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Walking in North Cyprus

from $949.00

Take in the unspoiled landscapes of North Cyprus

  • Reviews 19 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the Walking in North Cyprus.

North Cyprus remains a hidden gem of the Mediterranean, far less visited since separation in 1974 but, thanks to the abundance of archaeological remains from many civilizations that inhabited the island over the centuries, it is considered the most beautiful and historically interesting part of the island. With superb walking through unspoiled areas teeming with flowers and wildlife, and the relaxed local Turkish Cypriot culture, this is a walking and sightseeing tour not to be missed.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 5 lunches
* 7 nights 4-star Hotel Pia Bella, all rooms ensuite (see accommodations section)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Discover dramatic vistas and fascinating archaeology
  • See beautiful flora and fauna
  • Explore crusader castles
  • 7 nights 4-star Hotel Pia Bella, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Reasonable fitness required
  • Low altitude throughout
  1. Day 1 Start Kyrenia.

    Arrive Lanarca airport where the group is met in the early evening (inquire for timings) and transferred to the start hotel. The transfer takes approximately 1.5 hrs and includes crossing the border to North Cyprus. If you are not booked on the group transfer, you should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide will hold a short meeting to discuss the plan for the following day, to give advice on the local area and to answer any questions. Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  2. Day 2 Transfer to Catalkoy; walk to Bellapais and visit the monastery; afternoon Kyrenia Castle visit.

    After the Welcome Briefing, we will have a short 20 minute transfer to Bellapais village and the beautiful 12th century Bellapais Abbey, set in the mountains to the south. There will be some free time to explore the beautiful village and the abbey before starting our short walk to Cattalkoy village where we get the transfer back to Kyrenia. The walk today is mainly along an old dirt track; it is fairly undulating, with views out towards the coast along the way.Kyrenia is a pretty harbour town and a great base from which to explore North Cyprus. Archaeological excavations show the area was first settled as far back as the 10th century BC, and today historic buildings and winding lanes offer a glimpse of the past, sitting side by side with more modern additions. Our tour also takes in a visit to Kyrenia’s Crusader Castle, which features in English history as far back as the third crusade, when it was taken by Richard the Lionheart. Since then the castle has been updated and used by civilizations as diverse as the Ottomans, the Venetians and the British. As well as glorious views and fascinating architecture, the castle also houses the Shipwreck Museum, home to a 4th century Greek merchant vessel and its cargo.Walk: Distance 5 km Ascent 153 m Descent 145 m Max Altitude 350 m Time: 2 hoursAccommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  3. Day 3 Transfer to the ancient hermitage site of St Hilarion Castle; visit the site and walk to Malatya village via Karaman.

    Today we transfer approximately 25 minutes to the Saint Hilarion Castle, a former stronghold of the Kyrenia mountains. Originally a hermitage site, the monastery and church were built in the 10th century and later fortified. The site consists of three main parts, linked by steep staircases; the lower section was for the stables and men of arms, the middle section was home to the church and the upper section was for use by only royalty. The stunning views from the upper level are well worth the climb!We will spend some time exploring the castle and enjoying the magnificent views of Kyrenia, before starting our walk through the hills to Malatya village. The first part of our walk is through the forest, following an old riverbed with some loose rocks underfoot. We then reach an old dirt track which we follow into the village, with stunning views of the coast ahead of us and the impressive Saint Hilarion Castle up on the hills behind us. We will walk through several small villages today, getting a good sense of local life along the way. We’ll stop for lunch in a square in one of these villages.We will transfer back to the hotel this afternoon, stopping en route to enjoy a drink on the seafront if time allows.Walk: Distance 14 km Ascent 205 m Descent 400 m Max Altitude 900 m Time: 4 hoursAccommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  4. Day 4 Head to the Karpas peninsula; visit the Incirli caves and crusader castle at Kantara; walk to beautiful Kaplica beach.

    We head east approximately 1.5 hrs today, towards the Karpas peninsula. In the morning, we will visit Incirli cave, the largest on the island, which contains an amazing collection of stalactites and stalagmites, before heading to the crusader castle at Kantara. Kantara Castle is one of three mountain fortresses built by the Byzantines along the Kyrenia Mountains along with Saint Hilarion Castle and Buffavento Castle. It was used as a beacon station, communicating with Buffavento Castle with the use of fires. The castle boasts an incredible 360 degree view of the region. On a clear day you can see not only both coasts of the Karpaz Peninsula but also the mountains of Turkey! After a picnic lunch near the castle, we will walk down the slopes of Five Finger Mountains to the beautiful Kaplica beach. If time allows, there will be a chance to swim at Kaplica beach after our walk, before we transfer (approximately 1 hr) back to Kyrenia.Walk: Distance 8 km Ascent 50 m Descent 450 m Max Altitude 740 m Time: 3.5 hoursAccommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  5. Day 5 Free day to relax or take an excursion to Famagusta.

    Today has been left free for further exploration of the island. Of the many options available, of particular interest is a trip to the ancient city of Salamis and the historical city of Famagusta. This trip starts with a visit to St. Barnabas Monastery, followed by a tour of the Ancient city of Salamis, which remains the biggest Roman site on the whole island of Cyprus. There will be a lunch break by the sea before the tour continues to the ghost town of Varosha, which is closed to the civil life since 1974. The trip finishes with visiting the old walled city of Famagusta, where the St. Nicholas Cathedral is located. This tour can be arranged locally (please note that you may be joining a larger group on this tour). Of course you could choose to spend the day relaxing, or explore under your own steam.Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  6. Day 6 Visit Buffavento Castle for magnificent views; walk to Bellapais village.

    We start our day with a 45 minute transfer to the magnificent Buffavento Castle. Standing at 970m, it is the highest Crusader castle on the island and a highlight of the week. Buffavento was built in the 11th century as a part of the island’s defences against the Arabs, and also controlled an important mountain pass. The dramatic location offers glorious views over Kyrenia and the Five Finger Mountains.This afternoon we will walk from the castle taking the footpath which leads us down to Bellapais village. We will have our lunch at the top of the mountain where you will see the both sides of the Five Finger Mountain. Our route takes us along a narrow path, which is a bit rocky underfoot, passing between the mountains, and offering us stunning views in both directions. The vehicle meets us in Bellapais village, and we will transfer about 10 minutes back to Kyrenia.Walk: Distance 16 km Ascent 300 m Descent 350 m Max Altitude 970 m Time: 4 hoursAccommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  7. Day 7 Spend a day in the Five Finger Mountains; walk includes visiting Kyrenia Rock and Sourp Magyar Armenian monastery.

    Today we transfer approximately 30 minutes to the start of our last walk, the Five Finger Mountains. The walk takes us on a path up towards the Herbarium of Alevkaya (currently closed for renovation), where we will stop for lunch. This afternoon we will walk to Sourp Magyar, the only Armenian Monastery in the mountains, and on to Kyrenia rock, which offers excellent photo opportunities.Walk: Distance 10 km Ascent 100 m Descent 120 m Max Altitude 650 m Time: 4 hoursAccommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  8. Day 8 End Kyrenia.

    Our adventure ends after breakfast in Kyrenia. Those on the group transfer will be transferred back to Larnaca airport.

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Where you stay

Hotel Pia Bella

Pia Bella Hotel – double

We usually stay at the 4-star Hotel Pia Bella, a short walk to the bars and restaurants of atmospheric Kyrenia harbour. All rooms are en suite with satellite tv, telephone and air conditioning and Wi-Fi access in communal areas. The property boasts two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi and tranquil gardens.

Pia Bella Hotel – pool
Pia Bella Hotel – twin

 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 5 picnic lunches are included.

Buffet style Cypriot breakfast is provided with bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, eggs and honey, and coffee/tea.

Cypriot food includes: locally caught fish and seafood by the Kyrenia fishing fleet, excellent local meat dishes, stuffed vegetables, fruit – particularly figs, oranges, nectarines, grapes, olives and pomegranates – and breads and cheeses.

Picnic lunches using locally sourced food are provided where specified. On other days we will stop at a suitable local café or restaurant.

Kyrenia has a large number of restaurants to choose from for evening meals.

Most days involve some driving and sightseeing in addition to the walks. Strong but lightweight 2/3 season boots with good ankle support are recommended, as there are descents each day that, although not technical, may be steep.
The walking is seldom too demanding, although some of the terrain is a bit rocky underfoot. Some of the paths are quite narrow and fairly undulating, and there some sections which involve some scrambling over larger rocks and boulders.There is plenty of opportunity for exploration in and around some of the area’s ruins and castles. A pair of comfortable shoes or tennis shoes will also be very handy for the evenings and journeys to/from the start/end points.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Interesting break, lots of downhill

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We really enjoyed the views from Buffavento and Kantara Castles.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Gulie (apologies for spelling) was very enthusiastic. It was a shame she wasn't at the airport or hotel to meet us on arrival, it made for a rather shaky start to the holiday.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for downhill. Most days we drove out to a castle or sightseeing point up in the mountains, and then walked back towards the coast. Great scenery, but you'll feel it in your calf muscles. Also, take some Euros for the airport in Larnaca. Being in southern Cyprus, they don't accept Turkish Lira.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exchange rates are better in the UK, so I'd advise to take cash with you. I managed to get 4.65 online in October, but the hotel were offering 4.21

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Hiking Northern Cyprus

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really enjoyed seeing the Monasteries, as well as the Ghost Town. The Christmas eve dinner the hotel put on and the party were both great fun.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    He was nice but not sure he always managed the very different hiking abilities in the group. There were several really fast ones and some very slow and the ones ahead were constantly were having to wait for the slower one and he often went ahead with the faster ones.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food is very heavy and the lunches were boring (always the same white bread rolls and cheese). So much meat the vegetarian options not always good.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did not like the fact that our leader would take us to restaurants of his choice (where he knew the owners well and maybe got a good tip for taking us all there) and 2 or 3 of them weren't good at all and there was a set menu and price and it was not good value. When we had a free eve we would go to a restaurant of our choice which we always found excellent and good value. I went from Gatwick airport which was far more convenient for me but most of the group thought they had to go from Heathrow on BA which wasn't convenient for some. The reason I was able to fly from Gatwick is because I asked if it was possible but others in the group were not given an option. Thi I s was not the trip of my choice as I had provisionally booked for Andalucia but then called to pay the deposiy and my place had been sold to someone else without even a phone call to ask me if I was still going. I was not happy about this and feel that the customer service of Exodus has changed over the past year or so as used to be a lot better.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

walking northern cyprus april 18

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    thursdays walk starting with 600 steps up to a castle. getting up there
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    very well organised although used turkish time when telling us how long we had to go on walks.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Any later than april would be very HOT.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The difficlty rating was optimistic 2, we did a 3 in cappadocia last year this was at least on a par with that

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

A memorable experience

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch at the top of a mountain, listening to the birdsong and watching the butterflies.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Giza was a very knowledgeable leader and organised all the activities well.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It would be very hot doing these walks after April. Also, you need to be physically fit as some terrain is quite rocky.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a very different holiday and not touristy at all which helped to make it so enjoyable. If you are interested in history and love walking in beautiful places you will not be disappointed!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

North Cyprus

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When you get to the top and see the coast below, that's a good feeling! Even better if you know you will be swimming in the sea later in the day.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Gizer is a very engaging leader, accommodating to the faster and the slower amongst us, full of local knowledge and keen to introduce us to good local food.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be very hot, be prepared.

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October 3, 2020
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