North Cyprus: the acquaintance with wonderful country
Northern Cyprus is undoubtedly one of the best places for rest. This is an island whose shores are washed with the Mediterranean Sea, and where the sun shines for more than three hundred days in a year. The mild climate of Northern Cyprus attracts more and more tourists every year. Over the last time Europeans actively started to purchase the island’s real estate. Now there are a lot of English, Italian, Turkish people living there. Russians are met there more and more often. Why the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is so attractive for Europeans?
Natural attractiveness of North Cyprus
The unique climatic conditions of Northern Cyprus allow taking rest near the sea practically all year round. More than six months of the year the water temperature is higher than twenty degrees near the island shores that gives ability to enjoy active rest and endless water entertainments. In December and January, when the real winter with snowstorms and bitter frost comes, there is only little rain in Cyprus, and it doesn’t spoils vacations in any way.
North Cyprus is famous for its vegetation. The most beautiful wild flowers grow here, in spring the air is filled with exotic aromas of oranges, lemons, grapefruits. There are more than 10 species of orchids growing on the island. Tourists from all over the world come here just to see them in blossom. Also here you can observe the migration of more than four hundred species of birds of passage. It takes place twice in a year, in spring and autumn.
The island’s places of interest
The touristic centre of North Cyprus is Kyrenia (Girne). In its centre there is a cosy old harbour where yachts and fishing launches are moored, while on the shore, right near the sea, there are a lot of cafes and restaurants. The harbour is protected from salty sea winds by the walls of ancient crusaders’ stronghold – a unique museum whose exposition has no match in the world. Also, you can go from Girne’s stronghold to numerous mountain castles where legendary Cyprus kings sat in the past.
In the north-western part of Kyrenia, above the estuary, there is a majestic Gyrne’s castle. The exact date of its building is unknown, but the archaeological excavations near its walls make it possible to believe it was built in times BC and was a part of Great Roman Empire. The first documental mentions about Girne’s castle date back to the 12th century. At that period Cyprus was conquered by the great British warrior, Richard the Lionheart.
The biggest architectural attraction that anyone should visit in Northern Cyprus, is the Abbey of Peace or Bellapaise Abbey. The Abbey belonged to the Order of St Norbert that was founded in 12th century. This order exists even today, but now it is located in Belgium. The history of the Abbey, its origin and the date or building is currently unknown.
There are a lot of sights in North Cyprus that can tell the history of the island in details. This is, for instance, a castle St. Hilarion Castle that was built by Byzantines for the island’s defence. Later it was improved by French kings who turned it in their summer residence. It is also interesting for tourists to visit the ancient city Moprhu, the mosque, the Church of St. Mamas raised in 18th century. All these sights give ability to feel the ancient spirit and to understand that this small island both in ancient time and now is very important place for the rest of the world that surrounds it.
Cultural traditions of North Cyprus
The geographic location of Cyprus, its permanent connections with Europe, Africa and Asia have formed special, mixed culture of this island country. The mixture of various cultures is especially noticeable in different Cypriots’ ceremonies and customs that accompany the most important events in their lives. One of the main traits of this nation was and still is hospitality and goodwill to everyone, regardless of nationality.
The mix of cultures also had big influence on music and dances of Cypriots. Folk dances, performed to the music of violin or lute, incredibly reflect all gamma or feelings and thoughts that dancers have in the current moment of time.
North Cyprus Cuisine
Of course it is impossible not to mention the unique cuisine of North Cyprus that attracts and delights the tourists with amazing mixture of different styles of culinary art. The main influence on Cyprus cuisine was made by Turkey, but many dishes with their unique taste notes and amazing aromas, surpass the Turkish ones. In their culinary oddities the Cypriots actively use fresh fish, olive oil, sheep milk and cheese made of it. There are also entirely different dishes made of snails. It is possible to appraise their taste only a in few places in Northern Cyprus.
Cypriots cook meat on the open flame, using grille or spit. The leg of lamb is baked in stone oven, just like in Greece. Fish is very popular here – it is cooked in the same way as meat or it is stewed with vegetables.
The North Cyprus is an excellent place not only for leisure, but also for tourism. The millions of travellers come here every day in order to view the country’s sights, walk along the ancient walls, see beautiful wild flowers and gorgeous nature scenes. That is why the touristic infrastructure of the island is being developed rather quickly. Light and food industry are rather developed here, but the main source of the country’s income was and still is tourism. The beauties of this land, its attractive climate, the hospitality of local people attracted, and always will attract the guests from all over the world.