North Cyprus is home to the harbour city of Kyrenia and some of the most amazing sites in Cyprus. Filled with historical buildings, superb scenery, spectacular natural un-spoilt sandy beaches, and much more, Kyrenia makes the perfect destination for any holiday.
The calming atmosphere of this beautiful sea-front city makes holidaying in Kyrenia a relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable experience. The old town of Kyrenia is filled with whitewashed buildings and the ruins of walls and towers that once protected this city from attack. Once the sun sets the atmosphere in Kyrenia is transformed as restaurant and tavern owners prepare for the night and the entertainment it brings.
A holiday in Kyrenia will never be boring as there are many things to see and do. Among the most popular tourist attractions are, Kyrenia Castle, Old Harbour, The Shipwreck Museum and St. Hilarion Castle.
Kyrenia castle is entered via a bridge built over a moat which was until the 1400’s filled with water. The castle has been standing since the 7th Century and many believe it was built to protect the town against raids from the Arab lands. Throughout the centuries, Kyrenia Castle has undergone many restorations especially during the Lusignan period. Built during an era of knights and archery the castle was designed with this in mind. During reconstruction in 1489 the castle was remodelled to coincide with the artillery era. Two towers were also added but in 1570 the castle was beseiged and taken over by the Ottomans.
Inside Kyrenia castle you will find a Byzantian church and the tomb of the Ottoman Admiral, Sadik Pasha. There are also the towers, dungeons, an arsenal, a cannon parapet, and the shipwreck museum.
The Old harbour in Kyrenia, with it’s amazing views, is an enjoyable and relaxing day out. Kyrenia harbour is also framed by Kyrenia Castle. For those looking to explore the ancient old world, Kyrenia harbour offers it all. Lined with restaurants and cafes, strolling along the harbour is a great way to spend a relaxing day.
The Shipwreck Museum located inside Kyrenia Castle houses the oldest ship that has been recovered from the sea. It is said to belong to the hellenistic period and tests have shown that parts of this ship actually date back to 288 B.C. This ship is 15 metres in length and is constructed from Jerusalem pine. Found on the wreck were approximately 400 amphoras and 29 bosalt mill stones which may indicate that this ship carried out its buisness on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. Almond remains that were also discovered lead us to believe that these were the main food supply for the crew of the ship.
St. Hilarion Castle was built to defend Cyprus from raiding Arabs and was named after Saint Hilarion. In the 10th Century a church and monastery were built in this area but the first mentions of the castle were found in 1191. Although extremely important in its time, St. Hilarion Castle later became a summer retreat for the Lusignan nobility. There is plenty to see at St. Hilarion Castle, from the royal kitchen, to the church and the Lusignan gate. There is also a courtyard and fantastic views from the Queen’s window on the second floor.