Situated on the north coast of Cyprus, Kyrenia, with its 6,000 year long history, unique remains of countless civilisations, miles of natural beaches, calm sea, and mild climate is an idyllic Mediterranean town.
Kyrenia is bounded to the north by the sea and to the south by the greenery of the Besparmak (Fivefinger) Mountain range, it offers the most magnificent scenery on the island.
Kyrenia town is an easy place to while away any time of the day. Exploring shops, markets and local cafés in late morning; strolling in the narrow cobbled alleys behind the harbor in the afternoon, or stepping out for a brisk walk along the promenade and sea wall in the evening.
Overlooking the entrance to the Kyrenia Harbour is, Kyrenia Castle. Dating from the time of the Byzantines, its massive defences surround a complex mixture of building styles from centuries before and it is likely that there was a Roman fort here originally. Subsequently enlarged and strengthened by the Lusignans and then the Venetians, Kyrenia Castle is now home to many historical artefacts and is the current resting-place of the world's oldest shipwreck.
With the backdrop of the jagged mountains behind Kyrenia and the calm sparkling sea in front; Kyrenia Harbor has an intoxicatingly serene atmosphere. The tiny harbor, full of yachts and fishing boats, is framed by the colossal hulk of its Crusader Castle. As the sun sets, Kyrenia Harbour again becomes the focus of activity as the locals take their evening stroll and the cafés and bistros that face the sea prepare for their nightly trade. Crisp white linen and small vases of local flowers are lovingly arranged on tabletops to welcome the evening's guests to wine and dine in the cooling breeze of Kyrenia Harbor.
St. Hilarion Castle
Just a few minutes drive away from Kyrenia, lies the fairy-tale castle of St. Hilarion. Rumored to be the original inspiration for Walt Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty', St. Hilarion was built during the Crusades and those intrepid enough to brave the long walk to its battlements will be rewarded with stunning views of Kyrenia and the whole of Cyprus's northern coastline..
The enchanting village of Bellapais overlooking the town of Kyrenia with its ancient abbey offers a peace and quiet for all and is ideal starting point for hill-walking.