Kyrenia (Girne) harbor with castle on the background. Cyprus.

Walking in North Cyprus Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
North Cyprus
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TEU
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

North Cyprus remains a hidden gem of the Mediterranean, far less visited since separation in 1974 but, thanks to the abundance of archaeological remains from many civilisations that inhabited the island over the centuries, it is considered the most beautiful and historically interesting part of the island. With superb walking through unspoiled areas teeming with flowers and wildlife, and the relaxed local Turkish Cypriot culture, this is a walking and sightseeing tour not to be missed.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights 4-star Hotel Pia Bella, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Reasonable fitness required
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Countries visited: North Cyprus

Trip Highlights

  • Discover dramatic vistas and fascinating archaeology
  • See beautiful flora and fauna
  • Explore crusader castles

Is This Trip for You?

Grade: 2 (Leisurely/ Moderate)
Most days involve some driving and sightseeing in addition to the walks. Strong but lightweight 2/3 season boots with good ankle support are recommended, as there are descents each day that, although not technical, may be steep.
The walking is seldom too demanding, although some of the terrain is a bit rocky underfoot. Some of the paths are quite narrow and fairly undulating, and there some sections which involve some scrambling over larger rocks and boulders.There is plenty of opportunity for exploration in and around some of the area's ruins and castles. A pair of comfortable shoes or trainers will also be very handy for the evenings and journeys to/from the start/end points.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Kyrenia

    The group flight usually arrives into Lanarca in the early evening and the group will be met and transferred to the start hotel. The transfer takes approximately 1.5 hrs and includes crossing the border to North Cyprus. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide will hold a short meeting to discuss the plan for the following day, to give advice on the local area and to answer any questions.

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Transfer to Catalkoy; walk to Bellapais and visit the monastery; afternoon Kyrenia Castle visit

    After the Welcome Briefing, we will have a short 20 minute transfer to Bellapais village and the beautiful 12th century Bellapais Abbey, set in the mountains to the south. There will be some free time to explore the beautiful village and the abbey before starting our short walk to Cattalkoy village where we get the transfer back to Kyrenia. The walk today is mainly along an old dirt track; it is fairly undulating, with views out towards the coast along the way.

    Kyrenia is a pretty harbour town and a great base from which to explore North Cyprus. Archaeological excavations show the area was first settled as far back as the 10th century BC, and today historic buildings and winding lanes offer a glimpse of the past, sitting side by side with more modern additions. Our tour also takes in a visit to Kyrenia's Crusader Castle, which features in English history as far back as the third crusade, when it was taken by Richard the Lionheart. Since then the castle has been updated and used by civilizations as diverse as the Ottomans, the Venetians and the British. As well as glorious views and fascinating architecture, the castle also houses the Shipwreck Museum, home to a 4th century Greek merchant vessel and its cargo.

    Walk: Distance 5 km Ascent 153 m Descent 145 m Max Altitude 350 m Time: 2 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3 miles
  • Day 3

    Transfer to the ancient hermitage site of St Hilarion Castle; visit the site and walk to Malatya village via Karaman

    Today we transfer approximately 25 minutes to the Saint Hilarion Castle, a former stronghold of the Kyrenia mountains. Originally a hermitage site, the monastery and church were built in the 10th century and later fortified. The site consists of three main parts, linked by steep staircases; the lower section was for the stables and men of arms, the middle section was home to the church and the upper section was for use by only royalty. The stunning views from the upper level are well worth the climb!

    We will spend some time exploring the castle and enjoying the magnificent views of Kyrenia, before starting our walk through the hills to Malatya village. The first part of our walk is through the forest, following an old riverbed with some loose rocks underfoot. We then reach an old dirt track which we follow into the village, with stunning views of the coast ahead of us and the impressive Saint Hilarion Castle up on the hills behind us. We will walk through several small villages today, getting a good sense of local life along the way. We’ll stop for lunch in a square in one of these villages.

    We will transfer back to the hotel this afternoon, stopping en route to enjoy a drink on the seafront if time allows.

    Walk: Distance 14 km Ascent 205 m Descent 400 m Max Altitude 900 m Time: 4 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 14 km / 8 miles
  • Day 4

    Head to the Karpas peninsula; visit the Incirli caves and crusader castle at Kantara; walk to beautiful Kaplica beach

    We head east approximately 1.5 hrs today, towards the Karpas peninsula. In the morning, we will visit Incirli cave, the largest on the island, which contains an amazing collection of stalactites and stalagmites, before heading to the crusader castle at Kantara. Kantara Castle is one of three mountain fortresses built by the Byzantines along the Kyrenia Mountains along with Saint Hilarion Castle and Buffavento Castle. It was used as a beacon station, communicating with Buffavento Castle with the use of fires. The castle boasts an incredible 360 degree view of the region. On a clear day you can see not only both coasts of the Karpaz Peninsula but also the mountains of Turkey! After a picnic lunch near the castle, we will walk down the slopes of Five Finger Mountains to the beautiful Kaplica beach. If time allows, there will be a chance to swim at Kaplica beach after our walk, before we transfer (approximately 1 hr) back to Kyrenia.

    Walk: Distance 8 km Ascent 50 m Descent 450 m Max Altitude 740 m Time: 3.5 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 8 km / 4 miles
  • Day 5

    Free day to relax or take an excursion to Famagusta

    Today has been left free for further exploration of the island. Of the many options available, of particular interest is a trip to the ancient city of Salamis and the historical city of Famagusta. This trip starts with a visit to St. Barnabas Monastery, followed by a tour of the Ancient city of Salamis, which remains the biggest Roman site on the whole island of Cyprus. There will be a lunch break by the sea before the tour continues to the ghost town of Varosha, which is closed to the civil life since 1974. The trip finishes with visiting the old walled city of Famagusta, where the St. Nicholas Cathedral is located. This tour can be arranged locally (please note that you may be joining a larger group on this tour). Of course you could choose to spend the day relaxing, or explore under your own steam.

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Buffavento Castle for magnificent views; walk to Bellapais village

    We start our day with a 45 minute transfer to the magnificent Buffavento Castle. Standing at 970m, it is the highest Crusader castle on the island and a highlight of the week. Buffavento was built in the 11th century as a part of the island's defences against the Arabs, and also controlled an important mountain pass. The dramatic location offers glorious views over Kyrenia and the Five Finger Mountains.

    This afternoon we will walk from the castle taking the footpath which leads us down to Bellapais village. We will have our lunch at the top of the mountain where you will see the both sides of the Five Finger Mountain. Our route takes us along a narrow path, which is a bit rocky underfoot, passing between the mountains, and offering us stunning views in both directions. The vehicle meets us in Bellapais village, and we will transfer about 10 minutes back to Kyrenia.

    Walk: Distance 16 km Ascent 300 m Descent 350 m Max Altitude 970 m Time: 4 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 16 km / 9 miles
  • Day 7

    Spend a day in the Five Finger Mountains; walk includes visiting Kyrenia Rock and Sourp Magyar Armenian monastery

    Today we transfer approximately 30 minutes to the start of our last walk, the Five Finger Mountains. The walk takes us on a path up towards the Herbarium of Alevkaya (currently closed for renovation), where we will stop for lunch. This afternoon we will walk to Sourp Magyar, the only Armenian Monastery in the mountains, and on to Kyrenia rock, which offers excellent photo opportunities.

    Walk: Distance 10 km Ascent 100 m Descent 120 m Max Altitude 650 m Time: 4 hours

    Accommodation: Hotel Pia Bella or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Day 8

    End Kyrenia

    Our adventure ends after breakfast in Kyrenia. Those on the group flights will be transferred back to Larnaca for the flight to London.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotel Pia Bella

We usually stay at the 4-star Hotel Pia Bella, a short walk to the bars and restaurants of atmospheric Kyrenia harbour. All rooms are en suite with satellite tv, telephone and air conditioning and Wi-Fi access in communal areas. The property boasts two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi and tranquil gardens.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £150.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 5 picnic lunches are included.

Buffet style Cypriot breakfast is provided with bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, eggs and honey, and coffee/tea.

Cypriot food includes: locally caught fish and seafood by the Kyrenia fishing fleet, excellent local meat dishes, stuffed vegetables, fruit - particularly figs, oranges, nectarines, grapes, olives and pomegranates - and breads and cheeses.

Picnic lunches using locally sourced food are provided where specified. On other days we will stop at a suitable local café or restaurant.

Kyrenia has a large number of restaurants to choose from for evening meals.

Transportation

A minibus will be used for all transfers during the week.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

February and March are the coolest months, with daytime temperatures ranging from 12-19ºC and night time temperatures dropping to 2-9ºC.  There is a chance of rain at this time.

In April and from October through December, it should be quite warm, with daytime temperatures reaching up to 27ºC. Night time temperatures will be cooler and pleasant, usually between 10-16ºC. At these times it is generally dry but there is a chance of a shower.

May and September are the hottest months and usually very dry. Daytime temperatures can reach up to 33ºC, and the night time temperatures will usually range from 12-17ºC.

Weather Charts

Kyrenia, North Cyprus

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed
until approximately two weeks before departure.


Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Kyrenia

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Kyrenia in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight - please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Kyrenia
Location end:
Kyrenia

What to Take

Essential Equipment

2/3 seasons jacket for December, February and March departures
Light waterproof jacket
Sunscreen, sunhat and sunglasses
Water bottle
Lightweight but sturdy boots with ankle support
Daypack (20-30L capacity)
Swimwear
Sandals or old trainers for swimming
Comfortable shoes or trainers for sightseeing outside of the daywalks

The temperatures can sometimes be very high during the day in June and September; comfortable light clothing, sunhats, sunglasses and a high factor sun cream are highly recommended at these times of the year.

At time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on the recommended international carrier for this trip is 20kg. We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Optional Equipment

You may want to bring walking poles.

Practical Information

Visa

North Cyprus

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

North Cyprus

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Electricity

220/240 volts AC, UK style 3 pin rectangular plugs are used, but some 2 pin sockets remain.

Money

North Cyprus's Currency

The national currency of North Cyprus is the Turkish Lira (TRL), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2019) of approximately 7.31 to the GBP, 5.59 to the USD, 4.28 to the CAD, 6.42 to the EUR, 3.98 to the AUD and 3.66 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

There are some ATMs in Kyrenia though these should not be relied upon. Credit cards are accepted in most restaurants and shops, but there is often a charge of 2% to 5% for this.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

North Cyprus remains a relatively cheap destination. You can expect to spend between £15 and £20 on an evening meal in a good quality restaurant.

Approximate local prices:

Tea/coffee/ soft drink £1.25

Beer/glass of wine £2

Optional Excursions 

Visit to the ancient city of Salamis and the historical city of Famagusta ‐ £35 per person, minimum 5 people, including lunch and admission to museums/historical sites.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus, however most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides and in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. If you feel you would like to leave a tip, as a guide we would suggest a total of approximately £33  per person:
£15 for the leader
£10 for the driver
£8 shared between the hotel staff where appropriate

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.