Buffavento Castle is the second of the three great fortresses that are strung out along the Kyrenia mountains (the others being St Hilarion and Kantara). Whereas St Hilarion is easily accessible, Buffavento is more remote, with the result that you may well be the only visitor – a major plus in terms of atmosphere. However, don’t expect refreshments, information leaflets or the like – there’s not even a ticket kiosk. Part of the excitement of the visit is the wild, tortured landscape of the “five fingers” mountain through which you pass, and the winding mountain road up to the castle, which reveals views across the whole island.
Though at 940m above sea level the highest of the three castles, Buffavento is also the smallest and worst preserved, more a romantic Gothic ruin than a sturdy fortress. The castle was much damaged by the Venetians to prevent its future use, and badly eroded over the centuries by the elements (though its name means “not yielding to winds”).
From the car park, a path and steps rise steeply towards the ruins, which you can see lining the clifftop high above. Bear in mind that it requires a fair bit of hard climbing (though there are plenty of hand rails) and there’s little shade (if you get into trouble, dial T155). As you climb, the views south are particularly impressive. As at St Hilarion, the hillside is carpeted with flowers in spring.