Bellapais Holidays

Holidays in Bellapais – The shadow of the monastery

Bellapais (Beylerbeyi in Turkish), some 4km inland but steeply uphill from Kyrenia, is effectively synonymous with its early 13th-century abbey, one of the premier Gothic monuments of the eastern Mediterranean.  The village is also inextricably linked with Lawrence Durrell, who had a house here during the 1950s and immortalized the place, and Cyprus, in his book Bitter Lemons. It’s a favourite spot for wealthy returned London Turkish-Cypriots to build sumptuous villas along the broad approach road, but the core of the village with its traditional houses and square facing the abbey is recognizably as it was in Durrell’s day.  Holidays in Bellapais are really more for couples – there’s little here for young families to do, and the village is dead quiet at night.