Castles:

 

 

St. Hilarion castle 

 

At a height of 730 m St Hilarion castle is the westernmost and best preserved of the three redoubts built by the Byzantines and Crusaders. 

 

With walls and towers that appear to sprout out of the rocks almost randomly, it is a fairy-tale sight living up to Rose Macaulay's much-quoted description ”a picture-book castle for elf-kings” and the rumour that Walt Disney used it as a model for the castle in Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. The legend that was spread locally says that St Hilarion housed 101 rooms, of which 100 could easily be found; the last, an enchanted garden with a magnificent treasure belonging to an elusive “queen” of Cypriot folklore, most probably a holdover of Aphrodite worship.

 

 

Kyrenia Castle

 

Kyrenia castle lies to the North-East of Kyrenia town and stands at the entrance to the harbour at Kyrenia. The original castle which is thought to have been built in the 7th century A.D. by the Byzantines for the purpose of defending Kyrenia against Arab raiders and pirates in the early 7th century. The castle has had various additions made to it during the reign of the Lusignans and was given its present form by the Venetians. 

 

The castle also houses a Shipwreck Museum, which displays the remains of a 2,300-year-old Greek ship and its cargo, recovered from the sea in the 1960s. The sailors apparently lived on almonds: thousands of them were recovered from the wreck. 

 

 

Kantara Castle

 

We visit the Kantara castle to enjoy the amazing panoramic views of the Besparmak Mountains, the Mesaria fields and Famagusta. By good weather, we can even see the Taurus Mountains on the Turkish mainland.