Sitting on the north coast of Cyprus, Kyrenia is a pretty port town dating back to the Byzantine Empire. Today, most of the action is centred around its bustling harbour and historic Old Town. You can soak up the sun at a waterfront cafe, or explore a string of cultural attractions. If you want to top up your tan, Kyrenia is a great beach hopping destination.
Things to Do
One of Kyrenia’s most popular attractions is its cobblestone Old Town. Get lost in its winding laneways, and explore a colourful line-up of shops along the way. Pick up everything from handicrafts, wood carvings and ceramics to raki, brandy and wine.
Kyrenia Castle looms above the town, with a stone bridge leading down to its gloomy dungeons. Today, the Byzantine castle houses the fascinating Shipwreck Museum. The nearby Icon Museum is another cultural highlight, housed inside a restored Greek Orthodox church.
Sunny days are perfect for boat cruises around the bay, with opportunities to swim, snorkel and sunbathe. Head east of the town centre for public beaches, or west to find a great selection of sun loungers, umbrellas and water sports on offer.
At sunset, there’s no better place to be than Kyrenia’s horseshoe-shaped harbour. The lively strip is lined with an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants and bars, complete with sparkling sea views. Don’t leave without sampling halloumi, Cyprus’s deliciously chewy fried cheese.
Most travellers arrive by plane or ferry and make a beeline for Kyrenia’s characterful Old Town. Local buses run to the town’s western beaches, and to nearby cities like Nicosia and Famagusta. One of the best ways to explore Kyrenia is with a rental car, which makes it easier to hop from beach to beach. Taxis operate in the city centre, as well as minibuses.