There are huge leisure opportunities for active individuals of all ages in North Cyprus. Activity types range from those on land, on the water – and even in the air! The huge, unspoilt stretches of open countryside and mountain terrain as well as the many ancient sites, provide countless opportunities for walking, mountain biking and Jeep safaris as well as cultural activities and events – and craft eco-village days.
With the Besparmak (Five Finger) mountains rising to over 1,000m, many activity holiday companies are also offering paragliding. For water lovers, there are boat trips along the beautiful Cyprus coastline, plus opportunities for Kite Surfing, kayaking and diving
Some of the activities include –
The Korineum Golf & Country Club was opened in April 2007. This 18-hole championship golf course occupies 6,232 m2 and is described on their website as a “72 par gem designed for golfers of all standards and ages”. Set against a backdrop of the fabulous mountain range, the course, designed by David Hemstock, has preserved the natural olive and carob trees with spectacular mountain and Mediterranean views from every hole. The Clubhouse also offers a five-star spa, hotel, shop and shuttles to their own Korineum Beachclub.
CMC Golf Course in Yesilyurt, close to Lefke on the West Coast of North Cyprus, is actually the original ex-pat North Cyprus Golf course of Cyprus. It was originally created for the ex-pat employees of the Cyprus Mining Corporation who were living there to extract the valuable copper and gold deposits in the nearby mountains, it is now a charming 9 hole course with the lovely green stretching down to the waterfront and with fabulous views of the Troodos Mountains to the south.
This Club, which is also named after the heroic acts of Gengiz Topel (Turkish Airforce Pilot who was shot down at the site during the Turkish intervention of 1974) is perfect for beginners or as a daily practice course at very low green fees. A core of around 30 dedicated ex-pat residents of the Kyrenia region as well as a few local Turkish Cypriot golf lovers, maintain the course and run the quaint original 1940s clubhouse with its original golf cartoons – which houses regular social events. Green fees are paid by “honesty box” and the clubhouse is generally open and certainly worth a visit if only for older visitors to revisit memory lane.
Daily Boat Tours and Sunset Cruises
A boat trip is a fun and enjoyable day out for all ages. The Kyrenia Harbour boat trip also offers the opportunity for swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing and a Cypriot meze lunch.
Boat trips are an ideal introduction to the beauty of North Cyprus – whether you are looking just to relax and watch the romantic sunset or a more active boat trip which includes fishing trips or scuba diving trips.
In North Cyprus there are huge opportunities for beginner and more advanced diving. Diving enthusiasts can explore the fascinating Mediterranean coastline close to Kyrenia, both above and underwater, complete with ancient shipwrecks and other relics.
North Cyprus Diving Centres include: North Cyprus British Scuba Centre, Kyrenia Tel: +90 (0) 533 868 3165, Amphora Diving, Kyrenia +90 542 851 49 24, Kyrenia Scuba, 34 Kenal Kayacan Sok, +90 533 862 34 21, Kyrenia Scuba Cyprus Boat Trips, +90 533 876 15 78, Scuba Cyprus , +90 533 865 23 17 +90 533 856 90 51, Nautilus Scuba Diving School, Nicosia +90 392 444 99 88, Underwater Explorers, +90 533 879 44 21.
There are two main types of sea-turtles nesting along the coasts of Northern Cyprus: these are the Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta Caretta) and the Green Turtles (Chelonia Mydas). Both are listed as endangered species and under strict protection.
Since 1992, the Marine Turtle Research group, in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Turtles in Northern Cyprus and the Department for Environmental Protection, has been undertaking an annual survey, recording the turtle’s activity during the summer months.
If you would like to do something different during your holiday in North Cyprus, then the Turtle Research group is keen for you to get involved. The Protection of Turtles in Northern Cyprus can help you discover one of the rare features of nature. This is one of the best activities for families in North Cyprus, with night-time opportunities to help with the safe hatching of the baby turtles.
The best times to observe the hatching is the end of July, August and the beginning of September. There are several beaches across the island but the most popular is Alagadi Turtle Beach.
Paragliding involves a passenger flying with an experienced paragliding pilot; the passenger just sits and enjoys the flight. It is a unique aerial thrill offering unforgettable experiences. This recreational sport requires no experience or skills and is ideal for all the family and groups. It’s a beautiful way to see North Cyprus!
Highline Paragliding, +90 90 533 8709222.
Walking, Hiking and Trekking
The rugged mountains of Northern Cyprus provide a variety of walking, hiking and trekking holidays. Explore
Kyrenia mountain range and be amazed by the panoramic views of Kyrenia and its coastline. This is a great activity for both singles and couples alike. Springtime is a particularly popular season for walking with additional opportunities for bird-watching and orchid walks.
Several companies offer walking tours like Kyrenia Mountain Trail Association, North Cyprus Walks.
North Cyprus is an excellent place for bird lovers. Unlike some other holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, there are 353 different species of birds on the island, making North Cyprus a unique destination for nature lovers. Kuşkor, the North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Birds and Nature can provide all the information.
North Cyprus has numerous attractions, castles, churches, mosques and ruins to explore. These include the ancient treasures of Kyrenia town and Famagusta city, the unspoilt beauty of the Karpaz peninsula, romantic St Hilarion Castle perched high above Kyrenia, beautiful Bellapais Abbey with its Spring Music Festival, the shopping and backstreets of old Nicosia or the ancient ruined Roman city of Salamis on the east coast. Most visitors do hire their own car, but there are also useful small buses (“Dolmus”) between the centres of the main towns and cities.
North Cyprus is a great place for horse riding holidays for young or old from beginners to more experienced riders. It is one of the finest ways to experience the natural beauty of the island with beautiful mountains and natural beaches.
Catalkoy Riding Club, Tunac Riding Club + 90 392 822 23 93 – 90 392 822 28 68, Dortnal Riding Stables, The Ranch North Cyprus +90 548 822 33 85,
The island boasts fantastic campsites in beautiful natural areas and coastal locations. A camping holiday in North Cyprus is perfect for those seeking an outdoor adventure and discover more.
Badminton, Tennis, Squash
There are plenty of facilities available within the local municipality, on the many University campuses or within the many luxury hotel resorts.
Tennis courts can be found at GAU (Girne America University), Korineum Golf & Resort in Esentepe, Badminton can be found at the Middle East Technical University in Nicosia.
North Cyprus has several beach clubs with great facilities for rest, relaxation & pampering, plus many offer special activities for children such as Aquaparks. Here are some main beach clubs below.
Oscar Resort, www.oscar-resort.com, +90 (0)392 81 54 801 , + 90 548 858 3000
Escape Beach Club, www.escapebeachclub.com, +90 (0)392 821 8330
Acapulco Beach Club & Resort Hotel, www.acapulco-cyprus.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Camelot Beach Club, www.camelotbeachclub.com
Denizkizi Hotel, www.denizkizi.com, call +90 5488 111 000, +90 392 821 2727
Vogue Beach Club, +90 533 863 4191
Sunset Beach Club, www.sunsetbeachclub.com, +34 952 579 400
Shayna Beach Club, https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g190378-d2542316-Reviews-Shayna_beach_club-Kyrenia_Kyrenia_District.html +90 533 885 00 04
Cornaro Beach Club, www.cornarobeach.com, +90 548 870 03 05
Cycling is another way to explore North Cyprus. There are cycling tours available, or you can easily hire your own bike and explore the island.
Bowling is a hugely popular holiday activity for families and couples alike – and North Cyprus now offers a great range of indoor bowling clubs.
Kings Leisure Centre, Kyrenia, Facebook Page, +90 533 838 55 35
Ice Bowling Leisure Centre, Famagusta, +90 542 851 06 67
Flat Green Bowling, Lapta, +90 533 880 11 96 , +90 392 365 53 95
The Wild Donkeys & Karpaz Peninsula
Why not visit the Karpaz National Park and watch wild donkeys? In North Cyprus, wild donkeys are protected and can be found in large numbers in the Karpaz. In this zone, most new construction and development has been prohibited, which allows nature to thrive. At the tip of the Karpaz you can visit the St. Andrew’s Monastery – and don’t miss a walk or swim on the beautiful Golden Beach on the way!
Go-karting is for young and old, ages 7 to 70. There are several good Go-Karting Clubs in North Cyprus.
Cemsa Karting, in Nicosia, www.cemsakarting.com, +90 (392) 444 80 08
Zet Karting, Outside Nicosia, +90 533 866 61 71
Max Mile Power Go-karting. www.facebook.com/maxpowergokart/, +90 533 862 37 30
North Cyprus boasts 19 species of Orchid which are not found anywhere else in the world! As a result, many nature lovers come on Orchid Walk Holidays in the Spring.
Because of their rarity and beauty, orchids hold a special fascination for all naturalists. In North Cyprus, there are a total of 32 wild confirmed species, subspecies – as well as the 19 endemic plant species which only grow in North Cyprus.
Some species will be familiar to botanists from north-western Europe, but there are also more exotic species including the colourfully named Violet Limodore, Tongue-flowered Serapias, Naked man orchid and more!
Water parks are a popular attraction for both tourists and residents of Northern Cyprus. Some hotels have large pools, slides and organised daily pool activities for children.
Acapulco Resort, www.acapulco.com.tr, +90 392 650 45 00 | +90 392 444 68 35 | +90 392 824 4110
Elexus Hotel, www.elexushotel.com, +90 392 650 10 00
Oscar Resort Hotel, www.oscar-resort.com , + 90 (392) 81 54 801
There are many more activities not covered in this article. These include: Ice Skating, Jet Skiing and Quad Biking…. the list is endless! If you wish to arrange special activities during your NCI Property Inspection Trip or holiday, just let us know and we will put you in touch with some local contacts.