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Things to do in Kyrenia

Our most recommended things to do in Kyrenia

From Ayia Napa/Protaras: Kyrenia and Nicosia Highlights Tour

1. From Ayia Napa/Protaras: Kyrenia and Nicosia Highlights Tour

The occupied north of Cyprus oozes history and culture at every turn, with evocative landscapes in between. Highlights on this late morning departure tour include the pretty harbour town of Kyrenia, Bellapais Abbey and the northern and southern sectors of the capital, Nicosia. Andreas, one of our expert local guides, says, ‘Bellapais means “beautiful peace” – and this Gothic abbey lives up to the hype. The views are truly fantastic. It was here in Bellapais that Lawrence Durrell was inspired to write his book, Bitter Lemons.' Kick off by crossing over the ‘green line' border to reach Kyrenia. Picturesque stone houses curl around the harbour, which is dominated by the ancient fortress of Kyrenia Castle. Take an optional castle tour or choose free time to soak up the views at the harbour. Next, it's on to the 13th century Bellapais Abbey. Stroll around its ruined Gothic cloister and take in the panoramic views over the Med. There's then free time in the village, where novelist Lawrence Durrell lived in the 1950s. Next, head to Nicosia, where you'll cross the UN buffer zone into the southern sector at Ledra Street. You'll have free time to embrace the city under your own steam. Ledra Street is one of the main shopping streets in Nicosia, with a mix of local and international brands, cafés and restaurants. Laiki Yeitonia, on the other hand, is a historic quarter in the old town. The area is known for its traditional architecture, narrow streets and abundant charm.

From Nicosia: Half-Day St. Hilarion Castle & Bellapais Tour

2. From Nicosia: Half-Day St. Hilarion Castle & Bellapais Tour

You'll visit St. Hillarion Castle reminiscent of Walt Disney's fairytale film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was inspired by this castle. Spend around 1.5-hours to climb all the way to the top.  Then, continue through the craggy Five Fingers (Pentadaktylos) Mountains to Bellapais Abbey, a French Gothic styled monastery spectacularly set on a mountain terrace for incredible views. Discover the ruins of this 13th-century Augustinian Abbey with a licensed guide and a great view of Kyrenia's epic seascape far below. Another 30 minutes will be given to relax with a coffee break in a peaceful atmosphere.

From Nicosia: Nicosia and Kyrenia Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

3. From Nicosia: Nicosia and Kyrenia Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

Visit the fairytale fortress of Saint Hilarion Castle in the Kyrenia mountain range of Cyprus and get 1.5 hours to explore the former monastery, named after a monk who chose the location for his hermitage in the 10th century. Move on to the ruins of 13th-century Bellapais Abbey in the Five Fingers Mountains region of Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus. Enjoy a 30-minute coffee break before driving to the harbor town of Kyrenia on the northern coast. Get some time to explore the town, founded by the Achaeans tribe after the Trojan War.  Next, explore the divided capital city of Nicosia and enjoy lunch in the Ottoman-era Great Han. Experience both the Greek and Turkish areas of the walled city at sites such as the large caravanserai of the Büyük Han and the amazing Selimiye Mosque, converted from a Catholic cathedral following the Ottoman siege of the city in 1570. 

Full day Nicosia & Kyrenia Tour: Private Tour from Limassol

4. Full day Nicosia & Kyrenia Tour: Private Tour from Limassol

Join this tour to explore St. Hilarion fairytale castle for 1.5-hours before you move onto the gorgeous Bellapais Abbey, a ruined 13th-century abbey in the Five Fingers Mountain. Visit Nicosia, the only divided capital city of Cyprus, and have lunch in the Great Han built by the Ottoman empire. After lunch, experience both its Greek and Turkish areas on this half-day trip from Nicosia. Walk into Nicosia's walled old city to visit Büyük Han and Selimiye Mosque, once St. Sophia Cathedral. Embark on a great tour for history and culture buffs. Enjoy free time for lunch and shopping in the lively lanes and streets. 

From Nicosia: Famagusta and Kyrenia Circle Day Trip

5. From Nicosia: Famagusta and Kyrenia Circle Day Trip

Following pick-up from your hotel, you will head out to the northern part of Cyprus. There you will get the chance to observe the Mesaria Plain, Kyrenia Mountain and numerous villages where the Greek and Turkish used to live together before 1974. Upon arrival, you will begin by exploring Varosha, a once vibrant tourist quarter of Famagusta, but now a ghost town due to conflicts in the 1970s. Afterwards, you will head to the Famagusta City Wall, where you'll see the Saint Nicolas Cathedral, now known as the Lala Mustafa Mosque. You will then have 40 minutes of free time to explore the area and enjoy some coffee. Your tour will resume with a visit to the ancient city-kingdom of Salamis. There, you will be taken on a guided tour around the archaeological site, which includes a beautiful ancient Greek theater, marble columns, Roman baths and a gymnasium. Afterwards, you'll have the option of stopping for 45 minutes to enjoy some lunch at a nearby restaurant. You will then head back out on a 75-minute drive to Kyrenia. You'll also have the chance to stop at Iskele/Bogaz fishing harbor village for a coffee break (depending on time). At Kyrenia, you will first stop at Bellapais to see the gorgeous Bellapais Abbey, a ruined 13th-century abbey in the Five Fingers Mountains. Finally, you will have 20 minutes to explore the harbor town of Kyrenia, which is regarded as the jewel of North Cyprus.

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What people are saying about Kyrenia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 19 reviews

We really enjoyed this tour. Gemma kept in touch with us prior to departure and answered any questions we had. We were picked up promptly at our hotel and our first port of call was The St. Hilarion Castle. Gemma walked part of the way with us giving us the history of the castle then left us to explore and climb to the top, the views were stunning. When we came back down Gemma was waiting patiently for us and then drove us to the Bellapais Abbey. Once again Gemma explained the history and gave us some time to explore by ourselves. I would highly recommend this tour. What a great way to spend a morning! Do it if you are in the area.

This was a shore excursion from Limassol, Cyprus. The company reached out with he driver's name and contact info and his contact number and then sent a picture of the vehicle on the morning of the tour. Our guide, Cemal was excellent. He knew how to navigate around the crazy traffic and knew lots of historical and cultural information about the country where he was born. He was always mindful of the schedule and managed to fit in all the sites even though our day was a short one! I would highly recommend this company and Cemal.

It was a very nice tour. The communication was excellent, the timings for each location as well as our guide, Eleni, who shared very interesting insights as well as valuable personal stories. We really enjoyed the trip, all was smooth and better than expected given the rating of the tour. Just make sure you do not expect to stop at the ghost town because this is not included. But you will see it close enough from the bus.

The tour was great, we visited exciting places (Famagusta, Bellapais Abbey, Kyrenia) and our tour guide was very kind and provided us with the necessary information about the sights.

We LOVED Gemma. Amazing lady! Nothing was a problem for her. Great commentary . We loved our tour