Catalkoy Beach
20 November, 2009
Geographical Outline
22 November, 2009
Show all

The Mountain Castles

Kantara Castle

Mountain Castles

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.

Lavinia Neville Smith
Lavinia Neville Smith
Lavinia Neville Smith first came to North Cyprus in 1995, and fell in love with the country and the Turkish Cypriot people. A self confessed dilettante, with a varied working career, it was not until she returned in 1997 and went into tourism that she was able to put to good use her knowledge of history, ancient and modern, acquired long ago at school. She is a co-author of the Landmark Visitors Guide to North Cyprus, and continues to promote this beautiful country as far afield as possible.