Why you should choose Long Beach for your holiday
The İskele Long Beach region in North Cyprus is known as the world’s best investment destination for beachfront properties for those looking to live or retire abroad. According to Forbes Magazine, the top four business and investment locations are Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, and Belize. The findings are based on research conducted by Live and Invest Overseas for the Global Property Survey 2021. Its annual index considers a number of parameters when determining the world’s best places to invest in properties overseas. The study analyzes the costs of two-bedroom, two-bathroom flats in places where a foreign retiree would feel at ease and likely to purchase. The İskele region has a robust rental market, making it a great place to invest.
You can read our previous blog post to know some Fascinating facts about İskele Long Beach and other holiday resorts in North Cyprus
Visitors have long been expressing satisfaction about İskele Long Beach
The investment activities of North Cyprus are rapidly expanding. There will be an increasing number of amazing initiatives announced during the next five years. North Cyprus is attracting investors from all over the world who want to buy land and create their own enterprises. Noyanlar Group of Companies is always happy to provide the best beachfront properties for residential and investment purposes. The knowledgeable investment consultants and sales representatives at Noyanlar will walk you through the island’s fresh investment options.
Testimonials from previous visitors
We chose to travel further afield for our autumn holiday because the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is coming, and we were concerned about the potential for travel between the UK and the EU to be disrupted. We had been to Cyprus before and were taken in by the nice weather. Except for a day trip to the north, we had stayed in the south, within the EU. Northern Cyprus is the Turkish Republic that is not a member of the European Union. We could even fly through Istanbul, Turkey, completely avoiding the EU.
We have figured out our general position, but where would we stay in North Cyprus? My husband discovered the Sea Life Hotel at the İskele Long Beach area, just over 10.5 miles north of Famagusta on the east coast, after many hours of online research. The reviews were excellent, the beachfront setting appeared to be ideal, and we discovered a terrific package deal with Cyprus Paradise.
In fact, the offer was so low that it nearly seemed too good to be true. We took advantage of a free upgrade to half-board and spent a little more for a coastal mini villa, as recommended by other tourists.
As the departure date approached, we began to worry about how this extraordinarily low-cost trip would turn out. I even joked with my pals about arriving at a beach shack. Continue reading to learn why we call North Cyprus Long Beach Resort a “hidden gem.”
The airport transfer went pretty smoothly, albeit with a few quirks. We were sent to a man with a laptop outside Ercan airport after arriving late at night. He showed us to a huge and very luxurious Mercedes taxi after checking our information and scanning our passports. We were hurried to our final destination after water bottles were left in the holders for us.
The only snag was the taxi driver’s displeasure when he found we didn’t have any little change for a tip. The next day, a representative from Noyanlar Holidays told us that we didn’t need to tip.
We were greeted by the 24-hour reception staff, who offered us packaged sandwiches and checked us in quickly. Our baggage was taken from us and we were led down walks past villas until we arrived at the hotel. As our guide searched for the keyhole, we admired the lantern light near the door.
As we ate the sandwiches before hitting the pillow at around midnight after a hard day, I remember being struck by the spaciousness of the lounge space, but little else.
The Sea Life Hotel in İskele Long Beach, with views out to sea across the broad Famagusta Bay, is a newly-built low-rise, friendly hotel for those who want a quiet holiday by the sea.
The 3-star Sea Life Hotel is ideal for individuals looking for a pleasant hotel on a human scale, with its low-rise aspect and style of a luxury cottage. This is a hotel where you can feel like a member of the family, not simply a room number, with a shady patio facing the wonderfully clean pool and just two or three floors of beds.
Relax by the pool while admiring the view of the sea…
The hotel’s enclosed swimming pool is located in the heart of the property, surrounded by waving palm trees and bathed in the Cyprus sunshine. There are plenty of sun loungers and a separate children’s pool, as well as snacks and refreshments from the popular bar. The glittering Mediterranean Sea is directly across from the hotel, with a lovely grassy area ideal for the kids to run around in the evening.
The hotel has the following amenities and provides a wide range of other services to make your stay comfortable:
- Air conditioning
- Foreign currency exchange
- Ramp Access
- Wheelchair Access
- Baby cot possible (on request)
- Conference Rooms
Leisure and sports
- Kids Play Area
- On-site beach
- Poolside snack bar
- Swimming Pool – Outdoor
- Rooms with Balcony
- Disabled Room Available
- In Room Air Conditioning
You can read more to find out why Sea Life Hotel İskele should be at the top of your list!
Other location choices
The Long Beach Resort and Noyanlar Holiday Homes are other accommodation options next to Sea Life Hotel that provide visitors with the best holiday experience. We pushed the boat out and decided for a coastal mini villa with a spacious separate room, based on web recommendations from prior guests. Smaller bungalows with no lounge and less expensive places with a pool or garden view were also available. We were not dissatisfied with our choice.
Beachfront mini villa
With their whitewashed outer walls and blue border around the windows and doors, the single-story tiny cottages had a lovely, classic feel to them. The curved arch over the front entrance and the design of the patio door, as well as the terracotta tiles on the sloping roofs, were attractive to the sight.
A wonderful touch was the wooden blue rail by the front entry. The white dividing walls at the front and back of the home added to the solitude and gave it a secluded feel. The water tank and solar panels, which we assumed were on the roof, were not visible from the beach because of the villas’ architecture.
The front door led to a corridor with a right-hand door leading to the shower room. A door to a bedroom can be found further down on the left. An archway led straight ahead into a spacious lounge. A linking door between this villa and the one next door could be ideal for a family gathering. A terrace was accessible through the patio door. The beach and sea beyond were separated by a footpath and a modest wall.
The interior of the little villa was painted magnolia, with white wooden doors and frames. In the living room, there was one medium-sized modern art print in a rectangular gold effect frame near the uplighter, and in the bedroom, there were two woods prints in black frames.
The beige-tiled floors were set out in a square or diamond pattern. In the lounge and bedroom, cream textured curtains hung on dark wood poles.
In the lounge and bedroom, there were new air conditioning systems. Each one came with remote control. Despite the heat outside, the villa remained cool, but on a cooler evening in November, we used the heating option.
Guests from the United Kingdom did not require adapters because the plug outlets were three-pin. We saw that certain two-pin items, such as the kettle, had plastic adapters.
This was the villa’s largest chamber. The sea view was enhanced, thanks to full-width windows at the end. Full-length windows flanked the patio doors on both sides, and an arched window atop them completed the look. A lovely addition was the white fretwork that gave the sense of separate panes.
In the corner, a massive dark wood unit stood. There was a large cupboard with three deep drawers in it. A dark brown vinyl sofa, two similar leather armchairs, and a medium wood rectangular coffee table lined the opposite wall. By the uplighter, there was another little square dark wood coffee table in the corner.
A dark wood square table with a cream top and two green plastic chairs sat in the corner near the archway. Two glasses, coasters, and two wine glasses sat atop the table.
There was an under-counter fridge around the corner to the right. This was the minibar, which was stocked with drinks and a menu. There was a kettle on top, as well as two cups, saucers, and teaspoons, coffee sachets, and whitener. On top of the huge unit in the corner, there was a large flatscreen TV.
There was a central light and a modern uplighter in the corner by the window.
A helpful pale wood folding suitcase holder was available. Next to the television was a phone.
Take some peppermint teabags or your favorite fruit/herbal teabags. As a result, you’ll always have a hot drink at your villa.
We had never seen anything like the note we saw in the lounge, prohibiting us from bringing any food or drink into the hotel from outside sources. We had cereal bars, crackers, and peppermint teabags hidden in our cases, and it felt like we had already gone too far. Not to mention our custom of purchasing drinks and food from local supermarkets and consuming them in our room.
We contacted a hotel representative about the note at breakfast the next morning. Such signs were frequent in Northern Cyprus hotels, she claimed, but she believed a couple of bottles of water would be enough.
I hid snacks in a cabinet and attempted to be unobtrusive when returning from the grocery, which was 800 meters north of the hotel, on the opposite side of the road, and accessible via an underpass. When our path back from shopping took us by the main patio and reception area, this was no small effort. We never had a problem, though.
Although it appeared modest in comparison to the lounge, it served as a sufficient bedroom. Its dual aspect was the highlight. One window looked out to the front garden area with palm trees, rubber plants, bushes, and paths leading to the pool area, while another looked out to the back garden area with a palm tree, patio, wall, beach, and sea. They were both waist-high and slid across halfway to open.
A wooden headboard in two colors was fastened to the wall of the double bed with a beige base. Either of the medium brown bedside tables had a single shallow drawer and a shelf on the bottom, as well as crossing beams on each side.
A matching dressing table with two shallow drawers was located near the front window. Nearby was an upright wooden chair with a dark brown padded seat and back. To the side of the dressing table was a tall rectangular mirror with a dark brown frame that was partially obscured by the dressing table (I mentioned that the room was small).
A tall wardrobe was built into the wall opposite the bed. There were two more doors above the two enormous dark brown doors, up to ceiling height. A full-width hanging rail with five hangers ran the length of the room. Although not the most substantial provision, additional was swiftly made available upon request. Above the bed was a shelf with extra bedding. A loft hatch in the ceiling was revealed when the top cupboard was opened.
White sheets and a green and beige checkered blanket adorned the bed. Two white pillows were present, with a third in the wardrobe. We asked for another, and it arrived quite soon. In the wardrobe, there was also another sheet and a red patterned blanket.
On either side of the bed, there were lights with curved black supports and yellow shades. A center ceiling lamp with a cream shade was also present.
Despite the fact that a hairdryer was labeled on the dressing table, the drawer was empty. At the reception, we were given a hairdryer.
The walls of this room were covered in wide mottled beige tiles, adorned with a narrower row part way up, with a simple configuration of the shower to the left, sink opposite the door, and toilet to the right. A little square UPVC window high in the wall provided a small amount of natural light.
A sliding screen completely encloses the white shower tray, which ran the length of the room. The adjustable shower head was on a rail above the shower control, which was low on the end wall.
The modern white circular sink was placed on a dark brown wooden stand with a beige top and a convenient shelf beneath it. The toilet was nicely tucked next to it.
Above the toilet, a chrome towel rack hung high on the wall. This was a unique site with certain drawbacks, as I discovered when I dislodged a towel into the toilet below one day.
A towel rail was also located at the entryway. On the wall over the sink, a simple rectangular mirror was mounted, with a chrome holder and frosted glass on the wall below. In the corner of the shower, there was a useful double-level chrome toiletries shelf.
There was a single globe light in the center of the room. It was a little dim, but we managed.
Toiletries and towels
Two shower gels and two shampoos were regularly replaced. Two reasonable-sized bath towels and two hand towels were replaced daily if required.
Don’t flush the paper!
At our welcome meeting, the representative informed us that toilet paper should not be flushed owing to the possibility of clogs, but should instead be placed in the shower room’s bin. He said that the cleaners would empty it every day. It took some getting used to, although this is rather normal in various Mediterranean nations. Although a lid on the bin would have been preferable, the contents may have been emptied into a lidded dustbin near the front entrance. Overall, we determined that this was preferable to the alternative of clogged drains.
A nice garden scene with crazy pavement walks, palm trees, rubber trees, and plants could be seen from the front door and the bedroom window. “Long Beach” was placed in a sloped flower bed across the street (just in case we forgot where we were). We could just make out the border of the swimming pool area through the trees. Just before daylight, we became accustomed to hearing the dawn chorus from the birds in the woods.
The terrace, with its views of the beach and the sea beyond, was clearly the tiny villa’s highlight. From the patio door, beige steps led down to a crazy paved patio area. Two white slatted plastic sunbeds with blue cushions, two white plastic chairs, and a cream umbrella with a white stand were included in the set. We observed that our patio lacked a tiny table, but as soon as we addressed it to a service member, he vanished and reappeared a few minutes later with one.
It felt as though there was no one on the other side of the separating wall between us and our neighbor. Our patio was connected to the concrete path, which ran behind a short white wall, by a slabbed path surrounded on both sides by a sandy patch of land. Globe lights were placed at regular intervals on the wall. There were holes in the wall that allowed access to the shore.
We enjoyed the sun on the terrace from morning until mid-afternoon in the fall, when it gradually shifted over, leaving the beach in the shade. The sea terrace was flanked by palm trees, but ours was situated back towards the bedroom, allowing us an uninterrupted view from the living.
Issues and Solutions
Nowhere is perfect and, given the reasonable price tag, I guess our expectations were set a little lower.
I had read online about some previous guests, who had a problem with an unpleasant smell from the drain, so we were prepared. The first morning we woke up to an unpleasant odor coming from the shower room. But, before you dismiss Long Beach Resort Hotel from consideration, I need to complete the story. That morning, when the rep asked if everything was okay, we mentioned it. Immediately he spoke to staff at reception.
By the time we returned to the villa, there was a clean, fresh smell, which the cleaners endeavored to maintain throughout our stay. We noticed that our shower was a little slow to drain at times, but the issue was always sorted by the cleaner when we mentioned it.
Later on day one, the curtain pole in the lounge came away from its fixing. Within a very short time of our telling reception, a member of the maintenance team arrived and fixed it.
We had read that there were no safes in the villas, but that there was a safe on reception for the use of guests. I was a little wary about how this would work out, but in practice it was fine. We just had to be organized and remember to collect any cards or cash from there before going out. The staff gave us a large envelope to put our valuables in and wrote our room number on it. It was then placed in a big. old safe behind reception.
Access was via the production of the room key. I was a little concerned about security and sometimes lingered to check the envelope made it back into the safe. But my suspicious nature soon eased. Staff quickly recognized us and our valuables were secure. We were prepared to overlook the odd minor inconvenience because the staff were so helpful and friendly. One day the cleaner left flowers in a vase in our lounge, another day she beckoned us over to give us a freshly picked bunch of dates.
If you have a problem, say something about it. Give staff a chance to put it right.
Set a few yards away from the villa area, near the car park and overlooking the beach, the distinctive low rise whitewashed building behind a white balustraded surround was the hub of Long Beach Resort Hotel. Inside to the left was the reception desk, manned 24 hours. The staff here were always pleasant and helpful. The curtained glass office of the manager was immediately next to it.
The floor was covered with beige tiles. Opposite reception, there was a lounge area, with attractively patterned armchairs around glass-topped coffee tables. In the corner, there was a selection of local souvenirs for sale on shelves. Further shelves accommodated a library and a flat-screen tv was fixed to the wall above.
The whole area was very light, due in part to the many windows, which looked out onto the terrace and the sea beyond.
Beyond the lounge was the bar, with the restaurant buffet area in front of it and an indoor dining area beyond, with further access to the terrace.
Free wifi was available near reception, which probably explained the popularity of the seating here in the evening. We also picked it up on the main terrace and around the pool.
There was a choice of two locations for dining. The restaurant, beyond the bar and buffet area and the terrace outside, which could be accessed from the restaurant.
The dining area occupied a large section at the end of the main building. Its high sloping ceiling was unusually decorated with sailcloth drapes. Dark wood tables and dark brown high-backed chairs, covered in padded vinyl were arranged in rows with small gaps between them. They were decorated with white tablecloths and blue runners.
The predominantly white painted walls combined with the windows along the outer walls to make this a light and airy room.
This was our favorite dining area. The tiled expanse wrapped itself around the main restaurant building. It was bordered by a white stone balustrade and had a slightly raised platform in one corner with chrome railings. Glass-topped circular tables were surrounded by wicker chairs. There was a limited supply of brown padded cushions, but we found the chairs were fine as they were. The overhang of the sloped, tiled roof, gave shade for those who wanted it.
At breakfast, tables were set and covered with blue and white checked cloths. Doors from the lounge area and the restaurant opened straight onto the terrace and there were steps up from the beach. An outside bar area backed onto the inside bar.
Warm temperatures and early morning sun made this a great location overlooking the sea. Meals and drinks could be taken out here. Some preferred to take their evening meal out here after dark. If we were around during the day, we found it a pleasant spot for a reasonably priced drink.
We opted for a half-board basis, made all the more attractive by a free upgrade from bed and breakfast, meaning that our evening meals were free.
This was in many ways our favorite meal of the day, not so much because of the food, although this was very good, but because of the setting and the service. We were very fortunate with the weather during our stay in the fall, so we were able to eat breakfast out on the terrace overlooking the sea. Serving times were 7.30 am – 10.30 am, but in practice and in keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the resort, anytime after 7.00 am and even a little before was fine.
The cold breakfast buffet was laid out in front of the bar with a good selection of cheeses, cold meats, olives, and salad, all clingfilmed in case of flies. The cereal selection was limited to Weetabix, chocolate rings, and cornflakes. There was always a bowl of fresh fruit salad, another of yogurt, and also tinned grapefruit. Around the other side, there were apples, oranges, and satsumas.
The hot serving area stocked pancakes with optional chocolate spread, boiled eggs, baked beans, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and a vegetable option like a cabbage/onion fried mixture. Some days there were small hotdog sausages in tomato sauce.
A chef was on duty by the servery and they would cook omelets to order, offer us the best quality bacon we have come across in a hotel and fry halloumi on request. There were also heated pastries as well as bread with a toaster at the end and a selection of jams. We recommend trying the cherry jam.
At the end of the bar, there was a drinks station with a choice of water, apple, cherry, and orange juice, a hot water dispenser with a selection of tea bags, and a coffee machine.
Tables were laid ready for breakfast, often soft music played in the background as we strolled backward and forwards from the terrace. Staff were friendly and quick to clear the tables. It was only a short time before the chef was making up our favorite omelets as soon as she saw us arrive for breakfast.
The whole breakfast experience was very relaxing and made a great start to the day.
The advertised time for this was 7.00 pm – 9.30 pm, but in practice, the buffet opened when it was ready, which was usually between 6.00 pm and 6.30 pm.
The supervisor was quick to come and take a drink order and it wasn’t long before he remembered our order and got drinks ready for us when we arrived. Unlike problems we have encountered in much larger hotels, there was no issue transferring the bill onto our room account, and some evenings we didn’t even sign a receipt. But, at the end of the stay, the account was correct.
The buffet was well-stocked with a good variety of salads, cold meats, and cheeses. Fresh bread was always available. Each evening there was a soup of the day, as well as a different selection of hot dishes, with a choice of vegetables. We sampled grilled chicken, macaroni, spaghetti, sprouts, carrots, beans, artichokes, minced meat with aubergines, and grilled battered fish, to name just a few.
Desserts were my downfall. The small cakes, often with honey as an ingredient, were too good to miss as well as the strawberry mousse, gateaux, and fresh fruit. Each evening there was a different selection.
Occasionally there was ‘live entertainment’, which consisted of a duet, playing assorted instruments in the corner of the room and sometimes singing. It was never too loud and it added to the meal experience. At other times, soft music played in the background.
Cats and dogs
The first time we ventured to the sun loungers and umbrellas further up the beach, I was surprised to come across three stray dogs basking nearby in the sun. I was a little wary of them at first, but they actually proved to be no bother at all.
We started to notice them elsewhere, sometimes on the sun loungers near the villas or lying by the pool. They were never any trouble, although we were saddened at how thin they were and some guests went out and bought dog food for them. Others thought that they were given scraps from the kitchen.
There were a few cats as well, who tended to hang out around reception. One breakfast, as I returned to our table on the terrace I was met by a very animated Frenchman. “Le chat, le chat, le lait, le lait, la table”. he said as he waved his arm towards our table. It took a minute before I worked out that in our absence one of the cats had jumped on the table to drink our milk. Apart from that isolated incident, there were no other animal issues.
Online photos of the beach so close to the mini villas had influenced our choice of Long Beach Hotel Resort. As its name suggests, this was a long stretch of sandy coastline.
After reading through the reviews, though, we realized that not everywhere is always as idyllic as it seems. Other visitors wrote about the rocks in the sea near the villas and the difficulty of swimming here. But the sea did look very inviting and what could be more convenient than walking straight from our terrace onto the beach and into the sea.
So, on day one, undeterred by the reports we tried it out. I got in okay and managed to swim, but coming out was another story. Underwater rocks are slippery. Losing my footing, I fell. I was lucky not to spend the rest of the holiday admiring the view with a plaster cast on my wrist. We weren’t the only ones to be tempted by the sea near our mini villa.
On our last day, we watched a newly arrived group of Germans gamely trying to get into the water with varying degrees of success. There was a lifeguard station between the reception building and the villas, but this was not manned while we were there.
The following day, we walked along the beach, past the reception area and terrace to a stretch of beach with loungers and umbrellas set out for guests. Here there was a sandy entrance to the sea for a much safer experience. The water was shallow and the beach gently shelved, so this was an ideal spot for families. There was also a nearby play area with a plastic climbing frame and a beach bar for use in high season with changing rooms down the side.
The first few days at the end of October into November, the sea was very calm and we found that we had no use for the pool, as the sea temperatures were still warm. One morning at breakfast we commented that it was like a lake. Within an hour though a breeze got up and the waves increased. It was still fine to lie by the beach on a sun lounger, but getting into the sea with the waves was quite a challenge. Time to check out the pool.
Located in the center of the resort, the well-maintained pool area was a focal point between the beachside villas and other villas behind it. This was noticeable at night when the pool was lit up. The whole area was partially surrounded by a semi-ornate white balustraded border with ornamental urns at intervals containing plants and columned entrances at either end.
Villas on a raised level behind it were screened by hedges and those below by the gardens and palms. The car park and approach to reception were at one end, but this was at a reasonable distance and well-screened off from the pool area.
I have sometimes been disappointed by the size of hotel pools or their shapes, which though pleasing to the eye, are not best suited to any serious swimming. My rough guess would put this at around 11 yards wide at its narrowest by 22-27 yards long, with a maximum depth of 2 yards. Plenty of scope for a good swim, although the raised wall of the circular paddling pool at the end was not the easiest to kick off against. The pool branched out towards the paddling pool end, with gentle steps down in each corner, supplemented by a ladder further up on either side.
The paddling pool had bars around it, but even so, care needed to be taken here to watch the more adventurous children. There was a tiled area on this level with sunbeds and shades. The tiling extended over a large area around the pool. We had read reports of sunbeds in short supply in high season, but in October, and November there was no problem at all and we were sometimes the only ones there. There was always a reasonable number of white plastic loungers with padded cushions and sunshades.
Towards the beachside villas, there was a swim-up pool bar, with a shaded terrace area behind equipped with tables and chairs. Unfortunately, out of season, this was not open. There were also open-air showers nearby.
I guess you can’t have it all. The pool was not heated and felt cooler than the sea. But once in, it was fine for swimming and often, we needed to get in to cool off with land temperatures reaching the high 20s degrees C in the Fall.
We preferred setting up sunbeds and shades on the landside, around a third of the way along the pool. There was a handy ladder into the pool nearby, it was reasonably sheltered and there was a good view between the villas to the sea beyond.
Always a bonus. We had noticed online before traveling that the hotel supplied pool towels. It was easy enough to pick them up and return them to the reception. Granted they were not the thickest or the biggest, but they did the job and saved us bringing our own with the added hassle of laundry issues.
The layout of Long Beach Resort Hotel contributed to the general relaxing ambiance around it. Paths of crazy paving ran around the area bordered by flower beds, bushes, and many date palms. It made the stroll back from the reception area to the villas very pleasant. At night the area was adequately lit and the crickets could be heard in the trees.
The main reception area was separated from the villas by a broad crazy paved path towards the beach, decorated at intervals with large anchors and flower beds. Some villas had well-tended lawns in front of them. We often noticed staff working on the grounds while we were at Long Beach.
Nowhere is ever perfect. I picked up a few insect bites while I was staying at Long Beach Resort Hotel, which I expected from the climate and shaded location.
There are no direct flights to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from anywhere outside Turkey. This leaves two options for traveling to Long Beach Resort.
The first is to travel via Istanbul to Ercan Airport in North Cyprus, around 31 miles from Long Beach. We disembarked a flight from London Stansted, took a coach into the terminal in Istanbul, went through security, headed to a gate, and boarded a coach, which took us back to the same plane, where we sat in the same seats.
Coming back we changed planes. Security was heightened at the gate for our onward flight to London, due to Istanbul being a hub for many Middle Eastern destinations. This is cheaper, combined flight and transit times are longer, but the transfer is only around 40 minutes in North Cyprus.
The second option is to fly direct to Larnaca airport in the south of Cyprus, around 44 miles from Long Beach. This is more expensive. The single flight is shorter, but the transfer time is longer at over an hour and there can be delays crossing over from the south to the north.
Getting out and about
Meet the rep
Having seen a Cyprus Paradise representative in the reception area early on our first morning, we assumed that she would later conduct the meeting for newly arrived guests. In fact, she introduced us to Umut, from Tourplus, who fulfilled the role of our resort rep and also informed us about trips run by Tourplus, of which there was a good selection.
Guests were able to book a place on the shuttle/local bus which stopped on request at Long Beach Resort Hotel to collect guests. Once onboard a nominal fare was charged and we were asked to indicate our return time. We were dropped at the Sea Gate in Famagusta and told to be there 10 minutes early for the return journey. We used the bus twice and it worked well for us; much cheaper than a taxi.
Varosha, the ghost town
The once-thriving tourist area south of Famagusta, now deserted and within the empty buffer zone between north and south Cyprus, has become a tourist attraction, as visitors try to catch a glimpse of the Ghost Town. We did a self-guided trip whilst in Famagusta, but other guests recommended a personal tour that Umut conducted. There is a lot for visitors to see in the Ghost Town!
A short taxi ride south of the resort took us to the Roman ruins of this historic site on the coast.
St. Barnabas Monastery
Slightly inland from Salamis, the burial site of St. Barnabas is a popular tourist attraction, with an archaeological museum now housed in the monastery buildings. It too can be reached via a short taxi ride.
Famagusta, Varosha, Salamis, and St. Barnabas monastery all feature on a day trip by Tourplus. Although our next-door neighbor was a little disappointed to find that the included lunch was served at Long Beach Resort Hotel. He had hoped for a change of scenery.
Our package included a free day trip to Nicosia with a guided walking tour of the northern part and free time to explore and cross the border. The catch was a lengthy visit to a jewelry business on a trading estate near the city. On balance it was worth it but you need to allow for not reaching Nicosia until late lunchtime.
A day trip offered by Tourplus with several stops and lunch included as we explored the ‘panhandle’ of Cyprus up in the northeast. Interesting sites and scenery as well as the wild donkeys, with a friendly and informative tour guide.
Kyrenia. Bellapais and St. Hillarion
We didn’t take this day trip, as we had previously visited the first two places. But from our experience, they are worth visiting.
There was also a Guzelyurt tour available to the northwest of Cyprus. Maybe we will try it next time.
Some tours were unavailable in the Fall, but might be an option at other times, such as the turtle tour, scuba diving, aqua park, boat tour from Kyrenia harbor, Cypriot night (traditional meal and entertainment), jeep safari, Turkish bath, Kykkos monastery tour taking in the Troodos mountains south of the border and the Larnaca and Lefkara tour.
Another option would be to hire a car. This can be arranged through the hotel reception for a very reasonable cost. Petrol prices are subsidized by Turkey. It is probably one of the cheapest places you will buy fuel.
You can read more to understand how beautiful the İskele Long Beach area is!