- Famagusta & Karpaz Peninsula
On the Eastern coast of the island, Famagusta town centre is located in Northern Cyprus, while some of the historic Famagusta district lies across the border with the South. About 700 years ago, Famagusta was one of the principal markets of the Eastern Mediterranean and one of the world’s richest cities, situated on the busy trade routes from Britain to India. Famagusta was also the seat of a Latin diocese from the twelfth century and had residential bishops until the end of the sixteenth. The city is still protected by ramparts which encircle the town and the citadel castle guarding the harbour, one of the first sites for tourists.
Today Famagusta’s rich medieval history and architecture is preserved in the old town which has begun to see more investment in recent years. Similar to other parts of the TRNC, the value of tourism is growing and foreign investment has slowly been finding its way into this historic area. With the largest university and port in Northern Cyprus, Famagusta has seen its population rising in recent years, along with a continuing demand for property and new developments.
About 25km north of Famagusta and situated on the southern edge of the Karpaz peninsula, Boghaz is well situated as a base to explore the region. Just 15 minutes drive north of Famagusta, don’t miss this picturesque fishing village with its mountain backdrop and golden beaches on the east coast. Boghaz village boasts atleast a half a dozen fish restaurants around the harbour to satisfy the most particular of visitors. This area is growing fast in popularity, but one can still find some peaceful and enjoyable establishments around the harbour front.
The Karpaz Peninsula in the north-east part of Cyprus is said by some to be “a land where time stands still”. It is known for its stretches of sandy beaches where you won’t see another person for miles. The area is dotted with ancient towns, basilicas, ruins and tombs just waiting to be explored. The peninsula is also almost totally free from industry and people, and remains one of the least polluted regions in Europe. There is a substantial amount of biological diversity with a significant amount of species, plant, bird and animal for which the Karpas is the natural home.
About 46 sandy beaches in the Karpas comprise the main nestling ground for the endangered sea turtles in the Eastern Mediterranean. Also being on one of the main migration routes of birds between Eastern Europe and Africa, each year approximately 300 species, or the equivalent of millions of birds, use this route in early spring and late summer.
HOW TO GET THERE
All flights from the UK to North Cyprus must touch down first in Turkey. From Turkey, you can choose from a number of scheduled flights from Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Adana and Antalya, to arrive at Ercan Airport near the capital of Nicosia.
Holiday packages are recommended since they can work out much more reasonable in price, with flights as well as transfer and accommodation included.
Cyprus Turkish Airlines and Turkish Airlines service the region with regularly scheduled flights to Ercan Airport. Ercan Airport is inland and close to the capital of Nicosia, so transfer arrangements should be made to any of the coastal areas.