Kyrenia (Κερύνεια, also Girne in Turkish) is a harbour town in Northern Cyprus.
A picturesque port with a population of just 22,000, Kyrenia is the most popular tourist destination in Northern Cyprus. A Venetian harbour town in the past, it is backed by the dramatic wooded hills of Beşparmak Mountains.
Atlas air, Pegasus Airlines and Cyprus Turkish airlines fly to North Cyprus Ercan airport. Also if you fly to Larnaca airport you can cross the borders to stay free in North Cyprus Kyrenia.
Frequent ferry services operated by Fergün Shipping connect Kyrenia to Taşucu (near Mersin (daily, 2h, 69 TL pp) and Alanya (twice weekly, 3½ hours, 78 TL). There are also slow car ferries to Taşucu which take around 8 hours and cost 59 TL pp and 150 TL per car.
Kyrenia street view [Photo: Rolf Palmberg]
The best way to explore Kyrenia is with a rental car, as public transportation is not that good in the Kyrenia area. If you are staying in the central Kyrenia there are "Lapta Dolmuş" (buses) to go to the beaches in the west side of Kyrenia.
Public buses are available from Kyrenia to Nicosia (capital city) and Famagusta. If you are visiting Güzelyurt then Çimen Taxi (7-seater) is available, as you are sharing the cost, it is cheap.
Kyrenia Castle. Next to the harbor. An ancient castle of uncertain origin, but probably built by the Byzantines in the 7th century. Richard the Lionheart conquered it (and the rest of Cyprus) in 1191 on his way to Jerusalem, only to lose it to the Lusignans, the Venetian, the Ottomans and eventually the British, who used it as a prison.
Shipwreck Museum. Within Kyrenia Castle. This small museum houses the preserved wreck of a wooden merchant ship dated 306 BC, found in 1967 off the coast of Kyrenia. The cargo of 400 amphorae (clay jugs) filled with olives and almonds was still (relatively speaking) intact. The drawing of the ship is now on the Cyprus versions of the Euro 50, 20 and 10 cent coins.
Fresco Museum. At the Church of Arkhangelos.
Baldoken Graveyard & St Andrews Church.
Museum of Decorative Arts.
Turtle bay dive Centre
Kyrenia Range Walks
Boat Tours - best way to discover shores of Kyrenia and enjoy the sun and sea.
Nightlife - Kyrenia is home to many dance clubs (such as Club Locca or W Club) and many concerts take place in the city, especially during the summer. Check the schedule before going!
The official currency of North Cyprus is Turkish Lira, TL. All major currencies are easily exchanged and most shops do accept Euro, £ British Pound and $ US Dollar. But it is always better to carry some Turkish Lira for small shops in the villages.
There are many somewhat touristy restaurants by the harbor.
Try typical turkish cuisine such as lahmacun, meze, turkish kebab and flat breads. There are many markets selling fresh fruit and vegetables, olives, cheeses, breads and meats. For a splurge, take an excursion to Bellapais in the hills above Kyrenia, which has many classy restaurants.
Kamares a Indian restaurant just outside of Girne/Kyrenia offers authentic Indian cuisine at a reasonable price and Friendly service. Address Süleyman Recep Sokak No 77 Edremit Karaoğlanoğlu-Girne Tel: 0533 857 5857/ 0542 861 2617
There are a lot of bars available around the Kyrenia.
Sempati Bar (Sky sports)
Riverside Ranch Bar with Sky Tv on big screen and happy hours, drinks half price.
The Valley restaurant and Clubbers Bar in Korineum Golf and Country Club. This golf club (which runs a championship golf course) is some 10 miles east of Kyrenia on the coast road.
Alevkayasi Forest Cafe (Flamerock forest cafe), Alevkayasi forest picnic area (Çatalköy to lefkoşa mountain road), ☎ 05338770652. 10am till late. Alevkayasi Forest Cafe is the only one of its kind in North Cyprus. Based near the five finger mountains,the cafe resides in Alevkayasi (flame rock)mountain-forest picnic area and has been there for over 50 years. The cafe is a family run business where you can enjoy the authentic cypriot environment with a choice of a delicious menus or you can even have your own picnic. It is a great place to escape from the scorching heat of the summer months.
LA Hotel & Resort , . A holiday heaven situated on the beautiful coast of North Cyprus close to the historic Lapta Village.
Bare Hill Holiday Village, Karaoglanoglu Caddesi Near Escape Beach, Alsancak, (0090-392)-821 26 09, firstname.lastname@example.org, . Family run hotel.
Acapulco Beach Club & Resort Hotel, Catalkoy, . 5 star hotel with sandy beach.
Manolya Hotel, . Family run luxury hotel just next to the beach.
Club Simena Hotel, . 3 star hotel with a gorgeous view of the 5 Finger Mountains
The Dome Hotel, . 4 star hotel within a few minutes walking distance to Kyrenia harbour and castle.
Riverside Holiday Village,  A 4* star family run holiday resort located in the village of Alsancak, within walking distance to elegant or traditional restaurants. Riverside is also providing free bus service to beaches.
Pia Bella Hotel,  A 4* hotel located in downtown Kyrenia. Popular with couples, and an excellent location for exploring the local attractions and eateries of Kyrenia town centre.
The Colony Hotel, . Located in the heart of downtown Kyrenia the five star The Colony Hotel lies between the mountains of North Cyprus and the timeless blue Mediterranean Sea.
Mountain View Hotel (North Cyprus Hotels & Holidays), Adnan Damar Caddesi Karaoglanoglu, ☎ +903928223454, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. For cheap North Cyprus Hotels and Holidays, Mountain View Hotel is a 3-star family run hotel in Kyrenia, North Cyprus.£25.
Green Holiday Village,  A modern holiday village with wide range of facilities.
Oscars Resort, A lovely hotel complete with excellent swimming pool and water slides. But beware the hotel management and their hostility to anyone who buys a bottle of water for a third of the price from another shop and consume it in the hotel. Vitriol and dirty looks will come your way! Also, look out for the numerous 'It Is Forbidden To (Insert stupid, insignificant action here)' signs that are plastered all over the hotel. For some people this can be ignored, but if you are looking to get away from silly rules, hypocrisy and authoritarian management then do not come here.
Malpas Hotel, Catalkoy, . A 5* hotel set impressively on a rise to the east of the delightful village of Catalkoy, amidst fragrant gardens and glorious views.
Mercure Hotel, . 5 star hotel is located in Kervansaray with family run luxury hotel.
Prince Inn Hotel, 124 Karaoğlanoğlu Road, ☎ +90 216-688-68-99, . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. A small family-run boutique hotel 3 miles west of downtown. Close to the beach, a local supermarket, and cinema.£12.
The Hideaway Club, Kyrenia, ☎ 003928222620, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. www.hideawayclub.com The Hideaway Club Hotel is rated by Trip Advisor as one of the best hotels in the whole of Cyprus. Three miles from Kyrenia the hotel operates a child-free policy throughout the summer season and has a unique, languid and relaxed atmosphere around its welcoming pool-side terrace.
Bellapais has an amazing ruined Gothic monastery and some good restaurants too.