Our first stop is Kyrenia - a city on the northern coast of Cyprus, known for its historic port and castle. The city was probably founded around the 10th century BC and was one of the original city kingdoms. The location on the north coast made it an ideal place for port development, and only forty miles from the mainland of Turkey was ideally located on the trade route.
The castle in Kyrenia, which has Byzantine foundations, was rebuilt during the Lusignan rule, and then strengthened and enlarged by the addition of massive walls and bastions by the Venetians. It guards the tiny harbor, as it has done, hardly changed in the last four and a half centuries. The port of Kyrenia is surrounded by restaurants and bars that were created from buildings that were once Venetian flats or stores of locust.
Just 20 minutes away is the Bellapais Village - with breathtaking views, small streets and ancient buildings around each corner. The village has changed little since it was immortalized by Lawrence Durrell in the 1950s. Bellapais Abbey is a ruin of a monastery built by Regular Canons in the thirteenth century on the north side of the small village of Bellapais, now in Turkey-controlled northern Cyprus, about five kilometers from the city of Kyrenia. The ruin is located at an altitude of 220 m above sea level and offers a long view of Kyrene and the Mediterranean Sea.