Famagusta, Northern Cyprus
With a population of about 42.526 people, Famagusta is the sixth largest city on the island of Cyprus. It is located on the Mediterranean coast in the eastern part of the island, south of the large Karpas Peninsula. Today, the city falls within the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. During the early 70es of the 20th century, Famagusta was one of the most famous, loved and visited luxurious tourist destinations in the world. Numerous European and American celebrities used to spend their holidays in the famous Cypriot resort.
During that period, the city was well-known for its luxury hotels and restaurants along the coast, but the biggest attraction was the magnificent beach of fine golden sand, which has always been considered to be one of the best on the island.
There are a few places in Cyprus where the division of the island is so obvious as it is in Famagusta. In the Middle Ages, Famagusta was one of the most beautiful and prosperous cities in the Mediterranean region.
Later, during most of the 20th century, the city was the leading port on the island of Cyprus. But everything changed in 1974. The Turkish army invaded, and the local Greek population was expelled forever from the city.
Since then, the role of the main port of Cyprus plays the southern coastal city of Limassol. Today, seemingly nothing reminiscent of those days. Famagusta looks sunny and calm, with a casual atmosphere and slow pace of life.
But behind this tranquility there is a dark shadow. Like the abandoned city of Pripyat in Ukraine, which is unsettled after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, there is a desert area in Famagusta, which sealed the faithful 1974, and which is already for four decades shrouded in dust and ruins.
This is Varosha.
The place is a military zone and entry is not allowed. Ironically, namely Varosha is the former luxury tourist destination that used to attract crowds of rich and famous visitors until the early 70s of the 20th century.
Nowadays, the beauty of Famagusta continues to attract visitors, but the interest they show can not be compared with that of the past.
Today the majority of tourists come here on daily tours from the luxury resorts on the island.
They visit the city to experience the rich history and to see the exceptional historical monuments and fortified stone walls of the old town.
Famagusta enjoys a wonderful weather almost throughout the year. It falls within the subtropical climate zone. Summers are long and very warm, and winters are relatively warm and humid with spring-like temperatures.
From early April to late November the average daytime temperature in the city is over 23°C. During the hottest months, July and August, the average daytime temperature is over 34°C, but it is even possible to cross the line of 40°C in the shade.
The average winter daytime temperature is between 14 and 20°C, but most often around 16 – 17°C at noon.
The average night temperature on the island is also pleasant throughout the year. At the height of summer it reaches around 22 – 23°C, and in the coldest winter nights doesn’t fall below 6°C.