The hillside village of Bellapais and its famous Abbey are just ten minutes drive from Kyrenia, a place to see part of North Cyprus’ rich history during your villa holiday.
Bellapais residents have a traditional reputation of laziness, and certainly their village has a wonderfully laid back feel! It is said if you sit under the Tree of Idleness, an ancient mulberry tree near the gates of the Abbey, you too will become as indolent as them, so take care... Author Lawrence Durrell loved Bellapais so much, he bought a house here to write his novel "Bitter Lemons". You can follow in his footsteps and find lovely holiday villas for rent in and around Bellapais and at nearby Ozankoy.
One of the great advantages of finding a North Cyprus villa for rent at Bellapais is that you can visit the atmospheric Abbey whenever you like, not just when the tour buses are in. Why not skip the cereal by your holiday villa pool and treat yourself to breakfast at a cafe in Bellapais, before visiting the Abbey when the gates open at 9am. You'll be able to walk through the original fortified gatehouse into the ruins of this impressive Augustinian monastery at your own pace, without the crowds. Take a moment to visit the abbey church, with its golden icons.
Impressive as your dining room in your holiday villa in North Cyprus may be, it won't be as impressive as the massive Refectory dining hall at Bellapais Abbey! The original vaulted ceiling towers high above your head, and you can still see the original pulpit, where a priest would read to his brothers as they ate. The six arched windows offer one of the best views in Northern Cyprus, out over the hillside and down to the harbour at Kyrenia.
Once the crowds arrive mid-morning, it's probably best to leave Bellapais Abbey and retreat to the cool shade of your North Cyprus rental villa during the heat of the day. Then, when the crowds have gone home, return for the stunning sunsets that tint the ancient arches and ruins golden red. There are several restaurants around the Abbey, including an excellent restaurant in the ruins themselves.
Fans of classical music should definitely book a North Cyprus villa holiday at Bellapais during May, when the Bellapais Music Festival is in full swing. A concert in the Refectory hall is an absolute must for those who love their music with lashing of atmosphere!
For a wide selection of villas for rent in Northern Cyprus near Bellapais, the 'abbey of peace', look no further than Amy Villas.