Situated between the Five Finger Mountains(The Northern Range) and the Mediterranean Sea, Kyrenia is unquestionably one of the most beautiful and evocative cities of the Mediterranean. It is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches the length of its coastal strip and also possesses the greatest concentration of touristic facilities. In terms of its geographical location, its history and its natural beauty as well as the enchanting Mediterranean Sea, Kyrenia is truly blessed. Beyond the coastal littoral upon which the town stands lies the mountain chain through which a narrow pass allows passage to the interior of the island.
Kyrenia is truly the perfect place for relaxing holiday. Without doubt, one of the town’s most evocative places is the old horseshoe shaped harbour which has become the symbol of the city. Here, the old buildings of the Venetian, Ottoman, and British Colonial, periods and the delightful restaurants, bars and small hotels offer tourists an unrivalled atmosphere of charm and fascination. And, as if not already beautiful enough, during the summer months Kyrenia bursts into colour with the vibrant hues of its fishing boats and yachts.
From the historical perspective, Kyrenia offers its visitors immense riches; Amongst the must see places are the historical harbour, Kyrenia Castle and the Ancient Shipwrecked Museum housed within it, St Hilarion Castle and Bellapais Abbey.
On the fringe of the historical harbour stands the imposing Kyrenia Castle. It is the largest and the best preserved castle in all of Cyprus and bears the indelible traces of the Byzantine, Lusignan and Venetian periods. One inside the castle visitors can see the Lusignan Dungeons, a recreation of the Vrysi Neolithic Settlement, The Akdeniz Village Tomb, The Kirni Village Tomb, The Lusignan and Venetian Towers and, of course, the Mediterranean’s second oldest recovered sunken trading vessel in the Ancient Shipwreck Museum.
All of these features; The castle and the harbour, as well as the most beautiful example of Gothic architecture in Cyprus at the Bellapais Abbey, and all its other attractions put Kyrenia at the very heart of North Cyprus’s tourism industry.
Situated in the foothills of the Five Finger Mountains, The Bellapais Abbey, built in the early XIII century, is the Eastern Mediterranean’s finest example of Gothic architecture. The English writer Lawrence Durell, who wrote his novel “Bitter Lemons” relating his experiences whilst sojourned in Cyprus, bought and restored a house in Bellapais village.