Miles and miles of unspoilt, golden, sandy beaches set against a backdrop of the clear and clean blue Mediterranean… sound good? Believe it or not, such places still exist in North Cyprus. It’s only in recent years that there has been major growth in the area which means there are many natural beaches as well as resorts to choose from.
Before you throw all your bikinis (or mankinis) into that suitcase, check out our top three must-visit beaches for your perfect Mediterranean escape.
Karpas Beach or Nangomi Beach is world famous. Situated at the northern-most tip of Cyprus about 15 km from the town of Rizokarpaso, it is said to be Cyrus’s best beach. While you can get tours to the area, we recommend hiring a car to get there, especially if you want to take in the breath-taking views along the peninsula. Karpas is reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite or Venus, the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. It’s easy to see why. Miles of golden beaches are perfect for a walk at sunset or sunrise with very little to distract from romance.
Apart from a few guesthouses, there is very little development here even though this beach is getting busier as its reputation spreads. Nonetheless, it is a very long beach at 3,700m so there are plenty of isolated spots where you can throw down your beach blanket. Keep an eye out for Karpas donkeys, which roam freely around the rugged landscape. They are the cultural symbol of Cyprus and although feral, they are very friendly! While you’re in the area, be sure to visit the ancient St Andrew’s monastery located on the very edge of the peninsula.
Turtles North Cyprus is a perfect sanctuary for marine turtles and you can spot them on many beaches. Alagadi Nesting Beach is a protected area, closed to the public at night during nesting season, June 1 to September 15, from 8pm to 8am. However, it’s well worth a trip in the daytime to spot these incredible creatures and chat to volunteers of the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP).
Glapsides Beach is livelier than Karpas but is still a great place to hang out nonetheless. It’s 5.5km from Famagusta on the eastern side of the island and is a hive of activity for local people and students because of its convenience. Its long and sandy beach claims shallow water up to 150m from the shore – perfect for a splash to cool off.
The local municipality runs Glapsides Beach and although admission is free, you pay a small fee for umbrellas and sun beds. There’s also a bar, mini market and showers and if you want to dance late into the night, you can do that too during summer weekends. Along with all that, explore the Med underworld on a diving trip from the beach.
As well as many natural beaches where you can swim in isolation and enjoy your own peaceful picnic, you can also opt to re-join society and pay to visit hotels that lay claim to areas of beach. These can be great fun! A few miles east of Kyrenia, you can visit the five-star Acapulco Hotel’s beach where you pay an entrance fee to sample a selection of facilities such as one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in North Cyprus, complete with water slides. You can also take part in beach volleyball, tennis and basketball or sit back and clap along to one of the shows on offer.
Have you been to these beaches in Northern Cyprus? Which is your favourite beach ? or do you have another you prefer? Tell us below.