Girne harbour

We had crossed the border into Northern Cyprus again and headed to Girne, the port from where we will leave again, to get our tickets sorted. Beside of that, we visited the lovely harbour town with a big castle and an Abbey ruin close by.

Girne Castle at the east end of the old harbour is a 16th-century castle built by the Venetians over a previous Crusader fortification. Within its walls lies a twelfth-century chapel with reused late Roman capitals. The castle also houses a Shipwreck Museum, which was very interesting.

Girne castle and harbour entrance

Exhibited is the wreck of a 4th-century BC ancient Greek merchant ship, which had sunk in front of Cyprus with all its merchants. The ship sailed in the Mediterranean during the lifetime of Alexander the Great and his successors. It carried 381 amphoras containing a cargo of wine, olive oil, and almonds. It came from the Greek islands and gave the archaeologists a lot of new knowledge about trade and sailing boats of that time.

After Girne, which is Kyrenia in Greek by the way, we drove a couple of kilometres up to the mountains to visit the ruins of the Bellapais Abbey.

Bellapais Abbey is the ruin of a monastery built during the time of the crusades in the 13th century and become very wealthy over time. In 1571, the Ottoman invasion led to the expulsion of the Latin Christians and with it the end of the abbey. We had great views down to Girne and the Mediterranean Sea from there


We had a couple of days left, until our ship was going. First, we drove to the north-east, where we found a long sandy beach, with so much plastic from the sea, that we just couldn’t go for a swim. These are turtle beaches, and we saw their tracks and their nests. That they have to make their way through all that rubbish was so sad, and we don’t understand why nobody is cleaning up here.

We drove along the coast and found a bay, where Cordy could go snorkelling and saw some fish, but again there was so much plastic in the sea and other rubbish from the people coming here, that we left the next morning. We drove all the way to the east, to the Golden Beach again, to spend our last days at this wonderful beach, which is much cleaner.

After the ferry ride to Turkey, we will be driving home the last 2,500 km. We have no big plans for that route, but let’s see.

4 thoughts on “Girne”

  1. Torsten, DG7RO

    Schade, dass überall so viel Plastik rumliegt und die Natur, Fische und Schildkröten bedroht.
    Gute Fahrt – evtl bis FHN!

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