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Every castle has its own story…

Access to the castle by car is straightforward (though the road is quite winding!) and there is a good-sized car park at the base of the castle. As part of your Northern Cyprus holiday, this is a fascinating historical site and well-worth a visit.

Enjoy the panoramic views of North Cyprus at its peak…

The castle with amazing views of Kyrenia...

kyrenia castle amazing sea view

Beautiful view from the windows of the castle

Discover St Hilarion Castle in Kyrenia…

Saint Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

Perched high in the Kyrenia mountain range, overlooking the Mediterranean and the surrounding areas of North Cyprus, stands the castle of St Hilarion. Reputedly the inspiration for Walt Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty', the castle remains one of the best preserved of all the Crusader Castles, thanks mainly to the work of the North Cyprus Antiquities Department.

The castle offers many opportunities for both those with an interest in history and those seeking spectacular views - on a clear day you can see all the way to the Turkish mainland!. Stout shoes are essential and especially in the hotter months, visitors should carry plenty of refreshments with them!

castle history kyrenia north cyprus

One of the best preserved of all the Crusader Castles


The castle is named after St. Hilarion, a hermit monk who fled from persecution in the Holy Land and lived and died in a cave in the mountains. Later in the 10th century, the Byzantines built a church and monastery here. Along with Kantara and Buffavento castles, St. Hilarion was originally built as a watch tower to give warning of approaching pirates who launched a continuous series of raids on Cyprus and the coasts of Anatolia. Although the monastery and a church were built here originally, the first references to the castle are found in 1191 records. For some time it remained of strategic importance, but later it became the summer resort of the Lusignan nobility.

The castle has three parts. The parapets for the defence of the main entrance were fortified by the Byzantines in the 11th century with the lower section of the castle being used for billeting soldiers and their horses. The middle section contained the royal palace, the kitchen, the church and a big cistern. At the entrance to the castle in the upper section, there is a Lusignan Gate with a courtyard in the middle. The panoramic view of Northern Cyprus from the Queen’s window (a window carved in the Gothic style) on the second floor of the royal apartments is superb and well worth the climb

north cyprus castle history

The castle is named after a hermit monk, St, Hilarion

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With the tranquillity and natural beauty of the Levant, the fascinating medieval ports and castles of Kyrenia and Famagusta and the best Mediterranean climate, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a holiday to Cyprus. Whether a family vacation or a getaway break for two, the rare blend of delights on offer in Cyprus is guaranteed to leave you with fond memories of your stay. The north of this beautiful island really does give you the best of Cyprus holidays!

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Hotels in Cyprus

Whether this will be your first experience of Cyprus, or you are one of the many holiday-makers who return to the island year after year, Cyprus Paradise should be your first choice. Cyprus Paradise is a specialist UK based tour operator offering the widest range of quality hotels in Cyprus. With over 26 years experience in selling holidays to the island, no one knows Cyprus quite like we do!

To most visitors, a North Cyprus holiday means Kyrenia, and Kyrenia means Kyrenia Harbour. Kyrenia is an ideal base to explore North Cyprus, and it has some of the island's best accommodation, yet the serene beauty of the countryside is never far away. Kyrenia is full of architectural interest and things to do. Visit our Discover Kyrenia page to read more about some of the most beautiful hotels and package holidays Kyrenia has to offer. read more...

Famagusta & Bafra are areas of truly outstanding natural beauty. Famagusta is perfect for golden beaches mixed with entertainment and ancient history like the famed Salamis Ruins. The Bafra region offers mile after mile of open countryside and untouched beaches. Drive around for hours amidst picturesque landscapes with no other vehicles in sight except in villages seemingly frozen in time. read more...

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