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With hotspots Dubrovnik, Corsica and the Greek Isles drawing hoards of sun-seekers during summer, Northern Cyprus is the Mediterranean’s hidden gem.
Separated from the southern, Greek-aligning part of Cyprus, Northern Cyprus is primarily Turkish. As the region isn’t part of the European Union, you can expect fewer large businesses and chains than in Southern Cyprus. In its place, you’ll discover quiet yet stunning beaches, fascinating archaeological ruins, and views of a coastline free from high-rise complexes and resorts. Northern Cyprus is ideal for those who are seeking a calm escape away from the masses.
The unspoilt landscape of the Karpaz peninsula is the scenic highlight of any Northern Cyprus trip. The picture-perfect region stretches from near the east coast city of Famagusta to the northern-most tip of Cyprus, featuring stunning white-sand beaches that are often completely empty. As one of the least polluted regions in the Mediterranean, the area is rich in biodiversity and is a temporary home for nearly 300 birds migrating between Eastern Europe and Africa.
Perched atop a craggy peak in Northern Cyprus’ Kyrenia mountain range is St Hilarion Castle. The most well-preserved ruin of three former strongholds in the region, St Hilarion offers sweeping views of the glittering sea and the surrounding Five Finger Mountains.
For those seeking a bit of liveliness, the historic harbour town of Kyrenia is a must-visit. An inviting waterfront location featuring delicious restaurants, dynamic nightlife and a striking Byzantine castle, the old city is considered to be a cultural and economic hub in the region. In Kyrenia, you’ll also find a charmingly cobble-stoned old town with winding streets and mysterious alleyways that will transport you to another time.