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ESENTEPE
NORTHERN CYPRUS
     
 


 



ISLAND ATTRACTIONS

BEACHES

Northern Cyprus has some of the best beaches on the whole island. Many of them towards the Karpas Peninsular (the "Panhandle") are virtually deserted. Here are just a few:

Esentepe Belediyesi (Council) Beach is a large sandy beach (with some rocks) currently under construction (2016) which hopefully will come on stream in 2017. Will have restaurant, changing facilities, toilets, and a sports pitch. About 3 minutes from the villa with access to new car park via road by Stone Castle Restaurant or road immediately to the west of the Tempo supermarket. (photo) (photo2)

Esentepe Alkan Beach is a small sand and shingle beach with man-made protective arms about 1km away from the villa opposite the Alkan Holiday Village. The beach has a small beach bar and other facilities are located across the road at the Holiday Village.

Korineum Beach is a brand new beach (opened in 2012) and situated about 5 minutes' drive away. This is a stone and shingle beach with a little sand. Beach unbrellas are laid out on a large grassed area immediately above the beach. There is also a new beach restaurant and excellent changing and toilet facilities. (photo)

Nature Bay is geographically the closest really good sandy beach to the villa - about 9 minutes drive away. No facilities other than a decent car park. However, few people come to this beach and there are spectacular views from the car park both of the beach, the bay, and wonderful geological strata. (photo 1) (photo 2)

Turtle Beach (Alagadi) is the next closest sandy beach to the villa - about 9 minutes drive away. Large beach with golden sands, safe shallow water, and an excellent beach cafe with toilets, shower and changing facilities. (photo)

Tatlisu Belediyesi (Council) Zambak Beach is about 25 minutes drive from the villa going east.  This is a safe medium sized sandy beach with large adjoining restaurant, pier bar, showers and changing facilities. Take second signposted entrance to Zambak beach (not  first signposted entrance). Shaded area and sunbeds available. Swings & slides. (photo)

Kaplica Beach is located about 40 minutes drive to the east. Lovely safe sandy beach with good beach cafe/restaurant, and toilets, shower and changing facilities. (photo)

Malibu Beach near Yeni Erenköy can be found further up the coast from Kaplica and few tourists know of it. It has a safe sandy beach with good beach cafe/restaurant, and toilets, shower and changing facilities. (photo)

Bafra Beach - on the southern coast of the Karpas - was until a few years' ago virtually unknown to tourists. In our opinion it was one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean with glorious golden sands, and safe and warm shallow waters. In the last few years there has been massive development around the beach with luxurious hotels/apartments being built. Notwithstanding that, the public beach remains one of the best in Northern Cyprus. A brand new beach cafe and a restaurant are on the beach and the most modern toilets, shower and changing facilities are available. (photo)

Golden Beach - this is a long drive up the Karpas peninsular beyond the town of Dipkarpas on rather indifferent roads. However, the beach is quite spectacular and, because of its isolated position, it's almost deserted for much of the time. It does have a beach cafe with basic toilets and showers although these are all situated about 200 metres from the sea shore. (photo)

Glapsides Beach – a large safe sandy beach situated on the southern coastline of about 5.5km north from Famagusta. Beach restaurants, changing facilities, toilets and pedalos are available. (photo)

HISTORICAL SITES

Northern Cyprus abounds with historical sites of great interest. Here is just a small selection:

Mountain Castles - St Hilarion (photo) , Buffavento, and Kantara (photo) are all spectacular mountain castles built in the Byzantine period during the 10th and 11th centuries although St Hilarion castle was completed as a fortified castle by the Luisignans. There are taxing climbs to these castles - only for the fit - but views are worth it! St Hilarion is said to be the inspiration for Disney's Magic Kingdom castle.

Girne (Kyrenia) Castle - The original 9th century Byzantine castle with later Luisignan and Venetian additions provides wonderful views of the pretty harbour. It also houses the Shipwreck Museum containing the remains of a 4th century BC ship and its cargo. Well worth seeing! (photo) Bellapais Abbey

Bellapais Abbey - The 14th century abbey has most spectacular views over land and sea and is set in a most peaceful location. What remains of the abbey consist of the almost intact refectory, unusual pulpit, cloisters, some wonderful vaulted roofing, and slender cypress trees (see photo right) - a delight for any photographer. The writer of "Bitter Lemons", Laurence Durrell, lived a short walk away in the village.

Salamis - Wander around the vast remains of the city of Salamis founded by Teucer on his return from the Trojan War. See the Roman amphitheatre, Gymnasium, Baths, Marketplace and Basilica. Afterwards, cool off with a swim among further ruins on the adjoining beach. (photo1) (photo2)

Soli - Built around the 4th century BC, its ruins contain a theatre, temples, palace ruins, agora, basilica and necropolis. It is well worth visiting just to see the beautiful church mosaics. (photo)

St Barnabas Tomb & Monastery - The monastery was established on the site of the saint's tomb in the fifth century, with funds provided by the Byzantine emperor. The present church and cloisters at the monastery date from the mid-18th century. (photo)

Antiphonitis Church, Esentepe - This is a lovely church found by driving up the mountain on a good road from Esentepe village and through the pine trees. The church was built in the 7th century. However the narthex to the west and the gallery to the south were added by the Lusignans in the 14th or 15th century. It's one of the finest of its kind in Cyprus to survive to the present day. (photo)

Panagia Pergaminiotissa Church, Tatlisu - This newly renovated church dates from the 12th century. The medieval style building is a cross in a square shape and domed with a cylindrical apse. The church was frescoed with mural paintings, parts of which can still be seen inside. Also in the church grounds is the Mini Cyprus Museum containing 15 great miniatures of TRNC historical monuments (entrance 5TL) (photo) (photo)

Othello's Tower, Famagusta - Othello's tower was originally built as a moated citadel in order to protect Famagusta's harbour, and was originally the main entrance to the town. When the Venetinians arrived, they greatly strengthened the town's defences, incorporating the citadel into the main town walls.The citadel's more common name, "Othello's Tower", originates from Shakespeare's "Othello". The play refers to "a port in Cyprus", and "Cyprus, the Citadel".

Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque/St Nicholas Cathedral, Famagusta - Beautiful 13th century Cathedral. One of the best examples of the French Gothic Style in the Near East - modelled on Rheims Cathedral. Converted into a mosque in the 16th century by the Ottomans and still in use. If you go inside (small charge), legs will need to be covered and ladies will need a headscarf. Ancient fig tree outside - said to have been planted in 1250. (photo)

WALKING / TREKKING

There are numerous walking trails throughout Northern Cyprus and particularly in the Besparmak mountain range and around Esentepe. Walking through the pine trees near Alevkayasi is delightful. Picnic tables are provided. In the Spring, walkers in Northern Cyprus can see a wide range of flowers. By Summer, the citrus trees are in bloom.

DIVING

There are some 20 diving sites close or not too far distant from Esentepe. These consist of both wrecks and reef formations. Approved PADI scuba diving courses are also available. Karpas Peninsula dive sites include underwater caverns, impressive walls and a wrecked cargo ship lying at a very accessible 20 metres. You are not allowed to scuba dive on your own in Northern Cyprus, so all levels of divers should join a safari organised by a PADI approved school or guide company.

GOLF

The Korineum Golf & Country Club is situated just 4-5 minutes drive westwards form the villa. This beautiful lush 18-hole championship course uses the Besparmak mountain range as a stunning backcloth. Visitors can enjoy either the complete 18-hole course, or just 9 holes, or the driving range. A golf shop and tuition are also available. (photo)

CYCLING

Northern Cyprus (and especially the Esentepe area) is ideal for cycling enthusiasts of all abilities as the natural terrain is plentiful and most roads east of Esentepe carry little traffic - in particular, the old coastal road toward the Karpas peninsular. You can join the 230km waymarked Kyrenia Mountain Trail just above Esentepe village. There are no restrictions to cycling, so you can enjoy exploring freely across varied terrains and the region offers a superb year-round climate, especially between October and April, when the temperature varies between 15°C and 25°C. Bikes can be hired in Girne (Kyrenia).

NIGHTLIFE

Nightlife centres largely around the bars and restaurants in Girne (Kyrenia) harbour. Within the town and along the northern coast are also a number of nightclubs. At the Acapulco Resort you can dance away throughout the night in the moonlight! For those who enjoy a bit of a gamble, there are over 20 casinos in Northern Cyprus, many in the Girne (Kyrenia) area, as well as smaller hotel casinos. The Acapulco Resort Hotel also has its own casino. The Resort is situated about a 15 minutes drive from our Esentepe villa.

OTHER

There are so many other activities or things to enjoy in Northern Cyprus. Here are just a few:

  • Waterparks
  • Go-Karting (tracks for enthusiasts and families)
  • Shopping in Girne (Kyrenia), Lefkosa (Nicosia), or the new Ercan Airport and Famagusta City Malls
  • The Wednesday market in Girne (photo1) (photo2) (photo3)
  • A midday drink or evening meal in Girne (Kyrenia) harbour (photo1) (photo2)
  • The Intervention Memorial (photo)
  • A roadside drink of freshly squeezed orange juice in the Güzelyurt area
  • An exhilarating climb to the top of St Hilarion castle (photo1) (photo2)
  • THE pastry and Turkish Delight shop (Petek) in Famagusta (photo1) (photo2) (photo3)
  • Sailing down the coast from Girne with a BBQ fish lunch (photo)
  • Water sports including paragliding, Kite surfing, and sea kayaking
  • Horse riding (mountain and pub trails) from Çatalköy
  • Find the donkeys on the Karpas peninsular (photo1) (photo2)
  • The Spring flowers and orchids (photo)
  • Fishing trips from Girne (Kyrenia)
  • Boat trips from Girne (Kyrenia) (photo)
  • Jeep safaris
  • Paintballing in Lapta
  • 10-Pin Bowling (Kyrenia & Famagusta)
  • Caving (Guvercinlik, Alevkayasi; Incirli, Iskele; Gastro, Kuruova; Execution, Kaleburnu)
  • Bird Watching (photo)
  • Turtle Watching (Alagadi)
  • Festivals and Concerts throughout the year
  • Visit the new Gecitköy Dam & Reservoir (photo)
  • Tour the open roads (photo1) (photo2)
  • Spa treatments at the Korineum, Elexus, and Acapulco Resorts
     

Locations of these Island Attractions can be identitified on a Google Map by clicking here.

 


Esentepe - Your perfect holiday location

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