Karmi

Village in Around Kyrenia & the Ranges

The quaint village of Karmi (officially called Karaman, but still known as Karmi by everyone) is all traditional stone villas, whitewashed cottages, tumbling bougainvillea and narrow streets wriggling up the hillside. If its brushed-up facade seems at odds with other Northern Cyprus villages, that's because it is. Karmi is a pastiche of a Mediterranean village. All the houses are owned by Europeans on long-leases from the Ministry of Tourism and have to comply with strict building codes to retain 'authenticity'.

After the Greek Cypriot villagers fled Karmi in 1974, Turkish Cypriot refugees from the South refused to settle here due to its secluded hillside location. To revive the village, the Ministry of Tourism hatched a plan in the 1980s to give foreigners long-leases on the crumbling houses as long as they paid the restoration costs. Today, Karmi is probably the prettiest village in the North and it's fun to wander the skinny alleys checking out the houses and their immaculately kept gardens. Just below the village is a small Bronze Age tomb site while for walkers, there is an excellent hike starting from here to St Hilarion Castle (signposted from the main square). To take a break on your village rambles, cute Cafe Corner has a shady front terrace, excellent cake and decent coffee.

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