Nuts & Bolts

With it being a relatively unusual destination, but one worth visiting, I thought I’d do a post about the cost and logistics of my trip to North Cyprus (which I’ll call KKTC, as they do).

As I mentioned in another post, because KKTC isn’t recognised internationally, incoming flights have to touch down in Turkey on the way. I believe 45 minutes is normal. Passengers just stay on the plane.

With that in mind and taking account of the flight times of Turkish Airlines’ Edinburgh/Istanbul service, I decided to stay a night in Istanbul on each journey. Check if you need a visa for Turkey. I did. You can buy it online in 5 minutes for £17.

My return flight between Edinburgh/Istanbul cost £206.

4 Hour Flight

I stayed at the Terrace Guesthouse on both my nights in Istanbul. It’s about 20 minutes from Atatürk Airport by taxi. The accommodation cost me £65 per night – inclusive of a big Turkish breakfast. The Terrace arranged for me to be collected at the airport by a “taxi” – in fact a limo would be a better description. The cost was £25.

If you have a suitcase and in the late evening especially, it is reassuring to be met by someone with your name on a board who will guide you through the pandemonium of the scene outside arrivals.

Atatürk Arrivals

The taxi (and it was a taxi) was much cheaper in the other direction – about £10.

You can get the metro and tram to The Terrace quite easily, but it’s a “hand luggage only” option for me.

I also used Turkish Airlines to fly on to Ercan (KKTC’s airport) from Atatürk Airport. It cost £115 return. AtlasGlobal and Pegasus also have services on the route. However, be careful which Istanbul airport your flight leaves from. Some fly from Sabiha Gökcen (SAW). I’ve never used it, but I know it’s a long way from the city centre on the Asian Side.

I took a taxi from Ercan Airport to Girne – about 40 minutes in normal traffic. It cost TL150. On the way back I pre-booked a local one – TL120. Both were big, modern, comfortable Mercedes.

Ercan Departures

In Girne I had an apartment organised through Airbnb. It cost £265 for 7 nights plus TL12 for electricity. I didn’t use the air conditioning (it was the end of September) but no doubt that would have put the electricity cost up a bit.

Home from Home

The apartment was fantastic, and not being in a holiday apartment complex, it was more like living local than as a tourist.

There’s a good mini market 2 minutes walk away and Girne centre is a pleasant 10 minute walk. So are the sea and the harbour. I found a couple of restaurants and a pastry place close by, so paying extra to join the tourists eating by the harbour was optional.

Börek

I thought of renting a car, but for my two “excursions” using a dolmuṣ worked out fine. I would have needed one for some of the other wee trips I looked into. Prices looked very reasonable, but a dolmuṣ is really cheap. It cost TL12 (Just over £2) each way for the 48 mile (75 km) trip between Girne and Gazimaǧusa.

Dolmuṣ to Lefkoṣa

Eating out was very reasonable – but I didn’t drink any alcohol, and that bumps up restaurant bills wherever you are. I did have a few meals in the apartment just for variety.

Delicious

So there you have it. If you plan a trip and have a question, just leave a comment.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2017

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