Kyrenia © jpatokal
Although much of the world recognises the
Republic of Cyprus as an authority over the whole island, Northern
Cyprus has declared itself The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
and is vastly different in culture and tradition. The culture of
Northern Cyprus is a blend of Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern,
which is evident in the music, food and historical attractions.
The tourist infrastructure of Northern
Cyprus, the area beyond the 'green line', is less developed than
the south and the unspoilt countryside and numerous historic sites
make a visit worthwhile for those adventurous enough to explore.
Historic Gazimagosa (formerly known as Famagusta) on the east
coast, for example, dates from 285 BC and has held an important
place in Mediterranean history through the ages. The Medieval walls
still stand and the remains of some ancient buildings are visible
in the old city.
Girne (Kyrenia) on the north coast has an
interesting castle and picturesque harbour as well as a Shipwreck
Museum, which houses the oldest trading ship yet found and raised
from the sea bed, having sunk around 300 BC. Gazimagosa has some
modern tourist resort hotels, offering luxury accommodation and
safe swimming or diving in the Mediterranean Sea, while the
dramatic harbour of Kyrenia is the most popular tourist destination
in Northern Cyprus.
Travelling to Northern Cyprus from the
south involves a bit of paperwork. Tourists in Northern Cyprus need
to pass through TRNC immigration, which is separate from the visa
requirements for the Republic of Cyprus, and the recognised
currency in Northern Cyprus is the Turkish Lira. Getting to
Northern Cyprus is not difficult however, as there are regular
flights and ferries from Cyprus and the mainland.
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