Kyrenia Harbour with the Crusader Castle in the background.
Kyrenia Castle with a tour boat moored in front of it.
The harbour at Kyrenia is a relaxing place for lunch.
Plenty of little cafes to have a drink and while away a few hours.
Hillside above Kyrenia
Northern Cyprus is very green, with an excellent selection of waymarked paths so hill walking is a pleasure.
The natural defences provided by the mountains were reinforced by a series of Castles. This is Kantara castle which originally goes back to the 10th Century.
From the castle walls there is a sweeping view of both the coast and the central plain.
The first reference to Kantara in the records is in 1191 when Richard the Lionheart captured Cyprus.
These were easily defended bastions
The castle was well nigh impregnable.
Looking eastwards towards the Karpas peninsula.
Looking Westward towards Kyrenia and beyond with the rain clouds gradually building and becoming menacing.
My 'Lord of the Rings' photo taken before the rain came down.
The rain put an end to our plans for a mountain walk but a rainbow cheered us up.
We felt like we had found a pot of gold.
Although much of the coastline is developed, there is plenty of wild countryside left with a fair few birds and seals. Cyprus is an important resting place for migrating birds in both Spring and Autumn.
Our next 'castle in the air' was Buffavento, again built to defend against Arab raiders.
Buffavento is the least complete castle ruins but is also the hardest to climb up to. It took us nearly an hour to get from the car park up to the top via a steep and twisty path!
This view looking westward shows Kyrenia in the distance.
A view looking towards the central plain.
Again, there were magnificent views of the mountain range.
From Buffavento you can see Nicosia with the Trodos Mountains in the background. Nicosia is still a divided city held by the Greeks and the Turks.
Panorama of the central plain.
The most impressive and extensive of the castles is St Hilarion which is a short drive away from Kyrenia.
The castle is a commanding sight during the day but at night it is lit up and you can see it from Kyrenia down below.
You can see how dominating this, the main castle in Cyprus, really is.
Goats rather then soldiers now roam the castle walls
A window with a lovely view!
Looking down to the coast - not for vertigo sufferers!
As ever, there are extensive views, including down to the modern army firing range in the right foreground!
The day darkens and clouds start building.
With low cloud appearing the castle becomes a little spooky!
At sunset St Hilarion glows and provides a fitting end to our week of walking and bird watching.