The beautiful and picturesque old harbour of Kyrenia is fairly typical of many of the Mediterranean’s old horseshoe-shaped harbours;-built for commerce and fishing deep into antiquity, they now serve as must-visit attractions for visitors in need of refreshment and relaxation. An evening stroll around along the harbour wall, taking in the harbour and castle is a perfect way to relax after the daytime heat.
Kyrenia’s old harbour maintained its status as a commercial port right up until the late 1980s when a new harbour 1 km to the east was opened allowing the old port to focus on the entertaining of Kyrenia’s visitors and locals. The boats that reside in the harbour today are mostly at the service of visitors for fishing or leisure trips
Apart from its own obvious charms, an added attraction of the harbour is the magnificent Venetian castle in whose shadow it sits which allows for a visit to both to take place on the same day. From the sea side or from the harbour wall the castle is framed by the Kyrenia (Five Finger) Mountains and depending on the time of the day and the season, it can turn to either a subtle gold or a fiery ochre offering viewers the chance to take stunning photographs.
The tall, narrow buildings that follow the arc of the harbour were built as carob storage warehouses for Cyprus’s ‘black gold’ during the British administration when carob was a major export. The narrow streets behind the harbour reveal the entrances to the upper storeys where the carob was brought by donkey and pack mule from the outlying countryside before being bagged and sent for export.