NORTH CYPRUS CITIES, TOWNS, VILLAGES

Where should I buy ?

If you love shopping, dining, history, culture, charm and atmosphere, you will love exploring all the cities, towns and villages of North Cyprus. Even a two weeks’ holiday is simply not enough time to see even a fraction of what is on offer. We therefore give you a short list of the most popular locations with tourists, investors and second home purchasers. We hope our short descriptions not only give you a flavour but also helps you decide on your favoured location for your purchase. Each location offers a variety of prices, financial terms and rental performance statistics.

Vision Group will assist and advise you on studying and selecting the right location to meet your reason for purchase. Whether you simply want a home for your own use or an investment to achieve the maximum rental return, we explore with you the various options for your optimal satisfaction. The best result, during your period of ownership, is to achieve maximum capital growth and rental return and/or gain peace and satisfaction with your own home. The rate of capital growth is dependent on the level of supply today and in the future.

Vision Group are highly analytical and we are constantly studying past trends and pipeline future volume. Understanding demand and supply is essential to achieve the targets you desire. Choosing the right location is therefore essential. We help you make the selection process interesting, fun and stress free.

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Kyrenia

Often referred to as “The Pearl of The Mediterranean” is Kyrenia Harbour. It is the focal point of the City of Kyrenia. It is a vibrant city that caters for tourists and local residents with its restaurants, bars and shops.

The antique harbour is the meeting point which is protected by the very impressive Crusader castle. Enjoy the later Venetian influence as you wander through the cobbled lanes and enjoy the aroma of Jasmine and Pakistan Nights.

Explore the Shipwreck Museum and witness the preserved trading boat and its cargo that sank just outside the town 300 years before Christ.

The horseshoe shaped harbour contains a wide choice of buzzing restaurants and bars created out of the original and ancient carob stores that have been transformed into jolly bars and restaurants.

You will enjoy the live musicians as you watch the boats returning to harbour. It is a buffet of music, pretty lights, sea breeze and the delicious smell of cooking.

The shops are generally small and are famous for quality designer bags, Turkish Delight, carpets, rugs and many traditional touristic items.

The majority of overseas buyers tend not to buy in central Kyrenia which is mainly inhabited by mainland Turkish and local Turkish Cypriots. Drive time from Ercan airport (45 mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins).

East of Kyrenia

Karakum

This is a fairly small village within 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of Kyrenia and generally appeals to buyers who want to be very close to the centre without actually being in the centre. Karakum provides for all your necessities including supermarkets, schools, a nursery, restaurants, bars and a small local, sandy beach. If you are fed up with driving and car costs, this could be a location you will enjoy. Karakum was one of the early days places where second homes were built for foreigners and traditionally British buyers have chosen Karakum as their place to settle. Today we notice that a wider international clientele may choose Karakum and the even though it is still popular with British buyers, they are now exploring newly developed areas that have become more established over the last 10 years. Drive time from Ercan airport (40 mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia Centre (5 mins).

Ozankoy

Ozankoy combines both holiday homes and permanent residents as it feels slightly more within nature than Karakum and yet is still close to Kyrenia centre.

You can easily find lovely views which, if not to the sea, will be of the mountains and the famous Bellapais Abbey. Here you will sense the charming atmosphere of a traditional Cypriot village. You will also discover the mosque and some ancient churches. Go back in time and wander through the narrow streets and enjoy the bougainvillea spilling over the old stone walls. Ozankoy has also been very popular with British buyers who are leading a new and happy Mediterranean lifestyle. The local public beach is a short drive and if you fancy something more grand, you will love one of the most popular hotel beaches, the famous Cratos Hotel with its Epcot style lagoon and mini city with a wide choice of restaurants, bars and a crazy night club. Cratos is so popular that we always try to include this for dinner within our tour agendas. Drive time from Ercan airport (45 mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia Centre (5 mins).

Bellapais

Definitely a “MUST SEE” destination in anyone’s lifetime. Bellapais is a stunning hillside, traditional village. Day or night it is simply magical. Whether you are looking for a wedding venue, a special birthday or anniversary, afternoon tea or a party, you will remember Bellapais forever. It is a place made for poets, artists and romantics. Visitors can notably be seen walking at a slower pace amongst the orange and lemon trees or investigating the narrow streets and tiny lanes. Bellapais sits peacefully overlooking the lights of the buzzing city of Kyrenia which is only 10 minutes away.

The centre piece, and visited by tourists from around the world, is the beautiful Bellapais Abbey. Spend an afternoon sitting in the grounds of this wonderfully preserved monastery perhaps with a cold beer or a glass of wine from the vaults and study the long and fascinating history of the abbey and listen to the many stories of the monks and their habits ! Perhaps get a copy of the book by Lawrence Durrell and sit under the Mulberry tree and immerse yourself in the history by this great travel writer who lived in Bellapais for three years from 1953 - 1956.

The abbey was originally conceived in the 13th century by the Augustinian friars and was subsequently extended and embellished in many ways by hundreds of years of newly arriving ruling religions and invaders. Nevertheless the abbey stands surprisingly preserved and is a wonderful and very special place to stop the clock and soak up the magical atmosphere. Don’t miss the summer music festivals inside the main building of a former refectory (dining hall), where musical artists from around the world will entertain you with a wide genre of concerts ranging from solo pianists to full orchestras, solo singers to full choirs and even toe tapping jazz ensembles. Enjoy the intervals with a glass of wine in the cloisters while chatting to music lovers from around the world.

You will also find a wide choice of restaurants and wonderful holiday accommodation such as the cliff hanging Abbey Inn and Bellapais gardens or the Tree of Idleness restaurant with regular live music and fun belly dancing nights.

There are opportunities to purchase wonderful new property in the hills around this magical village and very occasionally old style homes, full of character, in the centre, or within a short walk, come up for sale. If this is where you want to live, Vision Group have a selection of gems in and around Bellapais.

Drive time from Ercan airport (40 mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia Centre (10 mins).

Catalkoy

Approximately 6km east of Kyrenia centre is the traditional village of Catalkoy which spreads from the coast up into the mountains across the main east-west main road. Although it retains much of its original charm, it has expanded in recent years with the arrival of grand hotels and modern housing that is very popular particularly with British expats. It has a bustling centre and is a popular place to eat out with several quality restaurants and bars. You will also find the well known Catalkoy Riding Stables. Hundreds of people have made homes either in modern luxury villas and apartments or in restored old houses. There are also two super beach clubs Shayna and Cornaro serving fresh local cuisine. Catalkoy is a perfect mixture of nature, tradition, modern facilities and yet a short drive to Kyrenia city centre. The majority of properties within the Vision Group portfolio, within Catalkoy, are second hand homes, however we do also have a selection of new and off plan projects.

Drive time from Ercan airport (35 mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia Centre (10 mins).

Esentepe

Now we are moving further east to Esentepe which is a 25 minute drive back to Kyrenia. The region of Esentepe can best be described as a countryside setting stretching from the expansive and largely undeveloped coastline, up into the hills and mountains. The main man made attractions are the charming and festive Esentepe village, the expansive municipality beach and facilities and the world class Korineum Golf, Tennis and Beach and country Club.

Sandy and pebbled beaches, mountain bike trails perfect for hiking and biking, turtles eggs hatching in Alagadi Protected Beach, restaurants, bars, super markets and views, oh the views ! There is something for everyone. The Esentepe region has a strict planning policy, only two storey development to blend in with the natural surroundings. Homes and hotels have only been built in the last 15 years and everything is relatively new and under construction. This area is extremely popular with our Scandinavian clients who seem to prefer more nature than buildings. There is actually a waiting list as the demand for property exceeds the physical “ready” supply. Due to strict planning controls and the natural undulating topography of this area, supply will always remain at a relatively lower level than those locations where the lie of the land and planning controls allows more dense development. We rate this area as the golden mile due to the strong historic and future anticipated capital growth rate. Within 10 minutes drive further to the east, are the even more undeveloped but equally stunning areas of Bahcelli and Tatlisu. Vision Group carry a fantastic selection of high quality and great value villas and apartments in this region.

Drive time from Ercan airport (40 mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia (20-35 mins)

West Kyrenia

Zeytinlik

High in the mountains under the incredible St Hilarion Castle lies this small, charming village and outlying, low density residential areas. Zeytinlik means “full of olives” and of course, if there is any reason to celebrate as the locals do, then it is no surprise that this village hosts an annual Olive Festival. Don’t be fooled and think that olives can’t make a festival. This event is extremely popular and serves all kinds of food, folk dancing and traditions and is very well attended by overseas visitors and guests from the surrounding villages and towns. This high in the mountain position has attracted developers and international buyers who wish to have incredible sea and mountain views and a countryside feel and yet is only a 10 minutes’ drive into Kyrenia. Night time is a particular pleasure as you sit under the stars, the orange lit castle, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the twinkling lights of the city. With an abundance of restaurants and schooling close by, this has become a popular place for buyers, particularly the locals and mainland Turkish people and a lesser number of Europeans.

Drive time from Ercan airport (50mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia Centre (10 mins).

Karaoglanoglu

Approximately 5 mins west of Kyrenia centre is Karaoglanoglu, pronounced Karalanolu. This is a mountain and seaside region split by the main east-west coastal highway. For 17 years this was the location of Vision Groups first headquarters and our staff particularly enjoyed the local beach for an evening swim after a day at the office. Here you will find schools, restaurants, shops and bars and the famous Girne American University (GAU). There are also several grand hotels and beaches within close proximity. Buyers in this area have traditionally been locals, mainland Turkish people and the expat British. The majority of residential property available is second hand 10 - 15 years old, however there are one or two new projects.

Drive time from Ercan airport (60mins), Larnaca airport (95 mins), to Kyrenia Centre (10 mins).

Karmi

An exquisite mountain village that is so high in the mountains that there is often a significant temperature difference between this village and the sea level. Karmi is a very attractive, small village, that comprises of an old Orthodox Church, a cliff edge pub and a restaurant where you eat whatever they are cooking on that day. Karmi, also known as Karaman, has a very strict planning policy. Any new build or refurbishment must be in keeping with the old white washed buildings that already exist. Only traditional materials can be used to blend with the old cobbled streets and lanes that seem to permanently be covered in all the colours and variety of bougainvillea. The church presents a number of concerts throughout the year and the Christmas carol concert, a magical evening, is always standing room only. Karmi is not a mass market for buyers as the number of available properties is limited and Freehold title is not generally available as the government control much of the property offering only 49 year renewable leases. A very cheap way to buy but not an ideal investment for future inheritance.

Drive time from Ercan airport (75 mins), Larnaca airport (2 hours), to Kyrenia Centre (20 mins).

Alsancak

Alsancak is a much larger village also situated from the hills down to the sea. It is was traditionally popular with the British ex-pats but in recent years, new and better quality projects, have attracted many international markets. It is only 20 minutes from Kyrenia but provides schools, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, and bars. Beaches are within close proximity, notably the famous Escape Beach with bars and restaurants and lots of water sports. The most popular beach is the Escape Beach, also called the 5-mile beach, which offers lots of entertainment, water sports, music, restaurant and bar. The Merit hotel group have opened 4 fantastic hotels in this location providing even more beaches and entertainment for local residence. If you wish to treat yourself to a very special lunch, try Denizkizi Hotel in the summer months on a Sunday afternoon. Famous for being the only place to try “Thieves’ Kebab”. This is where lamb is placed in an underground oven that cooks dry and crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. Booking is an absolute must.

Drive time from Ercan airport (75 mins), Larnaca airport (2 hours), to Kyrenia Centre (20 mins).

Lapta

When first visiting Lapta you will immediately notice how it is particularly green and lush due to a high level of water from the mountains streams. Orange and lemon trees everywhere create almost a glow that is visible from the road when looking up to the mountains. Wander through the lanes of the village or better down to the newly built Coastal Path directly along the coastline enjoying fresh sea breeze. There are numerous shops, restaurants and beach clubs. Try a bbq at the popular Sunset Beach Club or one of the traditional restaurants along Lapta Holiday Strip or Silver Rocks Restaurant. Traditionally Lapta comprises of a small amount of residential units, although more modern and larger projects are in the pipeline.

Drive time from Ercan airport (75 mins), Larnaca airport (2 hours), to Kyrenia Centre (20 mins).

Famagusta / Iskele Region

The Famagusta / Iskele region has a completely different feel to Kyrenia and the North coast. Famagusta, on the east coast, is a larger city than Kyrenia and although it is a major holiday destination, it has a substantial student population. It is young and vibrant and you can spend days exploring the old Venetian walled city arranged as a medieval castle, the port and hundreds of bars and restaurants. Within a short drive are the Ancient Roman city of Salamis ruins and the quaint fishing village of Bogaz. Within 20 minutes is a new tourist and permanent residential area known as Iskele which fronts the 5km Long Beach. Iskele has become a mini Ocean Drive with its high rise apartment blocks and plenty of activities for families. The majority of buyers in this location are Russian, Ukrainian, CIS countries, Iranian and Turkish. Due to the high density planning consents and high rise buildings, prices are generally lower than the North Coast albeit the off plan supply is substantially higher. Vision Group have a very wide selection of property and payment plans in this area that serves our worldwide markets.

Ercan Airport is 30 minutes away and Larnaca airport in the South is 1 hour 30 minutes’ drive.

Bafra

Approximately 20 minutes from Iskele towards Karpaz peninsular, Bafra has become a popular holiday destination due to the opening of several amazing 5 star hotels. It is an area of flatland, very underdeveloped and all fronting some of the longest golden beaches and crystal clear water. There are several local villages dotted around and always there are distant views. Bafra was designated as a new touristic location which is why we now see huge investment into large hotels. Already open are Noah’s Ark Deluxe Hotel and Spa, Limak Cyprus Deluxe Hotel, Kaya Artemis Resort Hotel and the Concorde Luxury Resort. Bafra is the gateway to the remote and unspoiled Karpaz peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beach where you will be amazed by the 6km Golden Beach which is simply breathtaking. Due to the remote location, on many days, you can have at least 1km of beach to yourself. On the way to Karpaz you should drop by the new Karpaz Gate Marina. The newest Marina in North Cyprus has 300 berths and state of the art facilities. These include a market, high class restaurants, a beach club, fitness centre, swimming pool, dry dock, laundry and concierge services. If you have a large yacht, don’t worry, This marina can accommodate up to 70m vessels!! Vision Group have only one project in Bafra and it is a must to view. We call it the Caribbean of North Cyprus. It is very rare anywhere in the world to be able to buy a freehold home from Ј50,000 literally on a private beach. This is why our clients from all over the world fall in love with this project and many choose to buy here.

Ercan Airport is 50 minutes away and Larnaca airport in the South is 1 hour 30 minutes’ drive.

Guzelyurt Region

Guzelyurt is a remote agricultural region famous for everything fresh. Fresh produce, fresh air and fresh sea breeze. In fact the breeze is more of a high wind at times which is why this location is so attractive to the kite surfing cool dudes. The old town of Guzelyurt is worth a visit especially during the Orange Festival, Lefke hosts a European University and perhaps you may choose to drive to Yesilirmak village to pick some strawberries during season.

Due to the remote location, mass development has not really landed in this region. That said, there are one or two projects that Vision Group offer within our portfolio. This is certainly a beautiful location, yet our capital growth predictions may not as high as more centralised and popular regions due to the fact that this area is still hugely underdeveloped and may take some years to reach the infrastructure to compare with most of the island.

Ercan Airport is within 50, Larnaca airport within 1 hour and 30 minutes and Kyrenia within 1 hour.

For a full consultation as to what is the best location for you, contact [email protected] and one of our experienced consultants will contact you.