HalalBooking guide to halal-friendly holidays in Northern Cyprus
Cyprus, known as the small pearl of the Mediterranean, is an island country with a rich history, diverse culture and natural beauty. After Cyprus has been dominated by tension between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants in recent history, the island has been divided and effectively partitioned in 1974, with Northern Cyprus being run by a Turkish Cypriot government and Southern Cyprus by a Greek Cypriot government. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1997 and is one of the most cultural and historical centers in the Mediterranean.
Unwind on the coastal golden sandy beaches, beautiful landscapes, untouched natural beauty and endemic flora, where East meets West. Northern Cyprus takes you through its rich history, a cultural adventure, a beach getaway and on a picturesque escape. With sun, sea and sand, Northern Cyprus is the perfect destination to detox from busy lifestyles. You can stay in luxurious villas, eat halal food and expect everything you would wish for on a halal getaway. There are 5 major districts where you will be welcomed with warm Cypriot hospitality: Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, Morphou and Lefke - all featuring cobbled streets and Mediterranean whitewashed buildings.
Islamic heritage in Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus, the hidden gem of the Muslim world, has been heavily influenced by the Turkish culture, with the language and currency embedded into everyday life. It is home to an estimated 264,172 Muslims, making it the perfect destination for a Muslim holiday.
Islam has deep roots within Northern Cyprus stemming all the way back to the Ottoman conquest in 1571, when Muslims began residing there permanently. The region is noted for its ancient landmarks and sightseeing, so you will never run out of things to do.
The Hala Sultan Tekke (or Mosque of Umm Haram), located in Larnaca, southern Cyprus was built in the 18th century, it is a place of spiritual gathering, rumoured to be the death place of the Prophet Muhammad’s aunt. Today, it is a serene quarter open to all faiths.
Halal food and restaurants in Northern Cyprus
Halal food is available all over Northern Cyprus. The beauty of the area is that you can pick your setting - quintessence boutique cafes, harbourside seafood restaurants, fine-dining steakhouses and much more. With Mediterranean, Turkish, and Asian restaurants you can find the perfect cuisine to satisfy your cravings on your halal holiday.
For those staying in villas, become your own sous-chef as halal meat and fresh local products are available in the supermarket to cook in the comfort of your own accommodation.
Sites to visit in Northern Cyprus
Mosque I Pasha
The most iconic Mosque in Nicosia used to be a cathedral which was converted into the Selimiye Mosque. With ancient history deeply engraved within the walls of the mosque, this is one to explore.
Built by the Ottomans in 1572, the largest caravanserai on the island that used to be an inn for travellers is regarded as an iconic building in Northern Cyprus. It now thrives as a centre for art galleries and workshops with artisanal cafes and souvenir shops.
Built in the 16th century, this mosque features stunning exterior architecture with serene gardens highlighting the Turkish influence.
Ledra Street Shopping
A major shopping street in the centre of Nicosia where the North and South unite with a mixture of Western and Eastern influences.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline and try the local seafood dishes at the many harbourside restaurants.
Near Kyrenia, the Bellapais Abbey is a ruin of a monastery from the 13th century. It acts today as a venue for concerts, festivals and lectures and even boasts its own restaurant and cafe.
Agha Cafer Pasha
This historical mosque constructed in 1580 highlights the rich history of Muslims in Cyprus. There is even a nearby spring still used by locals for the ablutions.
Kyrenia Castle is standing guard over the shimmering port and home to the Shipwreck Museum.
Scuba Diving & Turtle Beach
There are several dive centres in Kyrenia, offering you unforgettable dives in sapphire blue seas surrounded by rich wildlife.
The Salamis Ruins, dating back to 1100 BC, used to be a Roman City which is now mostly underwater in the Mediterranean Sea.
Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque
The largest medieval building in Famagusta was built between 1298 and c. 1400 as a Catholic cathedral and converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire in 1571 and remains a mosque to this day.
The famous pastry shop Petek Pastanesi was opened by father and son Hasan and Tevfik Usta who originally started their journey in Tehran in 1916. Building on their success, they opened cafes in Northern Cyprus with Famagusta as the flagship.
Vouni Palace is the only Persian architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean, and is particularly known for its rich and colourful gardens of orchids blooming from January to May.
Soli Ancient City
Soli is a portal to the former Greek civilisations who once inhabited the island.
- Morphou Bay Although Morphou is a smaller city, the bay inhabits orange orchards and historical sites making for picturesque scenery and beautiful landscapes.
Halal-friendly properties in Northern Cyprus
HalalBooking offers a vast range of Mediterranean exclusive resorts with private pools and gardens to self-catering villas with stunning backdrops in Northern Cyprus. The accommodations boast a choice of luxury amenities as well as an antique feel and serene atmosphere. All the ideal elements combine perfectly to help you recharge amongst the sun-soaked shores, rugged mountains and coastlines.