Northern Cyprus walking holiday
Single supplement available.
Mimimum age 16.
Late availability on these dates: 19 Dec, 26 Dec, 17 Feb, 24 Feb, 09 Mar
Description of Northern Cyprus walking holiday
Join a small group (maximum 16 people) for a delightful walking tour around the Besparmak Mountains of North Cyprus, one of the most under-explored and pristine regions of the Mediterranean.
You’ll spend the week based in the picturesque and historic resort of Kyrenia on the coast, with its minarets and old harbour (select February and March dates stay in the nearby coastal resort of Alsancak). Daily walks are usually around four hours, leaving plenty of free time in the afternoons to swim off sandy beaches or by the hotel’s pool, do some sightseeing on your own, or simply sip coffee in a local café while watching the world go by.
Walks are pleasantly leisurely, up to about 13km, but with a few steep ascents and descents to be aware of. The emphasis is very much on taking your time, and enjoying the stunning views and the culture of this region. Your group will be accompanied throughout by a guide who lives in the area, who will be able to tell you lots about the history of the mountains and ways of life here.
Very much off the beaten track for walking holidays, this region holds a great deal of interest for anyone with a passion for history. You can find Crusader castles here, Greek fishponds dating back 2,500 years, and the ruins of Salamis with artefacts on display from Byzantine, Roman and Mycenaean times. Kantara Castle was once taken by Richard the Lionheart, while the ancient city of Famagusta (an optional excursion on a free day) is thought to have inspired Shakespeare’s Othello.
What makes this walking holiday stand out is how deeply it immerses you in North Cyprus life. You’ll eat at local restaurants every day, dining on hearty mountain and coastal cuisine, and stay in locally owned hotels too, ensuring that the community that welcomes you will benefit financially from your stay. And with a local guide showing you around, it’s easy to share a few words of greeting with people you meet along the way in villages.
This is a walking holiday for those who are looking for more than just walking. Packed with historic interest, cultural charm, excellent company and plenty of opportunities to sip homemade lemonade under a tree, or cool off with a refreshing swim, it will have you itching to explore North Cyprus further.
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3 Reviews of Northern Cyprus walking holiday
Reviewed on 05 Jan 2023 by Rosemary MorleGreat guide. Stunning scenery. Great choice of walks. Good flora and fauna. Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Oct 2023 by Karen ChuaVaried itinerary with plenty of opportunities to get up close to nature Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Feb 2014 by Arthur HancockThe day excursions; walking and visit to Famagusta were the most memorable parts. Read full review
Planet and peopleA visit to Northern Cyprus allows you to explore a relatively unknown country that has remained reasonably unspoiled and undeveloped compared to the rest of the Mediterranean.
Throughout the trip we use locally owned accommodation and you'll be encouraged to buy local produce and dine each evening in a local restaurant which all helps develop the tourism infrastructure in this emerging destination.
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. 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.
The Bellapais Monastery Village Hotel 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 local restaurant to dine in or bar to sip a cold beer!
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. Cool Earth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.