Message from the Minister
I invite you to Northern Cyprus, to my country, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, so that you may become acquainted with its sun which shines on 360 days a year, with the scent and the natural environment of the Mediterranean Sea, with its historical monuments and cultural tradition which bear the traces of all civilizations these lands have seen, and that you may renew your zest for life.
Speaking of holidays, do you imagine hiking in the nature surrounded by orchids, paragliding, underwater and water sports, collecting olives and making olive oil yourself, making Cyprus’s famous ‘Hellim’ cheese?
Do you imagine staying in five-star luxury hotels, resting and sunbathing on the Mediterranean’s cleanest and most beautiful shores which have been chosen by loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) as their resort and attending concerts in the mystical atmosphere of the Bellapais Monastry?
By visiting our site you have come one step closer to the holiday of your dreams. We are at your service with our site, where you can obtain detailed information on the holiday opportunities our country offers and from where you can contact our ministry and its associated departments as well as different institutions. Here all of your email queries will be replied to promptly.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus awaits you with all the holiday possibilities you desire and with our amiable, hospitable island people as hosts…
H. Ersan Saner
Minister of Tourism, Environment, and Culture
Soak up the culture and enjoy the sport amidst captivating scenery
By travelling to Northern Cyprus, you will immerse yourself in a world full of captivating landscapes and unique historical treasures. A warm welcome, provided by the friendly people and fascinating culture, awaits every visitor to the island, situated in the middle of the clear blue water of the eastern Mediterranean.
The history of Northern Cyprus is unique. No other Mediterranean island has been home to so many different civilisations and cultures. Due to its strategic position and natural resources, all the great empires have fought over this island. The many archaeological sites and architectural monuments are reminders of the island’s turbulent history.
Rest and relaxation on the most stunning Mediterranean beaches
Covering 9851 km², Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. The coasts are characterised by stone harbours with little bays and long sandy beaches, and inland the landscape changes from rugged mountains, through rolling landscapes to forests, olive groves and carob trees.
At the many historical sites, the chequered history of Cyprus can be traced back through many centuries right up to the present-day status of the divided Greek and Turkish island. The inhabitants, however, have never lost their identity. The law of hospitality has always been sacred to the people of the island. And it’s still true today. On Cyprus there is no such word as foreigner, only “Xenos” – guest.
English is the first foreign language on Cyprus, but increasingly it is possible to make yourself understood in German or French. The official languages are Turkish and Greek.
Cyprus and its origins
200 million years ago, the supercontinent of Pangaea broke up and the magma which poured out formed the bed of the resulting Tethys sea between the southern African and northern European plate. Millions of years later, the plates reversed their direction of movement, whereupon the ocean almost completely receded, and about 25 million years ago, the Trodos massif rose to the surface. 10 million years later, the Besparmak mountains were formed, and between the massifs there was a flat sea which disappeared about 2 million years ago, exposing a connecting piece of land between the two mountain ranges. And so Cyprus emerged.
Geographically speaking, Cyprus lies 65 km from the Turkish south coast and belongs geologically to Anatolia. Covering an area of 9,251 km² (the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus encompasses an area of 3,355km²), it is the third largest island after Sicily and Sardinia at the crossroads of the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. With a maximum length of 224 km and a maximum width of 96 km, it lies at 35 latitude and 33 east longitude, in the East European time zone (CET +1).
37% of the island belongs to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 60% is the Greek part and 3% constitutes the UN buffer zone which reaches a maximum width of 7 km but only stretches to 3 m in the capital.
The capital is Lefkosa, where approximately 40,000 people live. Other large towns are: Gazimagusa, Güzelyurt, Girne, Lefke.
Northern Cyprus, which encompasses 37% of the island, is divided into three regions.
The coastal plain in the north is mostly only a few kilometres wide, rising towards the mountains in terraces. The coast in the north is a total of 396 km long (overall length 783 km).
At around 160 km in length, the Besparmak mountains, a narrow, mostly wooded range, runs the whole length of the north coast and rises to an average height of 750 m. The highest peak is Selvili Tepe, south of Lapta, which reaches a height of 1024 m.
Inland, the lowlands of the Mesarya Plain stretch from Güzelyurt in the west to Gazimagusa in the east of the island. This plain represents exceptionally fertile wetland. Today, this is effectively the bread basket of the country.
Northern Cyprus is known for its Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and rather cool winters. Spring (March/April) and autumn (October/November) are short seasons. As a rule, the temperature only drops below freezing point in winter in the high mountain regions; snowfall in the plains is a rare exception.
There are very few days in the year without sunshine. From April to September, the sun usually shines for 11 hours a day. There are a total of 310 days of sunshine per year.
The water temperature never falls below 16º Celsius. In the summer, it reaches as high as 28º Celsius.