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Northern Cyprus » Useful Information & Directions

Useful North Cyprus Travel Information & Directions for you before you travel to North Cyprus…

Useful Directions

Before you start reading directions please note that…. road signs can be in Turkish, English or a few in Greek –

Girne (Turkish) = Kyrenia ( English) = Kerynia (Greek )
Lefkoşa (Turkish) = Nicosia ( English) = Lefkosia (Greek )

Also – distances are shown in Kilometers (Km) as are speed restrictions.


From Nicosia (Metehan Border Crossing) To Almond Holiday Village, Alsancak

Girne (Kyrenia) is very well sign posted. Just look out for the signs. After driving through the border carry on straight until you find your first junction (traffic lights). Go across this junction and drive to a roundabout. Take the left outlet following the signs showing Girne/ Lefkosa.

Carry on straight (about 1.5 Km) and you will come to a set of traffic lights/roundabout (stay in the outside lane as you will be turning right).  Take your right and you will find yourself driving towards Lefkoşa (Nicosia) main roundabout

From Lefkosa main roundabout take your 1st left towards and Girne ( Kyrenia ) and carry on straight… This main road will take you over the mountain, so enjoy the picturesque trip as you drive through them.  As you come down the other side you will see Kyrenia. (From Nicosia main roundabout to Kyrenia it is approx. 20km.)

As you approach Kyrenia you will then see an underpass and signs which will point towards Lapta – take the underpass which leads onto the new bypass. Keep straight on this road – you will expect a picturesque drive through the outskirts of Kyrenia with the Kyrenia Mountains on your left and the Mediterranean Sea on your right. You will pass 2 sets of traffic lights and two small roundabouts.

At the third larger roundabout you will find yourself rejoining the old coast road. Keep left (first exit – signposted Lapta) at this roundabout and follow the coast road. You will pass a petrol station on your left, the Saint Tropez Restaurant on your right, Deniz Kizi Hotel on your right. Carry on until you will pass Merit Hotel and Casino Sign on your left, and then you will shortly see a turning into Alsancak with a golden statue of a lady – DO NOT turn left, but keep on the main road.

You will then pass several shops & restaurants, and the Camalot Beach sign on your right –  and within 50 meters of this you will see Almond Holiday Village sign on your left hand side. Turn left and we are at the end of the road 200meters from the main road. (Almond Holiday Village is approx. 12km west ( 15 min. drive) from the Kyrenia underpass.)

From Ercan Airport, North Cyprus, To Almond Holiday Village, Alsancak

Almond Holiday Village is approx. 53km from Ercan Airport – only 40 minutes drive!

Leave Ercan Airport and follow the straight road until you approach a flyover and a sign indicating Lefkoşa.(on left).

Turn left towards where the Lefkoşa sign is pointing to, and the road will take you on to the main Leftkosa/Famagusta road. (do not go over the flyover)

Keep on the main road and carry on straight towards Nicosia. You will Pass 3 roundabouts (do not take any of the turnings ) keep on the main road…. this will lead you through the outskirts of Nicosia… you will pass several sets of traffic lights – keeping on the main road.

You will eventually see a large covered raised seating area on your right, and shortly after this you will reach Nicosia main roundabout (which is the 4th roundabout). (From Ercan Airport to Nicosia main roundabout it is approx. 23 km)

From the main roundabout take your 3rd exit, following signs to Girne ( Kyrenia ) and then just follow the long straight road through the mountains towards Kyrenia and enjoy the picturesque trip. As you drive through, around and down the other side of the  mountains you will see Kyrenia. (From Nicosia main roundabout to Kyrenia it is approx. 20km.)

As you approach Kyrenia you will then see an underpass and signs which will point towards Lapta – take the underpass which leads onto the new bypass. Keep straight on this road – you will expect a picturesque drive through the outskirts of Kyrenia with the Kyrenia Mountains on your left and the Mediterranean Sea on your right. You will pass 2 sets of traffic lights and two small roundabouts.

At the third larger roundabout you will find yourself rejoining the old coast road. Keep left (first exit – signposted Lapta) at this roundabout and follow the coast road. You will pass a petrol station on your left, the Saint Tropez Restaurant on your right, Deniz Kizi Hotel on your right. Carry on until you will pass Merit Hotel and Casino Sign on your left, and then you will shortly see a turning into Alsancak with a golden statue of a lady – DO NOT turn left, but keep on the main road.

You will then pass several shops & restaurants, and the Camalot Beach sign on your right –  and within 50 meters of this you will see Almond Holiday Village sign on your left hand side. Turn left and we are at the end of the road 200meters from the main road. (Almond Holiday Village is approx. 12km west ( 15 min. drive) from the Kyrenia underpass.)

From Kyrenia main roundabout To Almond Holiday Village in Alsancak….

If you would like to enter Kyrenia before coming to Almond – As you approach the underpass, take the left turn following the signs saying Kyrenia up to the roundabout (do not take the underpass) On the roundabout take the 2nd exit and carry on straight, which will take you to the main Kyrenia roundabout.

From the roundabout turn left, which will take you through the outskirts of Kyrenia passing straight through 2 roundabouts. You will pass many shops & restaurants and then the turning to Jasmine Court on your right. Further on you will pass a Lemar supermarket on your left, carry on straight through a village called Karaoğlanoğlu. Drive through this village keeping on the main road, passing the Tempo Supermarket on your right.

Carry on straight along the main road passing under the Iron gantry marking the boundary to Alsancak. You will then reach another roundabout – take your 2nd left towards Alsancak/Lapta.

You will pass a petrol station on your left, the Saint Tropez Restaurant on your right, Deniz Kizi Hotel on your right. Carry on until you will pass Merit Hotel and Casino Sign on your left, and then you will shortly see a turning into Alsancak with a golden statue of a lady – DO NOT turn left, but keep on the main road.

You will then pass several shops & restaurants, and the Camalot Beach sign on your right –  and within 50 meters of this you will see Almond Holiday Village sign on your left hand side. Turn left and we are at the end of the road 200meters from the main road. (Almond Holiday Village is approx. 12km west ( 15 min. drive) from the Kyrenia underpass.)

 

Useful Information

Language: - The Language is Turkish. But you will find that even in the little villages locals can speak some English.

Religion:- The population is mostly Muslim. There are also other small religious groups which are Moronites (Christian Arabs), Roman Catholics and Jews.

Crime:- Northern Cyprus boasts a very low crime rate, making it a safe and secure destination. If you arrive on one of the celebrations days (mainly June-August) you will notice a large presence of Army personnel on the main roads, do not the concerned by this.

Climate:-The best time to go to Northern Cyprus depends on the kind of experience you wish to have. North Cyprus experiences sunshine most of year round, living up to its name “island of Aphrodite”. Even in the winter months which are December, January and February there can be average temperature of 17’C-19 ‘C.

Cyprus will treat you to intense sunshine with alternating cool and warm weather. It will be a fascinating experience to watch how the worst storm ends with streaks of sunshine and a delightful rainbow.

March, April, May and June is very popular months – especially for Orchid, Birds and Turtle Lovers.  The weather is warm but the evenings can be a little chilly. These months promise a splendid variety of flowers with an average temperature of 22 – 27’C.

July and August are the hot & dry months of the year. These months can be notified as “extremely hot”. Even in these rainless months flowers are still found to touch a little sparkle to the fields. The temperature can rise up to 42’C with the average of 36’C.

September, October and November is again very popular months…. These months are warm but not as warm as July and August, as the evenings start to cool down similarly to May and June.

At the end of October/November the fruit trees are worth seeing. Oranges, lemon, mandarin, grapefruits and pomegranates are ripe, waiting to be picked. This time is the best time for homemade marmalades, fresh lemonades, fruit desserts and the most beautiful fresh olive oil and olives ever. The average temperature is 22 – 27’C.

Coastline:- Miles and miles of golden sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, Northern Cyprus has the most cleanest and the most safest coasts in the Mediterranean.

Currency: – The main currency in Northern Cyprus is Turkish Lira “”

Even though ‘TL’ is the main currency – Sterling, Euros and Dollars are widely accepted. Some places also offer prices in all currencies. All major credit cards are accepted in Northern Cyprus – but you must remember that little local villages/restaurants/shops may not have this facility. Travellers cheques are not very common, but will be exchanged subject to a high commission rate or a lower exchange rate at exchange offices. Please note – payment by some credit cards may attract a surcharge.

Currency Exchange:- As you will get a better rate for your money locally, we would recommend that you exchange your money here instead of your home country. There are many exchange offices as well as banks which will assist you. Almond village also exchanges currency subject to availability.

Banks/ATM’s: Banks and ATM’s are very easy to find in Alsancak as well as Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus .The bank/atm to Almond Village is only 10 walk away. ATM’s function 24/7 whereas banks are open Monday – Friday, summer period 08.00 – 12.00 and winter period 08.30 – 12.30 / 14.30 – 15.30.

Passports and Visas:- A valid passport is needed on entry to Northern Cyprus.  For EU citizens a visa will be granted to you at entry, but citizens from outside the EU should ask their embassy before attempting to enter. (Note: – there is NO charge for visa stamps at the borders)   Note: Depending on your proposed length of stay, it will normally be expected to see at least 3 months (90 days) left to run on your passport before it expires.

Border Crossings and Regulations:-  The ‘green line’ (border)  between the North and the South of Cyprus has been open since the 23rd of April 2003. Travelling backwards and forwards is now not only possible for Turkish and Greek Cypriots but also for Tourists. It has also enabled day trips for tourists on each side to explore the other side.

The opening of the borders have given the world the Turkish Cypriot view of the Cyprus Problem and Turkish Intervention – which has been for years dominated by only the Greek Cypriot Community. The main crossing points are open 24 hours a day and you are not restricted on the number of times you cross backwards and forwards or the duration of your stay.

 You do not need a visa or special documentation to pass the border if you have a valid EU, British or US passport. You will be granted a visa (slip/stamp) at the border. You will need to fill in your name, passport number and nationality on the visa slip granted. This visa needs to be presented on departure. (Note: – there is NO charge for visa stamps at the borders)

If you are not an EU or US citizen you will need to apply for necessary visa/ documentation before you attempt entry . Your visa form will get stamped on arrival/departure “not” your passport – so those who worry about the rumour that they won’t be allowed onto the Greek or Turkish mainland with stamps from North or South Cyprus needn’t worry.

Please note that if you hire car in North Cyprus – you will not be allowed to cross of border to the South of Cyprus.

If you’re travelling to Northern Cyprus from South Cyprus you should drive to Nicosia and follow the few signs that exist to “Keryneia” and you will arrive at the Metehan crossing point. The protocol for crossing the borders in Cyprus is the same whichever crossing point you choose.

Please note that hire cars from South Cyprus are allowed to enter Northern Cyprus providing the Greek Hire Companies permit this. All cars have to purchase additional insurance at the border crossing point – this is a fairly straight forward procedure.

Current Border Crossings/Checkpoints:-

Metehan (Nicosia):-

This is considered the main crossing point between the two sides of Cyprus. Driving and walking across is permitted.

Ledra Palace (Nicosia):-

This crossing point is strictly for walkers and cyclists. However, it is also used as a crossing point for diplomatic vehicles.

Black Knight (British Eastern Sovereign Base Area):-

This crossing is one of the two crossings points that are located in the British Eastern Sovereign Base Area. Driving and walking across is permitted.

Pergamos (British Eastern Sovereign Base Area):-

This checkpoint is the other crossing located in the British Eastern Sovereign Base Area. It is also known as Beyarmudu or Dhekelia. Driving and walking across is permitted.

Zohdia (Guzelyurt):-

This crossing point may also be known as Guzelyurt or Morfou. This was the last checkpoint to be opened and is located west of Nicosia. Driving and walking across is permitted.

Duty Free Regulations:-

Arriving at:

Ercan Airport: Each adult is permitted to bring 400 cigarettes, 500gms tobacco or 50 cigars, 1 litre of wine or spirits and up to 100cl or perfume. Duty Free shops can be found at Ercan Airport and at Kyrenia and Famagusta ports.

Larnaca Airport: No tobacco or alcohol purchased within North/South Cyprus is permitted to pass through any border crossings. We advise you to purchase your duty free items at Larnaca airport on your return journey. All standard EU Duty Free regulations apply.

Tax Free Shopping in North Cyprus:-

As a foreign visitor or a TRNC citizen living abroad, you are entitled to a refund for the value added tax (KDV) you have paid on the goods you buy during your stay in North Cyprus and which you intend to take with you when you leave the country.

Note – When applying for a tax refund total amount shown on the submitted invoices, must not be less than 200 TL.

For the buyer to benefit from a tax refund, they must take the goods they have bought out of the country through customs, within three (3) months of purchase. For foreign students and academic staff in North Cyprus, this period is six (6) months.

 Procedure:-

While Shopping… Shop from stores where there is a “Tax Free Shopping” sign and ask for the Special Tax Invoice.

At Customs…. When departing from Northern Cyprus, show the customs officer on duty at the exit, the goods you have bought together with the SPECIAL TAX FREE INVOICE and your passport.

To Collect your value added tax refund….   After the approval of the customs officer, please apply to the ‘tax refund office’. Please note:- at busy times of the year you may need to allow extra time before departure of you flight.

Traffic:-

Traffic and road signs are international. Vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road. Distances are shown in Kilometers (Km) as are speed limits.

Alcohol limit is 50mgr – as in Europe.

For Car Hire an recognized ‘international’ driver’s license is needed and the age limit is 25.

Telephone:-  Emergency phone numbers Police 155, First Aid/Ambulance 112, Fire 177.

Public telephone booths and telephone cards are only available at Telecommunications Office. The best and cheapest way to communicate with back home will be by using local land lines (hotel telephones) or “pay as you go” sim card ( Turkcell/ Telsim / Avea are the main GSM operators in Northern Cyprus) for mobiles.

It is not recommended to use your international sim card as you will be charged roaming fees.

Public Transport:-

Small buses called Dolmus, are the cheapest and the most frequent form of transport in Northern Cyprus. These busses are available to Kyrenia every 10 minutes from the main road of Almond Holiday Village. If you would like to go to Nicosia, Famagusta or Guzelyurt – you will need to get the Dolmus to Kyrenia and then take another Dolmus to these destinations.

Taxis are also available. The taxis all have taxi meters and are very reasonable.

Electricity:-

In North Cyprus, voltage is 220/240 volts AC, supplied at 50 Hz. Standard British rectangular 3-pinned plugs at 5 amp or 13 amp are used, but some 2-pinned plugs still exist. In particular, if you buy an anti-mosquito machines, these are continental 2-pinned, so an adaptor is required.

Post:-

The outgoing postal system is reliable. Incoming mail must be suffixed “Mersin-10, Turkey”.

Time:-

North Cyprus is normally two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC), and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). For summer time clocks go forward one hour at 2 am on the last Sunday in March and back again at 2 am on the last Sunday in October.

Public and Religious Holidays in Northern Cyprus: -

1st of January – New years Day
23rd of April – Chidrens Day
1st of May – Labour Day
19th of May – Youth and Sports Day
20th of July – Peace and Freedom day
1st of August – Turkish Resistance Day
30th of August – Victory Day
29th of October – Turkish Republic Day
15th of November – Northern Cyprus Republic Day

Note – 2 religious holidays called “ Bayram “ one of 3 days and one of 4 days take place every year at different dates. Banks and Government offices are closed on these dates. Some shops also choose to close. But hotels, restaurants and touristic shops are all generally open.

If you want to know more about life in North Cyprus – try joining ‘The Friendly Forum” There are different topics and opinions by people who live there.