North Cyprus is the Turkish side of the Mediterranean island. It’s a popular tourist destination, but what do the locals think? Here are 10 reasons locals love to live in North Cyprus:
The climate is one of the main reasons why locals are so happy to live in North Cyprus. It is a warm place to live in more ways than one. The winters might be cool and rainy, but the very character of the island is always cheerful and sunny. Northern Cypriots are known for their warmth and generous hospitality, making it feel like summer all year round.
World famous food.
Cyprus is home to many of the world’s favourite foods. The most famous perhaps is hellim cheese, but you’ll also find hummus and kebabs which are far superior to any you’ve tried elsewhere. There’s also mouth-watering mezze, delicious salads and traditional seafood dishes including squid, octopus and sea bass. Is it any wonder the locals are so happy?!
North Cyprus is considered a place of raw and undiscovered beauty by its locals. It’s been separated from the Greek side of the island since 1974 and has thankfully missed out on some of the downsides of mass tourism. This makes it a great place to spend time if you’re after some peace and quiet in tranquil surroundings.
Turtles live there too.
Some of the island’s beaches are so unspoilt by tourism, that turtles will come and lay their eggs on them at night! They are studied and protected by scientists and conservationists from around the world. You can camp out in the evening to watch female turtles covering their nests, and hatchling turtles being released by the conservationists.
The St Barnabas Monastery and Icon museum has an impressive display of Greek Orthodox and Byzantine Art. Although it is on the Turkish side of the island, it is still possible to experience elements of Greek culture at places such as this.
Everything is nearby!
There’s no need to rush about in North Cyprus, because you can never be too far from your destination. The whole island is relatively small and it’s possible to drive around it in less than a day. Perhaps this is why there’s such a relaxed, laid back atmosphere.
You’re surrounded by mountains.
There is a coast-to-coast mountain range spanning North Cyprus. If you’re looking for a cool mountain retreat, you can walk the Kyrenia Mountain Trail, which is 143 miles along hills of cypress and pine trees. It takes 10 days, but there are shorter guided treks available too.
Turkish Cypriot poetry.
Locals to North Cyprus love their poetry. It is the most widely published form of literature in the area, and is influenced by both Turkish and Cypriot culture, as well as British colonial history. It has been a way for Turkish Cypriots to express their cultural identity, by highlighting the distinction from the Turkish identity.
There is a campaign across both sides of Cyprus to save the island’s population of wild donkeys. You can see them wandering around Karpas Peninsula National Park, which also features plenty of other plants and animals, as well as miles of beaches and sand dunes.
The Tree of Idleness.
The Tree of Idleness is a 200 year old tree, under which Lawrence Durell wrote his award-winning book ‘Bitter Lemons of Cyprus’ in the 1950s. It can be found in the centre of the village of Bellapais, where you’ll also find the ruins of a medieval abbey and stunning views over the coast.
Do you live in North Cyprus? If so what made you become an expat in Northern Cyprus? Or are you planning to live there if so why?