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Iskele & Karpaz Region

Spectacular unspoilt landscape where turtles roam and dreams are made

In the East, in the district of Iskele, the finger of the Karpaz Panhandle points to Syria.   This is both a remote and astoundingly beautiful landscape with deserted beaches and ancient villages with once-grand basilicas, tombs and ruins which bear testament to the area’s glorious past.

The Karpaz Panhandle extends from north of Gazimağusa to the northern-most tip of Cyprus. Covering a substantial part of the island and stretching to 80 kilometres in length and up to 20 kilometres in width, t he Karpaz is one of North Cyprus’ most spectacular landscapes and still untouched by mass tourism as it is a protected Nature Reserve.   

Nature Reserve

With cypress, maquis and pine swathed hills, and some of the island’s most unspoilt sandy beaches, the Karpaz is North Cyprus' nature reserve - sparsely populated and protected from development; visit this region and you will feel yourself unwind completely.   Indeed, with its wild natural beauty, characteristic stone houses and ruined churches, you will discover the serenity of another era.  

Golden Sands Beach

One of the main attractions of the area is Golden Sands, one of the world’s longest and most glorious beaches, with golden sands that stretch for more than 3km.   The beach is fringed with whimsical sand dunes and it is here that green and loggerhead turtles swim ashore to make their nurseries.   The Karpaz is also home to around 400-500 wild donkeys, or ‘free donkeys’, that roam across the panhandle.

Eco-village Tourism

Journey inwards and enjoy true Mediterranean village hospitality in the ancient village of Büyükkonuk, which has been selected as a pilot village in the Karpaz region for developing eco-village tourism.  Traditional crops are grown here including olive, carob, wheat and barley and wooded hills border the village, filling the air with fragrant pine and wild herbs, while olive groves and other trees like almond, Cypress and pine speckle the landscape.   It now has its first bed & breakfast guesthouse, restaurant, tourist information office and craft shop & activity centre operating, with additional accommodation planned for next year.   At the village activity centre and guest house, Delcraft you can make traditional hellim cheese and olive bread with friendly locals, try your hand at milking goats, walk with shepherds behind their flocks of fluffy sheep or take a walk through bright blooming fields during the wild flower season.   Visit Büyükkonuk and enjoy the peace and warm hospitality of this delightful Turkish Cypriot village.

Eastern-most Tip

Further along, discover the most northerly village, Dipkarpaz, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots still live side by side in peace.   Also, nestled near the very tip of the Karpaz, on the remote point known as the Cape of Saint Andrea, is the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, a striking Orthodox church that provides breathtaking views of the rugged coastline below.

For those who would like to stay in this remote region, the Karpaz Arch Houses provide a warm and authentic Turkish Cypriot atmosphere, with its own garden, self-catering facilities and proximity to the hauntingly beautiful landscape and deserted beaches around the Karpaz Panhandle.  

Don’t Miss:

bullet Aphendrika A castle belonging to the town, rock tombs, a temple, and a harbour which is now more>>>
bullet Apostolos Andreas Monastery Situated at the tip of the stunning Karpaz Panhandle, on a point known more>>>
bullet Aya Trias Basilica Nearby to the village of Sipahi is the Aya Trias Basilica, which dates back to the 6th century more>>>
bullet Büyükkonuk Village
bullet Icon Museum of Iskele The main church of the village of Trikomo was built in XII. Century on a single more>>>
bullet Kantara Castle The word “kantara” means “arch” in Arabic. The easternmost of the three castles more>>>
bullet The Ruins of Ayios Philion (Ören Yeri) Close to the site of ancient Karpasia, are the ruins more>>>
bullet The Panaya Kanakaria Church Although there is no trace here of the first church thought to have more>>>


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