This is a short trip which packs a lot in, but there is plenty of time to relax. The watchword is choice - there are plenty of options every day. Keep walking or hitch a ride? Relax by the pool or take another trip? The walking itself is not particularly demanding... but in almost 40 degree heat, we worked hard to earn the magnificent views! Even 3 months after returning, my memories are rich with blue and green.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
I don't know if it is inspirational as such, but amidst the beautiful scenery and exceptionally varied history, the thing which struck me the most was the modern history, particularly the no-man's-land visible in Famagusta. It's a shame that such a beautiful country is tinged with division and sadness, with the ongoing political and diplomatic struggles trapping the local people in the middle.
Struggles and change throughout history are evident across the island, showcased by the visits to the castles, mosques, abbeys, monasteries and both ancient and modern ruins, in which the influence of Roman, Crusader, Arab and Turk can be seen. Not to mention the British...
The natural landscape of the Karpaz is a fantastic contrast.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Roz was friendly, knowledgeable and very funny. I hadn't realised from reading previous reviews that she was British and so I was doubly impressed by her spoken Turkish language skills! She was able to advise on just about everything, including suggesting places to eat and drink and even passing on a list of North Cyprus-related literature for anyone interested in learning a bit more.
With her at the head and a great group of fellow travellers, I spent a hearty proportion of every day laughing.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Say "yes" to everything! Say yes to the optional day trip to Famagusta, say yes to the evening dinner cruise, say yes to the chance to swim in the sea, say yes to the delicious barbecue...
However, in amongst saying "yes" to everything... Consider packing a snack or two (ensuring it is not something that melts) in case the lunch food is not to your taste (it's freshly-prepared local food and I thought it was delicious!). Also, be prepared for a scratch or two on the leg on the forest walk. I loved the walk but some of the shrubs are hardy and unforgiving!
The only definite thing which should be remembered? If flying with Pegasus from Stansted via Istanbul to Ercan, take food onto the plane for your journey!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you are a hardy, mountaineering fitness nut then the trip may be too gentle for you. But if you want a mix of walking and bathing, eating and drinking, sightseeing and chilling out, this is one for you.