8 days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus
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Karpaz Gate Marina

The beautiful Karpaz Peninsula and undiscovered cruising grounds around Northern Cyprus are an unspoilt corner of the East Mediterranean now ready to be explored chartering a superyacht in Cyprus.

You will find miles of empty sandy beaches, idyllic anchorages, ancient harbours and rare wildlife, plus plenty of on-shore activities including historic castles and abbeys and the fascinating towns of Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta.

One of the remaining tax-free destinations in the Mediterranean, North Cyprus is only a short sail away from southern Turkey’s turquoise coast and the harbours of Alanya, Antalya, Marmaris and Bodrum. In just under 300 nautical miles it is possible to reach Rhodes, gateway to the Greek Islands.

Day one — Karpaz Gate Marina

You can start your North Cyprus superyacht adventure in style at Karpaz Gate Marina. This new haven for larger yachts offers premier leisure and technical facilities with 300 berths for vessels ranging from 5m to 55m.

You can enjoy traditional Cypriot and international cuisine at Hemingway’s restaurant and bar overlooking the marina or relax at the Beach Club, which has an infinity pool and Jacuzzi.

Other on-site activities at the marina include expert diving tours and tuition with diving school Mephisto, plus kayaking, snorkeling, yoga, music and movie nights, BBQs, art exhibitions at the art gallery and other special events. There is also a fitness centre, mini-market and a yacht brokerage office operated by Cyprus Yachts and chandlery.

The marina also has boat maintenance facilities on site and a 300-ton travel lift as well as duty-free fuel, technical service and supplies.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

Departing from Karpaz Gate Marina, a days sailing along the northern coast will enable you to sample the history and charm of Kyrenia Ancient Harbour.

Although the harbor is not suitable for mooring or berthing, it is definitely worth visiting by tender. This bustling, horseshoe-shaped harbor was founded in the 10th century BC and is guarded at its entrance by the towering Kyrenia Castle.

Kyrenia Harbor is packed full of interesting shops, as well as cafes, restaurants and bars. Other points of interest in the area include the shipwreck museum, which houses one of the world’s oldest wrecks — a 4th century BC Greek merchant ship that sank less than a mile from an anchorage in Kyrenia

Bellapais Monastery, which dates back to the early 13th century, is in the nearby picturesque village of Bellapais, and St Hilarion Castle, which is named after St Hilarion, a hermit monk who fled from persecution in the Holy Lane and lived and died in a cave on the mountains.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

Escape Beach, one of the best beaches in North Cyprus is just a further 5nm along the northern coast. Curving round in a gentle bay fringed with trees and sheltered by the foothills of the Kyrenia Mountains, the idyllic beach setting features golden sands and shallow waters as well as facilities including a beach club, bar, restaurant, sun loungers and showers.

Popular for Cypriot youths, the beach is protected by a small island across the bay and is perfect for watersports including scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing.

The anchorage at the entrance of the bay is protected from southerly and westerly winds, with a sandy bottom good for anchoring. There is also a pier to moor up a tender.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

From Escape Beach, head east for a two-hour sail to the large sandy Alagadi Turtle Beach, which is one of the major beaches in North Cyprus where the loggerhead and green turtles come to nest. Under the control and guidance of the volunteers working for the Society for the Protection of Turtles in North Cyprus, it is possible to see the turtles laying eggs and then from August onwards the hatchlings make their journey to the sea.

It is the longest stretch of beach on the coast, with views of the Five Finger mountains behind and impressive sand dunes between the road and the sea.

Yachts can anchor at the entrance of the bay in the sandy bottom. Protected from southerly winds, it is possible to stay overnight if the weather is good.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

Kaplica Bay is one of the most beautiful spots to anchor between Kyrenia and Karpaz Gate Marina and is 21nm from Alagadi Turtle Beach. Within the local area of the bay is a mountain range as well as an interesting coastline, while the sandy beach provides a great base for swimming and snorkelling.

The four-hour sail provides an excellent view of the north west coast of Northern Cyprus, but it is advised to keep a clear minimum of 2nm from the shore as there are hidden reefs. There is a very well-protected fishing harbour 1nm east of the bay.

Anchor in the bay, which is protected from southerly winds, on a sandy bottom and stay overnight, weather permitting. There is a beach club, bar, restaurant, and hotel, plus the bay is very close to the Kaplica Village for provisions.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

Heading further east along the coast towards the tip of the peninsula, you will pass by Karpaz Gate Marina before reaching an unspoiled anchorage point at a natural bay with a beautiful sandy beach.

The bay offers a great spot for snorkelling and swimming and is located within the protected Karpaz National Park where the Karpaz wild donkey roam among an array of flora and fauna.

Staying 2nm clear from the shore due to reefs, you can anchor in the bay, which is protected from southerly and westerly winds and has a good sandy bottom.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

Around the northern most tip of the island is the famous 2.5km long Golden Beach, known as the island’s most beautiful beach. You may find you have the beach to yourself and it is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

The historic Apostolos Andreas Monastery is nearby, one of the Karpaz Peninsula’s most popular tourist attractions, which is dedicated to St. Andrew, the patron saint of travellers. A place of pilgrimage, some believe in the healing properties of the waters and the site is considered holy by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Keeping a minimum of 2nm from the shore due to the reefs, do not navigate between the mainland and the isles at the point of the Karpaz Peninsula. Unprotected from easterly winds, anchor in the bay in the sandy bottom and stay overnight in good weather. There is a restaurant, bar and market.

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days in undiscovered Northern Cyprus

About 45nm further down the east coast, the city of Famagusta is home to the largest port of North Cyprus.

It is well worth spending a couple of days in the city if possible. The many historic artefacts nearby include: Greek St. George Church, Sinan Pasa Mosque (St. Peter & St. Paul Church), Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque, The St. Barnabas Monastery, The Canbulat Tomb & Museum, The Salamis Ruins of the city of Salamis that was founded towards the end of the Bronze age, Namik Kemal Dungeon in the courtyard of the Venetian Palace, and The St. Barnabas Icon & Archaeology Museum.

Check the entrance of the harbour from the chart to keep clear of the shallow water (3-5metres) lying on the SE-NW direction.

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