North Cyprus remains refreshingly uncommercialised and is one of the few places in the world still devoid of global brands such as Starbucks and McDonalds.
The Karpaz Peninsula is, in part, designated national park, with rugged beaches home to endangered turtles and glorious countryside, where wild donkeys roam.
Buyukkonuk, a working village and eco tourism hub on the outskirts of the Karpaz region, is offering holidaymakers the chance to experience traditional Cypriot village life beyond the beaches.
The village has a population of approximately 800, the majority of whom work in agriculture, whether it be tending fields of barley, vineyards and orchards of olive, carob and almond trees, or looking after dairy cows and flocks of sheep and goats.
Villagers have opened their doors in traditional Cypriot style, and invite holidaymakers to join them in their quest to preserve a way of life unchanged for generations.
Accommodation comprises small, family-run guesthouses and woodland cabins, with activities - which you are invited to join in spontaneously - such as goat milking, egg collecting and olive harvesting. It is also possible to take part in cycling tours, enjoy walks, donkey rides, baking and craft demonstrations. If you are staying elsewhere and would prefer to visit the village just for the day, why not time your visit to coincide with the colourful Sunday market?
Twice a year, in May and October, Buyukkonuk hosts the Eco-Day Festival, featuring food stalls, treasure hunts and folk dancing.
Find out more at ecotourismcyprus.org or visit simplynorthcyprus.com.
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