5* Colony hotel in kyrenia, 5* Ottoman Palace hotel in kyrenia, The Rocks Hotel in Kyrenia harbour, the new and impressive 5* Cratos hotel are just a few that can be identified as potential locations for North Cyprus luxury holidays.
Further to this, Direct Traveller has two more hotels for you to consider for 5* luxury breaks which include the 5* Malpas Hotel and Spa on the foothills of Kyrenia five finger mountains with its amazing views of the coastline, and the brand new 5* Arkin Palm Beach Hotel in Famagusta with its unchallenged evening sunset on the iconic beach location. Both of these hotels are 5* that’s true, both of them are top luxury locations, yet they both offer something slightly different to the other. A beach hotel or a scenic retreat. Direct Traveller has negotiated excellent value for holidays to these hotels with Free Half Board upgradethroughout summer for both of these luxury North Cyprus hotels.
North Cyprus also known as Turkish Cyprus, is an iconic location to many travellers and to many British who wish to live in the sunshine. Famous Brits to live in Kyrenia include world boxing champion David Haye and also once Lawrence Durrell. During his time in Kyrenia Durrell lived in Bellapais village which is famous for its relaxing and laid back scenic lifestyle. While in Cyprus he wrote his book Bitter Lemons. This is an autobiographical work by the writer, describing the three years (1953–1956) he spent on the island of Cyprus.
Book Holidays to North Cyprus with Direct Traveller, for a bargain break to the Mediterranean, you will not find a better deal anywhere else. Holidays to North Cyprus allows you to get away from the Euro yet still enjoy a Mediterranean Holiday. North Cyprus has so much to offer even the most discerning of traveller that you will find yourself returning to the island year after year.
Holidays to North Cyprusare unique in the sense that it has something to satisfy any visitor. The history of North Cyprus goes back for centuries but fragments of it are still visible today so visitors interested in the past will find Holidays to North Cyprus fascinating. There are a number of historical monuments and ancient ruins for you to explore. Kyrenia Castle, for example, the original castle built in 700A.D and towers above Kyrenia Harbour even today. During the British Colonial time the castle was used as a prison then opened to visitors in 1963. The castle is home to the Shipwreck Museum which holds an ancient trading ship found off the coast of Kyrenia and is considered to the oldest shipwreck ever to be found.
Another would be St Hilarian Castle built around the 17th Century and named after a hermit monk who lived in a cave on the mountain. Accounts of Richard the Lion Heart having stayed at this castle on his way to the crusades have been found here. It has also been suggested that Walt Disney used St Hilarion Castle as inspiration when designing his fairytale castles.
Kantara Castle, Buffaveneto Castle, Othello’s Tower and Bellapais Abbey are just some of the places you can see whilst on Holiday to North Cyprus. For those looking for something more active along with all the sight seeing then there are plenty of Water sports to take part in. Most places in North Cyprus offer Jet Ski, paragliding or even scuba diving. Holidays to North Cyprus can be anything you want it to be, if an active holiday is not your thing then there are numerous beaches that you can spend your days on.
For best possible price on Holidays to North Cyprus visit Direct Traveller website on www.directtraveller.comor call us on 0844 414 1684 and speak to one of our specialist travel consultants. Direct Traveller is a leading specialist tour operator arranging Holidays to North Cyprus for past 10 years. Whatever your holiday requirements or your budget Direct Traveller is bound to be able to find the perfect package for your Holidays to North Cyprus.
The significant column in Ataturk square of Turkish Nicosia was made in 1550 by the venetians. It once marked the St. Mark lion, but this was removed by the Ottomans. The column was then re-established in 1915 by the British, whom took it from the ancient Salamis ruins of Famagusta.
Venetian Column Nicosia
The buildings around the column were also made during the British colonial times in the early 20th century. Around the column there is also now a fountain and a platform with British markings. The platform was constructed to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953, of which was announced to Cyprus from this platform.
60 years on, we are now celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In North Cyprus there is many events taking place with expats and locals. From balls to concerts to street parties. The Cypriots are really getting into the mood of celebrating.
The extra two days holiday in June 4/5 mean employees only take three days annual leave to get an extra week-long holiday. This has also meant an influx of Brits visiting North Cyprus for their celebrations.
What are you doing on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend?
ABBA to perform in North Cyprus, would you like to see ABBA perform? Ok, maybe not them but a very good tribute act...
ABBA a Swedish music group formed in 1972, became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982. The band comprised of Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They are also known for winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, giving Sweden its first victory in the history of the contest and being the most successful group ever to take part in the contest.
Aurora Concerts in association with Entertain Cyprus will be staging a special one-night only spectacular concert on 1st June 2012 featuring VOULEZ VOUS, widely regarded as the top ABBA homage in the world and personal favourites of Bjorn and Benny of the original ABBA band. The word ‘Spectacular’ not overused in describing this incredible musical and visual feast which has played in some of the world’s most prestigious venues to sell-out audiences. Not only will the audience be taken back in time by the music, they will be visually wowed by the stunning lighting, choreography and audio visual impact of this production which ends with a fabulous firework display over the Mediterranean Sea in North Cyprus .
There are two halves to the show: The first half of the show features all of the hit songs from Bjorn and Benny’s hit musical feature film ‘MAMMA MIA’ as well as a special guest appearance by Mats Ronander from ABBA’s original live band. The audience will be dancing in the aisles as VOULEZ VOUS re-create the magic that is ABBA and the phenomena that is MAMMA MIA using some of the most amazing audio visual and lighting effects the TRNC has ever seen!
The Second Half captures the remainder of the vast ABBA catalogue of classics, leading up to the grand finale which is guaranteed to have the audience leaving with a bang...and the feeling that they have just been to an original ABBA concert!
VOULEZ VOUS have performed all over the world and was the ABBA homage personally chosen by Bjorn and Benny to appear at the world premier for the MAMMA MIA film launch in London, UK. If you love ABBA, love to sing and dance and love to relive the music and atmosphere of one of the world’s most successful pop acts ever.
So if you are on holiday in Cyprus and want to enjoy a night of Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Money, Money, Money or Take a Chance on Me on the beautiful island of Cyprus then this is the night for you.
19 May is Atatürk Commemoration, Youth and Sports Day in North Cyprus and Turkey. A national public holiday it is a time of celebration and rememberance of Ataturk's existence and achievement.
During the his term as president, Ataturk himself announced May 19 as Youth and Sports Day. After Ataturk's legacy, the day now honour's the country's founder.
All administration buildings, post offices, schools, and most businesses are closed on this day.
Its a great time to be in North Cyprus on this day. You will see many parades and displays of youth and symbolic marches in Kyrenia, Famagusta and Nicosia. Enjoy the entertainemnt with the colourful displays and proud people.
As today 19th May 2012 is a saturday, you will find that the celebrations will continue further into the day. during he day cafes, restaurants and beaches will be busy, and in the evening the restaurants, bars, tavernas, beach bars, and lounge bars will be full of life.
This is one of many public holidays the island enjoys, with its Turkish Cypriot culture you will have a wonderful Turkish holiday.
So whther you prefer to sip turkish coffee and throw the dice on your backgammon with the local village people, or prefer to drive to Karpaz panhandle and enjoy the empty golden beaches amazing caribbean style beach holidays experience - North Cyprus will be the perfect getaway destination.
The UK’s first comprehensive North Cyprus Guide is now available for FREE download on the iPhone.
To download your FREE copy of the iPhone application, visit the iTunes store and search for “Direct Traveller”.
Especially designed for British holiday-makers by DIRECT TRAVELLER - the UK’s leading tour operator to North Cyprus.
The application is now available FREE for everyone to download; have your very own personal North Cyprus holiday guide at your fingertips.
This easy –to-use application gives you the opportunity to make the most of your holidays in North Cyprus. Featuring the most comprehensive information, interactive functions, maps, photos, videos, and reliable information. The application is perfect for all holidaymakers travelling to North Cyprus and has features that help you before you travel and while you are there.
Another first from Direct Traveller, this application means that North Cyprus is available for promoting on iPhone, iPad, and iPods all around the world. The useful tool puts North Cyprus in the hands of all holidaymakers looking to travel. The app will enforce the image of North Cyprus with its comprehensive information and help promote the beautiful country to British and international holidaymakers Direct Traveller managing director says: “We are proud to be the first UK based company to represent North Cyprus on the iPhone apple platform. This is an exciting time for us with many new developments and initiatives we are currently working on to further develop interest in North Cyprus.” The iPhone application is expected to receive a high level of interest, and will further compliment the national television advertising campaign ‘Direct Traveller’ is promoting North Cyprus with this summer
Highlights of the application include:
Before you go: Have an in-depth understanding of North Cyprus before you go, and plan where you wish to visit to get the most out of your holiday.
View descriptions, maps, photos and video footage on historic attractions, beaches, hand selected hotels, and other must see sights with interactive resort guides. See the latest special offers for UK package holidays to North Cyprus, add holidays to your “my holidays” section for viewing later, share with your friends using Facebook or Twitter, and send quick online enquiries for more information or for a personal reply on experienced and unbiased tips and advice for your travel plans.
While in North Cyprus: View the maps, and navigate to your desired attraction while on holiday. Check out places you would like to visit and view descriptions, photos, and videos before you set out on your journey. Use the in-depth interactive road maps for useful information and map locations for: must-see attractions, hotels, police stations, hospitals, sports, coach stations, beaches and even ports.
Looking for something in particular? Not a problem! Press the “Where am I?” function to locate your whereabouts and navigate to your desired location, ensuring you never get lost again.
·Interactive resort guides on: North Cyprus, Kyrenia, Famagusta, Nicosia, and Guzelyurt withdescriptions,
images, maps, and videos. ·Interactive Maps featuring: Must See Attractions, Hotels, Police Stations, Hospitals, Sports, Coach Stations, Beaches and even Ports ·“Where Am I?” Function for easy navigation ·Video Footage of hotels, and other attractions ·Photos library of hotels and attractions ·Share Function for sharing on Facebook and Twitter ·Submit Enquiry function for contacting Direct Traveller, and asking for free unbiased advice on any topic. ·Exclusive Special offers for holidays leaving from UK to North Cyprus ·My Holidays Section, for storing your favourite holiday deal for viewing later
Holidays in Turkey are diverse; from the vibe of Istanbul city breaks, to the mysterious Cappadocia. Antalya holidays, Bodrum holidays, Dalaman holidays and Izmir holidays offer ideal Turkey beach holidays.
Direct Traveller offers Turkey deals on Turkey hotels, and guided Turkey tour. We also offer Turkey luxury holidays, & North Cyprus and Istanbul holidays.
Oman holidays focus on quality. Visit the Royal opera house of Muscat take in the breathtaking views of Wadi Ghul, or experience Oman’s Souks!
Direct Traveller Oman holidays include Oman deals on Muscat holidays, Salalah holidays, Dibba holidays and Khasab holidays. Discover Oman with our Oman beach holidays & private guided Oman tours.
Sri Lanka Holidays
Sri Lanka holidays are unique; from adventurous Sri Lanka elephant safaris, to Sri Lanka beach holidays.
Direct Traveller offers private guided Sri Lanka tours.. Enjoy Sri Lanka tours and beach stays from legendary Sigiriya, the tea factories of Nuwara Eliya, to the relaxing Negombo beaches. Sri Lanka holiday deals offer truly memorable holidays.
Award winning tailor made holidays and tours
Direct Traveller is recognised as one of the UK's leading specialist tour operators. Our quality holidays in authentic and euro free destinations include deals on North Cyprus holidays, Turkey holidays, Oman holidays, and Sri Lanka holidays. From Northern Cyprus holidays to Sri Lanka holidays, we offer amazing package deals on luxury holidays, cheap holidays on the beach, twin centre holidays, all inclusive holidays, multi centre holidays, and guided tours. All year through from 2013 to 2014 holidays, Direct Traveller has summer deals and winter holidays including winter long stay holidays and 3rd Week free holidays. Direct Traveller holidays are available with non-stop direct flights from Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Dublin Edinburgh, Nottingham, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, London, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, South End, and Stansted. Enjoy wonderful holidays form your local airport.