Beaches are a principal attraction in North Cyprus, and vary widely in character from the hotel beaches, which offer many facilities, to the secluded stretches of sand in the Karpaz, where the visitor may have an entire beach to themselves. Water sports are available on some beaches, in particular at Deniz Kizi, some 5 miles west of Kyrenia, where Dolphin Sailing, which is recognized by the Royal Yacht Club, offers a wide range of water sports with professional tuition and supervision. Varying entrance fees are charged by the hotels to their beaches. In general, these beaches are kept clean and provide facilities such as toilets, deck chairs, parasols, bars and restaurants. In addition, there are a number of public beaches. There is an excellent public beach close to the London Casino to the West of Kyrenia, just below a seafood restaurant. As a guide, a few beaches are listed below:
East of Kyrenia
Acapulco Beach lies about 6 miles to the east of Kyrenia. At the point where the coast road to the east sweeps up towards the mountains, a large sign advertising this beach will be seen. Here the road branches off to the left leading to the entrance of a holiday complex. This is a popular tourist beach, offering most facilities, but supervision of children swimming is recommended as there is an undertow. Windsurfing is available.
Lara Beach may be found a couple of miles further on - a sign indicates where to turn off from the new by-pass road. Toilets, showers, and beach chairs are available, and there is also a reasonable open air restaurant.
Alakadi Beach is still further east, about 10 miles from Kyrenia. A hundred yards or so past St. Kathleen's restaurant is a small bridge. Immediately after the bridge, a rough track bears left, leading past a farm and through the dunes to a large, sweeping double bay. There are no facilities, so bring your own refreshments, including water and avoid leaving litter. Look out for the Turtle project located at the start of the track going down to the beach. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to talk to the volunteers working with the turtle conservation project who are very happy to explain their work.
West of Kyrenia
Escape Beach, (the nearest beach to Villa Maniola), is located about 5 miles to the west of Kyrenia, past the sloping concrete monument beyond KaraoglanogIu. It is adjacent to the Altinkaya fish restaurant. The sandy beach is well protected and ideal for tiny tots. Toilets and showers are available, and there is a bar and restaurant.
Deniz Kizi is situated about seven miles west of Kyrenia. This sheltered bay is kept clean, and offers a variety of water sports (see Dolphin Sailing above) including windsurfing, parascending, water skiing, and inflatable fun rafts for smaller children. Deck chairs are available for hire, and there are also toilet and shower facilities.
Mare Monte hotel beach lies some 10 miles west of Kyrenia, and provides all the facilities the visitor requires. An excellent location, but the entrance fee is higher than elsewhere.
The Dome Hotel in Kyrenia has a large sea water swimming pool, ideal for those who like sea-water without the sand. Most facilities available.
The Karpas Peninsular
Golden Beach is located at the end of the Karpas peninsular and is generally recognised as being one of the best beaches in the world. It is is a long drive from Kyrenia but well worth it. Best to start early and make a day of it.