A year round sunny island that has been discovered by overseas buyers only in the last decade. It is a wonderful blend of the old and new world. Abundant with nature and a rich cultural history, North Cyprus has arrived in the modern world. Largely undeveloped, there is a perfect blend of modern facilities and yet you are always surrounded by fields, mountains, olive groves and all bathed in seemingly endless sunshine, and starry nights.
It seems that nothing is missing and there is something for everyone of all age groups. If you have previously visited established Mediterranean countries and you assume that North Cyprus will be the same, you would be wrong. There is a certain magic that captures the hearts of all our guests which you need to experience to understand. This magic is created by a combination of wonderful climate, outstanding natural beauty, a very high standard but low cost of living, a very friendly culture and above all, North Cyprus is a very safe place away from the crowds, congestion, high tax and stresses of modern life in established countries and cities.
Vision Group calculate that in North Cyprus, a single person can live for a year for the same average cost of 4 months in most established countries in Europe. In addition, property prices can be more than 50% lower than established Mediterranean countries for equal quality, locations and views.
We hope you enjoy exploring the information below about lifestyle, facilities and “things to do” in North Cyprus. You may also explore our gallery full of photos and short Vision Media movies which will give you more of visual and virtual experience of life and activities in North Cyprus
Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean Island. It is principally a holiday island inhabited by Cypriot people, both Turkish and Greek.
The island is divided into two (North and South) as a result of dispute resulting in separation in 1974. The South contains Greek Cypriot people and the North contains Turkish Cypriot people. The North and South became divided by a border created by the United Nations. The border first became opened in 2004 and since then there have been several new opening and crossing points.
Incoming visitors and tourists can travel freely between South and North Cyprus and visitors generally arrive to airports in the South (Larnaca and Paphos) or in the North Cyprus (Ercan Airport).
This divide has created fantastic business opportunities particularly in The North Cyprus due to the incredibly low costs in The North Cyprus.
By comparison to the South, land, labour and property prices are still substantially less and they are dramatically less than other Mediterranean locations.
A 2 bedroom apartment in Limassol (South Cyprus) would cost between £1 - £1.5M. In the North in an equal location, a 2 bedroom apartment can be purchased from under £150,000. Both properties share exactly the same sea and sun.
You will not be surprised to read that Cyprus has a wonderful year round climate. If you come from a grey sky country, your outdoor activities are always dependent on a rare sunny day, or you are used to paying expensive heating bills. Once you spend time in North Cyprus, you will feel born again with the feeling of complete freedom to be able to reliably plan your outdoor activities. Simple things like opening the windows to enjoy a warm breeze, hanging your washing out for fresh drying or a walk to the shops, all are a pleasure in a Mediterranean climate. Knowing you can dine outdoors for 10 months of the year is a joy. Cooking and washing dishes outdoors is never a chore. Virtually year round the sea is warm and wrapping up in warm clothes is really only needed for 2-3 months and even then you will not need gloves and scarves, a warm pullover and light jacket will do the trick. In Cyprus, rather than preparing warm clothes, you just prepare to protect your skin and drink plenty of water. It is a whole new way of life and it makes you feel alive. You never feel stuck indoors!
In Cyprus we have long dry summers from May to late October with average daytime temperatures of over +30C, and winter is mild with average daytime temperature of 15C from mid December until mid February, while here are very short Spring and Autumn seasons.
The temperature can be very high in July and August (around 36-38C) and you will enjoy the sea breeze and the shade of the olive groves or staying under a parasol at the beach. Mediterranean Region is all about a culture of long lunch breaks to escape the sun whilst dining with friends and family.
We also do see the occasional rain, however it is always welcomed and seems to leave the land, flowers and trees freshly washed and colourful. The rain season in Cyprus generally occurs mainly between November and March when the rain can last for only a very few days. On those days you may wake up to rain but by the afternoon, when you are sitting in the sun, you almost forget that in the morning it was raining. We also enjoy seeing snow in the Troodos mountains (South Cyprus) where many people from all over the island visit for a day of sunshine skiing.
Generally the lowest temperature of the year, usually in January, can be +10 Degrees Celsius with an average of six hours of sunshine. For the rest of the year the average temperature is approximately +24 Celsius in the day and +14 Celsius at night with over 10 hours of sunshine. July and August can be extremely hot often reaching over 30 Celsius.
The sea temperature is generally above +22C between June and November and can rise to +27C.
Wind is generally variable and moderate, surfers will particularly enjoy the west coast.
All in all the climate in North Cyprus is extremely comfortable, healthy and pleasant.
There is a huge choice ranging from hidden boutique hotels nestled in the hills and mountains to grand established resorts by the sea. One could spend weeks exploring the different choices as all of them welcome guests who wish to book a reservation or simply view the facilities. There are really no rules of entry and non-resident visitors love to breakfast, lunch or dinner and take in the amazing service and facilities. You can choose to join one of the super luxurious hotel spas and health clubs or just drink in the bars and clubs within the hotels. Some of the hotels are like an adult Disneyland with some like mini cities that contain an incredible choice of things to do including water parks, private beach clubs, endless choice of restaurants, jazz and music bars and casinos.
Casinos represent a large part of the local economy and the majority are located within the hotels. Whether you enjoy gambling or not, the casinos are an exciting and glamorous evening out. If you do not want to lose your money, don’t take too much. The food and drinks are free and you will only need to spin the wheel once or twice to keep everyone happy.
A tour of the hotels may leave you feeling that you have been to Las Vegas and Disneyland all in one day.
The majority of the hotels are open year round with Christmas time particularly sparkling and exciting with superb offers of celebration packages that represent amazing value compared to world prices.
More than 50 high quality hotels have opened within the last 10 years with some of the larger providing up to 1,000 bedrooms.
It is simply not possible for us to list all the beaches as the choice is just too vast. Whether you seek quiet and hidden charming coves and bays, miles of golden sands in remote locations or active tourist beaches and private beach clubs, there is so much choice. We have pebbles, cliffs, sand dunes and crystal clear waters.
Beach lovers can explore for months to find your favourite place. Rent a car, take a walk/ cycle along old coastal roads or book a sun-bed and parasol and be served food and drink whilst you enjoy a day of sunshine activities.
The larger public beaches and hotels are all served with restaurants, cocktail bars, water sports and beach comforts.
Get up early to witness stunning sunrises or hang around for the most wonderful sunsets. You can even book a sea turtle tour and witness Green or Loggerhead turtle hatchlings emerge from their eggs in late summer! Follow this up with some moon bathing in warm waters for almost 9 months a year.
You can also cross to the South and visit famous beaches such as the breathtaking Aphrodite Beach and Rock, Coral Bay and Fig Tree Bay.
Vision Group are always willing to share with you the more secret, non-signposted beach gems but ...... you must be able to keep a secret!
First impressions always create lasting memories. When visitors come to North Cyprus they are usually first amazed at the colour and variety of the flowers and trees and the vast natural landscape of rolling hills, farmland and mountains.
Spring is a particularly beautiful time to witness the new growth and colour.
That said, North Cyprus appears to be colourful all year round with the almost firework display of a variety of coloured Bougainvillea which are in bloom for up to 10 months of the year.
Orange and lemon groves glow brightly and abundant olive trees producing delicious fruit and also natural shade from the warm sunshine. If it is magical forests you seek, enjoy the dense evergreen pine and carob trees.
If you take a mountain wild flower tour you will be amazed by the beautiful environment and you will find hidden and rare varieties of orchids along the way.
If wildlife fascinates you then you will enjoy seeing a whole host of animals and insects in their natural environment. Over the years we have seen dolphin, tuna, donkeys, sea turtles and colourful butterflies dancing in the sunshine. Perhaps most impressive is the bird life. There are nearly 350 species of birds that appear annually either native (approximately 46) or on their migration routes. Pack a lunch and a blanket and disappear in the mountains for some bird watching and getting back to nature. It’s very good for the soul and far from the crowds.
You will never be lost for places to explore. Either just head off on your own or take a walking or mountain biking tour or even a jeep safari. You will never get lost if you always know that the sea is to the north of wherever you are.
You will discover that for mountain biking or walking, the roads and paths are perfect. There always seems to be a path or road to follow even in the remotest locations.
Follow the old coastal roads with the sea breeze in your face or venture high up and enjoy the almost airplane views.
Take plenty of water and something to eat and get out there - it’s truly breathtaking and will blow away all the cobwebs!
So what can you do to raise your heart rate, practise your sport or pump some adrenalin. Once again there is something for everyone as there is no shortage of sporting activities. Let’s see if any of the activities below appeal to you :
Golf - The North of Cyprus offers the highly rated Korineum Golf, Tennis and Beach Club. Centred around a spectacular and grand club house, there is a challenging 18 hole course, a 3 hole practise course, a luxury driving range, a tennis centre, hotel and beach club. The course is perfectly placed in the undulating hills with breathtaking sea and mountain views. Golfers of all levels will find this a challenging course with plenty of obstacles to negotiate. Pro golfers from around the world admire the Korineum and describe it as long, unforgiving and the greens are true. The club house has a choice of restaurants and superb elevated terraces where people from around the world sit together enjoying the views sampling from a delicious European menu or simply sipping on a well deserved ice cold Efes beer. Efes is the local brew and is a huge hit with foreign guests to North Cyprus. The beach club is also luxurious with a choice of grassy or sandy areas and a super beach side restaurant. For non golfers the Korineum has a traditional oriental spa for massage and a wide choice of treatments.
Water Sports - A sunshine island surrounded by sparkling seas is a haven for water sport enthusiasts and North Cyprus does not disappoint. So here are some to choose from :
Scuba Diving - Apart from miles of rocks, and coves to explore, Cyprus has the exciting MS Zenobia dive. Just of the coast of Larnaca this huge Swedish built ferry (172.2m) capsized on her maiden voyage and, lying at a depth 42m, became a top ten world dive site (The Times Newspaper). There are plenty of dive schools for all levels of experience.
Wind Surfing - This fast action sport has definitely caught on in a North Cyprus with some perfect conditions particularly on the west coast. Although an early days sport, there are a handful of reputable schools available to surfers of all levels.
Paddle Boarding - Check out your balance and core strength wherever you see calmer waters and, of course, if you have a board. If not, you are never far away from a club where you can hire equipment.
Sailing and Boating - Although North Cyprus is not abundant with marinas and sailing clubs, recent years have seen the development of the super Karpaz Gate Marina. There are several small harbours and a number of new marinas on the drawing board and at planning stage. One of the major tourist attractions is the ancient Kyrenia Harbour where you can jump on board a choice of Turkish gullets and take a daytime or sunset cruise. These cruises average four hours with lunch or dinner served whilst sitting on anchor in stunning locations. The average price is around 15 euros and includes a delicious lunch, swim and cruise and even a free drink. It is the perfect way to catch a breeze and take refuge from the very strong sun in the summer months.
Fishing - A hugely popular pastime amongst the local people, they simply love fishing. You can choose between seaside, fishing from the sands and rocks or venture a few kilometres off-shore for some game fishing and you have a chance of catching some substantial tuna or swordfish. At the right time of year you may be lucky enough to see a school of dolphin playing in the surf. Be positive and expect to catch from the following list :- rainbow, parrot, red soldier, red/grey mullet, rays, octopus, mackerel, cod, plaice, bass, bream and eels. There are plenty of organised trips where your chance very much depends on the experience of the captain. Vision Group can give you some tips on those trips that have the highest success rate but .... you must be able to keep a secret.
Gyms, Health Clubs and Spas - Every hotel or private residential development has a gym and spa. You will be very impressed with the size, number and quality of these clubs and the up to date equipment and range of classes with spinning and yoga particularly prominent. There is no excuse for not exercising when in North Cyprus. If you want to pamper yourself and lie around in saunas, spas and relax rooms, the luxury spa choice is huge. Each have a super menu of treatments and all at very competitive prices compared to the established world prices. In many of these clubs and spas you will feel you are in a grand palace as they have spared no expense in the construction as the hotel construction costs are generally financed by casino income and gamblers love to give their money to these establishments.
Motor Sport - For come reason many young Cypriots love racing and mostly off road. There are several off road events where you will see both high powered jeeps or motor cross bikes roaring in the mud or flying through the air. There are also 5 top class go karting tracks to challenge your friends. All such sports are substantially cheaper than similar quality facilities throughout Europe so why not have a go?
One would expect that a big part of Mediterranean culture is the food and North Cyprus is no exception. Turkish and Turkish Cypriot people simply love to celebrate at almost every mealtime. The concept of MEZE and grilled meat or fish is their speciality. Meze is similar to Spanish Tapas but with different ingredients. When you order a traditional Meze you should have an empty tummy to begin with. Many plates will literally fill your table like little tasters as your own personal buffet. You may be fooled into thinking that this is your meal ! You would be wrong when you suddenly realise that you are only on the first course. The courses keep coming moving from the Meze (vegetables, breads, smoked meats, and creamy pastes made from a variety of pulses) to a course of grilled local cheese and then comes the grilled meats and fish and it never stops coming. There are so many speciality traditional dishes and all seem to have a certain drink that should accompany each dish. The restaurants that serve such local food are extremely generous and one can have such a banquet even with a bottle of wine, for between £10 and £15.
North Cyprus also offers a worldwide choice including Chinese/Sushi, Italian, Mexican, Indian, French and you can even find fantastic classic English Sunday roast.
The choice of restaurants is huge. One could eat in a different restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day of the year ! The location choices are also superb. By the sea, in the mountains , tucked away in a charming village, harbour side or in the grounds of an ancient abbey. Wherever you choose you will most likely dine al fresco for at least 10 months of the year.
Vision Group would love to give just one recommendation of a special places but this would be impossible within this website. The choice is just too great and each restaurant is special for so many reasons. We are always happy to share our local knowledge - you just have to ask.
If you simply desire to live of the land and you love cooking at home, you will adore the abundant roadside market shops that display a huge variety of colourful fruit and vegetables. There is no doubt that fruit and vegetables also like the Mediterranean climate as they are fresh and naturally delicious without preservatives and shipping damage. These roadside fruit bazaars are very popular with the locals and there is a reason - fresh for the day and super value. Some stock locally produced goods such as halloumi cheese, eggs, olive oil, nuts and bread. Don’t forget some herbs to throw in the pot.
There is a wide choice of modern supermarkets fully stocked with some of your European favoured brands. Some people can’t live without Heinz Tomato Ketchup, small cut Branston Pickle and Marmite to name just a few. Following years of a growing international market you will find many Russian, German and Scandinavian brands.
North Cyprus and has become a year round fun place for night time activities. From the buzzing restaurants to the bars and clubs, a fantastic live music scene, dance clubs, classical music nights and concerts. It is a good idea to dress for all occasions as you could start your evening in a roof top cocktail bar followed by a harbour side dinner, a quick casino visit, a dance and then a barefoot walk on the beach.
During the summer months the sky is a mixture of stars, fireworks and lasers. Someone is getting married, concerts are playing and music is everywhere.
Don’t be surprised to see worldwide superstars putting on a show at several of the grand modern hotels. In years past we have seen Natalie Cole and a Ten piece band singing under the stars at the Salamis ancient amphitheatre, Randy Crawford, Tom Jones and George Benson at Rocks Hotel and Turkish stars such as Tarkan and the amazing pianist Fazil Say.
Other famous residents from the old days included Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Raquel Welch, Richard Burton and Brigitte Bardot.
Talking of film stars, if you fancy a movie night, we now have a choice of multiplex cinemas or even beach and outdoor cinemas often showing major sporting events.
Once again the choice is substantial, you just need sufficient time to explore.
Any chance for a celebration, that’s North Cyprus. So how about the Strawberry festival, the Olive festival, the Orange festival, why not ? It’s something to celebrate. If you wonder how such festivals could be interesting or fun, come and see. These festivals are attended by thousands of people where you will see so much culture ranging from folk dancing, barbecues, local dishes, home made produce, honey, pickles and much more. The burning of the dried Olive leaves to ward off evil spirits is always popular.
The annual list includes:-
Bellapais International Music Festival Cyprus Theatre Festival
Templos Olive Festival
Bellapais Silk Cocoon Festival
Lefke Walnut Festival Tulip Festival
Hellim (cheese) Festival Grape Festival
North Cyprus is fast becoming one of the leading wedding destinations in Europe. A combination of incredibly beautiful places to invite friends to witness your celebration, the cost to hire venues and to sleep your guests, is a fraction of the cost of established countries and facilities. The photographs attached clearly reveal how stunning is North Cyprus for your special day. Whether you choose an ancient abbey, a mountain or seaside restaurant, an idyllic beach or on the high seas, you and your guests will never forget this experience. The weather is dependable and the atmosphere is magical. With such low pollution the air is clear and the sunsets and clear nights are extremely romantic and memorable.
This charming harbour deserves its own paragraph. Kyrenia Harbour is one of the the top tourist destinations. Surrounded by bars and restaurants created out of old Venetian dwellings or Carob warehouses, the harbour is a wonderful place to relax, people watch and see the fishing and tour boats departing and docking.
You can explore the giant Byzantine castle or wander into the cobbled back streets and visit the craft stores to purchase anything from beautiful carpets, crafts, books, paintings and the Nazar, the evil eye talisman, to bring good luck.
You most certainly need some Vision Group hints when selecting a restaurant in the harbour. Major tourist attractions worldwide bring many customers and some bars and clubs develop a certain complacency when it comes to quality and cleanliness. That said, there are some excellent places where you dine and drink with friends, you just need to know the right ones.
How can you describe thousands of years and history in a few paragraphs. Of course this is not possible and visitors need several months to explore all the sites of choice. So if you are a historian or a culture vulture, here is a small list for you to get stuck into.
Saint Hilarion Castle (apparently the inspiration for the Walt Disney Magic Castle) Venetian Harbour
Famagusta Walled City
Salamis Ancient City
St Barnabas Monastery
Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque / St Nicolas Cathedral Buyuk Han (The Great Inn)
Bedesten and Selemiye Mosque / St Sophia Cathedral Apostolos Andreas Monastery
Kids love the healthy natural things in life such as walking or biking in nature or swimming and boating in the sea. Take them to see the wild donkeys in Karpaz, the turtles hatching at Alagadi, the magic castles or fish at sunset and see their eyes light up with excitement. Try horse riding in the mountains or a jeep safari and if this isn’t enough you can always take them to a water park, ten pin bowling or some go karting. Either way there is enough to ensure they are worn out by bed time so you can relax after hours on your terrace with a good local wine or brandy and feel the gentle night breeze. You will particularly notice the wonderful sweet aroma of Jasmine and Pakistan nights in the warm summer nights.
Kyrenia and Famagusta are the main central shopping areas where you will find a variety of local shops from lower priced stores to more chic boutiques. It is not a secret that these locations are famous for high quality imitation designer goods, leather is particularly good. You will enjoy wandering around the high street and narrow lanes where you can buy anything from high street fashion to souvenirs. The local handicrafts include pottery, baskets, silk scarves, cushion covers, hand painted tiles and ornaments. The local Lefkara embroidered lace is very popular. Carpets, small rugs and colourful glass lanterns are also popular items. Never forget that you can always travel to Nicosia city centre and even cross the border if you want to sample retail outlets and shopping centres in the South.
With over 100,000 full time students and 25 universities, North Cyprus has become a hub for further education and of course this provides valuable income for the local economy. Thousands of students from over 100 countries choose to study at these universities as they are attracted by the affordable tuition fees (moderate and cheaper than European) and of course the idea of studying in a sunny island with a low cost of living is very appealing. There are hundreds of courses available, taught in English and are generally Internationally recognised. An example of such courses include Engineering, Computer
Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Architecture, Business Administration, International Relations, English Language and Literature, Graphic and Interior Design, Psychology, Aviation and Marine, Journalism, Medical, Tourism and much more. Average annual tuition fees vary between 3 - 4,000 Euros.
Perhaps surprising that North Cyprus is advanced in the medical sector with brand new, state of the art, medical, dental and IVF facilities plus low costs and an ideal climate for post-operative recuperation. A growing number of visitors combine a visit or holiday with the opportunity to get private medical, IVF, cosmetic, dental or general surgery at a fraction of the standard costs in their home country.
Many new hospitals and university hospitals offer world class equipment and treatments on a par with medical facilities in established countries. The pound is strong against the Turkish Lira and this combined with then lower treatment costs certainly justifies the flight cost. Whilst there is no free national health service for ex-pat residents, the costs are so low and the standard high, that with or without insurance, one does not need to have a high income to afford good health care. In the UK and Europe, patients can wait a long time to see a specialist. In North Cyprus one can literally walk into a hospital or clinic and see a specialist on the same day for a fee as low as 20-40 euros for a comprehensive appointment. High tech laboratory tests are carried out rapidly and the results usually arrive on the same day. Prescriptions and medicinal drugs costs are also low compared to other countries and the majority of doctors and pharmacists are fluent in English. If you have an accident the is the excellent 112 Ambulance Service. This serves both state and private hospitals.
There are 5 District Courts and the Supreme Court that administer, practise and interpret the law in North Cyprus. This law was established by the Constitution of the country and largely follows English Law and Principles. The foundation of the legal system was laid during the British Empire Colony Rules in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The majority of the fundamental common and equity laws are a mirror copy of the UK laws enacted during this period. In matters of company and contract law, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus utilises the legal framework of United Kingdom Case Law. There are many reputable and internationally educated, multi lingual law practises and Vision Group will always recommend those with a long and impeccable track record.
Vision Group have successfully assisted hundreds of clients with banking services and opening accounts. Whether they are foreign, public, private or international, there are many banks to choose from. Some were established for and focus on the ex-pat community and all are multi-lingual. Opening a bank account is relatively easy and generally require to see a passport and a rental or purchase contract. Whilst the local currency is Turkish Lira, the banks, shops and restaurants will accept foreign currencies. For the best exchange rates and a swift and easy on-line experience, you may choose to use the services of VisionFX (visionfx.vision-org.com).
Loans are available for smaller items such as cars, however the interest rate charged is generally higher than those in Europe. Mortgage lending is very embryonic and the terms are generally much less competitive than those that are available in Europe.
There are several low cost bus and taxi services across the North of Cyprus, however, for long term visitors, we generally recommend that guests hire a car. The cost of car hire is very low starting from circa 18 euros per day and the car and paperwork will be brought to your door. Driving is on the left hand side and as they is so much to explore, this is the best solution. Purchasing cars in North Cyprus is substantially more than in Europe and this is due to the high levels of import duties. For short journeys, biking is obviously an excellent way to get around and much better for your health.
In 2019 Vision Group made a study of a basket of goods and services to provide our guests with a view of the general cost of living. It is easy to see from the list below why people choose to reside in North Cyprus, opting for a low cost but much higher standard of living than the over congested and high tax countries of the world.
We have estimated that for a family of four, the reasonable monthly cost is approximately 2,500 Euros and a single person around 1,000 Euros.
So let’s look at some individual item costs :-
Although you may occasionally encounter a herd of sheep crossing, you will be impressed with the quality of the roads and highways in North Cyprus. Yes you may experience rain washed holes here and there, however generally the quality of the roads is surprisingly good.
Water is now in no shortage due to the amazing TRNC Water Supply Project (known as the project of the century). This is a completed (2014) project of water diversion supplying drinking and irrigation water from southern Turkey to North Cyprus via a pipeline under the sea. The water arrives to the North West coast and is pumped up to a brand new dam that filters into a beautiful 15km reservoir that has become a stunning and peaceful nature reserve.
New build and improvements are underway for the airport, ports and telecommunications. In general North Cyprus is gradually coming into the modern world and has achieved a great deal in the last two decades to keep up with the demands from incoming residents and tourists.
There are 3 main international airports in Cyprus, Larnaca and Paphos in the South and Ercan in the North. Flights into the southern airports are from all over the world, and into Ercan all flights are via Turkey. Our guests choose either option and find that all are well served and reliable. Each year over 3 million visitors use these Cyprus airports and the number is growing. Ercan, a relatively new airport is currently undergoing a substantial upgrade to include a brand new terminal.
The current permanent population of North Cyprus is estimated to be around 313,626 (as opposed to over 800,000 in The South).
Visitors and international property owners increase the annual population in the North by over 1.5 million (2017)
The permanent population has increased in the last 20 years as overseas people have seen that North Cyprus provides a safe, warm and low cost but high standard of living option. Many new international schools and universities have established to accommodate this substantial growing increase in new residents from abroad.
Such immigration reveals similar characteristics as existed in Spain in the last 30 years as Europeans emigrated for a life in Spain.
In North Cyprus in the early developing years (2000), substantial numbers of British people brought property and in time Scandinavians and other Central European people have been holidaying or purchasing.
Currently Vision Groups fastest growing demand is from Scandinavia and UK. Germany has been a new market place for Vision Group which is now bringing about 500 German visitors a year.
In the last 10 years we have seen huge demand and buyers from Iran, Russia, Ukraine and CIS states and now even from further afield such as China.
It should also be noted that in the last decade there was a large increase in demand from mainland Turkey.
Up until 2008/2009 it was rare to see mainland Turkish people and investors in North Cyprus. Even though Turkey is only 40 miles from Cyprus and with a huge population (80million), they were not attracted to North Cyprus as they have their own beautiful sunshine and beach destinations in the Southern region of Turkey.
After the opening of the borders in North Cyprus and the clarification of title matters, North Cyprus began to see growing visitor numbers from Turkey.
In the last 8 years North Cyprus benefitted from huge Turkish companies investing heavily. This was followed by Mr and Mrs Turkey investing in second homes.
We saw the arrival of several new Merit Group hotels and other companies that have developed huge 5 star hotels such as Elexus, Kaya Artemis, Cratos, Rocks and many more.
Turkish investors began to buy bulk amounts of residential units. This new demand started to escalate and now hundreds of mainland Turkish people have brought. For the moment their focus is around central Kyrenia but will spread to areas outside the centre of Kyrenia.
The demand from Turkey has however dropped considerably since the collapse in value of the Turkish Lira. Property in North Cyprus is sold in British Sterling and so has increased in cost for mainland Turkish buyers who have to exchange their Turkish Lira. This demand will gather pace again when the Turkish Lira recovers over the years to come.
When the Chairman of Vision Group began construction in 2000, average capital values for homes across the North of Cyprus were as low as £400 per sqm.
Due to a significantly growing visitor and overseas buyer rate, values have grown at a substantial rate and still have along way to go to catch up with established countries of the world.
Today the average is around £1,200 per sqm and in certain locations have reached £3,000 per sqm.
It should be noted that North Cyprus does not display the same property value characteristics as established countries.
In established countries generally central cities achieve the highest rentals and prices. In North Cyprus we witness that certain regions achieve higher values.
For example, 20 minutes East of Kyrenia city centre is an area of natural beauty that is very popular with European buyers. This particular area has shown significantly higher values than the city centres.
Seaside projects out of town have also seen significantly higher prices than town or city centre.
Proximity to the Korineum Golf Course has also had a significant effect on surrounding values.
The economy of The North is largely tourism, hotels, casinos (33 and more coming), agriculture, universities and residential property development both for long term residents but also for investors and holiday makers.
20 years ago there was very little construction in the North. There were not even a traffic light and there were very few hotels and homes. Infrastructure was poor to inadequate and the country was heavily dependent on annual finance from Turkey.
As a result of the border opening in 2004 the North Cyprus began to come to the attention of overseas buyers and investors.
POPULATION VISITORS: 1.5 million
AVERAGE INCOME: Official 2,950 TL, real 800 – 1,000 euros.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: 04.039 billion
REAL GROWTH RATE 4.9% (2014) Faster growth rate than the South
UNEMPLOYMENT 7.4% (7.4%)
INFLATION 3.18% (June 2015)
INDUSTRIES/EMPLOYMENT: Tourism, food and beverage, casino, housebuilding, public sector, education, mining quarrying, agriculture.
NATURAL RESOURCES: Copper, Citrus, Cereal Crops, green fodder, olives, oil and gas under exploration, fresh water (from Turkey)
INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES: Friction in 1974 divided the island into two autonomous entities. On 1 May 2004 Cyprus entered the European Union with the EU body of legislation and the standards (acquis communitaire) not applicable in the North. Land disputes were resolved by the establishment by the European Community of The Immovable Property Commission Office based in North Cyprus
GOVERNMENT: Democratically elected unitary semi presidential republic.
CITIES: Nicosia (capital), Kyrenia, Famagusta, Guzelyurt and Iskele
LAND AREA: Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island – 3,335 km2
CURRENCY: Turkish Lira, property sold in British Sterling
LANGUAGE: Turkish, English widely spoken
RELIGION: Moderate Muslim
TIME ZONE: GMT+2
ELECTRICITY: 3 pin electric adaptors required (British standard)