Monday, 18 February 2013

Kyrenia ship wreck museum

Kyrenia ship wreck museum

Not only does Kyrenia have the oldest female tandem paraglider (as featured in the 2013 Guiness Book of Records), but Kyrenia is also home  to the oldest shipwreck in the world.

Within the great halls of Kyrenia castle you can find a 2,300 year old Greek trading vessel. It is the oldest ship yet to have been discovered and excavated from the seabed anywhere in the World.

The remains of the vessel and its almost complete cargo were brought to the surface in 1965.  The cargo consisted of some 400 wine amphorae from Rhodes, 29 stone grain mills, lead weights and a staggering 9,000 almonds (it is believed that the almonds might have been the crews food).
No skeletons were found in the wreck, so it is happily assumed that no one died when this vessel went down (perhaps there should have been 401 wine amphoraes, but the crew drowned their sorrows not their souls!).
You can find the reconstructed vessel in a temperature controlled room in one of the great halls along the eastern side of Kyrenia castle.  The Aleppo pine timbers had to be soaked in a preservative bath, then dried. It is in this form that you can now view the boat. It really is something special. The age of the ship was determined by carbon dating of both the timbers and the almonds.

The shipwreck museum is just one of many fascinating features of Kyrenia castle and it comes very highly recommended by Jewels of the Med.

When booking your holiday to North Cyprus, call us on 020 3150 0075 to book a trip to visit the museum or one of our many other daily activities.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Bohemian dining in North Cyprus


Jewels of the Med highly recommend this gem of a restaurant situated in the heart of old Nicosia. The atmosphere, the food,  the value for money and the quirky service make it a place to remember, to cherish, and to yearn to go back to!
Having taken in the sights of the Buyuk Han, The Bedestan with the Whirling Dervishes, the Selimiye Mosque, formally St Sophia Catherdral , the Lusignan House, and the Eaved House, you will probably be ready for some lunch and a nice cool refreshing drink. There are numerous street kebab houses, which are really good. There is the trendy Sabor restaurant in the square opposite the mosque, but it is Mosaic Bar & Restaurant that has the real magic!!

Set on one of the ancient town houses, the restaurant has real charm. In the summer dining takes place in the private courtyard. Decorated with antiques from times gone by, it is a truly interesting place to sit and relax with friends. In the cooler months, diners find themselves inside the wonderful house. Either upstairs in your own private dining room or downstairs amongst all the antiques, you can’t fail to be impressed with the ambience of Mosaic.

So the setting and location are fabulous, but what about the food? Amazing!! With mezes from 2tl each, and a main mixed kebab only at 24 tl, this has to be one of the best value restaurants in North Cyprus. The food is lovingly prepared by the owners. Each meze has a unique twist. On our recent visit, we were served the local speciality 'Mulihiya', a spinach like dish, typically served with chicken. Ours was served in lemon juice and garlic - it tasted divine, as did the tiny baked onions that also appeared. There is so much food and even the salad is exquisite!

The bill for 6 of us came to only 103tl – for that we had a meze for six, with chips and the men had grilled chicken and a mixed kebab. There was so much food left we could have taken it home for supper!!!  There were drinks also included in the price! 103tl is approximately £40.00!!!
Now you can see why Jewels of the Med are so happy to share this superb place with you, our valued customers.

You will find Mosaic directly opposite the Selimiye Mosque and their phone number is 0090 392 227 43 17

“AFIYET OLSUN” – Enjoy your meal! And please do send us your feedback on this great restaurant!!

Jewels of the Med - your North Cyprus holiday specialists!!

Monday, 11 February 2013

These boots are made for walking....


With blue skies, warm temperatures and miles upon miles of wild flowers to be seen, Spring is a wonderful time to a plan a walking holiday in North Cyprus.

Once you have booked your package holiday with Jewels of the Med, we can highly recommend the following two guide books to be your companions.

Walks In North Cyprus can be ordered in the UK from this address:

Or can be bought in The Round Tower shop, central Kyrenia or the Best Seller book shop in Karakum, East Kyrenia.

This book has 30 walks of varied lengths including walks around the historic towns of Old Nicosia, Famagusta and Lefke. There is additional information on bird watching and wetlands.

Walk and Eat North Cyprus is a sunflower publication and can be bought on Amazon. Again it can also be found in the Round Tower and the Best Seller Book shop in North Cyprus.

This is a fantastic little book & not too heavy to carry around with you. It has many circular walks in places you would never find without it. It is very colourful and full of great places to eat aswell. Each walk and restaurant in the book have been carefully selected by the authors who are residents to North Cyprus. Updates can be downloaded and this book is even available on the Kindle.

If you would prefer to join an organised walking group whilst on holiday we can also organise this for you too. When booking your holiday with Jewels ofthe Med please express your interest in how to find the bookshops in Kyrenia and we will happily direct you.

Jewels of the Med are The North Cyprus Specialists……. 0203 150 0070

Friday, 8 February 2013

Breaking World records!!


Whilst on holiday in North Cyprus, why not take a tandem paragliding jump, and be amongst world record breakers! Peggy MacAlpine has won the world record for being the oldest person in the world to do a tandem paragliding jump, not once BUT TWICE!
Peggy first achieved this amazing title on the 31st October 2007. She was 100 years young! Amazingly, an American lady called Mary Hardison from Utah then took the record from Peggy by jumping on her 101st birthday.
When owners of Highline Paragliding became aware of Peggy’s defeat, they contacted her straight away to see if she was fit, willing and able to make another flight. Peggy is now 104! With permission from her doctors and the support of her family and friends, Peggy took to the skies again on 14th April 2012.

The weather was not particulary great - there wasn’t much wind and it was quite overcast. The clouds were hugging the top of the Kyrenia Mountain range and four generations of Peggy’s family anxiously waited on the landing site along with 3 official judges from the Guinness Book of Records. Then as if by magic, Peggy and her instructor Ozgur appeared through the clouds like a huge graceful bird. We all cheered and watched them make their effortless descent. We saw Peggy lift her feet up, practising for the landing. And then they were down. Beautifully done, all credit to Ozgur the pilot who skillfully helped Peggy reclaim her world record!
So if Peggy can do it at the age of 104 what is your excuse???!!! It really is a fabulous experience, giving you some of the best views of Kyrenia and the surrounding area. You can take your own camera or buy the excellent photos from your pilot. Apparantly it is one of the cheapest places in the world to take a tandem flight, another great reason to give it a go. You will find the paragliding office in Kyrenia’s tourist harbour, but don’t leave too late in the holiday as the weather conditions can be quite unpredictable.
Jewels of the Med highly recommend this superb experience, and yes we have tried it too!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Explore Incirli Cave


Welcome to one of the most magical places in North Cyprus!!

Incirli Cave is located just outside the tiny village of Cinarli. Time has stood still in this mountain village, where donkeys and chickens roam freely in the narrow , winding streets. The residents are extremely friendly, many having returned from living in London, so surprisingly English is spoken in this remote beauty spot.
The Incirli Cave is located just outside the village. It is advisable to call either Mustafa or Ozzie on this number before arriving –  0090 533 844 17 55 – you can arrange to meet them and follow them to the cave. It is clearly sign posted, so if you wanted to, you can also walk from the village - it takes about half an hour each way. There is a small entrance fee, about 3tl each, so take a small amount of money with you.

There are no guides and no information, there isn’t really even any health & safety procedures, so all you can do is enter the cave, lit by a generator and then let your imagination run wild! The entrance is actually obscured by a fig tree, hence the name "Fig Tree Cave"!

Once inside there are smooth steps down into the heart of the cave. The floor can be a little slippery due to the natural moisture, so caution is needed (plus, don't wear your flip flops!!) The temperature inside is cooler than outside, so in the Spring months, jumpers are recommended. It is the walls of the cave that make it so fascinating. The cave is inside Gypsum Hill. Gypsum is a soft mineral and when it reacts with water, amazing statactites and stalagmites are formed.  The internal walls glisten with mineral crystals and the statactites and stalagmites look rather like big brains or cauliflowers! You can  explore upto 100 metres of the cave, with the subdued lightening throwing spookey shadows on the walls. It really is quite exciting!
As with all things ancient there is a legend attached to the cave. In ancient times goat thieves would use the cave to hide their stolen goats. The villagers followed tracks to the cave, but could only see the fig tree. Once the thieves believed their secret had been discovered, they escaped from the far end of the cave, although no other exit has ever been found. It was also used as a hide out for the EOKA army in the 1950's.

Once you have explored inside, it is well worth climbing to the top of the cave, to survey the wonderful view. One really feels like you are ontop of the World. Keep a close eye on the rocks, as ancient fossils of sea animals can be found on this mountain range.
Jewels of the Med highly recommend a day trip to this wonderful part of North Cyprus. Hire a car and pack a picnic. Once you have visited the cave, return into the centre of the village and ask for directions to the 'Monumental Tree'. About a mile to the other side of the village is a massive 400 year old pine tree. It is in a stunning location, in the heart of the beautiful Cypriot countryside.

A wonderful picnic spot, locals tie ribbons around the branches of the trees and make wishes. Feel free to follow in local traditions, especially if you wish to return to magnificent North Cyprus.
Jewels of the Med highly recommend a visit to Cinarli and Incirli cave. Please ask our sales representative for more information, and when you make your visit.....don’t forget your camera!