The citizens of North Cyprus not so long ago must have gazed across the border at its Southern neighbour with jealous eyes.
Now it seems North Cyprus looks across at its neighbour not with envy but sheer relief. Its tourist board’s website boasts the message: We Are Not Part Of The Euro.
Your holiday spending money will go much further here in the North.
This more relaxed attitude seems to have brought about a cannier attitude to promoting North Cyprus’s attractions as a holiday destination.
The TRNC is no longer content to present itself as a sort of Cyprus ‘lite’. It is now keen to win over more thoughtful travellers anxious to discover a less developed place that is appealing all year round.
North Cyprus is attracting allot of walkers maybe simply because it has an average of 340 days of sunshine a year, with summers stretching from April to November.
The combination of an enviable climate with a breathtakingly varied landscape means the island is prime territory for outdoor activities.
For example, the foothills of the Besparmak (or Five Finger) Mountains, which flank the Kyrenia Coast, provide prime walking territory. The village of Bellapais is a popular base for walkers and ramblers of all abilities, and is the starting point for several marked routes of varying length and difficulty.
The spring season, which runs from late February in North Cyprus, is perfect for walking. This is the time when wild orchids indigenous to the island are in full bloom. There is also an abundance of wildlife, including some 280 species of birds such as the roller and the hoopoe.
The main attraction for walkers is the 143-mile Kyrenia Mountain Trail, which runs along the top of the rocky spine that divides the country’s extensive coast from its interior. Historical landmarks along the way include the 10th Century Kantara Castle, one of many ancient buildings that reflect the island’s turbulent history of invaders.
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