Travelling around to explore North Cyprus.
There is a public transport system in North Cyprus. Don't expect large buses though; the service is mostly based on minibuses known as dolmus. The term dolmus, meaning full or stuffed, strictly refers to shared taxis and there are some around but it is broadly used to include the minibuses. This bus service only serves you well for destinations along the main roads and cities. If you want to visit a hill village, like Karaman or even Bellapais, then there are no buses at all. Taxis offer an option but they are an expensive form of transport, less so if they are shared but it is not always practical to find a share.
In order to see the best parts and the far reaches of North Cyprus, there are two main options of transport. Nearly all holiday companies and hotels can arrange for guided tours to specific locations such as Famagusta, Salamis, and all other major sites and cities. Taxi hire can be arranged to visit more remote parts and private guides are available. Alternatively hiring a car will give the greatest scope for exploration and even a limited time of three or four days will allow plenty of time to see the most important and beautiful parts of the island.
Guided tours will always be accompanied by a licensed guide and usually lunch and all entrance fees to sites and museums are included. Busses are air conditioned which is a great benefit on a hot summer day but understandably time at any of the archaeological sites and museums is limited. For a more extensive visit allowing plenty of time for exploration car hire is definitely the best option.
Accessing the more remote beaches, secluded areas and the mountain drives can only be done by car. Limited public transport from the villages into town is available and the main routes between the bigger towns are well provided for. However it is impossible to discover North Cyprus using the public service alone.
Car hire is easily arranged through hotels and holiday representatives, and driving in North Cyprus is easy. Cars are right hand drive and the island uses the same side of the road as UK. Speed limits are posted in KPH and are approximately the same as UK MPH. (50 KPH in towns and villages, 65 KPH approaching crossroads and junctions and 100 KPH on the main roads). Beware of speed cameras, they do work and fines are hefty! Fines will also be issued for illegally parking and streets are clearly marked with black and white painted on the kerbstones and traffic police constantly monitor for cars parked incorrectly and hastily issue a parking ticket. Most of the major towns have a convoluted system of one way streets and these can be difficult to negotiate, however local drivers’ are understanding, happily redirecting the errant driver back onto the correct route. There are plenty of car parks close to town centres, the parking fee is reasonably cheap and it is never a long walk to the parts of interest.
Hitching is an option and the drivers usually don't bother to stop, therefore it is not reliable.