Aphrodite's idyllic island
Kyrenia, our sun-drenched hideaway on this holiday to Cyprus, offers an enchanting taste of life on Cyprus' northern coast. Take a seat at one of the cafe tables that line the edge of its pretty horseshoe harbour to watch the boats and gentle movement of the blue waters. Wander through the charming narrow lanes, visit the 16h-century castle that still guards the harbour, or head along the coastline or up into the Pentadaktylos mountains to explore.
Offering a range of hotels and a welcome every bit as warm as its idyllic setting, this unspoilt resort on Cyprus' northern coast is just a short way from the Gothic ruins of Lawrence Durrell's beloved Bellapais. The resort offers many opportunities to explore the surrounding waters - snorkelling, fishing or simply cruising the coastline - and the foothills of the Pentadaktylos (five-fingered) mountains.
Your Base: North Cyprus Hotels in Kyrenia
Those wishing to explore will have the chance to join a range of optional excursions (listed below), which will be offered on specific days during your stay. Simply select your chosen excursion(s) from the list when booking.
Join our guide and spend a morning exploring Kyrenia. Stroll around the harbour, then head to the castle, which watches over the harbour from the east and now houses a fascinating shipwreck museum within its massive walls.
Kyrenia harbour and castle tour
Journey into a beautiful region of mountains dotted with ancient villages leading down to a tranquil coastline. Here, you'll visit hilltop St Hilarion Castle - which guards the route from Nicosia and Kyrenia and started life as a monastery - and Gothic Bellapais Abbey, made famous by author Lawrence Durrell.
St Hilarion Castle and Bellapais Abbey
Visit historic Nicosia, island capital for more than 12 centuries. Divided in 1963 by the 'Green Line' separating Greek and Turkish Cypriot territories, the city is both a bustling metropolis, with a vibrant cafe culture, and a fascinating gateway to the island's turbulent past.
Discover the citrus-grove surrounded town of Guzelyurt (which means "beautiful place" in Turkish) and its archaelogy museum and church of Agios Mamas. We'll also visit the fascinating excavations at Soli, with its Roman and Byzantine remains, and travel to the 'Green Line' border town of Lefke, with its former copper mines and orange groves.
Guzelyurt and Soli
Travel into eastern Cyprus to call at the monastery of St Barnabas, and visit the extraordinary ancient ruins at Salamis on today's optional excursion. The remains, which include colonnades, a magnificent theatre and a Roman bathhouse, were part of a much larger settlement that still lies submerged beneath the blue waters and sand dunes.
Moving on, we'll visit Famagusta. This fascinating city has become a living museum where ruined churches, the Lala Mustapha Pasha mosque (once the city cathedral) and Venetian Palace rise in in between the city's modern cafes and shops, and the Varosha quarter remains a ghost town since it was abandoned in 1974.
The Karpaz, or Karpasia, peninsula is a rugged spit of land dotted with ancient villages surrounded by some of Cyprus's loveliest beaches and bluest waters. Visit an ancient olive press, and see the important mosaics at Agios Trias. Weather permitting, you'll also have time to enjoy a dip in the sea at Nangomi (golden) Beach, one of the island's finest bathing spots.
Karpaz Peninsula tour