Kantara Castle
Kantara Castle
4.5

Top ways to experience Kantara Castle and nearby attractions

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles142 reviews
Excellent
95
Very good
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5
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Caz Franks
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Had a great morning climbing this mountain today, Not as steep as Buffavento but still great fun for the family. Loved the views where you can see far and wide towards Famagusta and Karpaz. Was only 10tl so a bargain for a fab sunny morning
Written 2 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caroline H
Chichester, UK2,015 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
Kantara Castle is the easternmost of the castles on the Girne Mountains, 700 metres from sea level and overlooks the northern shoreline, the Mesarga Plains and KarpazPeninsula..
The word 'kantara' means 'bridge' or 'arch.'

Kantara is described as the most romantic of all the Byzantine or Crusader trio castles.
45 miles from Kyrenia, it has a picturesque route to its destination with a narrow, but driveable road.I began to think I was never going to reach the top!

During 1228-30 it was occupied by the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II who was struggling for his take over of the island. During the Genoese invasion, the regen,t John of Antioch was smuggled out of prison in Famagusta disguised as a pot-tinner to a hideout in Kantara.

From the agricultural landscape of the coastal road, looking up to Kantara you think, how on earth am I going to reach this dominant, fortification, sitting on a significantly rocky summit of barren granite and sandstone bedrock.

Apart from the small pay office at the top, we were the only people visiting at the time. My husband was determined to climb up into the castle himself, but as my legs were not too good, I decided to wait below, sitting on a bench and gazing out to the miles of countryside and sea below me. On a good, clear day you can see the coast of Turkey and even Syria.

The chap in the office made me a cup of Turkish coffee which was very kind of him.

As to the history, Kantara was used as a beacon station to communicate with Buffavento Castle to the west. The significance of Kantara started to fade in the 16th century when Venetian military strategists were depending more on firepower than elevation for protection. In 1521 they relocated their garrison which then left the castle open to raiders looking for the treasures told of in legends about Kantara.

The towers and walls are still standing with the outer entrance leading into the now, rather overgrown barbican. The north and south towers guard the inner entrance, where you will find the garrison, latrines and a cistern. The highest point is the lookout tower, from where flares were lit to warn of impending danger.

The ruins of a quadrangular building known as ‘The Queen’s
Chamber’ stands on the summit thought to have been much coveted by the
treasure-hunters in the 19th century. The building was probably situated on the Byzantine observation point and may have been a fortified chapel, destroyed by the Turks during naval bombing in 1525.

At the end of the visit we began our descent and my husband observed a 'whip snake,' the most commonly seen in Cyprus and grows up to a length of 3 m, the non venomous, adult form is shiny black with a bluish tint.

Once back down to sea level, it is hard to believe you had reached the scaling heights - but certainly worth it!
Written 12 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rupert
Comignago, Italy60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
The views are incredible. You see the length of the Karpaz peninsular, and the Famagusta plain. Excellent sight for a castle. Set your satnav or research the Turkish name, as the castle is well signposted as Kantara for a time, then when you pass through Kaplica the turnoff is to the right but signposted in Turkish. The mountain, Kantara, is derived from the Arabic name for an arch, as it is so shaped. The castle was part of the domain of Richard Coeur de Lion, and subsequently the Knights Templar. There is a climb to the castle via old stone steps, not too steep, but the views are there when you step out the car and dodge the castle cat.
Written 3 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveller666
Mons, Belgium737 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
Went with wife and 2 kids (5 and 1)

Took a carrier and was pleased we did... as well as water as it is a slight walk up from car park.

Lots of fab pictures and excellent views. Castle was easy to walk around, not too strenuous and enjoyable. Couls see coast on both sides.

I would recommend the North road as point of arrival. We went up the North and down the South. North are excellent roads and south are difficult and not great. We were so happy didnt meet any cars on way down.
Written 7 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

greekcypriot2009
Athens, Greece8,982 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Friends
The Castle of Kantara is the other highlight in the area.

We earlier made a short break for coffee at Pogazi before we take the road up to the Castle which has several curves.

The way up is not that hard to climb and there are safety barriers on the way.

The Castle is built on a group of steep cliffs.

The origins of it go back to the 10th century when it was built as a lookout post. –Time of the Crusaders.
Written 7 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dave s
Bude, UK709 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Couples
Of the three Crusader castle in North Cyprus, this has more to see than Buffavento, but not as much as St. Hilarion. There's less steps to negotiate than with the other two, but it's still a fair hike to the top. Driving there from Kyrenia we managed to get lost but got there eventually, and it was worth it. Small entrance fee, but the views from the top are superb.
Written 23 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Junglist_grans
London75 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
Bit of a trek to get there but only a short climb to get to the castle and see some stunning views of the peninsula. Not that much to the actual castle only stayed for maybe 30 mins.
Written 7 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tevfik Aydın K
Darica, Türkiye388 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
While visiting Famagusta area, a visit to this old castle is a must. If the sky is clear, you can see qlmost all of north east part of the island. Breathtaking views.
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter B
London, UK79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Absolutely stupendous views to the sea on two sides, fantatsic views sown across the plains to Borgaz and Famagusta. Be brave - drive up from Borgaz and even more brave to drive back down this narrow winding single track to the plains! Or take the easy way back down, or up from the north up the tarmaced road. Whatever, it is a stupendous view. How on earth did they build all those centuries ago? No helicopters in those days, Fantastic. .
Written 8 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RichardUpshall
Dubai, United Arab Emirates1,567 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
A great drive up to this venue enjoyed in both directions through the hilly Cypriot countryside. Walk to the very top, it is worth it and at sunset it is magical. The day we went we were the only people there and young kids will love it, just keep an eye on them!
Written 10 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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