Menu Close

Is Famagusta still a ghost town?

Is Famagusta still a ghost town?​

Famagusta, a once glamorous resort town in Cyprus, has become a ghost town since 1974 when it was invaded by the Turkish Army and access to the town was blocked. Today٫ Famagusta remains a haunting reminder frozen in time٫ surrounded by barbed wire and the sea. Despite its abandonment٫ you can still visit Famagusta and witness its deserted beaches and hotels.​ One notable area within Famagusta is Varosha٫ an abandoned quarter that was once a thriving resort town.​ Closed off during the Turkish invasion٫ Varosha has remained untouched and serves as a stark reminder of the past.​

The history of Famagusta

Famagusta, located on the east coast of Cyprus, has a rich and fascinating history. It was once a glamorous resort town, attracting tourists from around the world with its beautiful beaches and luxurious hotels.​ However, in 1974, Famagusta’s history took a tragic turn when the Turkish Army invaded the city and blocked its access, resulting in the abandonment of the town.​

The invasion was part of the larger conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and Famagusta became one of the major battlegrounds.​ The former residents were forced to flee with only the clothes on their backs, leaving behind their homes and possessions. Today, Famagusta stands as a ghost town, frozen in time and surrounded by barbed wire and the sea.​

Despite its tragic history, Famagusta still holds a special allure for those who wish to delve into its past and witness the remnants of its former glory. You can visit Famagusta and explore its deserted beaches and hotels, gaining a deeper understanding of the town’s history and the impact of the conflict.

It’s important to note that while Famagusta is open to visitors, there are certain areas, such as the abandoned quarter of Varosha, that remain off-limits.​ Nevertheless, you can join guided tours that provide access to selected areas and offer insights into the town’s history and the controversies surrounding it.​

The current state of Famagusta

Famagusta, once a glamorous resort town, remains a haunting ghost town to this day.​ Access to the town was blocked after the Turkish Army invaded in 1974, leaving behind deserted beaches and hotels.​ The current state of Famagusta can be described as frozen in time, surrounded by barbed wire and the sea, creating a surreal and eerie atmosphere.​

The former residents of Famagusta fled during the invasion, leaving their possessions and memories behind.​ Today, the town stands as a stark reminder of the past, attracting curious visitors from around the world who are interested in witnessing the remnants of what was once a vibrant and bustling destination.​

While Famagusta itself is now accessible and you can explore its abandoned streets and buildings, one notable area within the town is Varosha. This former resort quarter of Famagusta remains off-limits and sealed off by the Turkish military.​ Varosha stands as a symbol of the devastation caused by the conflict, with crumbling buildings and empty streets.​

Visiting Famagusta allows you to witness the impact of the conflict on the town and its people, offering a unique opportunity to reflect on the consequences of war and the importance of peace and reconciliation.​ It is a powerful experience that can provide a deeper understanding of the complex history of Cyprus.​

Visiting Famagusta and Varosha

If you’re interested in visiting Famagusta and exploring the ghost town of Varosha, there are a few important things to consider.​ Firstly, it’s crucial to understand the complex political situation surrounding the area.​ Varosha remains a disputed territory and access may be restricted or limited. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the latest travel advisories and regulations before planning your visit.​

While the majority of Famagusta is accessible, the entrance to Varosha is currently restricted.​ However, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the abandoned quarter from designated viewpoints or take guided tours that provide historical context and insight into the region’s tumultuous past.​ These tours often operate from nearby cities or towns, such as Limassol or Ayia Napa.​

Exploring Famagusta itself can be a rewarding experience.​ The city is rich in history, boasting ancient ruins, medieval architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene.​ Make sure to visit landmarks like Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the Othello Castle, and the impressive Roman amphitheater.​ Additionally, Famagusta offers stunning beaches, picturesque marinas, and a diverse culinary scene.​

Remember to be respectful while visiting Famagusta and Varosha.​ These places hold deep significance for the people who once lived there and were forced to abandon their homes.​ It’s essential to be mindful of the area’s sensitive past and the ongoing efforts to find a resolution to the situation.

Before traveling, check with local authorities or tour operators to ensure you have the latest information regarding access to Famagusta and Varosha.​ By being informed and respectful, you can have a meaningful and educational visit to this historically significant region.​