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First Timer's View of the North

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First Timer's View of the North

Just got back this week - so what did I think?


Pockets of really beautiful coastline, pretty harbour,spectacular castles and some really interesting ruins however... horendous housing estates, particularly East of Girne, heavily marketed at every opportunity to us Brits. A large amount of building West of Girne particularly commercial premises most of which lie empty or uncompleted - not attractive.


Some lovely beaches to be found but apart from on the Karpas, the best ones seem to have been privatised by hotels etc. and I'm not sure whether they were good value as I refused to use them.


Actually not bad. Restaurant prices generally cheaper than the UK and supermarkets were well stocked, although anything imported was a ridiculous price.


Maybe I was looking in the wrong places but the shops were full of absolute tat at silly prices. I struggled to buy anything worthwhile to take home resorting to fake designer tee shirts as gifts!


I was extremely impressed by the roads. A real surprise as I wasn't expecting this.

Home comforts

Water - we were without water for a day in our first week when the tank was filled a day late. I can't say I enjoyed the experience particularly in that heat. Power cuts - no air conitioning another night, again not pleasant. Seems wimpy complaining as it must be awful for those living there but at the end of the day you don't want to slum it on holiday.

I got the impression that the North is changing dramatically and not necessarily for the better. I just hope they learn from their mistakes sooner rather than later. Would I go back? Yes, but I'm not sure this is a destination at the top of my list.

lake district...
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1. Re: First Timer's View of the North

I agree with your comments. Unfortunately NORTHERN Cyprus is desperate for foreign currency hence the vast in some cases illegal building programme, and very poor infrastructure.

However if re-unification happens ? watch out for more of the same, with particular attention to Famagusta, where rumours are abound regarding huge developement.

As for private beaches, by law this is illegal, all beaches in Cyprus are open to all and sundry (even when under ther the occupation of 30,000 Turkish troops), the advertising as private can be challenged, if you have the patience.

Karsiyaka, TRNC
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2. Re: First Timer's View of the North

Hi Plodder

Thanks for your report which is pretty much spot on. It's a shame you missed my favourite shop in Kyrenia that sells beautiful glass lanterns and tea-light holders and Iznik ceramics (amongst other things). If you do come again, it is near the old Harbour in the same road as the Liman Casino. There is also a lovely carpet shop next door.


sheffield UK
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3. Re: First Timer's View of the North

TRNC has great potential to be a major attraction and retain/create genuine quality. However...the "get rich quick whatever" vultures may well get the last word unless the government gets a firm grip NOW. There should be no more building of ugly estates and business premises until the ones that are currently lying empty ( for years in many cases ) are either completed or demolished. Strict controls on litter ( education plus sensible refuse collection policy ) is crucial, as is a reduction of the visual effects of casinos, the ultimate in tat.

Birmingham, England
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4. Re: First Timer's View of the North

We also visitied the North for the first time this year, being lovers of the South we decided no more Elvis, and MacDonalds so we tried the North.

We flew into Larnaca and a taxi took us over the border, all good, booked a gorgeous villa in Catalkoy which I would highly recommend (Holiday rentals - 66925, Nicky Bryce).

We agree with almost all your post, we didnt have any problems with water, but did have a few short power cuts. We visited some of the beaches Escape, Lara, Turtle Beach, and visited the Alcapulco Hotel for a day, all these were good, Escape was rather expensive for food, drinks etc, and small too. Lara beach was our favourite.

Shopping was a big problem for us also, shops were full of junk, or cheap copy handbags as you say at high prices. Eating out was good, we loved Bellapais and the resturants there are good, not particularly cheap but good.

A visit to see the turtles hatch on the beach is a must and we did enjoy this, although had to keep phoning up to find out which day they would be digging them up.

We would probably try Ercan airport next time, as Larnaca was a trek on the way home and we were searched at the border too.

One thing I must say I didnt like was the unwanted stares from men at my two blond, tall, pretty teenage daughters, this was most unwelcome and on some occasions down right rude!, In one English owned bar in Olanzkoy they have internet, one turkish man had his webcam pointing on my 12 year old, and he was clearly talking about her to someone somewhere!, My husband soon put a stop to that!

This was the only thing we were unhappy with on this holiday, We would go again in the future, but maybe in a few years without the children.

Karsiyaka, TRNC
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5. Re: First Timer's View of the North

Hi Joolz

Glad you and your family enjoyed your holiday. It's a shame that tourists seem to be missing the traditional Cypriot items that are on sale here. For example hand made and painted pottery, lace work and carved wood items not to mention Turkish tiles, hand-made glass and beautiful rugs.

Just thought I would mention that the turtle hatchlings aren't "dug up" according to a human timetable. They decide when to fight their way to the surface. Mother nature cannot be rushed you know!!



6. Re: First Timer's View of the North

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