Kyrenia - famous historic town of Cyprus and the most beautiful holiday paradise of the island Kyrenia, according to a tale, was established by Achaeans coming from Peloponnese in the 10th century BC. Its founders gave it the name of Kyrenia, the name of a mountain in their homeland. Another tale says it was first inhabited by Phoenicians, who formed coastal commercial colonies in mid 9th century BC. The name of the city in Roman sources is Korenium.
For a list of recommended hotels around Kyrenia, visit this website. It is important that you read reviews of hotels in Kyrenia town before you book your holiday or before you come for property inspection trip to Cyprus.
Geographic Position & Natural Life. Complete Kyrenia Map. Location on the Cyprus map.
The surface area of Girne takes place in the north of Cyprus, the third biggest island of the Mediterranean. The mountain chain in the south of Girne starts by the village in the west and extends until Yedikonuk village in the east. This chain consists of Kayalar, Lapta, Besparmak, and Kantara Mountains. There are three mountain passages seen along the shore. These are Gecitkoy passage, Girne passage, Mersinlik Tatlisu passage and Kantara.
The Servili Hill is the highest point at 1023 meters. There are partly plains among these mountains until Karpas Peninsula. The north skirts of Girne Mountains are full of Aleppo Pines. There are citrus fruit, olive and carob trees in these fertile lands. The seashores are extraordinary with Turquoise waters and swimming beaches.
Between the sea and Besparmak mountains on the northern coast of the island, Girne has a different way of living and culture that has developed over many years and is influenced by the sea. This culture is reflected in its cuisine, arts and traditions. The most important of these is Hellim cheese. This cheese is specially made from sheep milk. It is very delicious if grilled and served hot. Homemade yoghurt is served with delicious honey. The municipal open bazaar is held on Wednesday and sells various goods like vegetables, fruits, cheese and hand crafts, and gives a different activity to the city.
Another branch of hand arts is hand-made cane baskets. The canes are made from wheat, barley stems. The motifs reflect the feelings, emotions, joys, and longings of the person who made the baskets. Trousseaus, embroideries, laceworks, and carved trousseau chests made of olive wood reflect their traditions. Clay earth in Girne caused bowl, pot and cup manufacturing. There are 74 ceramic art ateliers on the way to Lapta from Kyrenia.
Economy & Tourism.
Girne is a coastal city. As it carefully preserved the historical tracks of 9,000 years, it is a tourism paradise with its natural structure and climatic convenience. So, the economy of the city is related to tourism. The historical port of Girne in shape of horse shoe is full of fisherman boats and yachts day and night. In the past, carob was the black gold and most popular export product of the island.
|| Now the carob warehouses embracing the bay from end to end were changed to restaurants and hotels. The advance of the tourism, the people coming from various parts of the world, holiday resorts, hotels and pensions, touristic and local restaurants, all caused Girne economy to change and put its weight into Tourism. International Girne American University that was established in 1985 gave liveliness to the economy. Nearly 5,300 university students attend these universities and contribute to the commercial and cultural activities.
The Kyrenia Castle. The castle is thought to have been constructed to protect the town against the Arab raids in the 7th century. Like the Kantara Castle, it played an important role in the Lusignan period. In this period the castle underwent a lot of changes due to restoration work. The restoration work was interrupted briefly in 1373, because of the Genoese siege but went on afterwards.
When the castle was first built, the fortifications were constructed with the armoured knights and archers in mind. When the Genoese took control of the castle in 1489, they reconstructed the fortifications taking the Ottoman artillery into consideration.
|| They added the northwestern and the southeastern towers as an extra precaution. In spite of all this, however, following the fall of Nicosia in 1570, they surrendered the castle to the Ottomans without putting up any resistance.The entrance to the castle is via a bridge built over a wide ditch. This ditch was full of water until the 14th century. The Lusignan insignia of three lions on the vault of the inner gate has been brought here from another building. Inside the castle there is a Byzantian church (St. George) thought to have been constructed in the 11th century.
The tomb of the Ottoman Admiral, Sadyk Pasha the Algerian, who was killed during the conquest of Cyprus by the Ottomans in 1570 is also in this castle.
The other sections of the castle are: the Venetian Towers of the Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast; the guards' room, the big hall, various dungeons, and rooms use as depots belonging to the Lusignan period; a tower belonging to the Byzantine period; the Venetian platform; a cistern; an arsenal, and a cannon parapet belonging to the Venetian period; and the shipwreck museum.
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