Guzelyurt and Lefke Region

The Vibrant Tones of Orange, Green and Blue Await Visitors to the Guzelyurt and Lefke Region

This greenest corner of the island, with its citrus groves and its rich and varied culture and history, is an oasis of peace and calm. This is a place where one can just sit in the shade of a tree and watch the turquoise waters of the sea or, if you feel like it, wander around the evocative ruins of Soli or, from a dizzying height above the Mediterranean, watch the sun go down over the ruins of the Vouni Palace, the sole extant example of Persian culture on the island. The Ancient City of Soli was one of the nine ancient city states of Cyprus and today its magnificent Swan Mosaic, dated from the 4th century A.D. is on display at the site. In 2005 gold artifacts were discovered here; – the “Golden Leaves of Soli”, which can now be seen in Guzelyurt Museum of Archaeology and Natural History. During Ottoman rule Turks migrated to Lefke and consequently the area is known for its mosques and Ottoman mansions. The area is also famous for its aqueducts, date palms and citrus groves.

This region is especially endowed by nature and is home to several species of orchild and other endemic flora including the Medos Tulip (Tulipa Cypria) There are also a great many monumental trees in the region, most notably the monumental olive trees of Kalkanli area.

Guzelyurt – A Place Like its Name “Beautiful Land”

Guzelyurt – Beautiful Land

In Turkish “Guzelyurt” means “Beautiful Land” and how apt this is for small yet charming town situated between Nicosia and Lefke. This is the part of this beautiful island where the greatest concentration of the citrus groves for which Cyprus is famous can be found. Indeed, this whole corner of the island is resplendently green but also blessed with a wealth of historical sites for the visitor to see. Although the region is rightly famous for its oranges, lemons, mandarins and grapefruit, the abundant water of the terrain also allows a host of other seasonal crops such as melon, watermelon, potatoes, pomegranate, and others to be grown here making this North Cyprus’ most productive agricultural region.

Set inn the foothills of and with splendid views of the Troodos Mountains, Guzelyurt’s mild climate is perfect for the production of citrus. The vast majority of North Cyprus’ exports of this vital crop are from region. Every year, in June and July, the Guzelyurt Orange Festival is held bringing a great social and cultural vitality to the region.

Along with its rich natural splendour though, Guzelyurt is home to a wealth of important historical sites such as the ancient of Soli, the ruins of the Vouni Palace, The Bronze Age settlement of Toumba Tou Skourou and the Church of Aya Mamas in the centre of Guzelyurt. The region is also home to two of Cyprus’ leading universities: The North Cyprus campus of Turkey’s renowned Middle East Technical University at Kalkanli and The Lefke European University situated in Lefke.

Guzelyurt can easily be reached by road and is 40 km from Nicosia and 47 km from Kyrenia. In addition to the main highway via Nicosia, there is also a pleasant sea and mountain road from Kyrenia.

The hospitable people of Guzelyurt are ever ready to share the rich culture, fascinating historical sites and wonderful natural beauty of this region with the visitor.

The History of Guzelyurt

Whilst the definite date of Guzelyurt’s first settlement isn’t known, remains and artifacts from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages have been discovered in the vicinity of the town. One story relates that Morphou was founded by Spartans amigrating from Greece who brought with them the worship of Aphrodite. Prior to 1974 the town was knows as Morphou but was changed to the Turkish, Guzelyurt which carries the same meaning of beautiful land.