See the Turtles at Girne’s Alagadi Beach

in Girne

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is somewhat of a hidden treasure in the Mediterranean. The large island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, with a Greek south and Turkish north. The northern half is only recognized by Turkey, whereas Cyprus, referring to the southern part of the island, is a recognized part of the European Union. Due to its status, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is off the beaten path, but you shouldn’t miss its sights and sounds. You can easily get to Girne and the rest of Northern Cyprus by taking a short ferry ride from Turkey’s southern coast.

Girne has many historical attractions as it boasts a 6,000 year history involving several cultures, but it is also known for its long, sandy coastline and turquoise waters. There are numerous beaches within a few kilometers from Girne, each with its unique views and its own perks.

Alagadi, or “Turtle”, Beach is one of the best beaches in Girne, located just east of the city. It offers the longest stretch of beach on the coastline, a mountainous backdrop, and rolling sand dunes, making it popular with tourists and beach goers. The beach derives its nickname from the annual summer phenomenon of various turtle species going there to nest, with baby turtles hatching later in the year. Nature and beach enthusiasts would be crazy to miss out on this rare opportunity.

girne beaches girne castle girne turtle beach

Also popular with visitors is Lara Beach in Girne. Many beaches in Turkey and Nothern Cyprus charge an admission fee to set foot on the sands, but Lara Beach is an exception. There is a small 5 lira fee if you want to rent a sunbed however, which is a small price to pay to enjoy a day at the beach. The area around Lara Beach is becoming more developed as its popularity increases, and there are restaurants and cafes nearby.

Kervansaray Beach is another beach only a few kilometers outside of Girne, surrounding a secluded cove. Though it’s popular, Girne has so many beautiful beaches that the Kervansaray cove does not get overcrowded. Rental fees for umbrellas and sunbeds at this beach are cheaper than in the opposite direction of Girne on Lara Beach, and here a sunbed for the day will only cost you 3 Turkish liras.

Surrounded by all of these beautiful beaches, it is no wonder that Girne itself is considered one of the top 10 beaches in Europe. Though faced with strong competition, it made the list along with famous French and Spanish beaches, among others. Girne and the rest of Northern Cyprus offer a glimpse into Turkish, Greek, and Arab culture that is unique to few places in the Mediterranean. The food and architecture found throughout the city are two things that illustrate the vibrant history that has shaped this Mediterranean culture.

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