Lapta (Lapithos) in Kyrenia, North Cyprus.
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Kyrenia Harbour In 2002
Kyrenia Harbour In 2002
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Lapta (Lapithos)

photo by: Anonymous
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When the Arab raids on the coastline of North Cyprus became too much for the population of Lambousa, they moved inland to join their nearest neighbours, at Lapta. During the Roman period, Lapta (Lapithos) was one of four main administrative centres on the island, and being further inland, had been spared the regular raids that drove the Lampusa citizens away from the coast. In fact, there had probably been a settlement here much earlier, since excavations in the area have revealed Iron age tombs and calcolitic remains. An Orthadox bishopric was established ehre, but suppressed by the Crusaders in the 13th century.

The town of Lapta lies on several levels, consisting of natural terraces on the side of the mountain overlooking the sea. The terraces are evidence of differing sea levels over the centuries, and are broken up by deep ravines and rocky outcrops, where erosion has worn away the terraces. It was one of writer Lawrence Durrell’s favourite villages in Northern Cyprus, which was famous for its silks, cloths, and pottery.

Driving to Lapta, North Cyprus

In Northern Cyprus today, Lapta is famous for its orange and lemon groves, thanks to the abundant water from mountains springs that erupt from the rocks all over town.  The town irrigation system also waters the olive trees that cling to the hillside. The road to Lapta winds up from the main North Cyprus coast road through sharp twists and turns that make the journey seems a lot further than the actual distance of around 2km.

The mosque in Lapta, Northern Cyprus

Lapta has several pretty churches, not all of which are open or in a particularly good state of repair. However, the Ottoman stone mosque in Lapta is a classic example of the style, complete with minaret, hexagonal hall and a dome.

A holiday in Lapta North Cyprus is actually…

In North Cyprus holiday brochures, Lapta is represented by three main hotels; the Celebrity, Lapethos and the LA. The hotels and their beaches are certainly a magnet for those who love clean sandy beaches in North Cyprus, but they are actually closer to Lambousa than Lapta itself.