Flying to Northern Cyprus
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) occupies the Northern part of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The official capital is Lefkoşa (Nicosia). The island attracts over 2.4 million tourists per year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. Although most of these are visitors to the South, North Cyprus is fast becoming a popular holiday destination for many travellers across Europe as well as Russia and Israel. Many are buying a holiday home and travelling for regular visits.
Because of its location in the Mediterranean the winters are short and warm and you can swim for almost 365 days a year. It is dotted with small beaches with numerous cafes, luxury hotels, and casinos, historic sites to visit, wildlife and beautiful scenery.
Tourism plays a major role in the local economy so flights to Cyprus are very convenient. The only main International Airport in North Cyprus is Ercan. The airport is only about twenty kilometers away from Nicosia and as Northern Cyprus is only about 3,355 km², it does not take too long to travel from the airport to your destination, wherever you’re staying.
Flights to Ercan Airport
Ercan International airport has four large terminals and about 100 flights a week. The new terminal was renovated in 2004 and air traffic control is supplied with the newest, modern equipment. The restaurant at the airport Ercan works 24/7 and offers the true sense of warm hospitality to all those in the need of the first meal upon arrival in Northern Cyprus.
As its popularity of this tourist hot spot grows, many more companies are now offering flights to Northern Cyprus and Ercan airport. These include Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Atlas Jet and Cyprus Turkish Airlines. Flights to Ercan require intermediate landing in Turkey before continuing to Ercan International Airport. However in 2006 negotiations to operate direct connections to Northern Cyprus began between Northern Cyprus, Turkey and the United Cyprus and an agreement was reached.
AtlasGlobal now offers flights between Ercan International Airport and Turkish airports but also from and to London – Luton and Tehran in Iran. In addition, Coredon Airlanes provides flights to Brussels and Copenhagen, Corendon Dutch Airlines to Amsterdam, and with Pegasus Airlines, you can also travel between Ercan and London.
Freebird Airlane and Onur Air offer a large selection of charter flights to European destinations during the summer holiday season: Zurich, Vienna, Stuttgart, Munich, Brussels, Budapest, Hamburg, Belgrade, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Glasgow, Manchester.
Although there is a large choice of flights to Northern Cyprus, you can also fly directly to Larnaca or Paphos in South Cyprus and travel across the UN border to the Northern part of the island. As of 2003, there are no longer any restrictions for citizens of the EU, USA, Japan and many other countries from crossing the border from one side to the other in Cyprus. The crossing is free and easy. All you need to do is show you ID card or passport. There are seven border crossing checkpoints that are open 24 hours a day.
If flying to the South, the quickest and easiest way to cross the border into Northern Cyprus would be to land at Larnaca as it is the closest airport to the border crossing. Most hotels in the North will arrange a taxi to come and pick you up at Larnaca airport to bring you across the border to your hotel. Likewise after your holiday, the taxi will also pick you up and take you back to Larnaca airport for your departure.
Common question regarding traveling to Northern Cyprus
I live in the UK and I would like to visit North Cyprus can I do so by flying to the Greek side of the island?
You can visit North Cyprus via Larnaca or Paphos although it is quite a drive form Paphos. If flying to Northern Cyprus from the UK you can also fly direct (stopping off in Istanbul) from London, Manchester or Edinburgh (possibly other locations) with Turkish Airlines as well as a few other airline companies. Or you could fly to Paphos and travel over the border but the Greek car rental companies aren’t keen for you to rent a car and drive it over the border, there may also be issues with insurances.
So the best bet would be to book your holiday to a hotel or resort in Northern Cyprus and book flights to Larnaca airport. If you tell your hotel your flight times they will be arrange for a taxi or one of their transports to pick you up from Larnaca and drop you back for your return flights. You may also be able to book transport as part of your package deal through your travel agent. Crossing the boarder is really easy and the taxi ride (depending what part of Northern Cyprus you are staying) will take around 40 mins to 1 hr. Speak to your travel agent or if booking a hotel direct, give them a call before booking to ask. You will find that they do speak English and are really helpful. Many holiday makers visit Northern Cyprus via Larnaca so hotels and holiday resorts are used to setting up transport.
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