My beloved Alsancak –
a Village in Transition
By Ralph Kratzer
It was built on the ruins of Lambousa, one of the ten ancient city-kingdoms of Cyprus. The old Greek name for Alsancak “Karavas” came from the word “karavi” which meant ship and this name came from the fact that it was, in the past, very often frequented by ships.
The Alsancak region has some of the most favourite beaches on the Cypriot north shore with clear waters and pleasurable sandy coves. The most popular ones are Kervansaray beach (run by the Girne Municipality), Escape beach (also known as Çıkarma Plaj, which can be translated as Landing beach, as it was the point where the Turkish Navy landed during the peace intervention in 1974), Denizkizi Hotel beach and Mare Monte beach (a former hotel strand which is now a public one, run by the Municipality of Alsancak). Not to forget Bamboo beach (now Oris beach) and Camelot and a few smaller ones.
Due to this potential Alsancak became one of the most popular tourist destinations in North Cyprus during the past few years with plenty of hotels and holiday villages welcoming local and foreign guests throughout all seasons of the year.
But not only the number of tourists increased, Alsancak also became a popular residential area for foreigners and locals, which can be seen with the many new buildings that have appeared in recent years.
Despite the rapid population growth, Alsancak has preserved its old charming face in many parts of the village. The people are friendly and mostly relaxed, the typical Turkish coffee shops downtown being frequented the whole day long.
Although it is only a village or let´s say a small town, there are plenty of supermarkets and other shopping facilities, so you don´t need to go to busy Kyrenia to get most of your daily needed goods.
Besides the beaches Alsancak has another well known sight, the Peace and Freedom Museum, reminiscent of the days of the military confrontation between the Turkish troops and the Greek / Greek Cypriot forces in 1974. Read more about this by clicking here:
Although the mains water is rationed by the Municipality during the hot summer months, there is plenty of ground water in the soils of Alsancak, which can be seen in the number of private wells that contain water throughout the year. Therefore, there are still a lot of orchards in the village, where all kinds of citrus trees, olive trees, carob and other cultivated plants bear their fruit.
All in all a nice place to live…