Pearl of the Mediterranean
Kyrenia is the centre of tourism in North Cyprus and bears the unmistakable characteristics of a Mediterranean city and of an island city. Kyrenia Castle bears the marks of the Byzantine, Lusignan and Venetian periods, but has reached us, for the most part, intact. It has been laid out as a contemporary museum, including an interpretive centre, dungeons, the Church of St. George, a display of artefacts from the Vrysi Neolithic Site, re-creation of the Kýrný (Pýnarbaþý) Tombs, the Mediterranean Tomb Excavation Section, the Venetian Tower, the Cistern, the Lusignan Tower, and the Sunken Ship Museum, displaying a 2,300 year old ship dating back to 300 BC.
It dominates historic Kyrenia harbour, recognised as the most beautiful port of the Mediterranean. St Hilarion Castle, which, at an altitude of 732 metres, is one of the North Cyprus's 3 mountain castles, has the following display areas: interpretive centre, the Barbican, storerooms, workshop, kitchen, the Royal Palace, the cistern, Prince John's Tower and the Byzantine Church.
Another masterpiece is the Bellapais Abbey, one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture of the mediaeval Eastern Mediterranean.