|Area:||9,251 sq km|
|Coastline:||648 sq km|
Greek Kirínia, Turkish Girne city, is situated along the northern coast of Turkish Cyprus. It is a busy little town with a harbour appreciated for its natural beauty. Founded by the Achaeans, ancient Greek colonists, and fortified by the Byzantines, Franks, and Venetians, the city was the administrative headquarters of the Kyrenia district of the Republic of Cyprus until the Turkish intervention in 1974. In its heyday it was lined with warehouses, stored with fruits of the countryside whilst they awaited export. The buildings are now mostly all restaurants, all of which have tables and chairs lining the water. The castle at the east end of the harbour is a very spectacular site and within its walls there is a 12 century chapel showing reused late Roman capitals. Just 10 minutes above Kyrenia is Bellapais Abbey. Set in this fabulous location, a visit to this 14th century Lusignan abbey is a must.
Escape beach Club and Club Acapulco are the top two beaches in Kyrenia. They both offer plenty of entertainment. They both have a bar, restaurant and night club. These two beaches are perfect for younger travelers.
Turtle beach is situated on the new coast road East of Kyrenia driving towards Esentepe. The beach is protected during the summer months between the hours of 9pm and 5am. This is because rare Turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach area under the watchful eye of conservationists. The beach by day is excellent and used a lot by the locals. At this location is a small building called the 'Turtle Project." You can go there to learn about Turtles, see videos and book in to sleep on the beach at night and watch the Turtles coming to shore to lay their eggs. They lay their eggs around June and August is the hatching time.
You have an excellent opportunity to find pleasant places for walking in Northern Cyprus. The Besparmak Mountains are ideal walking areas. You can go to St. Hilarion Castle and park your car there. Head west to take in the amazing views of Kyrenia. Enclosed to the north by the sea and to the south by the greenery of the Besparmak (Five finger) Mountain range, it offers the most magnificent scenery on the island. It's charming and tiny harbour, full of yachts and fishing boats, is framed by the colossal hulk of its Crusader castle. With the backdrop of the jagged mountains behind and the calm sparkling sea in front, the harbour has an intoxicatingly serene atmosphere.
Overlooking the entrance to the harbour is Kyrenia Castle. Dating from the time of the Byzantines, its massive defenses surround a complex mixture of building styles from centuries before and it is likely that there was a Roman fort here originally. Subsequently enlarged and strengthened by the Lusignans and then the Venetians, the castle is now home to many historical artifacts and is the current resting-place of the world's oldest shipwreck.
Kyrenia is an easy place to be any time of the day. There are lots of charming shops to explore in the harbour and in the cobbled narrow alleys surrounding it.There are markets and numerous local cafés to visit also. <
As the sun sets, Kyrenia harbour again becomes the focus of activity as the locals take their evening stroll and the cafés and bistros that face the sea prepare for their nightly trade. Crisp white linen and small vases of local flowers are lovingly arranged on tabletops to welcome the evening's guests to wine and dine in the cooling breeze.