Flights to Famagusta
Known in Turkish as Gazimagusa, the town of Famagusta is situated within the northern half of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Famagusta is on the east coast and has always been a popular tourist destination though the Turkish ‘invasion’ in 1974 did halter the tourism economy somewhat. Today it’s again a safe and popular place to visit.
The airport nearest to Famagusta is the Ercan International Airport (airport code: ECN), about 50 kilometres away. There are rental cars available for the journey between the two towns. All flights to Famagusta have to transfer in Turkey before coming to Cyprus, and only Turkish Airlines has a 1-stop flight to Famagusta from South Africa through Istanbul. Egyptair and South African Airways both stop in Cairo and then again in Istanbul. British Airways goes through London and then Istanbul. Most flights to Famagusta are around 25 hours long.
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The Tourist Attractions of Famagusta:
Famagusta is within the Turkish controlled area of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised only by Turkey as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. When the Turks came to Cyprus in 1974 to try to take back what they considered theirs the island was split in two and there were obviously tensions between the two halves. Now the situation has calmed down greatly and Northern Cyprus is once again a popular tourist destination. The only drawback is that you have to fly via Turkey on any international flights to Famagusta, potentially putting up travel time quite considerably.
Known in English as Famagusta this town is known in Turkish as Gazimagusa. Before 1974 the town included a picturesque old town, and the newer tourist resort part of town called Varosha. Varosha is still a closed area, acting as a ghost town where many high rise hotel blocks were built in the 1970s to cater to the many tourists coming here because Famagusta was Cyprus’s top tourist destination. They have stood empty for nearly 40 years and you can see the hotels and the beaches from a distance behind the fences.
The old town of Famagusta is still a vibrant place that you can visit with no problem. There are some fabulously well preserved Venetian fortifications; the best in the Eastern Mediterranean, and a number of churches and other buildings to see too. There are remains of the royal palace, Palazzo del Provedittore too.
The Cathedral of St Nicholas is Famagusta’s most striking and beautiful building. It is the largest medieval building in Famagusta and was constructed between 1298 and 1400. It’s now known as Lala Mustafa Pasa Camii (Mosque) as it was converted into a mosque after the first Turkish invasion in 1571.
Famagusta does have several hotels to stay in and has some vibrant bars and great restaurants to enjoy making this a great place to stay when visiting Northern Cyprus.
When Should You Visit?:
You can enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate in Famagusta making this a town that you could visit at any time of the year. Summers are best for enjoying the beaches with average high temperatures in the low to mid 30s C from June to September. Rainfall is basically nonexistent during the summer but builds up over the winter when temperatures are mild.