BEST TIME TO GO TO NORTHERN CYPRUS

Consider visiting Northern Cyprus in winter, when local restaurants remain open in Kyrenia and Bellapais whilst archaeological sites, such as Salamis, are all but deserted.
Spring starts early with mild weather encouraging walkers and cyclists to visit in Feb regardless of occasional showers. Evenings will be cold, however, and spring is probably too chilly to attempt a sea swim. Mar-Apr are a lot brighter, with bougainvillea appearing in villages whilst wild buttercups, poppies and orchids create colour along the Besparmak Trail. May-Jun is the best time to go to Northern Cyprus for sunshine without the intensity of Jul-Aug. Sep-Oct is another great season, with festivals celebrating the carob and olive harvest. Weather conditions are a lot less wet for walkers now, in comparison to spring.

Northern CYPRUS Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
8
17
80
FEB
8
17
64
MAR
9
19
34
APR
11
21
19
MAY
15
24
5
JUN
18
28
2
JUL
20
30
0
AUG
21
30
0
SEP
19
29
4
OCT
16
27
18
NOV
13
22
66
DEC
10
19
94

NORTHERN CYPRUS, MONTH BY MONTH

January and February in Northern Cyprus still find blue skies and relative warmth although showers are a fixture so make sure you pack waterproofs as well as long sleeves for chilly evenings. Archaeological sites and crusader castles are much less busy at the start of the year and wild and windy walks along the Karpas Peninsula are a real pleasure for those looking for a solitary stroll. Almond and orange trees blossom in March, alongside wild orchids, anemones, and dark red poppies in the Besparmak Mountains. Temperatures continue to creep up, with April and May often considered the best time to visit Northern Cyprus for comfortable conditions for walking or cycling. In May, June and July, Alagadi Beach and secret sandy spots on the Karpas Peninsula provide a safe haven for nesting sea turtles. The sight of tiny turtles scrambling towards the sea, around two months after the eggs are laid, is an amazing experience and best observed at night, under expert supervision. Summer festival season falls in May and June with traditional Turkish-Cypriot culture, art and music celebrated in Bellapais and Famagusta. Kyrenia tends to celebrate a little later in August. July and August in Northern Cyprus are hot and dry with the shallow sea set to bath warm temperatures and the shade of café umbrellas in village squares or wide-spread carob trees offering scant respite. September is another great time to go as it’s still hot but not quite so stifling, and not crowded in Kyrenia as the kids go back to school. The sun is beginning to set earlier at the end of October, around 6ish, and you might glimpse workers shaking olives from the trees in time for the harvest. November and December in Northern Cyprus are much cooler in the evenings with wet weather starting to spoil otherwise blue sky days. Kyrenia is still very much open for business in the winter so don’t discount December if you’re looking for affordable accommodation and few other tourists. “The best time to visit Northern Cyprus for the bird migration is March to early May. The Karpas Peninsula, especially, is certainly one of the best areas for bird watching. Also the orchid season takes place in the spring; there are 26 species that can be found in Northern Cyprus.” – Andrew Appleyard from our Northern Cyprus holidays supplier, Exodus

Our top Northern Cyprus Holiday

North Cyprus walking holiday

North Cyprus walking holiday

Varied walks amid rugged scenery and superb archaeology

From £799 to £1179 8 days inc UK flights
Small group travel:
2019: 9 Feb, 6 Apr, 20 Apr, 4 May, 7 Sep, 28 Sep, 12 Oct, 9 Nov, 21 Dec
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Northern Cyprus or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

THINGS TO DO IN NORTHERN CYPRUS

Things to do in Northern Cyprus…

Wander between monasteries and mountains, crusader castles and dusty donkey tracks, as the blue hues of the Mediterranean tempt you in for a dip or at least a pause for thought. Northern Cyprus has an excellent variety of gradients from the coastline around Kyrenia to rugged 13km routes through the pines and along the ridge of the Besparmak Mountains. Find a few more in our Cyprus walking guide.
Peer into the past. Greek, Persian, Roman and Ottoman empires have all left their mark on Northern Cyprus, especially in the ancient ruins around Salamis and Famagusta. The Crusader castles – Buffavento, Saint Hilarion and Kantara – are also really impressive and offer insight into the region during the Byzantine era as well as breathtaking views via lots of steep stone steps.
Get on your bike. Flat coastal routes either side of Kyrenia are perfect for a pootle whilst sandy stretches along the Karpas Peninsula and certain sections of the Besparmak Trail are ideal for mountain bikers. Check out our Cyprus cycling guide for routes on both sides of the border.

Things not to do in Northern Cyprus…

Opt for a Full English. There are plenty of Brits in Northern Cyprus, especially Kyrenia, and all day English pub breakfasts have inevitably followed. Outside of Kyrenia and Nicosia, however, life in Northern Cyprus remains relatively untouched by tourism with villages like Bellapais, Lapta and Malatya offering opportunities to try delicious dolmasi, kebabs, borek and meze in traditional Turkish tavernas.
Touch down in Turkey. Due to continued isolation by the EU, travellers flying into Ercan airport have to touch down on Turkish tarmac first. This means a six-hour journey from Blighty. Alternatively, fly into Larnaca, in the south, and cross the border in Nicosia to continue your holiday in the north. It takes approximately 1.5hrs from Larnaca to Kyrenia, including the border crossing.
Do anything other than look at the donkeys.There are currently around 500 untethered donkeys roaming around the Karpas Peninsula. Once domesticated but now protected, these former beasts of burden come with a strict look-but-don't-touch cautionary advice – you have been warned.

NORTHERN CYPRUS HOLIDAYS ADVICE

HISTORIC HOT SPOTS

Historic hot spots

Andrew Appleyard, from our supplier, Exodus, provides a few tips for visitors to Northern Cyprus:
“If you're interested in history and archaeology I'd recommend a visit to the Maritime Museum in Kyrenia which is home to one of the oldest shipwrecks. It's located in the crusader castle which is an amazing location. It's also well worth going over the border in Nicosia and heading to the archaeology museum for the afternoon; crossing the border from North to South is very easy. Also, the best collection of Cypriot pottery is at St Barnabas’s Church, just outside Famagusta.”
NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL

Naturally beautiful

“Some of the locations on the Karpas Peninsula are astounding; places like Ayios Philon with its ancient harbour and secluded coastline which is a major area for green turtle nesting. Also the nearby village of Ayios Trias is really worthwhile alongside visits to Kantara Castle and the ruined Agia Triada Basilica.”
SUMMER TIME BLUES

Summer time blues

“Kyrenia does get very busy in July and August and far too hot for walking holidays. I'd avoid these months.”
RECOMMENDED READING

Recommended reading

“A couple of books that I'd recommend for first-time visitors to Northern Cyprus would be, Northern Cyprus: A Traveller's Guide by Eileen Davey and Where to Watch Birds in Northern Cyprus by Stephen R. Cale.”
HOW TO GET TO NORTHERN CYPRUS

How to get to Northern Cyprus

Marina, from our supplier Kaleidoskop Turizm, offers advice for travellers in Northern Cyprus:
“There are daily connections from all major cities in Britain and Europe via Turkey but it is also possible for EU passport holders to fly into Larnaca airport in southern Cyprus before crossing the border into the North. This means you avoid having to make a stop in Turkey. The best place to cross the border is at Ledra Street, Nicosia. You can cross on foot or by taxi. It's no problem for travellers to cross the border back from North to South if they've flown into Larnaca.”
NORTHERN EXPOSURE

Northern exposure

“The northern half of Nicosia is much more impressive than the south, with many medieval and Ottoman sites including St Sophia Cathedral (now Selimiye Mosque), Büyük Han and Kumarcilar Han kervansaray (ancient roadside inns) and the Aga Cafer Mosque.”
FESTIVAL FUN

Festival fun

“There are some lovely villages in Northern Cyprus such as Bellapais and Çatalköy, east of Kyrenia, and Dipkarpaz in the Karpas Mountains. Spring and autumn are certainly the best time to visit these sorts of villages as you'll find lots of seasonal festivals taking place. Our favourites include the Bellapais Music Festival held at Bellapais Abbey; the Famagusta Culture and Art Festival held in the ancient outdoor theatre at Salamis; and the October Olive and Folk Festival in Zeytinlik.”

Tips from our holiday reviews

TIPS
At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.
We have selected some of the most useful Northern Cyprus holidays travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
The night sky was lovely and the walks very enjoyable.
– Helen Turley on a small group walking holiday in Northern Cyprus
“I loved the village setting and the quiet hotel. The night sky was lovely and the walks very enjoyable. I found my lightweight binoculars very useful. Bring a light towel and swimsuit if you want to swim. If you need snacks then it is a good idea to pack a few things like nuts and energy bars. We used local transport and frequented the local bars and cafés. The hotel used local produce too. We also shopped at the village bakery.” – Helen Turley on a small group walking holiday in Northern Cyprus
“The walks were really good, easy terrain but hilly and some longish days, some beautiful views. Wonderful to find an infinity pool at our hotel in Drouchia at the end of long hot walk.” – Julie Khan on a self-guided walking holiday in Northern Cyprus
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: George M. Groutas] [Best time to go: Muammerokumus] [Things to do: Dickelbers] [Historic hot spots: Yeowatzup] [Naturally beautiful: Dickelbers] [Summer time blues: Graeme Churchard] [Recommended reading: Artur Malinowski] [How to get there: Martin Alvarez Espinar] [Northern exposure: Hermann Junghans] [Festival fun: Josef Moser] [Bellapais town: Paul Lakin] [Beach at dusk: Franco Pecchio]
Convert currencies