Esentepe in northern Cyprus

North Cyprus, or to give it its full name, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), lies to the North East of the island of Cyprus.

Cyprus is the third largest of all the Mediterranean islands and is a country of great beauty and contrasts.

It is still one of the best kept secrets of the Mediterranean with beautiful beaches and the sea temperature rarely falling below 16°C and often rising to 28°C later in the summer.

There are stunning mountains, excellent food and restaurants, friendly people and it is virtually crime-free.

Mass tourism does not exist, the island enjoys over 320 days of sunshine each year and with mild winters and long hot summers, it has long been a favourite with British holiday makers looking for villas or hotels.

Many of the British ways have been adopted by the government of the island including the British legal system - they even have the same electrical system using the same voltage and plugs.

The cars drive on the same side of the road, which is great if you use a car hire service and although Turkish is the first language, English is the second, with many of the local people speaking English.

The British are genuinely welcomed to the island for both holidays and for residency!

The main towns in the TRNC are Nicosia, Farmagusta, Kyrenia and Esentepe. Kyrenia has one of the most picturesque harbours in the world, fringed with excellent restaurants and an ancient fort: it is well worth a visit.

The shopping in the fort is also good, especially for leather goods and jewellery.

The Northern part of the island has some of the best beaches on the island and is less developed than the southern side of the island.

Travelling east from Kyrenia on the new road you encounter unspoilt beaches and coves where the turtles come to lay their eggs at the end of July.

The Besparmak mountain range, with its rugged beauty, rising high behind Kyrenia and above the coastal plain, is a sight to behold.