Lefke

City of Citrus

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Lefke

Lefke is a town in North Cyprus located in the west of the island and was found, approximately, in the 14th century BC. The population of the town is over 3009 (2011). Lefke is famous for its citrus grove, it is the only place in Cyprus where Yafa oranges are cultivated. The town is also known for its copper mines.

 

There are many myths around the finding of the town. One says that Lefkos, the son of Ptolemy the king of Egypt, found the city in the 3rd century. However, another myth suggests that the town is named after an ill girl who came to the town with a hope to be healed.

In the centre of the town, you will see Ataturk Park, which is often a venue for annual festivals and concerts. In the town you can find examples of Venetian, Ottoman and even British architecture: Ottoman mansions, Acendu tap, Monument of Coronation, Aqueducts.

In Lefke you will find 3 mosques Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque, Orta Mosque and Asagi Mosque. Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque was originally the Byzantine Church of Saint George, which was built in the 7th century, however, during Arab raids it was converted into a mosque. By the time when Ottomans came to rule in Cyprus the mosque was in a very bad state and reconstructed it to Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque.

What to visit

The Ruins of Soli

Soli was built in the 11th century BC it is one of 10 ancient kingdoms in the island. Historians believe that the city was named after the Greek philosopher, Solon. It was a flourishing city with fertile soil and with no lack of water. However, the city had a hard fate first occupied by Persians, then Romans, it wasn’t meant for Soli to outlive the Arab raids in the 7th century and the city came to its end.

Nevertheless, findings from the excavations were impressive. The amphitheatre was found, temples,agora, church, tombs. Isn’t it thrilling? You shall see the sectile mosaics, which actually was well preserved and kept its original ornaments. Amphitheatre, built by Greeks, was modified and built on top by Romans during their rule on the island. Moreover, theatre is used to this day for various performances and concerts.

Another remarkable finding is the Aphrodite Temple, unfortunately, it is not opened to the public, the statue of Aphrodite, however, is in a museum in South Cyprus.

Strawberries & Oranges

Yesilirmak is famous for its strawberry plantations. For a small fee, you can pick up the berries of your choice from the plants and the same works with oranges!

Petra

Petra is an island close to Cyprus’ coast. The Petra island was inhabited as early as 5000 BC. It used to be a village in Cyprus with a mixed population of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, however, it is abandoned now.

 

What to visit

Lefke Beautiful Nature

Vouni

The palace was built by king Marion around 500BC during continuous wars among kingdoms in Cyprus. The kingdoms were politically polarised, ones supporting Greeks and the others Persians. Marion, a pro Persian king, built the palace, as a watchtower in case the Greeks from Soli would start military actions against them. After a series of battles, Greeks proved their power, defeated Persians and then took Vouni. They made some changes as to their architectural taste and culture such as a Temple of Athens. Another twist happened and in 391BC Evagoras seized the kingdom of Salamis, moreover, wanted to take under control the whole island. As a solution, Soli united with other kingdoms in Cyprus and asked Persians for help. Soli’s power was restored. In 400BC Persians regained control over Vouni but it was destroyed by fire.

Golf

The first Golf course was found in Cyprus in 1962, not many people know about CMC golf club, which is located in Yasilyurt village in Lefke area. This golf club has more than 900 members including the international ones.

Restaurants

Akdeniz Cafe Lefke, Lefke Baraj Restaurant, Liman Restaurant, Ambeli Village Boutique Restaurant

Sheikh Dervish Lodge and Tomb

Sheikh Nazim was a Turkish Cypriot Sufi Muslim sheikh and spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi tariqa. He was studying Classical Arabic and Islamic Jurisprudence under Jamal al-Din al-Alsuni in Istanbul, Turkey. Later he went to continue his studies in Syria. Nazim was a spiritual successor of Abdullah Fa'izi ad-Daghestani. He was recognized among the world's fifty most influential Muslims by “The 500 Most Influential Muslims”. He has followers from Europe, Asia and America.

Hiking, Walking, Trekking

What can be better than the fresh and sweet aroma of forest in the early hour of the sunrise, sun rays are already seen jumping behind the great mountains. Birds are starting to chirp their songs, flowers are opening their petals to greet you. Inhale slowly, you can feel life… You can feel that you live… Have you imagined the picture; in North Cyprus, it is a reality! Locals, visitors all worked so hard for years they were searching and sharing the best destinations for walking, hiking, and trekking. As a result of their findings, we have more than 733 trails, some are one-way some are circled into a loop. Different landscapes, various flora and fauna won’t leave you indifferent even if you are amateur and just on the beginning of your path to the appreciation of these outdoor activities. Don’t forget to take a camera with you, you wouldn’t want to miss a chance to take a photo. The routes vary from easy to really hard ones where you will need hiking equipment. Moreover, you don’t have to go alone (unless you enjoy solitude and want to unite with nature on your own), you can join a group with a professional English speaking licensed guide.

Where to stay

ERSON HOCANIN ORGANİK ÇİFTLİĞİ, Velmer Hotel, Lefke Gardens Hotel

Beaches

Mardinli, Yedidalga Belediyesi Plajı, Çukurgalif

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