With an equable climate, stunning scenery, sandy beaches, mountain trails, diverse flora including many rare and endemic species, North Cyprus tourism has an almost unequalled variety of choice that should cater for the most quixotic tastes.
Since partition of the island in 1974 tourism has gradually developed to encompass all that the northern part of Cyprus has to offer. The major towns and the capital city of Nicosia (Lefkosha) offer a glimpse into the past with architecture ranging from medieval dated at the time of the French Lusignan dynasty, to Venetian, Ottoman and British colonial. There are museums displaying artefacts that have been discovered all over Cyprus and there is the chance to shop in an array of emporia not to be seen in other European countries. There are jewellers selling fine gems and items of gold and silver. The gold is usually 18ct and the silver is 925 standard. Even with the price of gold currently (June 2011) at an all time high it will still be slightly cheaper to buy in Cyprus.
Because Cyprus has such a lot to offer, there are many specialist tourism opportunities that range from walking tours, sometimes combined with a botanical tour. There are tours that cater specifically for people interested in crusader history covering excursions to the mountain castles of Hilarion, Kantara, Buffavento and the very beautiful gothic masterpiece of Bellapais Abbey. There are painting holidays where the artist is spoilt for choice in selecting a particularly picturesque setting.
There are holiday villages designed with families in mind, where children can be entertained all day long playing games, swimming and enjoying the fun of the aqua-park. Beach-side hotels provide water-sports that include scuba-diving, para-gliding and water skiing. Smaller, more private hotels are a peaceful haven in which to relax and get away from the rat-race for a couple of weeks, in fact some hotels are so quiet that they say they are not suitable for children as there is little entertainment apart from a tranquil view and birds singing in the bushes!
Self-catering holidays are to be found in one of the many well equipped private villas that are available for rent. Nearly always situated close to the centre of a town or village there is always a local shop and butcher to provide all the necessary essentials for a home from home vacation. Bus service to the villages tends to be sporadic with timetables that are not rigidly adhered to, and therefore car hire is essential.