Five day walks on Cyprus north (the Turkish part)
Five trails through the Turkish part of Cyprus. The Turkish Republic of Cyprus North is a self declared state, only recognized by Turkey. A buffer zone divides the country. This zone even runs across the capital Nicosia. Turkish military basis on trail, present since the 1974 invasion, prevented sometimes our passage. So, make a detour….you have to…..
Getting there: a flight to Cyprus North implies a stopover in - in our case - Antalya ( Turkey). Because of the many ambiguities ( “maps? trails? transport?) we chose a package tour (flight and hotel). And investigate the possibilities on spot.
Maps: we used maps from the 16-part series of the Kyrenia Mountain Trails Association, scale 1:60.000. The green colored hiking trails on these maps are more or less reliable, the other indications not. To order via the website of the KMTA. Or we send you a copy, against reimbursement of expenses. Other hiking maps we have not been able to find. Did you?
Explanation 2019: perhaps Walk&Eat North Cyprus walking guide, Sunflower Books (9781856913713) ?
Accommodation: most of the time the booked hotel in Karaoğlanoğlu. Accommodation on trail is rather expensive, too expensive or only bookable for three nights……
April 2012: a five day hiking trail in a fairly unknown, still pretty quiet and beautiful walking area.
Indication of height: sea level - 850 m. (day 2: St. Hilarion).
Transport = from or to the booked hotel with a taxi or dolmus (bus).
Transport to Geçitköy.
Day 1: Geçitköy - Sinai Monastery - Lapta……..15 km
Transport to Malatya from the hotel in Lapta.
Day 2: Malatya - St. Hilarion - Karaoğlanoğlu…15 km
Transport. To St. Hilarion
Day 3: St. Hilarion - Bellapais Abbey.………….....12 km
Transport. To Buffavento.
Dag 4: Buffavento - Mount of Five Finger.………10 km
Transport. To Koruçam.
Dag 5: Koruçam - Kayalar - Koruçam...…………...11 km
Along the way: in spring, when temperatures are still bearable, hiking through a landscape with many views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Parallel to the coastline of northern Cyprus stretches the 160 km long Five Fingers Mountains. Also called: The Kyrenia Mountains. Up to 1024 m.
There is a whole story attached to the naming of the Five Fingers Mountains. Just ask.
A flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is painted on a southern slope of the Kyrenia Mountains, illuminated at night. The image is 425 meters wide and 250 meters high, making the flag visible even from the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus. (Source: Wikipedia).
At the foot of the mountains the remains of the Monastery of Sinai ( functioning until 1974), the Maronite church Agios Georgios in Koruçam, an ancient Middle Eastern Christian group.
High in the mountains the fortress of Buffavento, a fortress of the Crusaders ( 950 m.) Was incidentally taken in 1191 by King Richard I (1157 – 1199) (Lionheart), only to sell it again to the Knights Templar......when he had to leave after a revolt. Going to war is commerce. At that time also .
In spring an explosion of wildflower colors.
The military base of the Turks sometimes prevent passage. But otherwise met many friendly and helpful people.
With a little luck you can find the green sea turtle at the beach.
You can eat really great food there. Very tasty: zeytinli (olive bread) or ceviz macuna (green walnuts in syrup).
When preparing we read, "North Cyprus means civilized enjoyment." The excesses of commercialism have not yet penetrated here.
Given the (weak) infrastructure for hikers, a fixed base from which to hike is recommended. Also, as mentioned, don't expect good maps. When military is in charge, much is "secret." Even in Turkey itself, when walking the Lycian Way, maps were scarce. It must have taken an English lady to get anything like a hiking map done.
(Kate Clow, The Lycian way)
For an impression of the mountain range we found a video about Buffavento castle: