09 June 2023 - 09:28
If you're interested in experiencing the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and Northern Cyprus from a high vantage point, particularly at St. Hilarion Castle, then you're in for a treat. Among the castles of Kantara and Bufavento, St. Hilarion Castle stands as the best-preserved historical building, tracing its origins back to ancient times. In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information about St. Hilarion Castle, enabling you to plan your visit to this beautiful fortress.
Location and Significance
St. Hilarion Castle holds immense significance due to its strategic location at an altitude of 732 meters. Visitors have the opportunity to climb the castle and immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring panorama surrounding the area. However, the castle's appeal extends beyond its stunning views. It possesses a mystical ambiance that seamlessly blends with its remarkable architecture, creating unforgettable experiences for those who visit. Reflecting the impressive architectural style of the Middle Ages, the castle is also known by another name, Dieu D'amour. Its history is rich, characterized by both triumphs and tragedies. After the Venetians captured the island in 1489, the castle was abandoned and now consists of three main sections.
Builder and History
The exact construction date of St. Hilarion Castle remains uncertain, but historical sources suggest that it was likely built by the Byzantines in the 11th century AD. According to these sources, the castle served as a watchtower for the Byzantines. Its name is derived from a monk who sought refuge in Cyprus following the Arab conquest of Jerusalem. The monk spent his final years in this region, leaving a lasting imprint on the castle's identity.
Getting to St. Hilarion Castle
Situated on Mount Five Fingers in the western part of Cyprus, St. Hilarion Castle beckons adventurers. Accessible via a mountain road, the castle is approximately 10 km away from Kyrenia. To reach the castle, one must ascend 480 steps, embarking on a journey that promises stunning rewards in the form of panoramic views and historical wonders.
To reach Hilarion Castle, there are two primary options: using your own vehicle or joining a tour organized by reputable companies. Opting for a guided tour offers the advantage of gaining in-depth knowledge about the region. Here are the directions to follow:
- Follow the Nicosia main road.
- Continue on the ring road.
- Upon reaching the circle, take a right turn onto the Kyrenia main road.
- Take the 3rd exit, heading towards Beşparmak mountains.
- After traveling 200 meters, turn left and continue. By following the signs, you will easily reach your destination.
Hilarion Castle welcomes visitors between 09:00 and 18:00, with the last entry permitted at 17:00. However, it's important to note that the closing time may vary in certain months. Tours are usually conducted by taxis accommodating up to four people, with hotel pickups provided. Visitors are responsible for covering the entrance fees, as well as their food and other personal expenses. At the conclusion of the tour, participants are returned to their original pickup location.
Entrance Fee and Tours
As for the entrance fee, it varies depending on the specific tour package. In 2022, the average cost ranged between 15-20 TL. Prices differ based on the included destinations and activities. Tours originating from Kyrenia hotels tend to be more cost-effective than those from the Lapta Alsancak region. Joining a tour is a great way to enjoy an economical trip. Taxis have a fixed fare for one to four passengers, and credit cards are generally accepted as a means of payment.