The final Republic of Cyprus village on this stretch of the north coast is KATO PYRGOS, in some ways a place that time forgot, and certainly one with a unique atmosphere. To reach it you need to drive inland from Pachyammos (effectively the end of the coast road), around the Kokkina Enclave’s fences, guard towers and Turkish and UN troops; what should be a short hop is now a 23km drive along serpentine mountain roads. When you return to the coast, it’s another 6km into the unexpectedly large village, which occupies a wide hill-girt bay.
Squeezed between the Kokkina Enclave to the west, north Cyprus to the east, and to the south Tilliria, the largest wilderness area in Cyprus, Kato Pyrgos has been pretty well isolated since the mid twentieth century. However, the opening of the new crossing point just east of the village in October 2010 has gone some way to ending this, since there is now a direct route to Lefkosia through the Turkish-occupied North. Kato Pyrgos has a few hotels, the westernmost of which, the Tylos Beach, overlooks the modern harbour, home to a small fishing fleet. Either side of the harbour is a rocky shore often waist-deep in dried seaweed. Incidentally, it was in Kato Pyrgos that Makarios was based when he made desperate and ultimately futile attempts to stop Grivas and the National Guard attacking the Kokkina Enclave.