Cycling North Cyprus
|Resort:||Cycling North Cyprus|
An off-the-beaten-track cycling holiday in North Cyprus. Enjoy cycling along the sparsely populated Karpaz Peninsula, past lemon and orange groves, through old villages and fishing harbours from Famagusta to Zimyamet.
Karpaz Peninsula – Unspoilt and beautiful beaches
Ancient towns and sites – Salamis, Famagusta and Saint Barnabas Monastery
Turkish hospitality – Delicious food and 340 days of sunshine a year.
Day 1 Trip starts in Famagusta
Arrive in Famagusta; Famagusta was once one of the richest cities and most important trading ports in the world. The so-called ‘City of 365 Churches’ has been ravaged by severe wars and earthquakes throughout history, but still contains beautiful examples of medieval and gothic architecture. William Shakespeare is said to have used it as the setting for Othello and the Venetian Citadel, overlooking the harbour, is popularly known as Othello’s Tower.
There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Famagusta at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you’ll need to arrive into Larnaca International Airport (LCA), which is an hours’ drive from Famagusta. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to Explore Famagusta and its 15th and 16th- century Venetian walls, on top of which are great views of the town and the Mediterranean Sea.
Your Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 9am tomorrow morning for the welcome meeting.
Day 2 Explore Famagusta by bike
Today we collect our bikes and try them out with an orientation ride round Famagusta. We will explore the old town with its Ottoman mosques, Gothic Crusader churches and Venetian fortifications before heading to Palm Beach. Palm Beach is overlooked by the ghost town which has been left uninhabited since 1974 when 40,000 residents of Famagusta fled as Turkish troops advanced, leaving the town as the emblem of a divided Cyprus. The once restort is cordened off from the public.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 12km.
Day 3 Cycle to ancient Salamis and on to the fishing village of Bogaz
Today we cycle out of Famagusta through the university campus, heading north to Saint Barnabas monastery then the ancient site of Salamis. Salamis with its significant collection of Mycenaean, Roman and Byzantine artefacts is the most important ancient city on the island, a local guide will show us round the site helping to bring the history to life. Explore the attractive combination of ruins, sandy dunes and sea panoramas. In spring the area is covered by the yellow blossoms of the acacia bushes. We stop here for lunch and a swim in the sea. Then we cycle on to our final destination for today Bogaz, a small fishing village with excellent fish restaurants.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 45km (total 173m ascent)
Day 4 Cycle across the Karpaz peninsula to Karpaz Gate Marina
Cycle across the Karpas peninsula, olive, carob and fig trees edge the wayside. The traditional villages you cycle through are adorned with bougainvilleas, hibiscus and jasmin. Stop at one of the coffee houses for refreshment and a rest in the shade. After a long ride, spend the late afternoon relaxing at our beach front hotel in Eleousa on the north coast. Here you can enjoy a sundowner with great views over the Med, maybe try Raki or the national drink Brandy Sour.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 50km (total 625m ascent)
Day 5 Follow the North coast then cycle inland to Dipkarpaz
Cycle along the north coast then inland, to Dipkarpaz, the last village on the panhandle. Dipkarpaz is home to North Cyprus’s largest community of Greek Cypriots, who chose to remain with their Turkish Cypriot neighbours after 1974, and their whitewashed Orthodox church rubs shoulders with the mosque overlooking the main square. Cycle to the ancient seafront ruins of Agios Philon and to Apendrika, said to have been one of the island’s foremost cities, where you can see Cyprus’s oldest surviving domed church. We spend two nights in Dipkarpaz.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 25km (total 321m ascent) with an optional extra 22km (total 224m ascent and 224m descent)
Day 6 Cycle through Karpaz National Park to Cape Andreas
Pedal along the south coast to Golden Beach, the most famous and perhaps the most beautiful beach on Cyprus. The remote, idyllic beach has very few visitors and is the perfect place for a dip in the azure waters. This area is home to a large population of wild donkeys, you might see them playing at the shore. It is one of the very few areas in the Mediterranean where the endangered loggerhead and Green turtles lay their eggs on the beach. Loggerheads nest mainly from the middle of May to about the middle of August, while Green turtles start and finish about two weeks later. Next we cycle to Apostolos Andreas Monastery, a famous pilgrimage site for the Cypriots coming from the South. Cycling further on to Cape Andreas, the north-easternmost point of the island where once an Aphrodite temple greeted the seafarers, also where many shipwrecked on the small islands in front of the Cape. You may see another important resident of the peninsula, the Mediterranean Monk Seal, extremely rare in this part of world. We then cycle back to Dipkarpaz.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 45km (total 612m ascent and 612m descent)
Day 7 Cycle then drive to harbour town of Kyrenia via Kantara
Today you cycle through an idyllic landscape of quaint villages and fruit orchards to the south coast of the ‘panhandle’. Once we reach Ziyamet we leave the bikes and drive via Kantara Castle to the harbour town of Kyrenia. Our last night is spent here where you can sample some excellent North Cyprus food and explore the town’s beautiful and eclectic mix of Venetian facades, mosques and minarets. Kyrenia is particularly famous for its ‘picture postcard’ vista of its striking Crusader castle and old harbour set against the dramatic backdrop of the Besparmak Mountains.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 35km (total 393m descent)
Day 8 Trip ends Kyrenia
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kyrenia.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Kyrenia at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from into Larnaca International Airport (LCA), which is one hour 30 minutes’ drive from Kyrenia.