Car Hire North Cyprus
Car Hire North Cyprus

Carhirenorthcyprus Blog

Cruising through the Crusader Mountains
Many visitors travel to North Cyprus for the almost year-round summer, sandy beaches and warm welcome. When you have fully relaxed in one of the country’s well-equipped resorts, however, it is time to explore the undiscovered landscapes which hide gems of historic importance and architectural beauty. Located on the edges of three continents, Cyprus has a very eclectic and interesting history – recorded events dating back to the Assyrian empire of 705 BC. Escaping the bustling resorts and beach towns and visiting some of the historic attractions of North Cyprus can be a great way of really getting to know the country and its colourful rich past.
A number of medieval crusader castles are within easy reach of the most popular resorts and one of the most beautiful of these is Kantara Castle, sat high on a rocky ridge in the Kyrenia mountains. Visited by many important historical figures it is believed to be the place where Isaac Komnenos surrendered to Richard the Lionheart in 1191, and during 1228-30 it was occupied by the troops of Roman Emperor Frederick II who was struggling for his take over of the island. James I added fortifications to the castle and used its hilltop position to watch over Famagusta and the surrounding area.
For visitors today, the dramatic views across the Kyrenia mountain range, along the northern coastline and down to the plains is quite breathtaking. On a very clear day, you can even see as far as South Cyprus and Turkey and, if you are very lucky, you may glimpse Lebanon on the horizon.
Aside from looking around this well-preserved piece of Cyprian history, the landscape that Kantara Castle sits in provides excellent walking and climbing opportunities. You can spend the whole day exploring the castle and its surrounding areas – and when looking down onto the inviting blue water and unspoiled beaches gets too much, simply drive down the mountain and stop for a cooling dip in the warm Mediterranean.
The drive: the road from Kyrenia, which hugs the ancient rocky coastline, also gives you a chance to experience the agricultural landscape covered in fruit and vegetables. If you are travelling from Kaplica, the road can get extremely narrow on the mountain ascent which gives you a great opportunity to get close to the rocky terrain and feel immersed in the landscape. With regular passing places, there is no real need to worry of getting stuck!

Location: 26 miles north of Famagusta, 45 miles from Kyrenia.

Public transport: none available – only accessible by car.

Opening hours: summer 10am – 5pm; winter 9am- 2.45pm.

Admission: approx. YTL4.