Why should you choose a North Cyprus holiday?
There are many reasons, of course, but here is a quick A to Z just for fun…
With flights to Ercan and Larnaca airports most of the year, travel to Northern Cyprus has never been easier or more convenient. Departures are now available from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Luton, Manchester and Newcastle. Basically, from almost anywhere in the UK there is now a suitable flight for you.
From the majesty of Saint Hilarion castle, the gothic splendour of Bellapais Abbey and the beauty of Kyrenia Harbour, to the almost untouched magnificence of the Karpaz Peninsula, you will discover scenery and history here to delight. Wherever you go here, you will find views to delight you and scenery you thought had vanished.
Cypriots are known for good food, and eating out in North Cyprus is always a pleasure. From a simple kebab to a full meal, food is fresh and lovingly prepared. During your holiday, have evening meals in Kyrenia Harbour and Bellapais, for the enchanting atmosphere and scenery. Chat to the locals and try to find one of the smaller village restaurants. Here you can enjoy traditional Cypriot meze in all its glory, a seemingly never-ending parade of small hot and cold dishes, salads, and grilled meat and fish. And of course, do not neglect a wonderfully strong Turkish coffee to provide a perfect end to a perfect meal.
The roads are relatively quiet, driving is on the left (the same as the UK) and hiring a car is easy, convenient and great value. There is transport in the form of ‘Dolmus’ buses, which are privately owned and run in many areas for incredibly low prices. However, to get to many of the smaller villages and out of the way places, hiring a car is perfect and gives you the opportunity to explore the island at your leisure.
From a traditional Cyprus night, through live music, to great night life. Something to suit everyone! Many hotels offer a Cyprus night, which will be likely to include a full meal and entertainment, often with local musicians and a belly-dancer. For the young at heart, there are a number of really excellent clubs and discos, all well-equipped and expertly managed, with some offering al-fresco dancing through the night. For those who prefer a more relaxing evening, plenty of restaurants and venues have live music from local performers on many nights. Just ask your hotel or representative and they will be pleased to tell you what is happening and when.
From the youngest to the oldest visitor, there is plenty to keep you occupied and plenty to enjoy here. From water parks to deserted beaches, from organised tours to quiet evenings over a relaxed meal. Above all, the atmosphere is one that encourages a relaxing yet enjoyable stay.
The Korineum Spa and Golf Resort is an international-standard, full 18-hole course of exceptional quality, but the hotel also offers extensive facilities for non-golfers too! From relaxing in the sauna, to floodlit tennis courts, a beach with a complimentary shuttle service and a selection of excellent bars and restaurants, you will find it all here. Of course, everything from equipment hire to tuition from one of the permanent professionals is available and temporary membership and green fees are open to non-residents.
North Cyprus offers a truly amazing range of hotels to suite all tastes and budgets, from small family-run holiday villages, through superb boutique hotels, to large luxury properties offering every conceivable facility. A friendly welcome can be found everywhere, but what surprises many visitors is the extremely high standards. Form décor to furnishings, hotels here know what makes for a pleasant and enjoyable holiday and it is a testament to the care that owners and managers take, that many guests return year after year.
Bird watching, trekking, organised walking, orchid walks, cooking lessons, painting tours? You name it and the chances are that there is a special holiday just for you! We can organise group holidays for mountain biking, walking, diving and many other special interest tours. Of course, you do not have to spend an entire holiday on any one activity and we can arrange day trips and excursions to suit.
JAZZ AND OTHER MUSIC
Music lovers of all tastes will find things in Northern Cyprus to entertain them. The Bellapais Music Festival runs every May, held in the remarkable and magical setting of Bellapais Abbey, this attracts classical musicians and singers from around the world. Every July, the International Famagusta Culture and Art Festival hold open-air events staged in the massive amphitheatre at Salamis. A remarkable setting and an interesting and varied programme of events, last year including everything from a Eurovision winner to a reggae concert. For winter visitors, the Rocks Hotel hosts the annual Kyrenia Jazz festival in December. Growing year by year, this event now attracts a number of excellent international performers.
Described by a travel journalist as ‘one of the most beautiful places in the world’, Kyrenia Harbour is a delight to the eyes, but also to the palate. An evening meal here is something not to be missed, but the shade of the parasols is equally worthwhile for a cool drink in the daytime. The town is full of interesting places to visit in addition to the harbour and is also first class for shopping.
Cyprus has had countless rulers over the millennia and all have left their mark on the varied and magnificent architecture around the island. However, probably a special mention needs to be made for the Lusignans. Although many ancient monuments date back before their rule, and many were subsequently fortified or expanded by later settlers, the Lusignan period saw some of the most spectacular buildings in North Cyprus, many of which remain today in superb order.
If you want your special day to be even more special, then Northern Cyprus is ideal. We can make all the arrangements for you, and you can hold the ceremony in a castle, an abbey or one of the many hotels that offer tailored packages. Combine the wedding and honeymoon to make it perfect! We can also, of course, make suitable arrangements for guests and many hotels will offer special discounts at times of the season for a large number of clients.
North Cyprus is outside the Eurozone and uses the Turkish Lira. This is not only a very stable currency, but also offers excellent exchange rates, and you will be very pleasantly surprised by how far your money goes here. Shopping, eating out… everything simply costs far less than you expect and certainly far less than in other Mediterranean resorts that use the Euro.
Citrus fruits are one of the island’s main exports and in many hotels you may find you have your own fruit growing near to your room. A trip to the west of the island takes you through the ‘garden of Cyprus’ with thousands of acres of orange and lemon trees growing next to the road. The scent of orange blossom in the spring is wonderful and the taste of freshly-picked fruit is very different from what we are more used to.
At A1 Cyprus we specialise in package holidays and you can relax in the knowledge that your finances are safe (we are fully ATOL protected) and that we can offer you the lowest prices, guaranteed! Although there is a trend these days to book each part of your holiday separately online, bear in mind that you are unlikely to be properly protected financially. In addition, the best prices are by no means always to be found in this way. Our buying power and personal knowledge of hotels and airlines means that we can offer package holidays at unbeatable prices. And of course you also have access to all the other services we provide, not least our experienced representatives.
You may want to know all sorts of things about your North Cyprus holiday. If you have any questions, we have the answers! Our friendly and experienced team are able to assist you with any query before you travel, and our representatives in resort are on hand to help you during your stay.
There is certainly plenty to do and see here, but there are also endless opportunities to relax and unwind. After all, for many people that is an essential part of any holiday! Relax round your hotel pool, relax on one of many near-deserted beaches in the Karpaz, relax over a cool drink in one of the small villages, relax over a lengthy and peaceful evening meal or a long lunch… wherever you go you will find that the pace of life in North Cyprus is highly conducive to simply doing as little as you feel like.
The warm, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean make North Cyprus a perfect diving spot. There are a number of PADI dive centres here, offering courses and expeditions suitable for anyone from a beginner to an experienced diver. A ‘try dive’ is a fantastic introduction for beginners and gives an insight into this incredible hobby. Marine life is plentiful and varied and there is a good chance throughout the seasons of seeing marine turtles in their natural environment. For the more experienced divers, there are some very good wreck dives and night dives, and many of the centres offer advanced courses, including enriched air.
North Cyprus has a number of protected beaches that are nesting sites for rare species of marine turtles, including loggerhead and green. The Society for the Protection of Turtles maintains a base here during much of the year and during certain months, organises guided parties to observe egg laying and hatchings at night. Watching the hatchlings leave the nest and make their way to the sea is a memorable experience and one to treasure for a lifetime.
Tourism has developed at a gentle pace in Northern Cyprus, certainly compared with most other Mediterranean destinations, and many areas of the countryside remain as they have done for centuries. The Karpaz Peninsula in particular is famed for its vast natural beauty, and remains an area where you are more likely to meet wild donkeys than other human beings, where you can travel for miles without seeing another vehicle, and where villages are few and far between. The rest of North Cyprus is also pleasantly old-fashioned in the best possible ways.
The towns, cities and villages here are colourful places, and a visit to one of the covered markets will delight all your senses. A trip to Nicosia is worth it for the Bandabuliya (the main market) alone – here the smells of exotic spices and the colours of fruit and vegetables are all but overpowering. In the spring though, venture out into the countryside where you will find vast areas a mass of wild flowers, including many rare species of orchids. For most of the year, everywhere is awash with the striking colours of bougainvillea and the heavy, sweet scent of flowers.
Kayaking, dinghy sailing, surfboarding, jet-skiing, banana-boat rides, windsurfing, water skiing… or if that all sounds a bit too active, just a relaxing day on a boat along the coastline with traditional Cypriot lunch prepared on board and lots of stops for swimming and snorkelling! The coastline has many watersports specialist centres offering a vast array of things to do - and in areas with safe bathing and gentle currents, even the exercise can prove relaxing.
XTRA (WE GIVE YOU…)
There may indeed be a xylophone player or two on the island, but they are neither common, nor likely to be of that great an interest to visitors here. However, ‘extra’ is something that is of interest to travellers and something we strive to give all of our clients. It starts with the very basics. Our staff are experienced, trained and extremely knowledgeable about North Cyprus and all the hotels and holiday options. It continues through the booking process, where we give you the best price guaranteed. And it carries on throughout your holiday, where our local representatives are always on hand when needed, to give you help, advice or simply to make your stay enjoyable.
With an average of well over three hundred days of sunshine every year, and pleasant temperatures even in December and January, North Cyprus is truly a destination for every season! The spring and autumn seasons are perfect for everyone, with warm sunshine and pleasant evenings. The winter is cool at night, but with plenty of day-time sunshine to banish the blues. The summer is perfect for sun worshippers, though nearly everywhere is air-conditioned, so there are plenty of opportunities to cool down if you need to!
Turkish for ‘olive’, you will find these ancient, fruit-bearing trees almost everywhere. In villages an annual harvest is still often the norm, with people sharing the use of an olive press and distributing the resulting oil between themselves. Locally-produced extra-virgin oil has a unique and very special flavour and can be widely found in smaller shops here.