The third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is located south of Turkey, southeast of Greece, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and north of Egypt.
The southern 60% of the island is occupied by The Republic of Cyprus, northern 36% is occupied by the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus and the remainin 4% is the Green Line, a buffer zone separating the two, controlled by the UN.
It was estimated in 2010 by the International Crisis Group that the total population of Cyprus was 1.1 million, of which there was an estimated 300,000 residents in the north.
There are 5 regions in North Cyprus: Nicosia (Lefkosa), Kyrenia (Girne), Trikomo (Iskele), Famagusta (Gazimagusa) and Morphou (Guzelyurt).
Nicosia is the capital city of both the North and the South and the last remaining divided city in the world. Apart from being the administrative capital, it is also the main centre of the island in terms of finance, art, history, culture and business. It has a historic walled city, centred on the Sarayonu Square, and a modern metropolitan area, with the Dereboyu region as its centre of business and entertainment.
North Nicosia is an important education and research centre with four universities: Near East University, Cyprus International University, University of Mediterranean Karpasia and American University of Cyprus.
There are numerous sights to see in Northern Nicosia such as St. Sophia Cathedral (Selimiye Mosque), Kyrenia Gate, the Great Inn, The Dervish Pasha Mansion, Cyprus Special Etnoghraphy Museum, The Museum of Barbarism, Lusignan House, The Lapidery Museum, The Mevlevi Tekke Museum, Armenian Church, St. Nicholas Church, and the Gamblers’ Inn.
Kyrenia is the most touristic coastal town in North Cyprus, located in the middle of the north coast. It is a cultural and economical centre, hosting numerous hotels, nightlife and a famous horseshoe shaped harbour, along which are many bars and restaurants.
There are three universities in Kyrenia – Girne American University, University of Kyrenia and British University of Nicosia.
Among several worth-seeing sights in Kyrenia are Bellapais Monastery, Kyrenia Castle, Kyrenia Harbour, Shipwreck Museum, St. Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia Sourp Magar Monastery, Antiphonitis Church, Buffavento Castle, Museum of Folk Art, Archangelos Michael Church & Icon Museum, and Hz Omar Tomb.
Consisting of the most beautiful spots of North Cyprus such as Karpasia, Long Beach and Golden Beach, Trikomo (Yeni Iskele) is by far the best coastal region on the island with bright blue sea and sandy beaches along the eastern coast of the island. Either for living or for holiday, the region is getting more and more popular every year, as apart from natural beauties and amazing beaches, it has a lot more to offer such as a safe and peaceful lifestyle and new modern architecture.
Karpasia National Park, Cape Apostolos Andreas & the Monastery, Golden Beach, Long Beach, Iskele Icon Museum & Panayia Theodokou Church, Kantara Castle, Bafra Tourism Region, Incirli Cave, Church of the Holy Trinity and numerous beaches and beach clubs all along the coast.
Famagusta, is a city on the east coast with the deepest harbour of the island. Going around this fascinating city, one can feel the rich and colorful history of the island.
Among many sights to visit in Famagusta, the main spots are the Ghost City of Varosha, Famagusta Walled City, Sea Gate, Silver Beach, The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, The Othello Castle, Salamis Ruins, St. Francis’ Church, Sinan Pasha Mosque, Church of St. George of the Greeks, Church of St. George of the Latins, Twin Churches, Nestorian Church (of St George the Exiler), Namık Kemal Dungeon, Agios Ioannis Church, Venetian House, Akkule Masjid, Mustafa Pasha Mosque, Ganchvor monastery and Palazzo del Provveditore – the Venetian palace of the governor, built on the site of the former Lusignan royal palace.
On the west coast of North Cyprus, Morphou (Guzelyurt) is, just as its name goes, is the beautiful real Cyprus, rich and fertile, green as far as the eye can reach. Known for its citrus fruits, mines and the European University, beautiful Lefke is also located in Guzelyurt.
Some of the must-see sights in Guzelyurt are the Blue House, Saint Mamas Church and Icon Museum, Guzelyurt Museum of Archeology & Natural History, Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque, the Middle Mosque, the Lower Mosque, Pigades Shrine and Aphrodite Surf School.