North Cyprus is blessed with three castles built high upon the ridge of the Kyrenia mountains, each has something different to offer, and two of them involve steep climbs.
St. Hilarion, high above Kyrenia, and Buffavento, some six miles east as the crow flies, are the ones that present the explorer with a good walk. Strong shoes, a walking stick and a bottle of water are essential even on a cool day. Furthest east is Kantara, 45 miles from Kyrenia at the tip of the range as it tapers into the Karpaz peninsula. All started off as small Byzantine forts built to keep watch over the sea for marauding Arab raiders. These forts were enlarged and made more commodious, and in some cases more palatial by the ruling Lusignan dynasty who acquired the island from Richard Coeur de Lion at the end of the 12th C.