|Area:||9,251 sq km|
|Coastline:||648 sq km|
Guzelyurt, which means `beautiful country'
in Turkish, is aptly named. Guzelyurt is a market town located
in the west of North Cyprus. One of its attractive features
is that it is the home of one of the many churches in the country
dedicated to St. Mamas, popularly known as the patron saint
of tax avoiders. The name was bestowed on him because he was
a hermit living in very poor circumstances and when the authorities
tried to tax him, he avoided them. Soldiers were sent out and
captured him but on the way back to town, he saw a lion attacking
a lamb, escaped the soldiers, saved the lamb, jumped on the
lion's back and in that way came to town. His bravery earned
him exemption from tax, hence his name - the patron saint of
The town of Güzelyurt is regional capital of the Güzelyurt district and is known as the fruit-bowl of Northern Cyprus. It is one of the richest agricultural areas in Cyprus, famous particularly for the Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit) and strawberries from the area which thrive in its fertile red soil. A large proportion of the citrus fruits are exported, and the remaining are made into fruit juice and canned for export and local consumption. The town, located in the west, is surrounded by extensive citrus groves, which makes this area the greenest on the island. The reason for this is the abundance of water running down from the Troodos Mountains, which lie, to the south.
Guzelyurt is not a typical tourist destination, but is interesting to those who want see parts of Northern Cyprus not in the least affected by tourism. You can enjoy your holiday in the peace and quiet of its natural surroundings. Güzelyurt houses a history and archaeology museum. The museum houses a collection ranging from the prehistoric age of Cyprus to the Byzantine period.
Primitive tools uncovered from different prehistoric settlements around Cyprus, and samples of pottery from the Bronze Age are exhibited at the museum. Furthermore there is a covered market and some rather beautiful Orthodox churches. Also within the Güzelyurt district is the picturesque town of Lefke (the site of Cyprus’ now defunct copper mines), the Roman ruins at Soli, and the hilltop palace of Vouni.