Off the Beaten Path: Northern Cyprus
As low-cost airlines extend and strengthen their route maps, it’s become increasingly difficult to find truly exotic, untouched places to visit. Even given our expansive definition of Europe, which extends to the Urals, includes the Caucasus, and then swoops down to envelop Turkey, it’s ever more difficult to find places where tourist traffic is light.
That said, we can think of a lot of places firmly off the tourist track, like Northern Cyprus. (And, yes, geography purists, we know that Cyprus is not part of geographical Europe.)
While the southern part of Cyprus is thriving—it’s a part of the EU, will begin using the euro as its currency in January, and is booming economically—the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus remains politically isolated and on the physical periphery of Europe.
That said, we’re beginning to pick up on an as yet faint buzz about Northern Cyprus. It would appear that decades of isolation translates into undertouristed ruins and uncrowded beaches, among other fine draws.
The only way to get to Northern Cyprus by air is via Turkey. We found a mid-October one-way airfare from Istanbul to Ercan on the Cyprus Turkish Airlines site today for TRY 111.93 (€62.17; $85.63).
Also check out the North Cyprus Tourism Centre’s official site.