To the north east of North Cyprus lies the 'Panhandle', or Karpas Peninsula. Alternatively spelled Karpaz, the region stretches from north of Famagusta to the northern-most tip of Cyprus. The Karpas covers a substantial part of the island and extends to 80 kilometres in length and up to 20 in width..

One of the most unspoiled places anywhere in the Mediterranean continents, the Karpas is home to an outstanding variety of wildlife and its northern and eastern shores have some of the most beautiful (and deserted!) beaches in North Cyprus - in fact in the whole of the island.

Architecturally, the areas small villages are home to some remarkable churches and mosques, as well as beautiful examples of small-scale middle eastern building. However to many, the highlight of the relatively few man-made structures in the Karpas Peninsula is the Apostolos Andreas Monastery.

Nearly all of the region is accessible, and although you will need at least a day to carry out any serious exploration it really is a worthwhile expenditure of time. For beach lovers, the eastern coast-line of North Cyprus is the most favoured spot, though beaches on the north shore can be spectacular too. Not to mention spectacularly empty!