This is a full-day trip I recommend! Now, if this is a trip worth taking depends on you. This is not some place where you will enjoy a great lunch at Red Lobster. It’s eighty kilometers each without the benefit of good roads… yes, allow a full day. You will see a side of North Cyprus most don’t: few tourists, miles of beaches, and nature that simply doesn’t exists elsewhere.
Here are the highlights of your day:
- Wild Donkeys
- Unspoiled Nature, preserved courtesy of the Karpaz National Park
- Golden Beach
- Apostolos Andreas Monastery
There are ruins and other sights but these are the main attractions.
Before you leave, stop at a supermarket for bread, carrots, or even apples. The donkeys will thank you.
We normally travel from Iskele along the Southern Coast and cross the mountains at Büyükkonuk (aka the Eco Village). The mountain pass will open up to some spectacular views of the Mediterranean as you descend down the far side.
As you travel along the Coast Highway, you will want to stop just to photograph and admire some of the most scenic areas in North Cyprus. Shortly your road will leave the coast and head inland.
It's here that you will enter the village of Yeni Erenköy. If you didn’t grab some donkey treats before, look for the little supermarket on the left hand side of the road near the center of town. Last chance!
Really, the Peninsula starts at the town of Dipkarpaz. This is an interesting town, altho the visitor may miss it at first. There are both Greek & Turkish businesses in the same town. Look up the hill and you’ll see an Orthodox Church and just a few meters away the Dipkarpaz Cami (Mosque).
As I understand it, during rescue/invasion the Turkish Army sent word as long as the Greek residence of Dipkarpaz didn’t cause any trouble, they would not be molested. An agreement both sides honored.
This will be the last town you will see before your return. If you want anything, like gas, now is the time. To the right, down the hill and you are now on your way.
The quality of the road may well be the best indicator of the distance to the end of the Peninsula. It starts out and a nice lined highway with shoulders and concrete drainage. The road steps down in quality as you go, until it's finally a little more than a dirt track once you pass the Apostolos Andreas Monastery. Most visitors don’t go all the way to the end.
The Monastery is a working Church, holding regular services and receiving numerous busses filled with visitors from the South. It deserves, and will receive, its own Blog page.
This is the home of Cyprus Donkeys. An introduced spices of course but these are wild animals. Pay attention. They also understand that the humans will bring them food. They will approach you and your car and you can offer them a little to eat. During the rainy season they are often in the hills and out of sight. The Donkeys have their own Blog Article.
For most, the Apostolos Andreas Monastery is the end of the trek and that may be the right choice as from here on its a paved & dirt road. The very end of the Peninsula has a small police station and two large flag poles. There is literally nothing else.