IT’S not an understatement to say that North Cyprus has possibly the most beautiful climb in the world.
I have a love of cycling and the great outdoors so have ventured around many beautiful places on two wheels, including South East Asia, Australia, as well as our good old English roads, but I have never been taken aback by the magnificence of the hills as I did in this beauty spot.
We meandered our way up through quaint rural little villages and then through the midsts of thousands of metres of hills nestled at the side of the sparkling blue sea.
The narrow roads were smooth and really quiet, making it ideal for cycling, although the views make it difficult to keep going because I kept having to stop to take pictures.
We travelled along cliff edges and through forests and around hairpin bends – spotting different views of the island as we climbed.
This in itself would have made the whole trip worthwhile – but there is still so much the Turkish part of the eastern Mediterranean island has to offer.
There is also Bellapais village, which has been made famous as it occupies a wonderfully scenic spot on the foothills of the Five Finger mountain range – a huge group of mountains in the shape of a fist.
Bellapais Abbey is also regarded as a masterpiece of Gothic Art.
But there are not just beautiful ruins in North Cyprus, there are also beautiful beaches – made famous by the turtles which inhabit them.
I visited Alagarde Turtle Beach – but sadly it was not the right time of year to see the beautiful creatures.
The sea and sand were stunning all the same.
But if you wanted to venture further afield, Karpas Golden Beach is classed the best on the island.
If it is too far to cycle, Pacific rent-a-car is a great way to travel across the island.
I stayed at Hotel Pia Bella, which was located in the heart of Kyrenia – and had everything you could want from a place to stay.
There were two huge pools, comfortable sun loungers and plenty of fresh fruit.
There were lots of orange and lemon trees around, which was beautiful to see.
The food was really good too.
I’m vegan and everyone was really accommodating – and they made sure I got to try a speciality of a vegetarian version of their Çig köfte: a mix of spices, tomato and bulgar wheat.
There were also a lot of fish and chip restaurants started up by ex-pats to make them feel more at home.
So don’t worry, you can feel like you are back at home as you can get your chips and gravy while sitting on the beach.
What struck me most about the trip was how friendly the locals were, especially while we were cycling.
We had one man on a moped travelling at the side of us asking where we were from and then said, ‘Welcome to Cyprus’.
North Cyprus is definitely more rustic than Cyprus itself and much less built up. It seems a lot more natural and untouched.
There aren’t hoards of holiday makers falling out of bars and clubs. Although there are some pretty bars on the harbour if you fancy a glass of wine or two.
●● North Cyprus has historic buildings such as Bellapais Abbey