Northern Cyprus: An overlooked holiday destination in the Mediterranean is written by The editorial staff, RejsRejsRejs.
In Northern Cyprus you get the best of both worlds
The cleanest bathing water in the Mediterranean, a wealth of cultural experiences and an immensely friendly people, which gives you unique experiences and unforgettable holiday memories. It's just some of what awaits you in Northern Cyprus - and then even at prices far below neighboring countries.
Cyprus has generally come up on the holiday hit list - not least among our readers who have their own favorites - but the northern part of the island is still overlooked. So before you book your holiday to one of the classic Mediterranean destinations, take a look at the slightly more unknown Northern Cyprus.
The world's last shared capital
Northern Cyprus abounds with beauty and history - from breathtaking natural areas to ancient cathedrals. It is also here that one can experience something as unique as the border crossing in the capital Nicosia. Here you can walk from it TurkishCypriot side to GreekCypriot side with nothing but your passport in hand.
It is the only remaining capital in the world where this is possible and it is a very special experience. The island has a long and intricate history involving, among other things, the Ottoman Empire, Greece, Richard the Lionheart and Great Britain as a colonial power.
Take a spa bath in Northern Cyprus
Today, the island is divided into a southern and a northern part. Especially the North Island's many cultural-historical and architectural wonders testify to ancient times. Among other things, it can be felt on one's own body in the ancient bathing establishments, which are still in full function. Here you not only get to wash your body, but also a historical experience beyond the usual when you travel to Cyprus.
The cleanest bathing water in the Mediterranean
If you are more into the gentle waves of the sea rather than the spa feeling, the beaches of Northern Cyprus will undoubtedly satisfy you and your inner water dog. The sea's clear turquoise and azure color are reminiscent of exotic destinations in the Caribbean and Pacific. And then they are the perfect setting for both swimming, diving and strolls at the water's edge.
If you travel to Cyprus, you can find beaches, just as nature has created them without human intervention. But also beaches with water sports, comfortable beach chairs and delicious beach restaurants.
No matter what beach options you are looking for, it is the cleanest bathing water in the Mediterranean that you throw your body into when bathing in the warm water. The European Environment Agency EEA examines Europe's bathing water every year, and here has lovely Cyprus of several rounds lying right at the top of the list.
Slow down in Northern Cyprus
On your trip to Cyprus you will find the good bathing water all around the island. But while you might expect a jumble of umbrellas, beach vendors and tourists in the holiday mood of southern Cyprus, Northern Cyprus is far more serene and laid-back.
The tourism industry has developed vastly differently on the two parts of the island that you would also discover on your travels to Cyprus. While hotel resorts lie side by side with fast food restaurants and well-known souvenir shops to the south, the northern part of the island has not experienced the same overhaul. Therefore, some completely different experiences await here when visiting Northern Cyprus as a tourist.
Here are villages where one lives a slow life and where the area's crops, flocks of sheep and traditional crafts are a high priority. As a tourist, you are easily lulled into the comfortable pace and local life, where everyday life is lived peacefully.
The Northern Cypriot hospitality
Although many have gradually discovered the charm of Northern Cyprus, it is still an authentic holiday experience, peaceful atmosphere and fewer tourists waiting for you in Northern Cyprus.
And you are guaranteed to be warmly welcomed by the local Northern Cypriots. Although the number of tourists is lower than in the south, every single tourist is welcome in Northern Cyprus. The locals are exceptionally welcoming and friendly and lovingly welcome guests and visitors.
They are neither intrusive, overbearing or aggressive. Salespeople, avid creepers or others who want to tuck you new sunglasses, a taxi ride, a restaurant visit or a tourist excursion, you will not find here.
The Northern Cypriots let tourists be tourists on an equal footing with the locals. They like to let you get close to their lives and would very much like to talk to you over a cup of Cypriot coffee if you feel like it. If you have visited a Greek holiday island or other Mediterranean beach in high season, you know that a hospitality of this kind, you have to look for a long time.
To travel is to eat
The hospitality and way of life is not the only thing you will experience being completely different from other southern European destinations. There is something else that sets Northern Cyprus apart from other countries; the low prices. Without the EU and a dominant commercialization, the price level on the North Island has remained low, making Northern Cyprus a cheap travel country.
A cup of coffee for a 10s and a full meal at a restaurant is available for under fifty. In comparison, a coffee at a sidewalk cafe typically costs 25-35 kroner in Rhodes - and the same at home.
The good prices on the local delicacies provide a good opportunity to pack the suitcase with edible gifts and treats for the pantry at home. A local wine, a jar of olives or a blend of crispy tasty nuts is an obvious souvenir from Northern Cyprus. Because even though the prices are low, the quality of the local products is high.
Northern Cyprus has optimal agricultural conditions and breeds the crispiest, freshest fruits and vegetables, makes delicious goat cheese and grilled meat of good quality. In the many markets, good trades can be made. A whole kilo of almonds costs around 45 kroner and a tray of fresh strawberries around 5 kroner.
Cheap good food
The dining experiences at the island's restaurants and cafes are also both cheaper and extremely tasty. Like much else in Northern Cyprus, the food culture is also influenced by the country's history and the culinary traditions of the surrounding countries.
The local Northern Cypriot food is related to the Turkish, Arabic and Greek Cypriot. But the flavor nuances and seasoning have in many dishes got their own northern Cypriot expression. It is therefore an exciting food universe and lots of great dining experiences that you have to look forward to when you travel to Cyprus and the exciting northern part.
Your pocket money lasts a long time, and it makes it a little more fun to vacation for most people. The low prices also provide air for more experiences, excursions and restaurant visits during the holidays. A good incentive to come back to Northern Cyprus again another time.
Have a good trip to Northern Cyprus!
What to see in Northern Cyprus? Sights and attractions
- The world's last shared capital, Nicosia / Lefkosa
- Büyük Han
- Sofia Cathedral / Selimiye Mosque
- Green line - the border between Turkey and Greece
- Girne Castle
- Bellapais Monastery
- The ghost town of Farmagusta
- The wild donkeys on the tip of Northern Cyprus
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