Kyrenia Things to Do

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    The big picture
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    The heart
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  • The entrance
    The entrance
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kyrenia

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    Fast food par excellence

    by Assenczo Updated Mar 26, 2015

    Girne’s burek lives up to the best standards in this part of the world for a puff-pastry snack. Cooked to perfection and served fast makes it the preferred choice for starving strangers in need of a quick fix. Girne’s streets are not foreign to burek outlets. One of the central thoroughfares, sloping down from the round tower is dutifully adorned with at least one, called “Istanbul” – easy to remember too! The only downside was the lack of “airan” or diluted yogurt with seasonings but this was not a major mishap.

    Fast, filling and friendly
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    Climb them all

    by Assenczo Updated Mar 17, 2015

    Girne’s castle is the major “attraction” of the town. Unlike some Disneyland outfit, it has been around for centuries governed by many who have been shaping it carefully till it obtained its contemporary form. Nowadays tourism is the main sponsor of the structure since the poor beauty has lost its original role of defending the town and its rulers. Its bastions are hammered unto all four sides of the simple square form of the walls. Walking along the ramparts is a great activity for making sense of Girne’s location along the sea, in the foothills of the mountain. The views of the ports on both side of the structure are exquisite. Looking inward, one faces the vast inner yard where the cistern - source of water, a restaurant and other outfits related to human activity, are located. The visitors craving some background are exposed to a boat, neatly marooned into its own room, which was found in the vicinity some decades ago. She has a very respectable age of thousands of years, rests within the confines of a glass sarcophagus and is adorned with the famous liquid-transporting vessels of the time – amphorae.

    The entrance The courtyard The big picture The heart The statement
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    Food for thought

    by Assenczo Written Mar 17, 2015

    The port of Girne with its perfectly shaped semi-circle in the best traditions of the Greek amphitheater is the focal point for the local restaurant business. Of course, everybody would like to sip their Efes beer in the buxom of the natural and man-made beauty of Girne seaside promenade. Money must be made on the fly here. Or is this the case? Reconnaissance party despatched to the area in question in the afternoon on a sunny February day proved the opposite to be true. Hopefully, it was the sluggishness of the winter season or some siesta-distorted condition because otherwise this place is going down the tubes.

    Pristine
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    Salamis Ruins in Famagusta

    by greekcypriot Updated Mar 6, 2015

    Salamis is situated right by the beach and is located not very far from Famagusta.

    It used to be one of the most important cities in its time. The old Salamis ruins span through many centuries from Greek classic era to dereliction in VII century because of sinking port.

    What I did not like here and worried me was the fact that people wander freely through the ancient ruins, walk upon the ancient tiles of the mosaics which are already breaking up under the ravages of traffic and weather. Statues of great importance are exposed with no prottection.
    It is still promoted as a ruin and I guess man will continue to ruin it. In any event it is a site worth visiting, but at least when you visit it please respect it.

    There is still a lot to be seen although ruins were heavily used to build Famagusta, even the Suez Canal by the British.

    Upon paying the entrance fee you will be given an information booklet. The fee is 9TL.
    There is a car-parking close to the entrance, a picnic area around and also a café bar.

    The Distance from Kyrenia to Salamis is 77km.

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    St. Hilarion Castle - "A Must See Attraction"

    by greekcypriot Updated Mar 5, 2015

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    The drive to the castle from Kyrenia (built by Byzantines and Crusaders) is about 25 minutes.

    St. Hilarion is located western of the Kyrenia Mountain range.

    If you plan to visit the caste in summer preferably come early. The climb to the top is 730 metres and can be quite tiring if you are not fit. Be sure to have along flat shoes, a bottle of water, perhaps a walking stick and by all means a camera.

    You will find more on the link, but I have to admit the view from the top is breathtaking.

    Coming here by taxi it will cost you about 100 TL.

    Tel.: 0533 161 276
    Opening hours:
    Summer 9.00 – 18.00, last entry: 17.00
    Winter 9.00 – 16.30, last entry: 15.30
    Admission: app. YTL 5.00

    Born on hard rock -Cyclamen
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    The Shipwreck Museum

    by greekcypriot Updated Mar 1, 2015

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    The remains and exhibits from the ship date back to the 4th century BC and include the cargo and items relating to the daily lives of its sailors. The almonds were found untouched and were well protected in the vessels.

    You will find extended information about the shipwreck through the link below.

    Fee 4.50 euros covers the entrance for the Castle, plus the Shipwreck museum which is not that big but it is of huge interest.

    Photos from my 1st digital camera.
    Sorry for the quality.

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    Exploring the Castle

    by greekcypriot Updated Mar 1, 2015

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    A visit to the Castle pays for the trip to Kyrinia. It will certainly travel you!

    The Castle is an imposing structure sitting on one side of the horseshoe-shaped harbour.

    It houses the Shipwreck Museum, with remains of a merchant ship and its cargo, and dates back to the 4th century BC.

    You can see the Middle Aged castle dungeons, a Neolithic settlement and many more.
    The view of the harbour from out here is breathtaking.

    Entrance Fee is €4.5 or 12 TL.

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    The Bellapais Abbey

    by greekcypriot Updated Mar 1, 2015

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    It is an amazing example of Gothic art and holds a special place in the island’s architectural inherence.

    The monastery’s spectacular ruins are very atmospheric, it is well preserved, with wonderful views and the village itself is lovely. The Medieval Temple has taken its name from the French “Abbaye de la Paix”.

    Getting here:

    Located 3 miles east of Kyrenia, on the slopes of the Five-finger mountain-range (Pentadaktilos)

    No buses go to this monastery but it is worth the taxi fare!
    It is an hour’s walk each way, but I would not recommend going on foot unless you are sure where you are going.

    On a clear day if you are lucky enough you can see the coasts of Turkey

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    The marina in Kyrenia

    by greekcypriot Written Mar 1, 2015

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    The harbour of Kyrenia dates back to the 10th century BC during Venetian times.

    As a port of great importance (1489) the Fort was built to protect the city against invasion.
    It is very attractive any time you visit it, with numerous bars and restaurant by the coast.

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    Harbour

    by mickeyboy07 Written Jul 25, 2012

    Kyrenia Harbour is a pretty but small harbour lined with cobbled streets and featuring old houses,bars and a few restaurants.Frequant ferry services operate trips to 'Alanya and Tasucu' in Southern Turkey.There are also Scuba Diving tours and Paragliding courses offered by many tour companies.The 'Turtle Bay' dive centre is only a few minutes walk from here and is very popular with tourists.

    Me at a local bar overlooking Harbour
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    Coach trip from South to Kyrenia & Famagusta

    by greekcypriot Written Jul 15, 2012

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    The Eman -English guided excursions have different day trips including visiting the north. A leaflet I have from last year indicates that the trip Kyrenia and Famagusta (including Bellapais Abbey) cost 45 euros last year. I think this will help you and it is indeed a nice trip out there.

    Contact www.emantravel.com
    email: info@emantravel.com -for a personal question
    Tel: +357 23721321/ 23721336.

    Notes: Passport or European Union ID Card is needed for trips to Kyrenia and/or Famagusta. Entrance fees for all excursions are included in the prices but not meals.Infants up to 2 years -free
    From 2 up to 12 years old the price is half.

    The EMAN buses in Cyprus
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    Harbourside walk

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Feb 13, 2012

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    Whether you 're an avid sightseer keen to check out the sights of Kyrenia, walking off the effects of lunch at one of the restaurants that line the harbour's landward side or simply joining the locals out to take a pleasant evening stroll, a walk along the harbour's breakwater has to be something you do at least once while you're there.

    Only pleasure craft moor within its safety these days, but the mighty fortress standing guard at the entry is a sure indication of the important role the harbour played in the town's history. As it stands today, the external appearance of the castle is down to the 15th century Venetians who captured it in 1489 from the last Lusignan King of Cyprus but they were only extending the castle the Lusignans* built on top of a Byzantine fort that was almost certainly built over a Roman one. And, as if the fortress wasn't enough, a great chain, raised and lowered by winches in towers that stood on either side of the original harbour mouth, provided extra protection. The derelict eastern tower can be seen standing still below the castle walls; the western tower forms part of the Customs House built by the British in 1914.
    You can see both buildings in photo 2, the east tower in the foreground, the Customs House is the stone building on the other side of the water. A section of the chain can be seen in the castle museum.

    Photo 3 is a panorama of the harbour taken from the castle walls. Nowadays, restaurants occupy most of the buildings that rim the harbour, between the minaret of Cafer Pasa Camii (Kyrenia's oldest mosque) and the white bell tower of the Church of the Arkhangelos Mikhael (now the city's Icon Museum); once they provided the town's traders with warehouses on the ground floor and living quarters upstairs.

    *And who were the Lusignans? French Crusader princes who, on the loss of the Holy Land, retreated to Cyprus where they declared themselves Kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem. The dynasty ruled the island from 1194 until they were conquered by the Venetians in 1474.

    Breakwater and castle Harbour panorama Venetian towers of Kyrenia Castle Chain tower and customs House
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    " A picturebook castle for elf-kings"

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jan 27, 2012

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    Photos
    1:" Tower upon tower ..."
    2."..a maze of gatehouses, courts ..."
    3. "...arches... and wild aromatic trees..."
    4. The Queen's window
    5. "... an eyrie that surveys the world."

    That's how one of my favourite authors, Rose Macaulay, in her marvellous book, "Pleasure of Ruins" describes St Hilarion castle, sitting atop its impossibly high crag, overlooking Kyrenia. No visit to Northern Cyprus is complete without a visit here, though you need to have your legs in good shape and a head for heights if you're going to tackle the climb to the very top. Dame Rose describes it so well, I hope you'll excuse me quoting her vision of this most magical of castles -

    "Twisting up and up into the sky, terrace above terrace, tower over tower, till it ends in an eyrie that surveys the world, it is a dramatic pile of ruin, rocks and wild aromatic trees and shrubs springing out of them. It is... a picture book castle for elf kings, sprawling over two twin crests with its maze of gatehouses, courts, arches, kitchens, cisterns, church, vaulted chambers and halls, terraces and steep flights of grass-grown steps."

    Since she wrote that, back in 1950, apart from those "grass-grown steps" now being clear and having a handrail and there being a cafe in one of the vaulted halls and a small exhibition about the castle in another, I'm sure she would find very little has changed despite the passage of years.

    The castle ascends right up the mountain, through three distinct levels. The first ascent takes you from the huge lower ward through a gatehouse and tunnel into the middle section with its Byzantine chapel, cisterns, a belvedere and steps and stairs leading through a maze of chambers and halls until you reach the gate that opens the way to the upper towers. The narrow stone steps twist and turn, up and up and up through the pinewoods (and, in our case, the mist that came and went) to the final redoubt - the towers of the Royal apartments on one peak and - highest of all - Prince John's tower. The views are spectacular and, our visit taking place on a winter's afternoon, the quiet atmosphere quite magical. What it is like on a hot afternoon in summer with a coachload or two of fellow-tourists up there too might well be another matter.

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    Bella, bella ...

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jan 27, 2012

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    Photos
    1: Durrell's doorway
    2:This tree...
    3: ...or that?
    4: Idling still


    ...Bellapais, the name a corruption of Abbaye de la Paix (Abbey of Peace), the glorious shell of which is one of Cyprus's most romantic ruins. Hearing the name, rather than seeing it, you could easily think some 16th century Venetian sailor had named it Bellapaese - beautiful country - the name is every bit as appropriate.

    Renowned English writer, Lawrence Durrell certainly found it so and immortalised the village and its people in his book "Bitter Lemons", a telling of the three years he spent here, teaching English and writing 'Justine", the first volume of his Alexandria Quartet. The book is on sale everywhere here, renamed (wrongly!) "Bitter Lemons of Cyprus" and the small plaque marking the house that Durrell bought is much photographed. For lovers of contemporary English literature the house and the Tree of Idleness down in the village square are as much places of pilgrimage as the abbey is to lovers of Gothic architecture.

    Lying just a few kilometres inland on the flank of the mountains behind Kyrenia, the village has undoubtedly lost some of the charm Durrell found here in the mid 1950s. Asphalt may have replaced cobbles on the steep and narrow streets, and cafes and shops competing with each other for custom may display garish modern signs but, seen from across the ravine as you approach from the coastal plain, or from the upper levels of the abbey itself, it's not hard to see why this place was named "the most beautiful village in Cyprus". Sitting over a coffee in the square on a quiet sunny morning in late winter or taking an evening stroll up around the floodlit abbey grounds after the day trippers have gone, you don't need the influence of a Tree of Idleness to find yourself entering into a state of calm reflectiveness that sees the rest of the world drift away.

    As to the indolence-inducing tree, no-one's quite sure which tree Lawrence meant when he wrote:"We were careful not to drink coffee under it lest we were forever consumed with idleness." Two canny cafe owners lay claim to their tree being the real one - you can take your pick.

    This tree? Or that? Idling still
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    Delving into the past

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jan 27, 2012

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    With its rich history dating far back into pre-Hellenic times, Cyprus has a wealth of archaeological treasures and, in two seperate museums, Kyrenia Castle houses significantly important finds from both land and sea.

    Not to be missed is the 2300 year old Greek trading ship and its cargo. Discovered in 1967 in 30 metres of water about a mile offshore from the safety of the harbour, this is the oldest shipwreck known. Before raising it to the surface, archaeologists spent two years recording every aspect of the wreck along with the location of every artifact before anything was brought to the surface. Hundreds of wine amphorae from Rhodes formed a large part of the cargo, along with thousands of almonds - some stored in jars, others now a packed mass in the hold would have been transported in long-disintegrated sacks. These and other distinctive items make it possible to chart the route the ship sailed as it traded from island to island, whilst things such as cooking pots and fishing weights tell of the life of the crew, which from the four spoons, cups, oil jugs and salt dishes found, we can assume numbered four men, and fig, grape and olive seeds give us an idea of what they ate apart from the almonds and the fish they caught with those lead weights.

    More than 40 feet of the 47 foot Aleppo pine hull was preserved in the seabed's thick mud. Carbon dating of the wood tell us the ship was some 80 years old when she sank, whilst the almond's carbon date identifies the time she sank

    A raised walkway allows vistors to inspect the ship from above, and a gallery at this upper level documents the archaelogical expedition at work on the seabed.

    The Tomb-Finds Gallery, in another part of the castle, displays a reconstructed Neolithic "house" from the area, a reconstruction of a Bronze Age tomb with accompanying grave goods from a site near Pinarbasi. Classical-era artefacts dating from Greek through to Byzantine times are displayed upstairs along with a reconstructed catacomb tomb of the period.

    Still working on it A full-size cross-section model Amphora from Rhodes Food and utensils for the crew Neolithic dwelling
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Kyrenia Things to Do

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This Guide gives the Visitor several alternatives of Things and Places to visit while in the round area of Kyrenia. The Tips will help you choose the Best Spots Not to be Missed. The list is...

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