Whatever the festivals are called, in North Cyprus they usually include a wide variety of activities and events, not all directly relating to the subject contained in the title. So the tulip festival includes a pinball competition, an olive festival a darts competition. And many also throw in a beauty contest for good measure.


Tepebasi Tulip Festival (mid-March) Walks and displays to celebrate the Cyprus tulip (Tulipa Cypria) and a wide range of activities – including bicycle tours, dancing and a pinball competition, in villages near Lapta.

May & June

International Famagusta Art and Culture Festival (May) Huge music, theatre, ballet, visual arts festival held at various venues in Gazimağusa.

International Bellapais Music Festival (end of May/early June) A festival of chamber and choral music and dance in one of North Cyprus’s most beautiful settings – Bellapais Abbey.

Girne Living Culture and Art Festival (whole of June) Turkish and Cypriot drama and music festival held in Girne’s amphitheatre.

Lapta Tourist Festival (June) Huge range of competitions aimed at and put on by the expat community – pool, table tennis, remote-controlled boats – there’s even an “alcohol-drinking competition” (details at wcyprusscene.com).

Lefke Walnut Festival (June) Festival of walnut-based sweets in the village in the western part of north Cyprus.

Iskele International Folk Dance Festival (end of June) Week-long festival where folk dancing groups from all over the world take part, staging a series of nightly performances.


Gecitkale Hellim (Halloumi) Festival A variety of events and demonstrations revolving around the Cypriot cheese halloumi – cooking, photography (not just photographs of cheese), beauty and fashion competitions.


International Girne Olive Festival Dance and drama, music, food (with an olive theme) and drink, shooting and darts competitions. Starts in Kyrenia Castle, then moves to the village of Zeytinlik.

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