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Kyrenia Old Harbour

Located in the beautiful and richly historic town of Kyrenia in northern Cyprus, Kyrenia Harbour is a small but charming place, where you will find everything from calm ambiance and soothing atmosphere to beautiful views and stunning surroundings.

The harbour is filled with yachts and boats, and the landscape is somewhat dominated by the fascinating Kyrenia Castle. When you visit Kyrenia Harbour you will find the beautiful sea stretching out ahead of you, and the breathtaking mountains providing a stunning backdrop to the harbour.

This is a place where you can soak up natural beauty, relax, and spend time soaking up the charm, character, and atmosphere of the area. You will find a number of eateries and places to sip a drink when you come to Kyrenia Harbour, and you can look forward to sitting by the sparkling waters as you admire the view, have a bite to eat, or take in a cooling drink.

The harbour once housed a number of warehouses, from which products were exported, but most of these have now been turned into eateries. When you come to Kyrenia Harbour you will find a number of shops to browse around, charming cafes and bistros, and exciting markets.

The harbour is particularly enchanting in the evenings, when you can enjoy the gentle breeze and the beautiful views combined with unique charm and a lively atmosphere. Kyrenia Harbour has become one of the focal points in this town, and those visiting the harbour will find everything from fabulous views and places to explore to plenty of opportunities to simply relax and spend some quality time with both locals and other visitors.

This harbour is also known for its rich history. Visitors to the harbour can also spend time exploring the area surrounding the harbour, where you can stroll charming cobbled streets, as well as taking a gentle stroll along the promenade.

The cooling temperatures from the sea and the mountains makes the harbour a great place to go to escape the heat, making it ideal for an afternoon of rest or exploration.

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The History of Kyrenia

Kyrenia has been around since the time of the Trojan War and there is evidence of settlements that date back to 5800 – 3000 BC.  It is believed that Cepheus from Arcadia was the founder of Kyrenia and he himself was a military leader that brought many settlers. 

The earliest reference to the town of Kyrenia was found in ancient Egyptian scripts that date back to 1125 – 1100 BC in the time of Ramesses III. 

Kyrenia has always been a harbour town and maritime trade was always important.  Under Roman rule Kyrenia continued to be a prosperous town and the Romans left their mark by constructing a castle to keep the town safe from sea attacks.  In medieval times the Byzantine emperors fortified the castle the Romans built and in the 10th century a church was also built which was used as an army chapel.  Kyrenia became very important because of its castle and the security it provided from Arab raids. 

In 1192 Kyrenia was under Frankish rule and the castle was once again enlarged and towers were erected.  The Byzantine castles of St. Hilarion, Bouffavento, and Kantara were also looked at and together these four castles provided Kyrenia with a defense system from sea attacks.  In 1489 Kyrenia castle was revamped once more under Venetian rule and circular towers that could withstand cannon fire were constructed. 

By the twentieth century Kyrenia was a busy town with a new school, its own newspaper, and many clubs.  The Akteon Hotel was also built in 1906 and this was the first hotel in Kyrenia.  Modern hotels such as the Seaview in 1922 and the Dome in 1932 followed and after the Second World War more hotels were built. 

In 1960, Cyprus gained its independence but conflict broke out in 163-64 between the Greek and Turkish population.  Things settled and Kyrenia prospered but on July 20, 1974 Turkey intervened Cyprus and saved life of Turkish Cypriot. 

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About Kyrenia Nature

Kyrenia is a nature lover’s paradise and is home to a wide range of birds and plant life.  There are a number of native birds and these include the crested cormorant, scarlet vulture, kestrel, canary, goldfinch, Cyprus warbler, and great titmouse to name but a few.  During migration seasons many birds flock in from Turkey and in spring these will include the manx shearwater, quail, cuckoo, kingfisher, and hummingbird.  In summertime more birds follow and these include squacco heron, grey and purple heron, and dove falcons.  Winter also brings some birds including flamingo, geese, gulls, and whitethroats.  The best times for bird watching are spring and autumn and there are some excellent locations in which to do this. 

Serious birdwatchers will find the Karpas Peninsula ideal and there is also a national park here that is home to a large number of birds, wild donkeys, turtles, and rare flora.  There are also some beautiful beaches.

Northern Cyprus is a haven for a variety of wildlife and there are over 1600 species of plants, 350 species of birds, and 26 different species of reptiles and amphibians.   Orchids are probably the most famous of the plant species found in Northern Cyprus and there are found almost everywhere.  There are 32 different species of orchid found in Northern Cyprus and these include species such as the pyramidal orchid and the exotic violet limodore.  Tulips, narcissus, crocus, and rose are also some of the flowers you can see on your travels.

Nature begins to come alive in November and the Island of Cyprus is covered with fresh growth.  Every season in North Cyprus brings different wonders and a rainbow of colors.  Nature lovers will love the range of wild flowers and the best time to see all this wonder is between November and May.  Summer visitors to Northern Cyprus will miss out on this.

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