Where to Stay: The Best Centre
We have explored much of North Cyprus and undoubtedly the best centre is Kyrenia, or Girne as it’s known in North Cyprus. Since the borders were open, the most convenient arrival airport is Larnaca in the south of the island. There are direct flights from 18 UK airports and it takes only one to one-and-a-half-hours to drive to Kyrenia. Due to its central location, you can easily access most places of interest as well as the best walks. Kyrenia itself is worth exploring and I’ll be writing about this in another blog post.
A Village House
We have stayed in all sorts of accommodation, from a small self-catering village house in the delightful village of Karaman to a large hotel in Kyrenia itself. Although not central we loved the little house at Karaman (http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/accommodation/p8040809) with its wonderful views, gardens and very helpful owner who lives next door. Pete will do everything for you, including advising on care hire and arranging airport transfers. The village is just 10km west of Kyrenia.
A Small Hotel
For us, the jewel in the crown is the beautiful family-owned Bellapais Gardens Hotel (www.bellapaisgardens.com) which is perched up above Kyrenia in the foothills of the Five Finger Mountains. The setting is unbeatable; you stay in wonderful little 2-storey cottages or studios set in lush Cypriot gardens with views to the coast and to the famous Abbey next door. The gourmet food reflects the passion of Salim, the chef/owner and the staff cannot do enough for you.
“Thank you so much for organising such a lovely holiday at the stunningly situated Bellapais Gardens hotel. It was an oasis spot with the Abbey looming up behind it. I much enjoyed looking out from my tree top balcony over the orange blossom towards the sea and smelling the wonderful perfume! Heavenly. The hotel looked after us so well too.” Karen Staunton, Walton-on-the-Hill
Walking in North Cyprus: Where to Stay – Conclusion
There is, as you would expect for such an enchanting holiday destination, something to suit everyone. As is usually the case, you get what you pay for and you can find accommodation to suit all pockets. For a cheap package, you could stay at a large hotel such as the Hotel Pia Bella (www.piabella.com) in Kyrenia itself, a popular choice but 20 minutes walk along the main road to the centre and we won’t mention the food! Sorry Pia Bella – I have to confess I’m a bit of a foodie! And you can always eat in Kyrenia. My favourites are Niazi’s and the Set Fish Restaurant at the Harbour. We can, however, wholeheartedly recommend the little village house described above for people who are happy to drive themselves. And for those who would like to be pampered at what we believe is the best hotel on the island, look no further than Bellapais Gardens.
If you are interested in joining a guided walking holiday, please visit Country Walks.