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BUFFAVENTO CASTLE

Buffavento is the highest of the three castles built along the Five Finger Mountain ridge and standing at 3,100ft above sea level ...

The highest of the three North Cyprus castles

Buffavento is the highest of the three castles built along the Five Finger Mountain ridge and standing at 3,100ft above sea level it provides the most commanding view with a 360 degree panorama across the landscape. From the top most buildings the outlook south encompasses the City of Famagusta, Larnaca Bay, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains. Northwards, on a clear day, across the Mediterranean, the coast of Turkey is visible only forty miles away. Originally built as a lookout fort by the Byzantines, and enlarged into a commodious castle by the Lusignan rulers in the 13 th C, Buffavento is true to the literal translation of its name. On a stormy day it is certainly buffeted by the winds and frequently wears a fluffy cap of white clouds even in summer. The best access route is from the Five Finger Mountain pass on the road that heads east from Kyrenia. At the top of the hill take the right turning and follow the signs. It is approximately 4 and a half miles before the car park is reached and there are places s to stop and look at the flowers or the view. From the car park a long climb up well made steps is necessary before the main gate is reached. Passing through this gate and entering the lower ward of the two levels, there are still some rooms enclosed from the elements and huge cisterns that once provided the castle inhabitants and their animals with fresh water. A further climb of about 75ft will get the explorer to the upper ward, with an additional short ascent of twelve steps leading to a restored doorway and entrance into a barrel vaulted room which is the only complete room of the upper level. From this room there is a passage with ruined accommodation on both sides and a vertiginous viewpoint at the far end. The highest point is marked by a lightning deflector and from here the vista downwards across the ruined buildings below gives an almost birds-eye picture of the complete lower ward, and in a south westerly direction, peeping out from behind a fold in the mountain can be seen edge of the painted flag of the TRNC. Just to stand at 3,100ft and feel the breeze blowing off the sea; to watch the mares-tail clouds drifting lazily across the sky; to turn 360 degrees and gaze at the spectacular panorama; and if you are lucky to hear the call of buzzards and ravens in flight as they circle the mountain top, will make the climb totally rewarding.

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