Many of the hotels are situated in or around Kyrenia. It is the prettiest town in the whole Island. It has a charming harbour , full of yatchts and fishing boats, with a colossal Crusader castle at one end of it. The buildings that line the road date back to Venetian times. Primarily they were built as carob warehouses, now they serve as bars, cafes, flats and cafes. Add to this beauty the backdrop of the jagged Kyrenia mountain range, it is truely magical.
There are plenty of car parks situated close to the old harbour. Be sure to use these, and don’t park on double yellow lines. You will get a parking ticket. The largest one is situated at the top of the town near the Colony Hotel and the post office. If you find yourself having one drink too many, you are on holiday afterall!, be sure to get a taxis home. Never drink and drive. Aslong as the taxis put their their metres on, you will get a fair price!
There is more to Kyrenia than just the harbour. Some of the best Cypriot and European restaurants are located in the old Turkish quater. With your back to the post office, cross the road, find the fire station and keep walking. Keep an eye for signs to Kyrenia Tavern, Ikimiz and Efendis. There is amazing architecture in this area and many shrines to important Ottoman citizens.
The post office and law courts are a throw back to British Colonial times. The Jaccaranda trees are replesdent when they are in full bloom, breath takingly beautiful. The pavements in high street are proudly lined with orange trees, the smell from the blossom is overwhelming. The shops are an epclatic mix of boutiques, news agents and souvinir shops. Totally unique to Northern Cyprus, there are no international chains here.
The white Anglican Church of St Andrews sits proudly at the top of the town. This is a very popular church, services take place weekly. Just down the cobbled street is the historical Djafer Pasha mosque dating back to 1570. There is also a Roman Catholic Church which is also open for worship. Anything goes in Kyrenia! The atmosphere is so laid back and relaxing, a reflection on the friendly and welcoming nature of the Turkish Cypriots.
Other places of interest include the Folk Museum situated in the harbour. The icon museum housed in the Greek Orthodox Church, Archangel Mıchael. Byzantium catacombs cut into limestone cliffs close to the harbour. The Round Tower, a great souvinir shop, housed in the remains of the medieval town walls.
Kyrenia castle, is the most accesible of all North Cyprus’s castles. It is also the best preserved. The sheer size of the walls cannot fail to impress. There is so much to do inside, allow yourself a couple of hours inside the ancient walls. The artefacts inside are a fascinating mix of prehistoric, Venetian, Lusignans and Ottomon .
Kyrenia is slowly changing and now there is a new focal point for tourists and locals alike. Throughout the summer there is live music and theatre situated in the square at the top of the town. Pavement cafes glady greet thirsty and hungry guests. Sit here to relax and soak up some fabulous free entertainment. There is also a brand new ampitheatre, which faces directly out to the fabulous sea. Concerts are regulary organised. The atmosphere is happy and relaxed. A really wonderful place to base your North Cyprus holidays.