A Weekend in Kyrenia, Cyprus’ Hidden Jewel
Kyrenia is a favorite holiday destination for almost everyone that’s been there, but it’s actually still something of a secret to most. Kyrenia refers not just to a beautiful coastal town in Cyprus, but to the entire district that the town resides in. Part of the Turkish part of Cyprus, Kyrenia boasts beautiful natural scenery as well as some spectacular architecture. If you’re looking for a holiday destination that combines history, culture and a bit of beach action, then Kyrenia might just be the destination for you.
Visit Some Castles
One of the most special things about the district of Kyrenia is how much ancient architecture there is to see. Kyrenia Castle is first on the list and is a staggeringly well-preserved example of 16th-century Venetian architecture. This castle is a great place to start your journey, as you can walk all the way around the fortified walls, taking in awe-inspiring views of the town and harbor below. It’s possible to see so much of the town of Kyrenia from this vantage point that you’ll be familiarised with your surroundings by the time you’re finished looking around. Before moving on to the next cafe, stop off at the castle cafe for traditional Turkish tea and, if you’re peckish, a piece or two of syrupy sweet baklava.
After Kyrenia Castle, it’s time to move on to Saint Hilarion Castle, an even older building that’s located in the mountains to the South of Kyrenia. This castle was built in the 11th century in a tactical location, allowing people to see a long way out to sea when searching for enemy ships. Nowadays, this tactical location makes for a breathtaking view of the dramatic blue sea and the perfect opportunity for a holiday selfie.
Watch Poker Professionals
Although Kyrenia is generally quite a sleepy area, from the 19th of August, for a whole month, poker enthusiasts will be flooding the streets. If you’re a poker fan too, then this will be great news as a huge tournament is coming to the Merit Royal Hotel in Mersin. If you want to keep up with the action then you can swing by, alternatively, PokerNews will have coverage of the whole event, so you can keep up to date without leaving your sun lounger. This will be the first time that the Merit Royal has held a tournament of this size, so it promises to be an event to remember.
Sample Traditional Turkish Cuisine
Just as you’d travel to Spain for their incredible wines, you’d travel to Cyrpus for their unmatched mezze. There are lots of great places to sample this traditional mixed dish, but one of the most authentic and certainly the most welcoming is Manti Sofrasi in the town of Kyrenia itself. This restaurant prides itself on a no-frills approach to traditional Anatolian home cooking. Settle into a comfortable chair in the vaulted dining room and wait as the team of Turkish mothers descend on your table. Before you know it, your plates will be filled with delicious stews, piles of rice studded with fruit and nuts, as well as kebabs, hummus and a whole host of other irresistible goodies.