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Driving in North Cyprus

Liverpool
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Driving in North Cyprus

I am a single mum travelling with my 13 year old son who is not really into beach holidays. He is however, into history and sightseeing. We will be travelling to Kyrenia in August staying at the Green Park Village so I will definately be hiring a car. However, as well as not really enjoying driving on roads with a sheer drop and also not having a very good sense of direction ( although my son fortunately does!) I wonder of anyone could suggest anywhere to visit where the journey is not too hairy and where I could find my way back if I take a wrong turn? Some may say 'keep off the road' but I hope not!! lol

Also how early does it get dark in mid Summer? Don't fancy getting lost in the dark!

UK
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1. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

You should find the drive from Kyrenia to Bellapais fairly easy; there are the ruins of an abbey there. Pretty village - try luhch at Bella Moon. The route is fairly well signposted as far as I remember.

The main road from Kyrenia out to Alsancak for the best beaches is straightforward and speed limited.Good restaurants on this route.

Personally I would avoid the trip to Karmi/Karaman at the top of the mountain. It was a pretty hair-raising drive with very steep, windy road. Though I did read somewhere that the road had been replaced, it's one journey we won't make again!

Hope you enjoy your holiday!

Kyrenia, Cyprus
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2. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

The Karmi road has been resurfaced, makes for a lovely day trip,Wouldnt fancy it at night though, Gets dark at around 8pm in August.

i do hope that you've booked a car with Air Con!!!, Typically August is 45 - 50 degrees with 70% humidity.

Devon
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3. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

If you drive in this country you will find it a doddle on the main roads in North Cyprus. For a good full day out I would suggest you drive to Famagusta where you can let your son see the abandoned hotels of Verosha, the ancient walled city and the ancient city of Salamis. The road from Kyrenia to Famagusta is a dual carraigeway with very little traffic. Just be very careful of the speed limis, especially at junctions. The only time you are likely to be held up is at peak times in Kyrenia. Just keep away from any road heading towards the mountains.

Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

Hi - have been taking the family to Kyrenia for the last six years including son (now 17) - driving is simple obviously helped by driving on the same side of the road - yes you will definitely need air conditioning if you want to travel any distances (do pre book your car hire - supply can often be les than demand in the summer!) but the road are better than you would expect (loads of duel carriageways - it the other drivers that are the problem) and there really isn't many sheer drops! History wise in Kyrenia itself you have the castle (with the most amazing shipwreck), Bellapais Abbey as mentioned plus other castles which are amazing. Famagusta as mentioned is another highlight - the old walled city is amazing - the Salamis roman ruins the best I've ever seen and the history surrounding the more recent 1973 events as mentioned can be seen in Verosha. For a history buff he will have an amazing time but do your research on the internet before you arrive - local information can be lacking. Have an amazing time but don't underestimate how hot it will be!!

Kyrenia
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5. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

St Hilarion castle is a must, the history is fascinating and you'll rarely come across a historical site that so invokes the feel of medieval life. The drive is easy, but the views, several thousand feet down onto the Kyrenia plain, absolutely spectacular. Having done that, you may be tempted to tackle Buffavento - the views from there are even more spectacular, but the drive to it is definitely not for the faint-hearted, with sheer drops and rockfalls almost blocking the way at several points! And when you eventually get to the car park, you still have another several hundred feet to climb on foot.

Navigation is pretty easy - if the sea is on your left, and the mountains on your right, you're going east and vice versa - you can't really get completely lost...

Dorset, England
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6. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

I agree with all of the above - except I disliked the drive up to St Hilarion Castle due to steep drops - there are barriers but I think I'd have paniced if I'd been driving especially if someone comes from the other direction. Lots of very steep turns and low gears required!!) The roads were empty for us as the season hadn't really started ,but when you're there you run the risk of more traffic and there is only 2 very small carparks.

However, we really enjoyed the castle - it's well worth the visit so if you can cadge a lift do - do not attempt to walk up as there is military land which you mustn't stop by.

If your son isn't into lying on the beach (we're the same and have just visited with 11 & 13 year old boys) I recommend you go to the free public beach at Karoglanoglo, once the day has cooled and fish off the jettys. We had the beach to ourselves at 5pm - bliss!!

The boys were interested in the tanks displayed outside the Peace and Freedom Museum - the museum doesn't have to be open for you to see these.

Definetily do your research before you leave - we visited 2 tourist information places and they were friendly but very unhelpful e.g. couldn't tell us dates/times of event in one of their leaflets & said 'the restaurants are open!!!??? We had already researched where we wanted to go, so it wasn't a problem. In order that our boys got a 'snapshot' of the history and current situation they had to read the back of our 'Rough Guide to Cyprus'. There is very few pamphlets or booklets to purchase when you get there.

Liverpool
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7. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

Thankyou everyone for your replies. I feel a lot more equipped to find my way around and will do my research and prebook my car hire.

I appreciate you all taking your time to reply.

Jo.

britabroad
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8. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

Hi, here's a link to a website which is one of the best I've seen on Northern Cyprus, including a good history section.

http://www.cyprusive.com/

If you go up, and down, to St Hilarion from the Kyrenia side then the road is fine - but don't be tempted to drive the whole length of the mountain if you're nervous, and wear sensible shoes for the substantial climb through the castle.

Famagusta old city is worth a quick look but you should allow plenty of time for the ruins of Salamis - but bear in mind it will be extremely hot when you go so both take water and, if you can, an umbrella for shade. Seriously!! There's very little shade there.

To follow this with a trip up to the Karpaz may be too much for you - you would need an overnight stay to do it comfortably - but in any case this website is also good.

whatson-northcyprus.com/towns/dipkarpaz.htm

Happy holiday

Devon
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9. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

I have just returned from Kyrenia where I once again hired a car. This is to let you know that the new road on the coast road to the east of Kyrenia is complete.You are now able to drive on a good surfaced two lane road from Kyrenia all the way until it joins the Famagusta to Dipkarpaz road on the panhandle. Also the road from Famagusta out to Salamis and Bogaz is being made a dual carraigeway. Driving in North Cyprus improves every year. Petrol is aslo cheaper than home here, 2.75 lira per litre

Liverpool
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10. Re: Driving in North Cyprus

Thankyou so much for that update.

Jo.

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