St Hilarion Castle

St Hilarion Castle

Today we decided to tackle the climb to the top of St Hilarion Castle. The castle sits on top of a mountain overlooking Kyrenia, rumour has it that Walt Disney took his inspiration from the jagged exterior for the film snow white, so with water at the ready it was time to accend its lofty heights. In the middle section of the castle you can take a rest, have a browse around the little gift shop and get a drink, but you pay the price, as a bottle of water is twice the cost it is at ground level “I suppose it is to pay the poor souls wages who has to carry up the supplies”. So after a short break it was time to tackle the accent to the upper level and then for those who have any stamina left the final climb to the top to Prince Johns Tower. Top Tip suitable shoes are a must as I discovered by just turning up in flip flops, albeit good ones, so my trip to the top was somewhat precarious at times. From the middle section the steps get more and more uneven and at times non existant. The final push to the top of Prince Johns Tower is well worth the effort as it affords some stunning views over Kyrenia aparently on clear days you even see the Taurus Mountains in Turkey some 100 km away, but unfortunately for me this wasn’t possible. At night the castle is illuminated and can be seen from miles around it looks like it is floating in the sky.

After our decent back to ground level, we took the drive over the mountain (just continue on the road you came on) on the advise of a friend of mine who lives on the island,  as my friend told me the drive affords some amazing views, the road is very winding in places so just be aware, also around about 15-20 km along the road you can see a remnant of the Turkish invasion in 1974 which is a tank that has gone off the side of the road, you cannot miss it but it is like I said some way along the mountain road. There are also some very good imformation boards at the side of the road by the tank detailing the history of the island and the invasion.

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