There are some really charming traditional villages in North Cyprus, which are popular places to visit for both holidaymakers and North Cyprus property owners. Some of the better-known villages (such as Ozankoy, Bellapais and Catalkoy to the east of Kyrenia, and Zeytinlik and Alsancak to the west side) are close to town and have become almost joined to Kyrenia. They do, however, still retain their charming village centres. These villages are extremely popular locations for ex-pat/overseas buyers to purchase property for a permanent or retirement home as they give a taste of local life, easy access to village facilities whilst also still being close to a town.
North Cyprus Villages usually have a mosque at their heart, often a village square along with a few coffee shops and small supermarkets which will be frequented by the local Turkish Cypriot and any ex-pat residents. The older traditional buildings will be found at the heart of a North Cyprus village. There are often seasonal festivals in the villages, celebrating the different fruits, nuts and flowers of the area, during which local dancing, music and food can be enjoyed. Where there is a large non-Cypriot population, often new international cuisine restaurants have also sprung up. If you are lucky you can enjoy excellent local Turkish Cypriot cuisine in the villages too.
Most North Cyprus villages are not on the coast as traditionally, Cypriot villages were built in the hills rather than on the beach. So “new villages” such as “Turtle Bay village” in Esentepe have sprung up along the North Cyprus coastline where overseas buyers tend to prefer to purchase holiday homes as these are on a beach.
North Cyprus Villages Near Kyrenia
You can read all about the charming town of Kyrenia in our article on Kyrenia HERE.
The villages nearest to Kyrenia are Ozankoy, Catalkoy and Bellapais heading east – and Zeytinlik and Alsancak heading west.
Ozankoy village is a popular choice for both a holiday home and for property owners living in Cyprus full time. Being only 5 minutes’ drive from Kyrenia, it combines great views with the quaint atmosphere of a traditional Cypriot village. The world-famous Bellapais Abbey can be seen from almost every spot in this village.
The most popular restaurants for ex-pat residents and visitors to Ozankoy are Erol’s, Rafters and the Old Mill. In Ozankoy you can really feel the atmosphere of the past as you explore its narrow streets and traditional stone-built buildings.
North Cyprus International has properties for sale in Ozankoy – click HERE for details or contact us for the latest offers.
Distances from Ozankoy: Kyrenia 5 minutes. Ercan Airport 35 minutes. Larnaca Airport – 1 hour 35 minutes. Closest beaches – Karakum public beach and Cratos Hotel beach. English School of Kyrenia – 5 minutes.
Tourists come from all over the world to experience the historic Bellapais Abbey, made famous by Lawrence Durrell in his book “Bitter Lemons of Cyprus.” This charming and atmospheric hillside village is just ten minutes from Kyrenia but a world away in time.
Bellapais Abbey is the centre of attraction and was built by monks who fled the Saracen conquest of Jerusalem over 900 years ago. The spring that watered their vegetable garden still flows down the valley. Throughout spring and summer, the Abbey is the venue for the Bellapais Music Festival, filling the warm air with music.
Outside, you can still sip coffee and while away the hours at the café under Durrell’s ‘Tree of Idleness,’ a giant mulberry that has been there almost as long as the Abbey.
The most famous restaurants are the Bellapais Gardens Hotel Restaurant, perched on the steep hillside (with glass windows affording one of the best views in Cyprus) and the charming Kybele Restaurant, a popular venue for wedding receptions, which is set almost in the grounds of the Abbey itself with stunning views down the hill to the Mediterranean.
Bellapais offers some of the most interesting traditional craft and jewellery shops and lovely local cafes – as well as further down the hill the English School of Kyrenia, making this village a very attractive place for families wishing to purchase a property.
North Cyprus International has properties for sale in Bellapais – click HERE for details or contact us for the latest offers.
Distances from Bellapais: Kyrenia 10 minutes. Ercan Airport 40 minutes. Larnaca Airport – 1 hour 40 minutes. Closest beaches – Karakum public beach and Cratos Hotel beach. English School of Kyrenia – 3 minutes.
“Catalkoy” literally means “forked village” and is so named probably as the roads split in two directions in the village. The heart of the village is very traditional with local coffee shops, mosque and mini markets. Lower Catalkoy stretches right down to the sea – with great local supermarkets on the main road. This is an extremely sought-after area for both locals and ex-pats seeking a residence and offers an ideal location being near all facilities yet still having a village centre.
Many people from all over the world have made their home here, either in restored old houses, luxury villas with pools or modern apartments. Catalkoy has two of the country’s biggest 5-star hotels, the Cratos hotel and the Malpas hotel. Catalkoy also offers two beautiful beach clubs – the Shayna Beach club (a small sandy bay, which is very popular with the locals) and the Cornaro beach club which is part of the Malpas Hotel.
There are a huge number of restaurants in Catalkoy. One of the most popular restaurants is at the Cornaro Beach club on the coast (offering wonderful seafront location, fabulous fresh local cuisine and occasional live music in the summer),
North Cyprus International has properties for sale in Catalkoy – click HERE for details or contact us for the latest offers.
Kyrenia – 10 minutes. Beach clubs – 3 minutes. Ercan Airport 40 minutes. Larnaca Airport 1 hour 35 minutes.
Esentepe Village and Esentepe Coast
“Esentepe” literally means in Turkish “windy hill”. Perched on the top of a hill, this charming old village 25 minutes going east from Kyrenia has some of the best views on the North East Coast of Cyprus – views which stretch all the way along the coast to Kyrenia and beyond.
The village is reached up a sweeping road up the hill from the coast road. The village square has at its heart an old Church which has been converted to the local mosque, and an increasing number of shops and other facilities which are very useful to a large number of both locals and ex-pats who make this village and its surrounding hillside and lower coastal areas their home. There is currently a bank, lots of local and traditional eateries, several shops and supermarkets, DIY shops, the local council offices and a small medical centre with ambulance station. This is a great place to visit and enjoy the fabulous views whilst enjoying a drink, coffee or a meal with a great view!
The name Esentepe was originally used only for the hilltop village but has now become extended to refer to a general coastal area stretching for many miles.
Below Esentepe village, the general area which takes the name “Esentepe” stretches along a coastal distance of about 5 miles from the 18 hole Korineum Golf Course to the east – all the way to the brand new Esentepe Beach to the west with much in between. Although these Esentepe coastal facilities are by no means on a “windy hill” they have all taken the name of the nearest village for want of any other pre-existing town or village nearby when they were built.
The championship standard 18 hole Korineum Golf Club has fabulous Korineum Beach Club, Restaurants and Spa – all open to non-residents. Just past this on the coast are some of the best known new “villages” in which North Cyprus International is proud to be able to offer new and resale properties. Click HERE for our latest Esentepe properties or contact us for the latest offers.
Such “new villages” offer their own facilities: coastal shops, restaurants and beach clubs, and are the locations of choice for many ex-pats who wish to purchase brand new villa or apartment coastal properties for residence or holidays. This allows property owners to enjoy the beach whilst still being able to drive up the hill to the original Esentepe village for banking and medical facilities.
The best-known beaches in the Esentepe area are the brand new Esentepe public sandy beach with restaurant, beach bar and sunbeds – and the smart private Korineum Beach Club (open to the public for a daily fee). New villages such as Turtle Bay village and Sea Magic offer their residents private beaches.
Popular local restaurants in the heart of Esentepe village itself are Remzi’s and Tumba, and on the coast near to the Esentepe beach, the Stone Castle is popular – with the Korineum Golf club restaurant and nearby Taro Brasserie offering luxury dining options.
There is a petrol station close to the village turn off.
Average distances: Kyrenia 25 minutes, Ercan Airport 45 minutes, Larnaca Airport 1 hour 30 minutes.
Bahceli Village and Coast
Heading further along the Esentepe Coast road – you find the Bahceli Coast area. This area gets its name from Bahceli village – however, the hillside village of Bahceli does not (yet) offer property options for ex-pats. However, the coastline below Bahceli village (Bahceli Coast) boasts popular new developments/villages right on the coast.
North Cyprus International has many properties for sale in this popular area of Bahceli – click HERE for our latest Bahceli properties or call us for details.
Restaurants in this area include the very popular Coconut Bar and Restaurant as well as great local options including the Seabreeze overlooking the coast.
Average distances from Bahceli: Kyrenia 30 minutes, Ercan Airport 40 minutes, Larnaca Airport 1 hour 25 minutes.
Tatlisu village and Lower Tatlisu Coast
The area of Tatlisu stands at the gateway to the beautiful Karpaz peninsula with Kantara Castle towering over it in the distance. Again, like Bahceli village, the heart of the old hillside village of Tatlisu is a local Cypriot area only but is worth visiting for the huge old Church (now a mosque) and the great views. Below the village of Tatlisu is the Tatlisu Coast area – now extremely popular with ex-pats and local residents being nearer the sea – and has its own village facilities. Residential and holiday villages including Sweetwater Bay, Seaterra Marina and Bay and Caesar Bay have sprung up in this area – and North Cyprus International can offer new and resale properties at these new village sites.
This area is further from Kyrenia but has its own main road to Ercan and Larnaca Airports, which reduces airport driving time. Popular restaurants include the lovely Yaman Restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean and there are new supermarket and local café facilities – as well as a petrol station.
Beaches used by residents of Tatlisu tend to be either the onsite swimming facilities OR for fabulous sandy beaches – a 10-minute drive east to the Tatlisu Belediye Beach and Restaurant, or a little further to Kaplica with its gorgeous long sandy beach and restaurant.
Average distances from Tatlisu: Kyrenia 35 minutes, Ercan Airport 35 minutes, Larnaca Airport 1 hour 20 minutes.
North Cyprus Villages West Of Kyrenia
Zeytinlik is a small, cosy village that is practically part of the town although technically just outside.
‘Zeytinlik’ means “full of olives” and the area hosts a colourful Olive Festival each year to promote its most famous asset.
Most of the properties in this village offer beautiful panoramic views, overlooking Kyrenia. The village is very centrally located and offers short distances to schools, restaurants and beaches.
From Zeytinlik the closest beach is approximately 5 minutes’ drive to the Karaoglanoglu municipality beach, next to the Merit Park Hotel & Casino. Let us know if you would like us to find you a Zeytinlik property.
Karmi (in Turkish “Karaman”), is considered one of the most attractive and unusual hillside villages in North Cyprus and is really worth a visit. It is a picture-postcard mountain village of traditional whitewashed houses, restored by foreign owners under a special leasehold arrangement with the government. Most of the population of the old village itself are non-Cypriot although there are new developments just below the village.
With old British style phone boxes and local village shops – it’s really like “Devon in North Cyprus”! Only traditional materials may be used to maintain the special character and charm of its cobbled streets.
The Church in the centre of this formerly Greek Cypriot village has been restored and is used as an icon museum and for local musical and other events. There are several lovely restaurants here including those with intriguing names such as the Levant, Crow’s Nest and Treasure! Some of them have views all the way up to the fabulous St. Hilarion Castle which towers over Karmi and is floodlit at night.
The closest beaches from Karmi are the Karaoglanoglu municipality beach or the famous Escape Beach, also called the 5-mile beach, on the way to Alsancak.
Distances from Karmi: Kyrenia 15 minutes, Ercan 55 minutes, 1 hour 35 minutes.
Alsancak is a large village situated on the hillside yet still reasonably close to the coast. Many ex-pats love this traditional village due to the green surroundings and well-developed infrastructure. It is 15 minutes from Kyrenia but Alsancak village has great facilities including English school (Necat British College) and supermarkets as well as hotels and restaurants. There are several beautiful beaches to visit. The most popular beach is the Escape Beach Club, which offers lots of entertainment, water sports, music, restaurant and bar. There are other beaches near to the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and the twin hotels, Merit Premium & Casino Hotel and the Merit Royal. The Alsancak Folk Dance festival takes place in July.
North Cyprus International can source properties in Alsancak – just give us a call.
Distances from Alsancak: Kyrenia 16 minutes, Ercan 55 minutes, Larnaca 1 hour 35 minutes.
Lapta Village and Coast
Lapta village (on the hill) is favoured by those who really want a traditional village experience with a maze of windy hillside lanes and roads and lovely local facilities and restaurants. Here ex-pats can purchase both converted village houses and newer properties which have been built closer to the sea. The area around Lapta is full of citrus trees – the lemon is the symbol of Lapta. The spring Orchid Festival takes places here.
Lapta coast boasts a brand new seaside walkway, a fully-paved area for leisure and exercise right on the Mediterranean coast. The “Lapta strip” right on the coast is one of the most developed holiday areas on the North Coast of Cyprus with a multitude of bars and restaurants – making this a popular area with holidaymakers. There are numerous venues for shopping and relaxation. The Sunset Beach Club is very popular with its traditional summer BBQ nights.
North Cyprus International can source new and older properties in Lapta – just give us a call.
Distances from Alsancak: Kyrenia 20 minutes, Ercan 60 minutes, Larnaca 1 hour 40 minutes.
Karsiyaka Village and Coast
The Besparmak (5 fingers) mountain range towers over Karsiyaka with the mountains here being much closer to the sea. The traditional village of Karsiyaka is on the hillside with lovely views and with traditional cafes and local mini markets. There are panoramic views from both the village and the surrounding areas.
Most of the newer properties are built outside of the village both on the hillside, just a short drive down to the beach, or on the coast. Karisyaka properties tend to be more easily available and priced more realistically than properties in Alsancak or Lapta.
The Karsiyaka area is surrounded by nature, picnic areas and pretty little beaches. There are plenty of local traditional restaurants and European-style bars. The wide Karsiyaka bay invites you for swimming, sunbathing and walking along the seashore.
NCI has a good range of Karsiyaka properties, do click HERE to view our latest or call us for details.
Distances from Karsiyaka: Kyrenia 30 minutes, Ercan 1 hour, Larnaca 1 hour 45 minutes.
North Cyprus Villages on the East Coast
The East coast is of course dominated by the ancient walled and modern cities of Famagusta. Many of the original villages near to the city have been absorbed into the metropolis. 35 minutes north of Famagusta, if you are seeking the village atmosphere, you should visit the village of charming harbour village of Bogaz. “Bogaz” in Turkish literally means “throat, or pass”. This east coast Bogaz village should not be confused with the “Girne Bogaz” village which is between Lefkosa (Nicosia) and Girne (Kyrenia).
As a visitor or local resident in one of the many new developments near to this Bogaz harbour village, you can enjoy a lovely lunch or evening meal, looking out over the Mediterranean and watching the fishing boats coming into the small marina. There is a large supermarket nearby although most of the shops and other restaurants are found in the area of Iskele.
If you are seeking Bogaz property, North Cyprus international has a large range of properties in the Bogaz area. Do click HERE to view our latest or call us for details.
Distances from Bogaz: Famagusta 35 minutes, Ercan 50 minutes, Larnaca Airport 1 hour 10 minutes.
Yeni Iskele village
Yeni Iskele is, as the name “Yeni” suggests (meaning “new” in Turkish) a new development area on the East Coast, only 20 minutes from Famagusta city and close to Ercan (45 minutes) and Larnaca Airports (1 hour 10 minutes). This is not an area to go for local or traditional events but is extremely popular for those seeking properties close to the fabulous east coast sandy beaches including Long Beach. New holiday villages have sprung up here.
If you are seeking Long Beach or East Coast property, North Cyprus International has a wide range of properties in the Yeni Iskele region. Click HERE for our latest or call us for details. We also have properties in nearby Bafra area which has local villages nearby. Click HERE for Bafra properties.
The Karpaz Peninsula has a wealth of local villages which are often completely undeveloped. Hire a car and take a whole day or more to explore! Eco-tourism is popular here, with the village of Buyukkonuk hosting Eco Festivals in May and September.
NCI has properties in the Karpaz – do click HERE to view our latest or call us for details.
West Coast Villages
Guzelyurt (Morphou) is the main market town on the West coast – meaning in Turkish “beautiful town,” and it is the agricultural capital of North Cyprus with a fabulous Saturday morning market every week selling local produce as well as clothes and crafts. Most local fresh produce is grown here so the air is always rich with the smell of fruits and blossom.
West Coast villages really worth exploring are Lefke village, with its charming Ottoman houses and Sufi community and visitor centre, as well as its famous date festival in the autumn. Beyond Lefke is the lovely border town of Yesilirmak with its Strawberry festival at the end of April and early May. Nearer to Guzelyurt is the Turkish Cypriot villages of Gaziveren with its nearby holiday village and Kite Surf School of Aphrodite beachfront.
North Cyprus International has properties for sale on the west coast – click HERE for details or give us a call.
For further information on choosing the best North Cyprus village property, or arranging a property viewing trip, please do call North Cyprus International (NCI) in the UK or Cyprus on +44 207 112 8086 or +90 548 861 0600