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Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Miami Beach, Florida
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Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Based out of Paphos area and want to take a few days off and drive to the Karpas peninsula via and including visit to ancient Salamis. I can't really figure out how much time we need to make this journey. The drive looks long. Can anyone tell me how long it takes from Paphos to Salamis? Then how long from Salamis to a hotel in the Karpaz (I'm thinking Arches in Dikkarpaz)? Then how many nights would we need to get the most out of it? I cant imagine one night being enough. Is two nights going to feel too rushed for such a long journey? Thank you.

Ayia Napa, Cyprus
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1. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

I may not be much help probably but road wise I would think that if you travelled across the South of Cyprus from paphos towards Paralimni and cross the border at the Ay Nic (Vrysoulles) crossing it will probably be easier for you as then you would just need to travel through famagusta and then on the one straight road up the east coast to Salamis.

I'm not too sure on the condition of other roads in the north but the only other routes I can think of would be to head for Nicosia, cross there and then go across country. The first way I think would be simplest and Paphos to Paralimni will be around 2.5 hours if you do it in one stretch. If you start early you would be in Salamis for lunchtime.

We have crossed over only once and crossed this way and then straight up past salamis. (we were going to stop but it started to rain so we decided against it.) We were only over the other side for about 4-5 hours in all so its not a very long trip from the crossing point.

Miami Beach, Florida
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2. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Hi

Yes that is the way we are planning to drive. 2.5-3h to Salamis sounds good. How far from Salamis to the Karpas? I just don't know if it's feasible to do something like this with only 2 nights in the Karpas considering the first whole day will be driving...

London, England
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3. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

We drove to Famagusta and Salamis via Vryssoules. The roads are decent and we loved both Famagusta and Ancient Salamis. We'd been warned that the roads into Karpas were challenging, and having experienced the "good" roads leading from Famagusta to Nicosia and on to Kyrenia, we decided to not take any chances and skipped the Karpas altogether.

I can't really tell you if it's worth going all that way for 2 nights, but I can tell you that on the whole we found the roads in the occupied part of Cyprus to be much worse than the roads in the south, and signage confusing.

UK
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4. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Hi,

During our stay in Famagusta we went out for the day to the Karpaz peninsula. It was not too long a journey but the further up the peninsula you go the more the roads deteriorate so I would not recommend making the full journey to the tip in anything less than a robust 4x4. You will find overnight accommodation on the beaches in one or two spots, some are proper little stone-built rooms, some llike those on Golden Beach which are bizarre 2-storey huts for rent right on the beach. They were very basic but looked really inviting if you fancied an adventurous night almost under the stars! We also visited another area - for the life of me I cannot remember the name - where there is a monastery at which you can stay although for us it was very touristy with coach trips and souvenir stalls. One last thing - most maps for N Cyprus are quite basic, and everything does look a l-o-n-g- way apart, but that's deceiving and I'm sure you would enjoy the trip!

Kyrenia, North...
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5. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Getting into the Karpaz Peninsula is easy - getting along it takes more time! The main road to Bogaz from Famagusta hugs the coastline, and then curves inland to Yenierenkoy, and it's an easy drive all the way. The road then dips down to the north side of the peninsula, a lovely stretch of coastline, and a recently retarmaced main road continues onto Dipkarpaz. That's the easy bit; beyond that, it's what my partner calls 'sporting'... From Bogaz to the north coast is about 45 mins straight drive, a little longer if you want to linger. There's a nice little travel journal about a day trip to the Karpaz at www.cyprus44.com/journals from a TRNC newbie.

Miami Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Thanks, we are leaving for the Karpaz peninsula tomorrow. We do not have a 4x4, so I think we will stay in the Dikkarpaz area given that is still on a paved road. We drove to Lara Beach in our regular car, is that what the roads might be like out at the tip of the peninsula? If so I think a regular car is ok for a bit, we don't mind bad roads at least for a few kilometers.

London, England
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7. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Let us know how you get on :)

Kent, England
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8. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Hi, we have taken a Nissan Micra out to the very end of the panhandle, the road is ok if you proceed with care and don't go too fast. There is a big rock at the end and an empty guard post with a locked toilet. Of course OH had to climb up the rock to take pictures(it must be a man thing!) We didn't think the road was anywhere near as bad as the Akamas penisular, certainly not as hilly. We did once take a small hire car right across the Akamas, more by accident than design, and would definitely not recommend that journey unless you have a4x4.

Miami Beach, Florida
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9. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Because no one could respond to my original question about making the trip to the Karpaz Peninsula from Paphos, I thought I'd answer it myself so that future travelers searching for this info will have it.

It is very do-able to go from Paphos (actually we are in Peyia) to Karpaz and back, including Salamis and staying only 2 nights away. We went at a leisurely pace and you do NOT need a 4x4 to visit even the very tip of the peninsula. And it's not a "man thing" to want to climb to the flagpost rock at the end, many girls like me would not be able to pass that up either ;)

Day 1: Left Paphos after 9AM on Wednesday. We took a detour to the Ayia Napa area to see the sea caves and the scenery was spectacular there. Quick lunch at sandwich truck, crossed border.

Border crossing easy. About the mandatory insurance. They have an option for a 3-day insurance instead of the one month. It’s 20 euros versus 35 for the month so we bought the 3 days and crossed our fingers that 2 nights/3 days away would be enough. Turned out we were right.

We made good time in spite of getting lost due to construction and road detours in Famagusta.

By 3PM we were having a beer at Dek’s, the nice café at Ayios Thryssos on the Karpaz Peninsula.

Got to Dipkarpaz by 4PM. Booked into the Villa Carparis but the proprietor was not there so we drove down a good dirt road (better than the one to Lara Beach) to Ayios Filion. Those are the ruins past Oasis hotel, it's a lovely spot. Had some beers at Oasis cafe to watch sunset.

Checked into Villa Carparis by 7, and then dinner at the village restaurant which gave us free raki and got us drunk.

Day 2: Slightly hungover. Breakfast 9:30. By 10 on road out to Golden Beach and beyond. Not sure how far we'd go given all the scares/warnings about the road conditions but the road is PAVED the entire way until the Andreas Monastery and the entrance to the Donkey Protected Area, which are at the tip of the peninsula.

Golden Beach is spectacular, wow, need not say anything more about that. We parked at Hasan’s and spent an hour or so walking up and down with toes in the fine sand, admiring the dunes. Water is freezing cold, could barely put my toes in. Although sunny it was too cool and breezy for sunbathing. It is just spring still, which made for nice wildflowers along the drive.

Note: after Golden Beach and the entrance to the Donkey Protected Area the road does deteriorate. It becomes a pot-holed dirt road, but only for 5k or so, and is do-able in a regular cheapo rental car. We did not see a single wild donkey even though we walked for a few minutes in the woods to try.

There is an entrance fee to the Donkey millipark of 2€ per car but this so-called “protected area” is basically being used as a landfill. It is the ugliest, most depressing part of the peninsula by far almost as if they are trying to mar the land. There are the only hideous monstrosities of buildings whereas on the rest of the peninsula are only small boutique hotels. I took lots of photos of the extent of the problem and will link to them when I finally have them uploaded. It's a travesty and made me angry to see garbage piled up in the millipark as well as the eyesore buildings like the “WIEV HOTEL,” which when you see the other sign is the “View Hotel.” The Karpaz peninsula other than the Donkey zone is pristine. The so-called donkey protected area is a wasteland. Go figure. Also ironic is that we didn’t see wild donkeys in the “protected area” but did in the regular part of the peninsula—between Dipkarpaz and Ayios Thryssos.

Anyway, that day we had lunch at Nikos restaurant near Golden Beach (a locals’ place), then early evening had sunset beers plus dinner at Oasis. Food decent, not cheap anywhere though.

Day 3: Checked out of hotel. Visited Ayios Trios ruins on the way out and then stopped for several hours at Salamis. Enjoyed Salamis ruins for at least an hour, and walked most of the site. Then stopped for what must have been 3 hours in old town Famagusta. Stayed for 2 calls to prayer and then some, because we really enjoyed the old town. We had coffee in one spot, beer and lunch in a different spot, and another beer in another spot. We drove by Marosa/Varosha to see it, it’s interesting.

The border crossing was easier on way south than going north. We got waved through. Still had energy to make a few stops we wanted in both Larnaca and Limasol on the way back to Paphos and still made it home by 10PM.

Surprisingly, the 3 days was enough to do all of that at a relaxed pace.

Villa Carparis is very nice place to stay and will review that soon. Dipkarpaz is great, and the little boutique hotels opening show promise for the sustainable development of the community. Which is a lot more than I would say for the stupid Donkey Protected Area which is horrible and depressing. Other than that I think Karpaz will remain unspoiled. Golden Beach area huts look great, and so does Oasis, but those are backpacker-style accommodations at boutique hotel prices so depends on what you want.

One more thing, the nature on Karpas is incredible. I get the sense that most of the animals are not used to humans and curious about us, so please be careful when driving. The lizards and snakes almost always make it across the road. But the sweet sparrows are very trusting and will not necessarily know how to navigate their path around a car. We were not going fast and hit one, it was so very sad, I will never forget it :( Please be careful when you are driving there.

Miami Beach, Florida
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10. Re: Karpas Peninsula fm Paphos (itinerary + drive times help!)

Oh and I should clarify that I understand that "View/Wiev" hotel and other hideous monstrosities are designed for the influx of Greek tourists during pilgrimage season but there is really no excuse for the eyesores when nicer buildings could have been made, and truly no excuse for the garbage everywhere.

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