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.