Ercan airport is where many visitors to Northern Cyprus arrive, and this sunny Mediterranean region is an inspired choice for holidays at almost any time of year.
There is something to appeal to all ages close to Ercan and the city of Nicosia is an essential stop. The walled Old City is one of the most interesting districts and you'll find Atatürk Square at its centre. The square is known for a majestic Venetian Column and it's a wonderful spot to enjoy a Turkish coffee as you watch the world pass by.
Nicosia's most famous landmark is Selimiye Mosque or St. Sophia Cathedral as it is also known. It dates from the 13th century and was converted from a cathedral to a mosque in 1570 when its two minarets were added. The northern point of entry into the city is the Kyrenia Gate; finished in 1567 it's an impressive reminder of when the Venetians ruled Cyprus. Other notable walled city attractions include the fortified Great Inn and Arabahmet Mosque.
Ercan is ideal for those who enjoy sun, sea and sand and this Turkish region of Cyprus has these in abundance. Kyrenia is the most popular seaside resort, and this beautiful old Venetian harbour town is backed by the dramatic forest covered slopes of the Besparmak Mountains.
Kyrenia Castle dominates the marina and harbour, and though it has been rebuilt over the years, it dates from the 7th century. Be sure to visit the Shipwreck Museum inside the castle, where you can see a wooden merchant ship from 306BC. This well preserved wreck was raised from the sea in 1967, and today you can see a version of the ship on Cypriot Euro 50, 20 and 10 cent coins.
Outdoor enthusiasts will adore this wonderful part of Cyprus, and the coast offers swimming, sailing, scuba diving and windsurfing, while hiking, climbing, horse riding and cycling are popular in the Kyrenia area and inland.
Add the excellent Mediterranean climate, great entertainment and delicious Turkish and Greek inspired cuisine and you have everything you need for a memorable break.
When to fly to Ercan
The Mediterranean climate in the region means hot, sunny summers from April till October and cooler winter periods from November to March so it's an excellent option for any time depending on your preferences. Visit in June to catch the Nicosia International Fair, where you can meet locals and enjoy the many mobile restaurants and the exciting funfair. The city boasts several festivals during the peak season months, and you may also be interested in the International Gonyeli Festival in July which is a showcase for Turkish music, folk dance and bands. The annual Youth Festival is a summer essential, and the Walled City Jazz Festival attracts lots of visitors each September. The Nicosia Theatre Festival also takes place in September and October, and though plays are performed in Turkish it's still highly accessible.
The high or peak season period is from June till September and flight prices reflect this as school holidays, the many local festivals and events and summer sunshine make the Ercan area highly popular. Shoulder season fares tend to be a little lower and the region is pleasant and less crowded in March to April and October to November. The cheapest time to visit is from December to February when fares drop for the low season period. The exception is the Christmas and New Year period as school and work place holidays make the region a favourite over the festive season.
Getting around Ercan
Most visitors will take a taxi or bus from Ercan to Nicosia, Kyrenia or other local towns and villages. Getting around Nicosia is easy and there are local buses which you can catch at several points including Kyrenia Gate. There are plenty of taxis available and they are the most popular option for getting between northern and southern Cyprus. Taxi fares are reasonable and though they are set, it is best to agree on a price before leaving. In Kyrenia there are also buses and taxis as well as local 'Dolmus' buses to get to and from the beach.