The Karpas peninsula with the virgin beaches, attractive wildlife and ancient churches and ruins offers ideal place for those seeking peace and quiet. The region also houses the wild Cypriot donkeys who gaze care-free in the nature. In the recent years there has been controversy between the environmentalists and the authorities on how best to control their population. Just 1hr 30 minutes drive from Kyrenia and
you are in the north eastern region of Cyprus known as "The
Panhandle", or The Karpaz. A visit to this magical part
of the country is a must; on the southern side miles of golden
beaches stretch before you and there is hardly a soul in sight.
The whole area is an open area museum with so many Byzantine
churches, ancient cities, Bronze Age settlements and even Neolithic
remains to see. The wildlife appreciates the lack of human
interference; the sea is clear and blue.
The newly constructed road from the Ercan Airport junction
makes easy driving, very little traffic and lovely views
of the old villages as you pass by. Within 1hour from Kyrenia
you will be approaching Bogaz, a pretty little village with
a natural fishing harbour and sea side atmosphere.
Along the sea front the local restaurants serve meze and
freshly prepared fish, the colorful umbrellas provide a welcome
shade as you sip a cool drink and look out across the ocean.
Continue along the new road and you will see miles of good
farming land and the farmers working away, tending their
The main road goes though Yenierenkoy, do stop here and
visit The Tourism Information Center. Suat, who is responsible
for this well organized and beautifully presented information
center, will be able to point out all the places of interest
to suit your needs. He has produced a fine, well-illustrated
map and is always so pleased to help the visitors whenever
he can. In spring he will tell you about the orchids and
wild flowers, in summer it is the time for the Green and
the Loggerhead turtles to nest and hatch. Autumn is great
for exploring the walking traits, visiting the many ancient
monuments. At every time of year you will see the wild donkeys
and wonderful birds.
June and July are perfect months for swimming in the many
bays, the sea is so clear; do take your snorkel and mask.
The chances are that you will be the only people on the
deserted beach. At "Golden Beach" there are miles
and miles of the most beautiful golden sand, as far as
the eye can see.
It is on these beaches that the Turtles come ashore to nest
at his time of year, The Ministry of Environment has organized
the Turtle protection project at "Golden Beach" and
invites visitors to join the Students from Germany and Ankara
to watch the Turtles come ashore to nest and lay their eggs.
40 to 60 days later the hatchlings can be observed emerging
and racing for the sea. In the Karpas area there are about
12 beaches used by Turtles for nesting and hatching.
It is worth going to the trip of the peninsular; the last
few kilometers are good dirt roads and suitable for cars.
At the end you can look out to sea and think about ancient
times when many a trading ship was wrecked on the outcrops
Although it is possible to spend a good day in the Karpaz
when based in Kyrenia, you may consider staying in one of
the many small, family run hotels. In this way you will be
able to soak up the relaxing atmosphere, indulge in the local
food and get to know the place. Accommodation varies from
the hotel near to the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, which
is run by the government, to Log Cabins at "Tekins place" on "Golden
Beach". "The Blue Sea" has a lovely location,
there is also "The Levanata" with huts on silts
in which to stay and the best fish to eat. "The Theresa
Hotel"is also on the seashore and has air conditioning
in some rooms. The Information Center at Yenierenkoy will
be able to give you a full list of accommodation; all will
be very reasonably priced.
A restaurant not to be missed is at Yesilkoy. The "Kadi
Restaurant" is run by Mehmet Kadi and serves the Turkish
Cypriot specialty "Kup Kebab": lamb roasted slowly
in the outside clay oven with potatoes. You can sit upstairs
in the tower which Mehmet has built and enjoy the most amazing
views over the whole area whilst eating the most delicious
food.you will be served with hummus, thick yoghurt, pickles,
home made bread and an abundance of salad along with your "Kup
Kebab". Including drinks expected to pay around £3.50
If you are interested in the crafts of the area then visit "Delcraft" at
Buyukkonuk. You will be welcomed warmly by Lois and Ismail
Cemal who have built a craft centre displaying all hand made
goods as well as locally pressed Olive Oil.