A visit to Northern Cyprus allows for a great adventure into a relatively unknown country with a recent turbulent history of political and economic isolation. As a consequence of this, the area has remained reasonably unspoiled and undeveloped compared to the rest of the Mediterranean.
We use locally owned accommodation throughout the trip and encourage clients to buy local produce and dine each evening in a local restaurant which all helps develop the tourism infrastructure in this fledging destination hotspot. Our one week walking trip concentrates on the Besparmak range where we walk through stunning countryside and follow quiet mountain trails leading to imposing Crusader castles.
In Kyrenia we wander the harbour front and narrow cobbled back streets in this wonderful laid back tour. The town is an ideal base for exploration due to its central (and beautiful) location. The hotel we use tries to minimise its impact on the environment by encouraging guests to use less water and towels, as well as purchasing local food from the many markets of the area.
The local staff are always on hand to advise on the best restaurant to dine in or bar to sip a cold beer. After a briefing from the tour leader, which includes how to minimise the affects during your stay on the environment, we take countryside paths from the hillside village of Bellapais and its famous monastery and up to the Crusader castle of St Hilarion, before winding down to the coastal plains on century old tracks.
The tour leaders are from the region and this local knowledge assists in giving a historical and personal angle on the areas you will travel through. The group size, at 16, has been specifically chosen to give a personal viewpoint and minimise the impact on the environment, as well as being able to use the locally owned accommodation that is generally smaller than the large chain of hotels.
For centuries the high mountains have been a place of refuge and fortification and our walks offer exquisite views as we visit both Kantara and Buffavento castles. Trails lead us through pine forests to an ancient Armenian monastery as we walk along the spine of this breathtaking range, from where on a clear day the snow-capped mountains of Lebanon can be seen.
This small group operator is just celebrating its 30th year and its activity holidays are very popular. Arriving at a village by bike or on foot immediately fascinates the locals and offers you an opportunity to interact as well as being great exercise and allowing you to reach far flung areas. Activity holidays are a great way to escape, get some fresh air and take life at a slower pace, allowing time for thought and reflection. In completing an active holiday, there is an element of personal development and improvement which can really help travellers focus on doing things differently or better.
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