Well, on Saturday (28th April) I came to the end of my 7 nights in KKTC. It was my second visit to the country, the first being in September ’17.
It was good, again. I did some of the things I didn’t have time for the last time. Karpaşa, Bellapais, St Hilarion, Buffavento…
I tried to get a blend of the familiar and the new, so I had 5 nights in Girne (where I stayed in 2017, and even in the same apartment) and 2 nights in Kumyalı.
St Hilarion and Buffavento lived up to expectations. Both are spectacular. Both gave me some brisk exercise as well. Bellapais was the opposite. An anticlimax and a tourist trap.
On the food and drink side of life – important on a holiday – I learned last time to avoid the harbourside restaurants in Girne. They are overpriced and yes, you get a lovely view of the harbour, but you can get that any time you want.
I enjoyed several more “local” places, mostly relying on experience from my last visit. As far as something classier is concerned, my lunch at Beşparmak Bufavento was spectacular in terms of the quality and quantity of the food, plus a fabulous view.
The other place I went to a couple of times which isn’t local – but is – was Gloria Jean’s for coffee and cake. It’s a foreign chain and foreign when it comes to pricing, but it is attractive for locals aspiring to a certain lifestyle.
Locals drink Turkish tea or coffee as a rule, and Nescafe is often the only alternative to Turkish coffee. I enjoy the local tea and coffee, but sometimes an Americano or cappuccino becomes a craving! So far as I can tell, the likes of Starbucks hasn’t yet ventured into KKTC, so Gloria Jean’s something comparable.
I had a rented car this time and I needed it to get to some of the places I wanted to see. I got it from Sun Rent A Car – picked up and dropped off at the airport. The cost was £134 (€152) for 7 days including CDW. It was a basic Hyundai i20, so it got a bit out of breath going up some of the steep hills, but we made it. Great value for money.
In Girne I stayed at the same Airbnb apartment as last time. Clean, quiet and comfortable. £41 (€46.50) per night. Again, great value for money.
An excellent spring holiday.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2018