Top 3 Sights in Kyrenia Cyprus
Kyrenia Harbour - Bellapais Monastery - St Hilarion Castle
Kyrenia is often called the prettiest town in North Cyprus, and with good reason.
The harbour at Kyrenia is an almost crescent shape, thanks to the Venetian invaders who remodelled it as part of the town's revamped defence system. At one time, ships came here from all over the Mediterranean to trade and collect the citrus fruits and carob beans the island was famous for. Nowadays the former carob warehouses have been turned into charming cafés and restaurants, whose table spill out onto the harbourside. At night, Kyrenia harbour is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner, watching the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea.
Just a short drive in your Northern Cyprus hire car from Kyrenia, are the atmospheric ruins of Bellapais Abbey. The monks who founded this magnificent 13th century Gothic monastery are long gone, but the majestic remains of their Refectory Hall still stand today. Classical concerts are held here during the summer, and the effect of the music drifting amongst the shadowy arches and cloisters is simply sublime.
St Hilarion Castle
Perched high in the Kyrenia Mountains, St Hilarion's Castle was built by the Crusaders to defend North Cyprus from invaders. Driving to St Hilarion's is an adventure in itself, as the narrow mountain roads twist and turn through the forest before you finally steer your North Cyprus hire car into the car park. Nowadays, the ruins offer magnificent views across North Cyprus to the sea beyond. For the more adventurous, you can even paraglide from the castle site, riding the thermals right down to the beaches below.
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