Karpas peninsula (or the panhandle) is the easternmost part of the island of Cyprus, where the land tapers into a thin strip which stretches out towards Turkey.
As well as numerous Byzantine churches, the most notably the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas, the area boasts some of the finest countryside in the countryside. The Karpas peninsula has been called the nature reserve of Cyprus for birds, wild flowers, and sea fossils are to be found everywhere.
Moreover, numerous picturesque beaches, both sandy and rocky, are said to be the best in the whole island. With also pine, cypress and maquis covered hills reaching an altitude of about 1,000 metres makes the Karpas region almost a perfect natural reserve site of the whole island.
Karpas peninsula is also almost totally free from heavy concentration of industry and people, and is one of the least polluted regions in the European periphery. Escaping the last ice age, the island of Cyprus has managed to retain a substantial amount of biological diversity with a significant amount of endemic species -plant species number about 1,600 (22 endemic); bird species about 350 (7 endemic); and there are 26 reptile and amphibian species for most of which the Karpas is the natural home.
Accommodation along the Karpas Peninsula has expanded somewhat in the last few years, with more opportunities now to spend a few nights on this, probably the most unspoilt, part of the north. Although facilities are mainly basic, there are hotels, motels, bungalows and campsites, offering some of the most beautiful deserted beaches and a very friendly welcome. Places to eat are really limited to the restaurants, bars and catering provided by the hotels, lodgings and campsites detailed below.