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To the north east of North Cyprus lies the 'Panhandle', or Karpas Peninsula. Alternatively spelled Karpaz, the region stretches from north of Famagusta to the northern-most tip of Cyprus. The Karpas covers a substantial part of the island and extends to 80 kilometres in length and up to 20 in width. The beautiful Karpaz has miles and miles of empty sandy beaches. Malibu Beach provides crystal clear water for good swimming. There is a snack bar and sun shades on the beach.

There is a stretch of coast known as the Golden Sands which is 5 miles of un-spoilt beaches and scenery. The Turtles use this beach in the summer for nesting. There are signposts down to many beaches and there are cafes and picnic areas offering refreshments. A visit to this magical part of the country is a must; on the southern side miles of golden beaches stretch before you and there is hardly a soul in sight.

One of the most unspoiled places anywhere in the Mediterranean continents, the Karpas is home to an outstanding variety of wildlife and its northern and eastern shores have some of the most beautiful (and deserted!) beaches in North Cyprus - in fact in the whole of the island.

The whole area is an open area museum with so many Byzantine churches, ancient cities, Bronze Age settlements and even Neolithic remains to see. The wildlife appreciates the lack of human interference; the sea is clear and blue.

Today, the donkeys retain the right to roam the peninsula, and are a great tourist attraction despite their tetchy tempers. The donkeys share the peninsula with herds of sheep and goats, and the occasional fox heading for the beaches and a possible meal of turtle eggs.

See more Karpaz Photos.


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