Standing at the crossroads of three continents North Cyprus has a vibrant history, a perfect climate and the warmest welcome in the Mediterranean. It has been a British playground for many years offering the perfect combination of relaxation, water sports and exciting exploration along its beautiful coastline, for Northern Cyprus too, has its share of rich archeological sites and medieval castles. It enjoys over 300 days of uninterrupted sunshine, clear blue unpolluted seas, the beauty of an unspoiled landscape and uncrowded beaches.
Add to this the friendliness and hospitality of the people, wonderfully varied cuisine and you have the perfect recipe for a truly idyllic holiday. Whether you are a lover of nature, an archaeologist, a keen walker, a water sportsman or simply a sun-worshipper this little island is the ideal spot for you.
Along the northern coast stretch the pine-clad Kyrenia Mountains sloping gently to the warm and tranquil waters of the Mediterranean.
There are many good restaurants in the area, and picturesque Kyrenia harbour is the place to be in the evening. Famagusta in the east is famed for its endless sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. It’s definitely worth a road trip ♥
It will come as no surprise that according to legend this island was given to Cleopatra by Julius Ceasar as a token of his love! (source: www.northcyprus.com)
I could not agree more. I spent there quite some time and still get goosebumps when looking at my pictures. If you look for long, sandy beaches and individual travel locations, this is your place to be. Sometimes I thought I was somewhere near the Caribbean sea, since there was literally nothing but pure nature. 10 km of untouched beaches with the most incredible water.
It is also one of the best places in Europe to spot sea turtles. However, if you do so, you should contact the organisation SPOT to learn all about sea turtles. If you are planning a trip to Cyprus and would like to see marine turtles, here is a little background:
From June 1st – September 15th the SPOT headquarter in Alagadi is manned between 9am and 20:30 and dedicated volunteers are on hand to greet visitors and provide information. It is worth a visit if only to see the place and check out the beach during the day. Their info room contains interesting visual displays and the volunteers will talk you through their research and present a short film on their work.
Alagadi nesting beach is a specially protected area and is closed to the public at night druing the hours of 20:00-08:00 during the nesting season. Access routes to the beach are locked and only volunteers of the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP) or staff of the North Cyprus Department for Environmental Protection department are permitted to enter. Anyone found on the beach who does not have consent to be there will be escorted away. The people from SPOT do, however, invite small groups at night to see the turtles under the supervision of MTCP.
They offer three types of activity through the season:
- Night Watch – During night watch small groups accompany students to the beach at night to watch adult females covering up their nests. This activity is available from June 1st to August 1st (depending on nesting numbers at tail ends of this period). In order to limit any possible disturbance to nesting females they only take 10 people per evening. Although Cyprus is exceptionally hot during the summer, the Alagadi midpoint where you will be waiting with the volunteers can be very cool and breezy at night. So it is important to bring warm clothing. If you end up waiting until the early hours you will definitely get cold in shorts and a t-shirt. It is also important to wear trainers or strapped sandals as you will be walking down concrete steps and on uneven surfaces, possibly over rocks.
- Excavations – These take place around 4pm between July 20th and late September. Hatchlings emerge from their nest at night and depending on the status of the nest after hatching they make a decision that day about inviting visitors to a public nest excavation. So for these, visitors need to call the SPOT headquarter on the day or check the blog for notifications.
- Releases – These also take place between July 20th and late September. Hatchling turtles are released at night under red light at around 9pm, so as with Night Watch, as the beach is closed visitor numbers are limited and booking is required. Bookings can be made by phone or in person. Again check the blog or call up on the day for information. As with night watch sensible footwear is important, but the releases are normally over within half an hour. There is usually the opportunity for each visitor to handle and release a hatchling.
So, if you ever get a chance to fly out to Cyprus, you should definitely stop by at SPOT and explore the (yet) undiscoverd beautiful places all over the island. I think, it would be best to let the pictures speak for themselves!
photo credentials: V’s World