a VirtualTourist member
Sorry to be a pain but i really need some advise. My husband has booked a trip to Northern Cyprus for 02/12/11-05/12/11 (for my birthday). I have been searcing the internet as i would ideally like to see South Cyprus too. Can anyone advise me as to what the best way of travel is? If we hire a car can we drive through the border into South or are there restrictions? What is the public transport like? We are leaving on Friday and i think this trip might just be crazy because my husband hasnt looked into anything!! (typical) thank you so much everyone.
I think that hiring a car in the north and taking it into the south is still not possible. Hiring a car in the south and taking it into the north is possible, although I believe it involves extra insurance charges paid at the border (and possibly a premium paid to the hire company).
You can walk across the border at the pedestrian crossing-point in central Nicosia. You will need your passport.
However, I *think* that car hire places in south Nicosia are outside the centre (not 100% sure) so a trip to explore the south would only really be feasible if you booked a couple of nights accomm there.
Public transport in the North is good (imo) with some buses but many dolmus (shared taxis) as well. You['ll find some info about N Cyprus buses here:
N Cyprus is absolutely lovely. You will find more than enough to occupy you there, especially if you hire a car (they drive on the left throughout the island). Have a look at my N Cyprus pages for ideas on places to visit, but don't miss the ancient town of Famagusta, Bellepais, Kyrenia (I agree this would be your best base) and at least one of the magnificent Crusader castles...the one just outside Kyrenia is stunning.
If you've only got a few days in North Cyprus why bother going to the south with all the extra hassle you might encounter at the border - though admittedly it's apparently quite easy to make the crossing now.
Enjoy the coastline and the lovely places within a short distance from Kyrenia - also known as Girne. The hill top castle of St Hilarion is magical and you have superb views overlooking the coast from there.
You could spend a day in Kyrenia just strolling around the harbour and exploring its castle which is on the waterfront.
Bellapais is lovely as well and only a short distance from Kyrenia.
I think it sounds great to have a surprise trip like that. Enjoy it.
As the others have said, with only 4 days, you're not really going to have time to divide between north and south excepting perhaps for a few hours spent in Nicosia as part of a day spent in that.
You can't take a car from the north to the south and if you take a cat the other way, any insurance you have will be invalidated whilst you are there.
Remember too, evenings will draw in early - at the beginning of December, sunset is just after 1630. Sunrise is at 0630, but getting up early in winter isn't usually an attractive proposition, so you won't have long days to spend driving all over the place.
Depending on your interests, the ruins at Salamis , just outside Famagusta, are a lovely spot and you'll almost certainly have them all to yourselves. A day spent in the Fanmagust area will be well and truly filled with some time spent in the city and also visiting the mMonastery and tomb of St Barnabas - the companion of St Paul who brought Chritianity to the island.
Hiring a car will give you the freedom to really explore the North.
We were in North Cyprus for 4 days, staying in Bellapais, in February this year and we really enjoyed it. Happy Birthday!
thank you so much everyone. I found all the replies really helpful, i feel more prepared for the trip now after looking further into the locations mentioned :)
Thanks for the Bday wishes :) much appreciated.
I will certainly update somewhere when i return.
Sorry forgot to mention where im travelling from... UK, London (stanstead to Ercan) with a 1hour stop in Istanbul.