The city of Girne/Kyrenia (Turkish Girne, Greek Κερύνεια, International Kyrenia) is the touristic centre of Northern Cyprus. The historic centre of Kyrenia developed along the picturesque medieval harbour and the impressive Venetian castle. In the harbour, the wooden gullet ships offer daily boat trips with swimming breaks and lunch. In the narrow streets behind the harbour, you find numerous shops with souvenirs, boutiques, and jewelleries. You might even find an “original” Rolex for less than 50 dollars!

The harbour castle, that was built over more than 10 centuries hosts the ancient Kyrenia shipwreck, an archeologic sensation in the 1960s.

The most important sights to visit in Kyrenia region are the crusader castle of Saint Hilarion and Bellapais Abbey.

Bellapais Abbey was founded in the 13th century by Augustinian canons who had to flee Palestine after the Crusaders were defeated. The village with the monastery also became known through the book by the English writer Lawrence Durell.

We Recommend


  • The mighty Venetian harbour fortress with the Shipwreck Museum
  • The 16th century Agha Cafer Mosque
  • The magnificent Bellapais Abbey


The people of Bellapais have traditionally been considered the laziest people on the island. They are all landowners, coffee drinkers and card players. That's why they get so old. Nobody ever seems to die here. Just ask Mr. Honey the gravedigger. The lack of customers almost ruined him...

Lawrence Durell

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, 1955


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