So why do so many people choose North Cyprus for retirement? There are a huge number of benefits to retirement in the TRNC. Probably the most frequently quoted reason is simply the fabulous Mediterranean weather – out of 365 days in a year, you can expect sunshine on around 340 of them! The Cyprus climate verges on the semi-tropical and although there is of course the much needed rain in the winter, it is generally at least 10 degrees hotter than the UK on any given day of the year with frost almost unheard of. It is well known that people over 60 benefit hugely from warmer weather and increased natural sunlight, with doctors recommending a Mediterranean climate to those with certain health conditions including arthritis.
For the active retiree, the sky is actually not the limit for the number of leisure activities you can pursue. Well-known British centenarian and former TRNC resident, Peggy McAlpine, was world-famous for her recent Guinness Book of Records paragliding feats aged 104 from the 2,400 ft. peak of the North Cyprus Besparmak (Five Finger) mountains down to the coast. For those preferring land or water-based leisure activities, the brand new 18 hole Korineum Golf & Beach Resort boasts an impeccably maintained 18 hole golf course with stunning mountain and sea views, often preferred to the courses in the South of Cyprus (including the well-known Aphrodite Hills course) due to its more challenging design. There are three marinas (the traditional Kyrenia harbour, new Delta Marina at the New Kyrenia Harbour and the brand new Karpaz Gate Marina further up the pan-handle) as well as a host of diving and waters ports clubs. For those who like socialising, the various English-speaking societies organise dances, talks and other fundraising events. There are a host of new ex pat bookshops, cafes and weekend markets where ex pats meet and relax together in the sun over cups of tea – or something stronger!
For those who are concerned about links with home – there are various Consulate offices in North Nicosia (Lefkosa). North Cyprus is officially a Muslim country but welcomes people from other faiths. Church goers are delighted to find the lovely traditional St. Andrew’s church in Kyrenia with regular Sunday services run by an Episcopal vicar resident at the nearby Hermitage. The British Residents Society has weekly “clinics” at its Kyrenia office where experienced ex pats are happy to dispense advice to new arrivals and where membership can be obtained.
Finally, one important reason why people retire to Northern Cyprus is the low cost of luxury property – compared to other Mediterranean destinations, including the south coast of Turkey. North Cyprus retirement home prices are more stable than in other locations like Spain and have been unaffected by the global crash. Although prices are starting to rise, it is still possible to buy a two bedroom apartment on or near to the coast from upwards of £55,000 – and a 3 bedroom villa from upwards of £100,000 – many with easy payment terms.