Two vegans on a roadtrip. Myths and castles in the North of Cyprus

Two vegans on a roadtrip. Myths and castles in the North of Cyprus

Sometimes you go on a road trip looking for answers. Sometimes it is to bond and to learn something about each other. Sometimes you go on a road trip to experience something new, or something you’ve seen before, but with other people. Other times it is just to have an awesome adventure. That’s the amazing thing about traveling. You never know what happens, and what memories you’ll have. You see things from another perspective. You learn something. You meet amazing people. You try new food. You get lost…or you feel lost, and maybe you’ll find yourself along the way.  One of the best things is that you get to step our of your day to day experiences at home and just be in the moment

Here´s a photo journey of our road trip to the other side….The other side of Cyprus. The North of Cyprus. Still Cyprus. Still the same island. But yet so different. Hopefully one day there will be ONE Cyprus. And not divided like it is today.

Feeling the myths and legends of the Kantara Castle with the view of the Karpaz peninsula – in the Kyrenia mountain range – The North of Cyprus. Kantara is the lowest of the three castles  in the north around 550-600 meter. The St. Hilarion and Buffavento is both higher up, so it´s an easy walk up from the car park.

When two vegans who loves food go traveling, the food plays a big part of the travel experience. Well, it did before going vegan too. The only difference is that you might find yourself doing a lot more research before going;) Often it´s a good idea to check which restaurants have good vegan options and to ask for vegan meals at the place you´re going to stay, before you get there. This is what we did, and we got a big surprise!! This road trip was full of surprises. First surprise I got was my friend that had prepared a little vegan picnic for us. A picnic on the top of a castle with this view!

Vegans who picnic;) Vegan falafel wraps, Pringles, bananas and different nuts

I feel so blessed…and grateful! I got another surprise too… A lovely gift from my travel buddy! Handmade jewelry from Harley and Honey – yoga inspired jewelry made with passion and love. You can find her amazing jewelry here

The Hamsa hand or Fatima´s hand – is a symbol of good luck, power, strength and also a protection against negative energies.

In Jewish it´s called the Hamsa Hand or the Hand of Miriam, and in Muslim communities it is called the Hand of Fatima or the Khamsa. And also represents the five pillars in Islam; Faith, Prayer, Pilgrimage, Fasting and Charity.

The exact date of Kantara´s construction remains unknown, but it is said to have been built in the Byzantine periode (around 965 to 1090 AC) for protection against Arab invasions. Kantara castle served as a watchtower for pirate raids and was also an administrative centre. In 1191, it was taken by Richard Lionheart – who sold the island to the Nights Templar, and then resold to the Lusignans…and so it goes on for the history of Cyprus.

One of the myths and legends is of a ghost, a queen that stands by the Gothic window looking out on her country. Another legend tells that if someone entered a specific room, they would enter paradise and would not be able to return. There´s also another one about the queen – One of which the queen would invite the men that had worked on her castle, up to one of the rooms and throw them out of the window! The queen had no longer use for them when they had finished the work on the castle and she wouldn’t pay them. Some believe that the ghost of her can be seen standing in the window…

Maybe the men were thrown out here?

We left the legends behind and continued our journey to Pendaya Eko Garden – a beautiful oasis in Morphou, Yesilyurt, about a 2 hours drive from Kantara castle.

When we arrived at in the evening, we were soooo surprised by the amount of vegan food they had cooked for us!! We had asked Deniz – the owner beforehand to prepared a vegan meal for us, but little did we know how much food we were going to be served:)


And vegan beer:)

Deniz and her mom – two very lovely people!

That night we ate, drank, talked for hours, laughed, and planned the rest of our road trip…


We got lovely desserts from the garden…figs and grapes and a sugar coated Turkish dessert

A little bit a beautiful garden with lounging areas all around….Such a lovely and tranquil place. The vegan breakfast was amazing….as you can see;)

A bit tired that morning..hehe….but what a great way to start the day! Breakfast in the garden with lovely company!

Everything fresh and most of it from the garden…Figs, lemons, grapefruit and pomegranate to name a few…


We said goodbye and left happy, full, grateful and almost speechless..the amazing service we got! Truly a special place run by special people. If you´re ever around this area – book a night at Pendaya Eko Garden – and of course; ask for vegan food;)

The streets of Kyrenia..

Life is better together…

We were so full from the breakfast, so we decided to go for a light snack lunch – Beans and chips with a local yummi lemonade – Totally okay when you´re in a place with this view..

Kyrenia harbour

Back in history…How Kyrenia Harbour once looked, and how it looks today

Off we went from Kyrenia and up the mountain range towards Nicosia. Just a few minutes drive up to Saint Hilarion Castle. You pass a military base on the way up too…

St. Hilarion is one of the three castles that were formed as a defense against pirates and foreign invasions. It´s around 750 meters above sea level. The castle was originally a monastery and built in the 10th century. Later on a fortress and a castle.

The view is magnificent! And the castle too..

The legend goes…St. Hilarion was named after a monk who fled persecution in Palestine and escaped to live and die in this mountain. According to the legend he was extremely deaf and resilient against all the demons around in the mountain range. After some time the demons left him alone. Another rumor is that Walt Disney used this castle as a model for the fairy tale Snow White and the seven dwarfs

The castle has a maze of paths, staircases, tunnels and rooms…you could easily spend many hours here…and climb the steep stairs to the top of the mountain!

Woohoooo! We´re a the flip flops;)

How beautiful is this? The fresh air. The mountains. The castle. The journey….


Two good friends and a road trip…










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