Lefke - Northern Cyprus

lefke Northern Cyprus

Lefke is situated 75 km from Nicosia on the northern Cyprus coastline. It is the only place in Cyprus where Yafa oranges grow and its citrus groves sit against the backdrop of rugged coastline and vast mountains. Three dams provide water all year round and support a highly successful agriculture in the region.

The town is the site of the European University of Lefke, founded in 1990 by the Cyprus Science Foundation, which offers 4000 international students from 35 countries a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, all taught in English.

Dominated by its Venetian and Ottoman history, Lefke has a wide variety of sites to see. The ancient city of Soli, the origins of which date back to the sixth century BC flourished during the Roman period. It was destroyed by Arab invaders in the seventh century but the Roman theatre, Basilica and Agora remain.

Sitting on top of a mountain, the Vouni Palace was built in the fifth century by Doxandros and excavations have uncovered 37 rooms with bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, kitchens, living areas, cisterns and hot baths. It remained for 70 years before it was destroyed by the people of Soli and was never rebuilt.

The Piri Oman Pasha Mosque like many in Cyprus started life as a Byzantine church and was converted to a mosque when the Ottomans invaded. It fell into disrepair but was rebuilt by Piri Oman Pasha’s grandson.

The village of Yegillirmak is home to Cyprus's largest vine. Planted in 1947, it has a diameter of 1.4 m and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. And you can also enjoy five restaurants in a 100 yard stretch along the private Asmah Plaj beach nearby (although not all at once!).