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Situated in the south of Turkey in the heart of the Mediterranean, Northern Cyprus is an island state with a deep-rooted history where the best shades of green embrace the deep blue sea. Located in the northern part of Cyprus, known as the third largest island in the Mediterranean, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus owns historic prosperity and natural gems, in contradiction with its small area. It therefore attracts a large number of tourists every year, welcoming them in a pleasant atmosphere.
Take a look at the flights offered by Turkish Airlines now to start exploring the country by its splendid forts on Beşparmak Mountains, its glorious artifacts of different religions and its brilliant beaches; and enjoy a dreamlike holiday in this unique island drawing interest by its lands as a cradle of various civilizations, as well as its cultural wealth.
Flights to Northern Cyprus with Turkish Airlines take off from Istanbul Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) and land at Ercan International Airport (ECN) in the capital Lefkosa within nearly an hour and a half.
Northern Cyprus is flooded by visitors all year round by wide range of opportunities it offers to its guests, together with its fascinating nature. As the irreplaceable address of warm seasons by its untouched sands, rare plant species, mountains with pine trees and orange gardens, Northern Cyprus is in high demand by its luxury hotels throughout the year.
Events and festivals taking place in Northern Cyprus are the most important factors increasing the country’s attractiveness. The most globally known festival in the country is Northern Cyprus International Bellpais Music Festival. Held every year in May and June, this enchanting event offers the best pieces of classical music. Kyrenia Jazz Festival in December and the Pier Festival taking the initiative to introduce the festival culture to the island, taking place between June and July, rank among the top important music festivals in Northern Cyprus.
International Olive Fest organized in October to preserve and sustain the olive trees and olive culture, regarded as sacred in Cyprus, provides a chance to witness the island’s culture and history concurrently. Halloumi Festival, held in August and September aiming to preserve and promote the halloumi cheese, another important element of the island’s culture, is another attention-grabbing festival organized in the Northern Cyprus.
The most popular city in Northern Cyprus is doubtlessly Kyrenia (Girne). As a total Mediterranean city by its enthralling port and side streets, Kyrenia hosts a lot of historic artifacts. This beautiful city, which succeeded in being a center in commerce for many years, is home to the Kyrenia Castle, regarded as the icon of the city dating back to 800 years, which serves as a first stop of the touristic tours. Hosting many attractions within like the church, dungeons, cistern, Shipwreck Museum, Kirni Tombs and Mediterranean Tomb Excavation site, the castle would be an ideal place to witness the history of this pretty island. The coastal strip where the Castle is located, on the other hand, is one of the most vibrant spots in the city. Kyrenia Marina with all its restaurants, cafés and stores is a vigorous and colorful stop to make pleasant walks in Cyprus nights.
Karaoglan Museum and Martyrdom, a martyrs memorial where Greek combat vehicles are also displayed, together with Bellapais Monastery of Gothic style built in the 12th century at the foothills of Beşparmak Mountains 620 meters above the sea level, and Agha Cafar Pasha Mosque in the beachside are the favorite spots of those interested in history. Saint Hilerion Castle on the summit of Beşparmak Mountains with its splendid Kyrenia view, on the other hand, is both the historic and the enthralling spot of the city. Rumor has it that this castle has been a source of inspiration to the tale of Sleeping Beauty.
The capital Lefkosa right in the heart of the island hosts numerous historic and touristic spots, just like the entire country. The city walls built by the Venetian engineer Julio Savarnano are of three miles in height, with 11 bastions and three entrance gates. The Old Town district remaining within these walls, and the Kyrenia Gate in the entrance stand still by all their glory. The ancient town Surlariçi is home to many historical artifacts. This district ranks among the top touristic spots in the capital by its narrow streets. The best place to experience the vibrant and mystical atmosphere of this district is Büyükhan. Regarded as the most significant work of Ottomans in Cyprus, Büyükhan, which means Large Inn, has recently been reconstructed with a concept reflecting the culture of Cyprus. Another worth-seeing historical artifact in Surlariçi is Selimiye Mosque. Saint Sopien Cathedral which was converted into mosque in 1571 when the island started to be ruled by the Ottomans has a great place in the history as it used to host the coronations of the Kings of Jerusalem once upon a time.
Setting off from the capital towards the east, there is Apostolos Andreas Monastery at the crossroads of juniper forests and the turquoise sea. Situated on the edge of Karpass Peninsula, this monastery has been built as the house of the protector of passengers, master of the winds, and the creator of miracles, still serving as a glorious artifact. It is highly likely to encounter the remarkable Cyprus donkeys in their habitats during your journey. You may consider the option of rent a car to reach these impressive spots of the island and turn your visit to Northern Cyprus into unforgettable memories. Thus, you may have a chance to drop by Altınkum Beach where the sea turtles lay their eggs after a journey of thousands of kilometers; and enjoy the sea in the beach where sea daffodils blossom without any threat of extinction. On your way to Karpass Peninsula, you may also visit the Ayfilon Church by its unique sea view; and the Ayios Trias Basilica in Sipahi Village, evoking admiration by its mosaics remaining from the year 535.
Famagusta - the stunning port of Northern Cyprus - is among the cities most frequently visited by tourists, along with Kyrenia and Nicosia. Also known as Gazimağusa, Famagusta includes the Old Town, with its preserved 15th- and 16th-century Venetian walls and a rich historic heritage. The ruins of the ancient city of Salami, now partially under water, were originally built for sea passengers and continue to carry on with this duty today. The history of Salamis, estimated to date from the 11th century BC, attracts many history buffs to these ruins. Saint Barnabas Monastery, located between the city of Famagusta and Salamis, is a magnificent building dating from 432.
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