North Cyprus Destination Guide
A vacation in North Cyprus can be whatever you want it to be! Many people just come to laze on its stunning beaches, whilst others get the adrenaline soaring with the array of outdoor activities to choose from. You can paraglide off the mountains to the coast, ride huge breakers on jet skis, scuba dive, explore the fascinating shipwrecks, burn rubber on the go kart track and play an inspired round at Esentepe golf course, the newest golf course in North Cyprus.
North Cyprus is the ideal place for both the adventurous and those looking to relax.
Our North Cyprus Destination Guide below will give you an idea of the major highlights to be found on the island. You can also book one of our interesting tours in North Cyprus directly with us to see the sights, or take a look at some of our general information for travelling throughout North Cyprus.
Things to See & Do in North Cyprus
Follow the links to the right or scroll further down the page for details on some of the many interesting tourist attractions in North Cyprus:
The beaches of North Cyprus make a pleasant change from the usual rocky, crowded ones surrounded by high rise hotels and buildings. They are clean and untainted by the ill-effects of mass tourism. The only crowds one can see here are the sea turtles nesting in the summer. The beaches stretch for miles along the coastline of North Cyprus and are fringed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
The greatest advantage of the beaches of Karpas is their remote location. This ensures that not many people visit them often as a result of which they are relatively empty. Tourists who want to escape the crowds will find these beaches ideal getaways.
Famagusta Bay with its golden sands stretches endlessly to the horizon, while Altinkaya beach is ideal for families as the shallow waters are safe for children. In fact, the waters here are so shallow that tourists can wade across to the Golden Rock, a small island that shields the beach from the ocean. Altinkaya Beach is also very convenient because tourists can drive right up to the beach and its restaurants.
Turtles which have lived in the Mediterranean waters for over two decades come to the beaches of North Cyprus around May every year after mating. They dig 40 centimetre deep pits, lay their eggs and cover them carefully with huge quantities of sand. It is only a matter of time before newly hatched turtles come scrambling out of these pits and scamper across the beaches towards the sea. This heartwarming sight is highly popular.
Buffavento Castle, in the Kyrenia Mountains, stands at a height of 950 metres above sea level. Buffavento means “Defiant of Winds” or “Gusty Winds” and the castle lives up to its name. Along with the Kantara Castle and the St. Hilarion Castle, it is an imposing and magnificent sight.
The wild donkeys of Cyprus can either be called wild or liberated because they are descendants of Cypriot domestic donkeys which were left to roam free in the Karpas Peninsula National Park. Unfortunately, the population of the Karpas donkey has dwindled from many thousands to a mere 500 and it is now designated as a protected species. The donkeys are black, brown or grey but most of all, they are intolerant and ill tempered. Do take care not to get too close and instruct children to only look and not touch.
North Cyprus is fast emerging as a popular golfing destination as its climate is conducive to golfing throughout the year. The weather remains cool between November and March, with the exception of an occasional shower. Golfing enthusiasts start early in May to escape the heat at noon in summer. September and October offer near perfect playing conditions. Esentepe golf course is the newest golf course in North Cyprus.
The best way to get a ringside view of the scenic beauty of North Cyprus is to paraglide off the mountains. Gliders can soak in the beauty of the land below them, watch the mountains slope gracefully to the plains and finally float down on to a pristine beach.
The northern coast of North Cyprus is the best place for windsurfing. There is enough wind to support surfing but not so much that surfers get blown off to Turkey! The peaceful coves of North Cyprus are ideal locations for beginners to learn windsurfing because even if they do make a mistake, the cost will only be a refreshing dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea. Most of the major windsurfing companies and training institutes are located in West Kyrenia. Some of them are also found in the resort hotels close to the ancient city of Salamis.
Water skiing and Mono-skiing
Both beginners and experienced water skiers have a lot of opportunities to learn and practice their water skiing. The Dolphin Cyprus offers coaching lessons on the beach followed by a session in the water for about 45 minutes, which is all that a beginner can take. Experienced skiers can also go mono-skiing but there are no slaloms or jumps available.
Banana Boat rides
Banana Boat rides are very popular on the major beaches of North Cyprus. An ideal family outing, all that is required to enjoy a banana boat ride is the ability to hold on tight and scream one’s lungs out.
The public beach at Glapsides (Famagusta) and the Acapulco Beach Club and Resort Hotel (Kyrenia) lease out jet skis. There are also other operators who lease out these machines, in which case a driving licence is required. It is quite exhilarating to whiz around on jet skis, but take care to avoid military zones and nesting turtles.
The more sedate tourist can opt for the stable and tough little canoes for a peaceful ride along the coast. These canoe rides are ideal for watching turtles and spotting fish.
North Cyprus Sailing and Scuba Diving
The sailing and scuba diving opportunities and facilities are very well developed and easy to access throughout North Cyprus.