North Cyprus Q&A
What do you like most about North Cyprus?
North Cyprus is a perfect holiday for me. It has sun, sea and sand but at the same time plenty of culture and a friendly ambience. I love how it still feels very Mediterranean, with old men sitting in community cafes playing backgammon, locally run restaurants and bars, with no commercialisation. Everyone seems to know everyone and this gives it lots of character and just a really enjoyable destination to be in.
Which foods should people try when visiting?
With regards to eating in North Cyprus, to be honest – that’s all people do. Eating is a big social factor for locals. At every corner you will find a restaurant offering Cypriot food. Meze is my favourite in North Cyprus, this is small hot and cold dishes served to the table, which allow you to try a little bit of everything, very much like a tapas style dining.
Food in North Cyprus is always fresh: freshly-caught fish or succulent kebabs. Specialities I would recoommend for someone to try are: seftali kebab which is a Cypriot sausage, hellim/halloumi cheese but served grilled, and pilavuna, a savoury bread made from cheese, egg, milk and raisins.
Are there any restaurants in particular that you’d recommend?
Restaurants I would recommend are: – Ambience Restaurant – (Kebab & Meze) – Address Restaurant – (Kebab & Meze) – Sofra Restaurant at the Ship Inn Hotel – (Kebab & Meze) – Hur Deniz – (Fish Restaurant)
What are your favourite activities to do in North Cyprus?
I always try and do something different when there. Obviously the usual is to lay on the beach and classify that as an activity, but there’s plenty more to do in North Cyprus.
I have done paragliding off of the 5 Finger Mountains in Kyrenia and that was amazing. Scary! But amazing. You can see a video of this experience here:
Windsurfing is always fun too but depends on the time of year you travel, as the main summer months of July – August don’t have too much wind. I like to also have my camera by my side as there is always something interesting to take a picture of – amazing scenery, wildlife and people. My favourite areas to take pictures of are the Kyrenia Harbour, Bellapais Monastery and the St Hilarion castle.
Boat tours are also a great way to relax with the opportunity to catch your lunch with a spot of fishing, sunbathe, have a swim in some of the remote spots along the coast, and if you’re lucky – see some Loggerhead turtles.
What are the best beaches to visit?
Popular beaches are Çatalköy Beach and the Escape Beach in Kyrenia, which is one of the more busy beaches on the Northern coast. My favourite beach would be in Karpaz, which is at the very tip of North Cyprus. There’s just miles and miles of sand here. I have been there a couple of times and it’s so remote that you may not see civilisation for a few hours, but so peaceful for this reason, and the beach is one I would definitely recommend.
Which hotels would you recommend?
North Cyprus has hotels for all types of travellers. If you want a small boutique hotel then I would recommend the Hideaway Club, Bellapais Monastery and Bella View. 3 star hotels would include the Citrus Tree Gardens, The Ship Inn Hotel and Altinkaya Hotel. 4 star hotels would include The Pia Bella Hotel, Oscar resort, L.A Beach Resort, and 5 stars: The Vuni Palace, Malpas Hotel and Spa, Arkin Palm Beach hotel and the Colony Hotel.
Do you have a favourite historical site?
St Hilarion is my favourite, the views are amazing once you get to the top.
If you had to sum up North Cyprus in one word, what would it be?
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