For decades having remained a virtually undiscovered destination due to restrictions as well as a lack of marina facilities, the secret of the fabulous Karpaz Peninsula of Northern Cyprus as a unique sailing spot in the Mediterranean is now spreading fast. It boasts pristine cruising ground, amazing scenery, miles of empty sandy beaches as well as plenty of bays, coves and inlets to explore and enjoy.
Golden Beach on the Karpaz Peninsula in the popular summer yacht charter destination - the Mediterranean
The long, north-east pointing panhandle of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the region of Iskele, characterised by a unique natural beauty complete with rolling countryside, wild donkeys and ancient Byzantine churches, is an unspoilt corner of the Mediterranean.
Still as remote, sleepy and refreshingly free of industry and pollution, the only thing that has changed about this little-known yachting area is the addition of the perfectly-positioned Karpaz Gate Marina.
Designed sensitively to complement the landscape of the area, the luxury 300-berth superyacht marina has opened up this rich cruising ground and provided Northern Cyprus with its first ever modern marina.
Using Karpaz Gate Marina as a base, the ancient Kyrenia Harbour in the Venetian town of Girne is just 48nm down the northern coast. While, on the eastern coastline, the largest port of Northern Cyprus, Famagusta Harbour, is also within easy reach. For those preferring shorter sails, there are also several spectacular anchorages dotted along the 240 miles of coastline of the TRNC.
Sailors can often enjoy a beach to themselves, ideal for swimming and snorkelling, or step ashore to explore historic landmarks and cultural sites, or savour picturesque walks along the numerous paths and trails.
The excellent year-round weather, with hot summers and mild, sunny winters, means the sailing season is long, while the duty-free status of Karpaz Gate Marina and the use of local currency, the Turkish Lira, ensures excellent value for money.
Karpaz Gate Marina is also the perfect home port for trips further afield. Within a short sail away you can discover the southern Turkish coastline and the harbours of Alanya, Antalya, Marmaris and Bodrum. And in just under 300 nautical miles you can reach Rhodes, gateway to the Greek Islands.
Whether you are looking for remote beaches, turtle watching, snorkelling, sheltered anchorages, historical places of interest, spectacular sailing, fresh Cypriot cuisine or a touch of luxury, this 10-day itinerary for sailing in the TRNC has a bit of everything.
Karpaz Gate Marina
SUGGESTED 10-DAY SAILING ITINERARY FOR NORTHERN CYPRUS
Base: Karpaz Gate Marina (N35°33.5′ E34°13.6′).
VHF: Ch 16/10.
Days 1&2: Karpaz Gate Marina to Kyrenia Harbour (N35°20.20′ E33°20.20′) – 48nm
Kyrenia Harbour – VHF: Ch 16/12.
Day 3: Kyrenia Ancient Harbour to Escape Beach (N35°20.84′ E33°14.11′) – 5nm
Day 4: Escape Beach to Alagadi Turtle Beach (N35°20.1′ E33°28.9′) – 12nm
Day 5: Alagadi Turtle Beach to Kaplica Bay (N35°24.1′ E33°44.2′) – 21nm
Day 6: Kaplica Bay to Karpaz natural bay (N35°40.5′ E34°31.2′) – 36nm
Day 7: Karpaz natural bay to Monastery Bay (N35° 38.333′ E34° 32.398′) – 12nm
Day 8&9: Monastery Bay to Famagusta (N35° 08.4′ E33° 57.4′) – 45nm
Famagusta – VHF: Ch 16/08
Day 10: Famagusta to Karpaz Gate Marina – 73nm
Northern Cyprus cruising guide
KARPAZ GATE MARINA
VHF: Ch 16/10
Start your sailing holiday in style with a weekend of luxury at one of the most advanced marina facilities in the Eastern Mediterranean. It benefits from 300 berths for vessels ranging from 5 metres up to 55 metres. The finger mooring system caters for boats up to 12 metres LOA and its Mediterranean type mooring system caters for vessels from 12 metres LOA. There are alongside or stern-to mooring facilities for super yachts.
Boat maintenance facilities on site include an 18,000 sq m dry dock for refit and repairs, as well as a substantial 300-ton travel lift that is capable of lifting vessels up to 45 metres and with a beam of up 10 metres. There is a mini-market, a Yacht Brokerage office operated by Cyprus Yachts and a chandlery.
The popular Hemingway’s RestoBar is situated at the marina and comprises both seating inside and on the terrace. Hemingway’s offers an international menu and traditional Cypriot cuisine, and also hosts a busy calendar of special nights.
New for the 2013 season, Karpaz Gate Marina has opened an international beach club adjacent to the marina. This luxurious club includes a 33m infinity swimming pool, with a jacuzzi set to one side. There is a decking area with loungers and a children’s pool and play area. The beach restaurant and bar serves light meals, pizza and grill. A 200m long private sandy beach is just steps from the beach club and includes private lounging areas under the shade. Showers and changing rooms are provided.
The water sports centre located at the beach club offers a variety of kayaks, including clear bottom and tandem options. Guests can rent snorkels, fins and masks and explore the crystal clear water of the private bay. The in-house Mephisto Diving School provides PADI courses to all diving levels, departing from the beach club. Turtles, dolphin and stingray are among the varied wildlife on show. A modern, well-equipped fitness centre is also on site.
Karpaz Gate Marina offers an ideally situated base in the heart of the area – the perfect place from which the Karpaz peninsula’s pristine waters, untouched bays and deserted sandy beaches can be explored.
Close to home, the coastline offers long sandy beaches, local harbours and family-run tavernas – ideal destinations for day sails or short outings. There are also a number of small fishing harbours along the coast to visit.
Ahead of arriving at Karpaz Gate Marina, the marina office can provide assistance for visiting boat owners wishing to attend organised day trips to see the sights at neighbouring towns. New this season, Karpaz Gate Marina is running its own shuttle bus, offering a convenient way for visitors to the marina to move around the island. It is free to travel to the closest village and the marina will be subsidising the service to take the shuttle to the main cities of Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia.
Karpaz Gate Marina is a protected harbour basin and the entrance is facing south west. Follow the green and red buoys when entering the marina and call from VHF Ch. 16 or 10, call sign ‘Karpaz Gate Marina’.