Living in North Cyprus

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Famagusta

cyprus Famagusta

Famagusta which was once one of the world’s most famous and richest cities. Famagusta is situated on the south east coast of North Cyprus. A fast growing and expanding city, Famagusta houses the international university of Northern Cyprus with students coming from over 60 countries around the world. You will also hear and see Famagusta being referred to as Mağosa, Mağusa or Gazimağusa (Gazi meaning unconquered). We would like to take you on a coastal tour of Famagusta starting from the Palm Beach area and the ghost town (Varosha) up to the Salamis area and beyond to the Karpaz Peninsular. We have some of the best historical sites of the whole island in this area and we are concentrating our efforts here. We also have some of the best beaches in the Famagusta and a coastline to die for and indeed many have over the centuries. There is so much to see on the East coast to the far most tip of the peninsula at Zafer Burnu/Cape Andreas. Some of the main attractions are:

Land Gate and Ravelin

The Venetian walls and fortifications that surround the historic town are a superlative example of Renaissance military architecture. They were built between 1495-1564, incorporating the existing medieval Lusignan walls and towers, which were dramatically reduced in height, remodelled and strengthened. The great bastion of the Land Gate – also known as Limassol Gate – was one of two original entrances to the walled city (the other, the Sea Gate to the northeast, offers access from the port). It is protected by the impressive ravelin, inside which is a labyrinth of ramps, steps and rooms. The Land Gate was renamed Akkule or the “White Bastion” by the Ottomans, as it was from here that the Venetians waved the white flag of surrender at the end of the siege of 1570-71. It is said that in 1571, after weeks of battling and tunnelling under the walls, the Ottomans finally managed to gain access to the ravelin. The venetians, determined to withstand the advance, blew up their own secret passage under the walls, burying a thousand ottoman soldiers in the rubble, as well as 100 of their own men.

Kıbrıs Land Gate and Ravelin
Kıbrıs Venetian Palace

Venetian Palace

The Venetians turned the Lusignan Palace into the Palazzo del Proveditore. The façade is still intact and consists of three arches and four pillars, which were brought from the Salamis Ruins. The L-shaped side section was converted into a prison under Ottoman rule. Between 1873 and 1876 the regime-critical novalist Namik Kemal served a prison sentence there, after he was arrested and banished from Istanbul for one of his theatre plays. You can reach his prison cell via the garden of the Venetian Palace. The prison now serves as a museum dedicated to the works of Namik Kemal.

Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque

The building has been a mosque, with a single minaret, for over 400 years, but, the architecture is of a Gothic cathedral. Between 1298 and 1326 the Lusignans built this cathedral, in which their Kings of Jerusalem were crowned until 1372. You can admire the splendid six-light window of the west front. Three richly ornamented portals lead to the impressive interior adorned with the décor of Moslem simplicity. Lala Mustafa was the victorious commander of the Ottoman Turks when they broke into Famagusta in 1571. Surprisingly, the mosque only received its name in 1954, before which it was called the Mosque of Santa Sophia.

Kıbrıs Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque
Kıbrıs Othello Castle

Othello Castle

The Lusignans started fortifying the harbour in the 14th century. Some time later the Venetian governor Nicolo Foscarini renewed the defensive fort. Above the main entrance one can find the St. Mark Lion in relief as well as Foscarini’s name and the date 1496. The building is commonly called Othello castle as it is thought to be the location of Shakespeare’s famous drama “Othello”.

Salamis Ruins

Driving out of Famagusta lies the ruins of the Great City of Salamis believed to date back to the 7th century BC and was the first city of Cyprus. After the influences of the many conquering nations, including the Romans, the city was finally abandoned in 648 AD after the combined catastrophes of earthquakes and Arab raids.

Kıbrıs Salamis Ruins
Kıbrıs St Barnabas Monastery

St Barnabas Monastery

Saint Barnabas, who together with Saint Paul set out to Christianise Cyprus. He was born in Salamis - and there he also met his fate, stoned by outraged Jews and buried secretly with his Holy Book. The Monastery has been built near the grave’s site. It hosts an archaeological museum, which displays artefacts from the nearby Royal Tombs and other findings from the island. The convent church is used as an icon museum and its murals extensively tell the story of Saint Barnabas.

Kantara Castle

One of the three castles on the Besparmak Mountain range, Kantara Castle stands 2068 feet about sea level. Kantara Castle, like buffavento Castle and St Hilarion Castle (both in Kyrenia), is thought to have been built for protection against Arab raids. The castle was at the peak of its popularity during the Lusignan and Venetian periods.

Kıbrıs Kantara Castle
Kıbrıs Boğaz Harbour

Boğaz Harbour

Bogaz is a small coastal village on south of the Karpaz region, its quant harbour with a number of fish restaurants is a tourist hot spot in the summer months. There is also a pleasant beach and hotel. Boğaz has been an area of development in the last few years with a number of villas and apartments being built.

Basilica of Agia Trias (Sipahi)

The 6th C AD basilica floor of Ayia Trias displaying some of the most beautiful mosaics and is well worth the short detour on your way to the tip of the island.

Kıbrıs Basilica of Agia Trias (Sipahi)
Kıbrıs Ayios Philon Basilica and Roman Harbour

Ayios Philon Basilica and Roman Harbour

Ayios Philon Basilica can be found on the north coastline partially domed building built in the 12th Century with some foundations and floor mosaics visible. The roman harbour here makes a good swimming spot. The Oasis cafe serves good food on a shady terrace and provides basic accommodation.

Apostolos Andreas Monastery

Apostolos Andreas at the tip of the island is one of the most important pilgrimage sites on the island. It was here that, according to legend, St. Andrew came ashore and struck the rock with his staff causing fresh water to gush forth. There is a small chapel built over the source of the spring but there are taps from which the healing waters can be poured. Beyond the monastery the track continues and passes the Sea Bird Motel. This is basic accommodation in wooden huts and the converted British era Customs and Excise houses. The food is good and there is a beautiful sandy cove for swimming.

Kıbrıs Apostolos Andreas Monastery

Restaurants

Kıbrıs Restaurants

Kıbrıs Petek

Petek

If you are looking for some sweet treats this is the place to go. You will find every variety of cakes and sweets and the other food is good as well. Located in the Old City Famagusta. Staff are friendly and the service is great.

Ginkgo

Old City Famagusta, lovely setting in the main square of the Old City serving local and European cuisine. Sit outside in the square or inside which is a converted bath house. Right next to the mosque.

Kıbrıs Ginkgo
Kıbrıs Ahtapot

Ahtapot

One of Döveç Construction’s favourites. Traditional Meze and Kebab or Fish. Lovely location by the sea at Palm Beach.

Palm House

The menu provides a varied selection of food and the prices are very reasonable. Fantastic location by the lagoon at Palm Beach.

Kıbrıs Palm House
Kıbrıs Bogaz Harbour

Bogaz Harbour

There are several fish restaurants in the Bogaz area which is a pretty little fishing village. Restaurants serve the catch of the day along with other traditional dishes. KIYI restaurant is frequented by the locals which is always a sign of a good restaurant. A fish restaurant with great fish meze. Here you literally dine with the fish, the waiter feeds the fish in the sea. Located just before you reach Bogaz Harbour on the sea front.

Beaches

Kıbrıs Palm Beach

Kıbrıs Palm Beach

Palm Beach

Palm Beach is the nearest beach to the Old City and is popular with the tourists and local alike. Soft sand and shallow waters sweep around the bay which is convenient for viewing the Ghost Town Varosha. This beach has a recently renovated public café plus the hotel beach bar and restaurant. Turtles have been observed from this beach early in the morning popping their heads up from the water. Sun Loungers, Wind surfing and peddle boats on hire.

Glapsides Beach

Glapsides Beach is longest beach in the area and is located only about few miles north of Famagusta and has flat water mostly during the summer season. Some of the facilities that you will find during the season: Restaurant, market, showers, sun loungers, water sports activities and kayak’s. The beach is popular with young people and has an outdoor disco operating in the evenings.

Kıbrıs Glapsides Beach
Kıbrıs Bedis Beach

Bedis Beach

Bedis Beach is one of the important beach in Northern Cyprus which has the matchless history of Salamis ruins inside it and it’s very well known by the locals which has a large picnic area where you can join for barbeque during the weekends. Beach is sandy also has a flat water during the summer season. Some of the facilities that you will find during the season: restaurant, Public showers, sun loungers and umbrellas. Bedis Beach became very popular in past few years with it’s outdoor disco which operating in the evenings.

Silver Beach

Silver Beach about 5miles north out of Famagusta and has a long sandy beach and mostly flat water during the season. Some of the facilities that you will find during the season: Restaurant, market, showers, sun loungers, water sports activities,kayak’s and also very popular beach which has a small lagoon that you can enjoy snorkelling as well.

Kıbrıs Silver Beach
Kıbrıs Salamis Beach

Salamis Beach

Further on from Bedis Beach on the next stretch of coastline you will find the Koca Reis Beach and the Salamis Hotel Beach. This is also a very popular beach with two beach cafes located on the beach front. Sun loungers, Banana Ride, peddle boats and jet skies for hire. Salamis Hotel has a small water park with restaurant and pool which you can pay a fee for to daily use.

Long Beach

Long Beach has become one of the most popular Northern Cyprus beaches famous for its unique golden sand, its long coast and its crystal clear sea. This beach has recently been developed with a new pedestrian walkway and bicycle path, children’s play area and adults outdoor gym. A Large restaurant is also under construction and an open air theatre and tennis courts are planned. The current beach café is in operation with showers and toilets. Sun loungers for hire.

Kıbrıs Long Beach
Kıbrıs Bogaz Harbour Beach

Bogaz Harbour Beach

Bogaz is a truly beautiful coastal village located on the southern end of the Karpaz Peninsula. An old fishing town, local fishermen carry their trade as they have for centuries to the small fishing harbour. Bogaz has an unmistakably unique atmosphere and you can relax here on the beach area alongside the many fish restaurants.

Bafra Beach

About 9km beyond the resort of Bogaz and just beyond the village of Mehmetcik is the relatively untouched beach of Bafra. Untouched for now, however, two large luxury hotels have been built recently. It is a calm, quiet sandy beach with sun loungers and a pleasant restaurant.

Kıbrıs Bafra Beach
Kıbrıs Nangomi Beach (Golden Beach)

Nangomi Beach (Golden Beach)

Golden Beach about about 5km long and it’s an amazing beach in northern Cyprus which located at the east part of the Karpaz area.It is speckled with dark green bushes, and flanked to the north by scrubby dunes. One of the important tip of Karpaz is a protected area, and you will able to see the wild donkeys all of the area most of the time.

Famagusta

cyprus Famagusta

LEISURE

Most visitors that come to North Cyprus come for rest and relaxation and a bit of pampering with some activities to keep the children happy. The local beaches on the coast of Famagusta will certainly not disappoint but there are a few alternatives to consider.

Kıbrıs Land Gate and Ravelin
Kıbrıs Venetian Palace

WATER PARKS AND HOTELS DAY PASSES

Salamis Hotel has recently added an small water park to its hotel features which you can access on a day pass. Both Kaya Artemis Resort and the new Noah’s Ark Hotel have small water parks also available to access on a day pass. Most of the hotels will allow you to use their services and facilities including food and drinks for a daily rate.

SPA DAY

Most hotels also have a spa area. Some with indoor pool, turkish baths, saunas and massage and therapy rooms. Also available for the general public.

Kıbrıs Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque
Kıbrıs Othello Castle

MARINA BEACH CLUB

The Beaches in the Famagusta area that are not attached to the hotel are generally public and run by the municipality. However the new Marina in the Karpaz area has a lovely beach club and restuarant which is great for a day out with the family or visitors. You get ushered around on their beach buggies and the overflow pool is a delight. For just 10TL you get to use all the facilities with towels provided and waiter service.

BOAT TRIP

There is one boat running from Famagusta Port along the coastline. Lal Yatı Magusa Lnsmarine. On Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lns.marin. Personally recommended. Great day out on the sea with lunch included, tea and a complimentary liquor. You can swim off the boat and get a great view of the Ghost Town in Famagusta and the Port area. Banana Ride also available on board.

Kıbrıs Salamis Ruins
Kıbrıs St Barnabas Monastery

RESTAURANTS AND PATISSERIES

North Cyprus has numerous restaurants and cafés for you to eat in and no matter what you like, you will be spoilt for choice. The walled City of Famagusta is a great place to sit for a coffee or enjoy a full meal. If you are looking for beach cafes and water front restaurants then you will not have to travel far along the coast to find a great place to eat.

OLD TOWN

North Cyprus is famous for its Patisseries and for the genuine experience of a traditional Patisserie you need to visit Peteks in the Old City. This North pioneer of Cypriot pastries has recently won an award (March 2016) from the Cyprus Consumers Association. You will experience a rich variety of products including local and foreign delicacies and the shops is overflowing with sweet surprises for you try from the traditional buklavas and turkish delight to their ice cream and cakes. Trip Advisor comments: “Tantalizing diet busting temptation!”, “Possible the best Patisserie in North Cyprus.” Other Restaurants in the Old Town include Aspava, Gingko, D&B, Historia, Rouge 21 and CASTELLO.

Kıbrıs Kantara Castle
Kıbrıs Boğaz Harbour

PALM BEACH AREA

You should not miss a visit to the Palm House Restaurant located on the ground floor of the Laguna Apartment building, serving traditional Turkish food cooked by the owner. One of Döveç Construction’s favourites. Ahtapot for Traditional Meze and Kebab or Fish or you can choose one of the beautiful restaurant PALM HOUSE for the cultural dishes. Lovely location by the sea at Palm Beach.

BOGAZ HARBOUR AREA

There are several fish restaurants in the Bogaz area which is a pretty little fishing village. Restaurants serve the catch of the day along with other traditional dishes. Try the Kemal Yerin Restaurant for a great evening out or Kıyı Restaurant which comes highly recommended for its fish meze and pier dining experience.

Kıbrıs Basilica of Agia Trias (Sipahi)
Kıbrıs Ayios Philon Basilica and Roman Harbour

NEW TOWN AREA

The new town has developed over the last 10 years to general accommodate a modern shopping and living experience for the locals and students from the University. There are a number of Restaurants, Cafes, Kebab establishments, takeaway places and coffee houses.

For a full list of restaurants in the Famagusta area please visit this page here.

http://en.dovecconstruction.net/kuzey_kibris_restoranlar.html

SITE SEEING

We would like to take you on a coastal tour of Famagusta starting from the Palm Beach area and the ghost town (Varosha) up to the Salamis area and beyond to the Karpaz Peninsular. We have some of the best historical sites of the whole island in this area and we are concentrating our efforts here. We also have some of the best beaches in the Famagusta and a coastline to die for and indeed many have over the centuries. Please visit our page here for places to visit.

Kıbrıs Apostolos Andreas Monastery
Kıbrıs Petek

MONESTARIES AND MUSEUMS

Famagusta has a number monestaries and museums for you to enjoy. The Old Town Famagusta is in itself an open air museum which houses the Venetian Palace, the Namik Kemal Museum and prison, the Lala Mustafa Pasa Moque including a number of medieval churches and Othello Castle. Also there is a small Museum in Djanboulat Bation dedicated to Ottoman general who lost his life caputuring the City in 1570.

Saint Barnabas Monastery hosts an archaeological museum, which displays artefacts from the nearby Royal Tombs and Salamis Ruins and other findings from the island. The convent church is used as an icon museum and its murals extensively tell the story of Saint Barnabas.

Apostolos Andreas Monastery at the tip of the island is one of the most important pilgrimage sites on the island.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Just before the spring term comes to an end EMU hold their Spring Fest. Students promote their activities and put on performances. Lots of fund for all the students and the locals alike. The University is an integral part of our community and many get involved with this event. There are food stands and stalls. The Fest also hosts music groups from abroad. Famagusta hosts the International Art and Culture Festival every year at the end of June/July. It is held at the atmospheric Salamis Ruins where you can sit in the original amphitheatre with your wine and picnic hampers and enjoy this wonderful event which features Classical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Reggae, World and Ethnic Music and dance. Performers come from different part of the world, both old and new. The Festival is recognised by the Media and Arts authorities as one of the best in the world. Tourists and locals alike attend this now well known festival. Rauf Raif Denktas Culture and Congress Center is located in the north part of the EMU university campus near to the beach and EMU Beach Club in Famagusta. The building was completed in 2013 with conference and exhibition facilities. A number of activities take place here in conjunction with the activities organised by the University. They are currently developing a new website where you will be able access the activities available: http://activity.emu.edu.tr, tel: 0392 630 1612.

A little further afield in Lefkoşa you will find Sidestreets which provides facilities for the local community in the arts sector. Its mandate is to to “generate spaces of creative and critical engagement with language, the arts, and culture in general, by promoting social, cultural and artistic development within local, regional, European, and international frameworks.” Side streets is an independent organisation and you will find listings of their events in Cyprus Today and on their website at www.sidestreets.org. Events include exhibitions, seminars, poetry readings, film screenings and discussions with experts. Address: 22 Mahkemeler Önü, Lefkoşa, Tel: +90392 229 3070/71 email: info@sidestreets.org.

Kıbrıs Ginkgo
Kıbrıs Ahtapot

CINEMA

We have two cinemas in Famagusta showing International and Turkish Films in English and Turkish with subtitles.

Galleria Cinema Club
Sakarya Gazimağusa +90392 365 1270
Mağusa Lemar Cineplex
Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvarı +90392 365 6387

SHOPPING CENTRE

The City Mall in Famagusta costing 15 million Euros will occupy a 50,000 square meter site with a covered area of 30,000 square meters of shopping, entertainment and eating experiences under one roof. The Mall will include a supermarket, hardware store and play area. It is hoped that the mall will bring a higher standards of shopping and entertainment to North Cyprus with four floors of shops, restaurants and a cafe plus a number of fast food outlets, cinema halls and a bowling facilities. It is hoped that the Mall will be a much needed boost to the shopping experience in Famagusta.

Kıbrıs Palm House
Kıbrıs Bogaz Harbour

NIGHTLIFE

In the summer months their are a number beach venues which will host parties and events in the open air in the peak season. Glapsides Beach Club has a disco on the beach. Fliers are normally distributed in town and on billboards. Salamis Hotel will occasionally offer concerts from famous turkish singers and has its own disco. Palm Beach Hotel offers Film Nights, Bingo nights, and Traditional Cypriot Nights which are also accessible. The Old Town can be quite vibrant in the summer months with a number of activites taking place in the Square. The Monk’s Inn in the Old Town is a popular venue with students and tourists alike. The New Town main street is alive in the summer months with a number of eating places, takeaways, cafes and coffee houses. If you want to go further afield Kyrenia has a vibrant nightlife with number of clubs and beach venues.

CASINOS

All the hotels on the North of the island have a casinos. Some are open 24 hours a day, some open at midday until the early hours of the morning. Most feature slot machines and a number of table games. Some will give free food and drink if you intend to spend the evening and spend some money in the machines. The casinos will attract a mix of holiday makers and big spending gamblers from Turkey and the South of the Island because gambling is not legal in many countries which makes North Cyprus the ideal destination for those that like gambling. There are also a number of high street betting shops where football, horse and dog race betting is popular. Unfortunately though, Turkish Cypriots are not permitted to gamble! Try Salamis Hotel, Palm Beach Hotel and Kaya Artemis Resort in the Famagusta/Karpaz area.

Kıbrıs Glapsides Beach