Kyrenia, with its picturesque harbour and adjacent castle is called the “Jewel of Cyprus”. It is, quite simply, exquisite!
The town was probably founded circa tenth century BC and was one of the original city kingdoms. Its position on the north coast made it the ideal place to develop a harbour, and being only forty miles from the Turkish mainland it was perfectly situated on the trade route.
The castle which has Byzantine foundations, was remodelled during Lusignan rule, and later strengthened and enlarged with the addition of massive walls and bastions by the Venetians. It stands guard over the tiny harbour as it has done, hardly changed, over the last four and a half centuries.
The harbour is surrounded by restaurants and bars that have been developed from buildings that were once Venetian dwellings or carob warehouses. The carefully thought out modernisation has effectively preserved the architectural integrity of the buildings and there are no large flashing neon signs or loud music. The restaurants serve, for the most part, simple but delicious Turkish Cypriot cuisine with the emphasis being on locally caught fish.