There is a magic about unspoilt Northern Cyprus which, once experienced, is never forgotten. Known as “the Med’s best kept secret”, many visitors fall in love with its unique ambience and find themselves returning year after year to explore its rich and diverse history, landscape, culture, relaxing pace of life and quite simply gorgeous island climate and people. Few other vacation destinations offer the unique experience of Northern Cyprus.
Many visitors decide to make a home in Turkish Northern Cyprus for full-time or part-time living in this charming former British Colony where property is extremely affordable, English is widely spoken and where over 10,000 British residents live in a virtually crime-free zone happily alongside a multi-cultural population. New state of the art medical care, six international Universities plus new schools (teaching in English) and modern leisure facilities are now attracting ex pat residents and their families from all over Europe and the Middle East
There is something for people of all ages in Northern Cyprus – as a visitor or resident you can experience.
The perfect Mediterranean climate and beaches (relax in the warmest winter weather in the European area and enjoy miles of unspoilt sandy beaches),
the ancient history (climb Richard the Lionheart Crusader Castles on mountain peaks or visit ancient Roman cities),
the leisure facilities (relax in brand new spas or enjoy new 18 hole golf courses and marinas),
the fabulous unspoilt scenery and range of activities (dive to explore ancient shipwrecks, enjoy the mountain views or watch baby turtles hatch in the summer)
And all of this for affordable, non euro-zone prices. Come and enjoy the country and experience the unique Turkish Cypriot welcome.
North Cyprus for Vacation
Whatever type of holiday you like – North Cyprus is the perfect place for vacations of all types. Whatever time of year you come – you will be met with the legendary Turkish Cypriot hospitality, will love the wonderful food you can sample in a huge variety of eating places, be amazed by the breathtaking North Cyprus mountain scenery which towers over the North Coast and be charmed by the cobbled back streets of Kyrenia with its glittering harbour – “the jewel of the Mediterranean”.
In early spring, many come to play golf or walk in the countryside to see Cyprus at its most vivid with rare wild flowers and birds – including rare orchids and the other flora and fauna celebrated in some of the village spring festivals. It is also the perfect weather to explore the many ancient ruins and sites. In late Spring, music lovers enjoy the Bellapais Classical Music festival set in the scenic Abbey Ruins. In early summer the local oranges and strawberries can be picked and enjoyed with the markets full of wonderful produce.
As the hot Cyprus summer reaches its peak in July and August, the hotter weather sends people to beaches or to laze by the pool and lap up the sun! Diving, surfing and water sports, as well as boat trips along the coast, are enjoyed all summer long. The autumn sees the sun cooling down but the sea can stay warm until November or even December and during Autumn the harvesting of the olives, nuts and dates are in turn celebrated in colourful local festivals. Winter in North Cyprus sees distant snow on the tops of the Troodos and in February and March it is really true that you can actually ski or snowboard in the morning and then, after only a hour’s drive down the mountains, you can sunbathe by the sea in the afternoon!
There are some excellent three and four star hotels close to the main tourist centre of Kyrenia or book your own self catering holiday in a villa or apartment by the North, East or West coast beaches. There are good off-season discounts to be had and since haggling has not totally gone out of fashion in North Cyprus, never be shy of calling the hotel direct and asking for their “best price”!
North Cyprus for Investment
Non Cypriot Europeans have been investing in real estate in Northern Cyprus for many decades – ever since the British took over as the colonial rulers of Cyprus in the 1890s! The British stamp on the whole of Cyprus is still unmissable: cars drive on the left, English is an official language, all the road and street signs are in English as well as Turkish (in the north). There is generally a charming ex-colonial atmosphere at every turn – from the local Anglican Church to the legacy of charming former colonial buildings. The pound sterling is the unofficial international currency with British pound notes being accepted currency in all shops and restaurants and all property is priced in pounds sterling.
Despite British and European investment into Northern Cypriot property declining for a few decades after the island was divided in 1974 (following a Greek Cypriot attempt to oust the Turkish Cypriots from the island) – massive recent international investment from the EU and Turkey into the country’s infrastructure as well as the official recognition by the European Courts in 2010 of the Immovable Property Commission (paying compensation to former Greek landowners) has seen a huge recent renewal of interest in property investment in the North of the island and a general throwing off of the TRNC’s former image as a slightly uncertain investment zone. The existence of internationally recognised title deeds, including pre-74 Turkish Title properties, has also done a lot to increase investor confidence in North Cyprus property – which is experiencing 10% capital growth in some key beach front areas and with new fully managed resorts springing up which offer rental guarantees and in-house holiday lettings services.
Since the large international banks were not involved in lending money to the developers who build new properties in N Cyprus, unusually the TRNC is a “recession-free zone” and there has instead been slow yet steady growth – a rare thing in the general European area. In addition, since the collapse in the South of Cyprus of the Greek Cypriot economy and banking system over the last few years, many investors who had previously only considered a property purchase in the European South, are now heading North to the more stable, non euro-zone area – and where the cost of living is low as well as the property prices!
Today, modern North Cyprus is now seen as a booming, emerging market for property and other banking and business investments. The UN and EU sponsored bi-zonal reunification talks are once again on the table and this is driving up prices and international interest as it is anticipated that whichever way the reunification cookie crumbles, there will be significant property price rises in the near future. Contact our advisors now for more information and details on how to view luxury properties with rental guarantees from only £45,000.
North Cyprus for Retirement
TRNC is the perfect retirement destination. There are now over 10,000 British, European and other international ex pat residents living happily alongside the approximately 300,000 resident Turkish-speaking population.
The most frequently quoted reason is simply the fabulous Mediterranean weather – out of 365 days in a year, you can expect sunshine on around 340 of them! The Cyprus climate verges on the semi-tropical and although there is of course the much needed rain in the winter, it is generally at least 10 degrees hotter than the UK on any given day of the year.
Private healthcare and hospital facilities are “state of the art” in northern Cyprus with new centres including the Near East University Hospital and Medical School boasting world-class equipment and treatment opportunities. More and more visitors arrive in the TRNC to take advantage of the far lower prices for private healthcare and operations and find better healthcare in Cyprus than in their own country of origin! Although those retiring to North Cyprus do need to consider private medical insurance, the specialist consultation prices are so low (around £25-30 per visit to see a specialist) that it can be cheaper just to “pay as you go”. Prescription and over the counter medicines are often far cheaper.
For the active retiree, the sky is actually NOT the limit for the number of leisure activities you can pursue. Paragliding is a popular activity but for those preferring land or water-based leisure activities, the brand new 18 hole Korineum Golf & Beach Resort boasts an impeccably maintained 18 hole golf course with stunning mountain and sea views, often preferred to the courses in the South of Cyprus (including the well-known Aphrodite Hills course) due to its more challenging design. There are three marinas (the traditional Kyrenia harbour, new Delta Marina at the New Kyrenia Harbour and the brand new Karpaz Gate Marina further up the pan-handle) as well as a host of diving and waters ports clubs. For those who like socialising, the various English-speaking societies organise dances, talks and other fundraising events. There are a host of new ex pat bookshops, cafes and weekend markets where ex pats meet and relax together in the sun over cups of tea – or something stronger!
For those who are concerned about links with home – there are various Consulate offices in North Nicosia (Lefkosa) including the British Consulate where passports can be renewed and all the usual official information and advice for ex pat residents can be obtained. North Cyprus is officially a Muslim country but welcomes people from other faiths. Church goers are delighted to find the lovely traditional St. Andrew’s church in Kyrenia with regular Sunday services run by an Episcopal vicar resident at the nearby Hermitage. The British Residents Society has weekly “clinics” at its Kyrenia office where experienced ex pats are happy to dispense advice to new arrivals and where membership can be obtained.
Finally, one important reason why people retire to Northern Cyprus is the low cost of luxury property – compared to other Mediterranean destinations, including the south coast of Turkey . North Cyprus retirement home prices are more stable than in other locations like Spain and have been unaffected by the global crash. Although prices are starting to rise, it is still possible to buy a two bedroom apartment on or near to the coast from upwards of £45,000 – and a 3 bedroom villa from upwards of £80,000 – many with easy payment terms.
How to get to Northern Cyprus
Most visitors to Northern Cyprus arrive at one of the international airports in either south or North Cyprus, although there are also passenger and car ferries to Kyrenia from Turkey – running largely in the summer months. One advantage which North Cyprus has for visitors is the huge range of airlines arriving into the island.
British and Commonwealth passport holders have the choice either to;
travel to the south of Cyprus and cross across the border to the North by car or taxi in under half an hour – or alternatively
travel direct to Ercan Airport in the north via Turkey.
There are no buses into Northern Cyprus from the south of the island although TRNC car hire companies will arrange subsidised taxi pick ups from Larnaca to take you to your car in the North. There are some buses from Ercan Lefkosa airport in the north to various of the North Cyprus cities.
If you are wishing to visit to view property, please do contact us and we will be delighted to help with flight and car hire suggestions. Selected car hire companies in the south will include insurance for the north and it is advisable to use one of these if you wish to collect your car hire upon landing.
Larnaca International Airport in South Cyprus is a transit hub for schedule and charter flights from airports all over the world, including London and other major UK airports, European airports, the UAE, other Middle East airports and beyond Many visitors from the UK use airlines including Easyjet, Monarch, British Airways, Cyprus Airways, Thomas Cook and Thomson. Those visiting Northern Cyprus generally land at Larnaca rather than Paphos which is further away from most of the border crossing points and will incur higher taxi fares if you wish to travel directly to the North of the island from there, although those picking up a suitable car hire may enjoy the beautiful though windy journey to the north up the West Coast via Polis or over the Troodos mountains!
If you hold a non-European or non-Commonwealth passport and are coming to Northern Cyprus you will need a Schengen visa to enter via Larnaca. In this case, it may be easier to arrive via Ercan (Lefkosa) airport in the North using an airline which stops in Turkey on the way such as Turkish Airlines or Pegasus. There are no advance visa requirements for any visitor to Northern Cyprus and a standard 90 day visa is issued to all nationalities at the border or at Ercan Airport.