Northern Cyprus. Miles of rugged natural coastline, secluded sandy coves and beautiful un-spoilt beaches, lapped by the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Framed by the peaks of the magnificent ‘Five Finger’ mountain range, down into the central plains stretching between Famagusta and Nicosia, it is truly one of the last un-spoilt destinations in the Mediterranean. A haven of natural beauty, with pine clad hillsides and miles of sandy beaches making it the unique destination most people believe no longer exists. The coastline of North Cyprus offers some of the finest and safest bathing in the Mediterranean. The crystal clear waters are wonderful for swimming, snorkeling, sailing and skiing.An ancient island, inhabited since the Stone Age, it is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Past inhabitants have included Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans and British. The heritage and culture from these civilizations are evident all over the island, but none more so than in the North, where sites of historical interest abound. The castle of St Hilarion and the Abbey ruins at Bellapais are just two of the wonderful relics of these past times, and still exude atmosphere.The identity of the island is very Cypriot however. The warm and welcoming nature of the people is one of the first things you notice when visiting for the first time. Go into any of the local towns and tavernas you will experience firsthand the friendly atmosphere that makes you feel immediately at ease. Many of the local people speak and understand English and encourage visitors in their attempts at the language. There are several places where you can learn to speak Turkish in a relaxed atmosphere, something to keep you busy through the cooler winter months perhaps!A food lover’s paradise, you don’t have to wander far to sample delicious fare freshly prepared with the abundant local vegetables and locally caught fish. With over 300 restaurants and tavernas to choose from, it would be impossible not to find somewhere that wouldn’t satisfy the most diverse of palates. The local Cypriot food is of course influenced by Turkish culinary art, although there are many excellent restaurants specializing in European and international cuisine. An evening stroll down to the harbour in Kyrenia will find visitors spoilt for choice between numerous bars and restaurants where you can sit and while away the hours whilst enjoying a leisurely meal. Eating out is still relatively inexpensive, and always a great pleasure! There are several nightclubs in and around Girne (Kyrenia) for those who wish to have a more active nightlife!The cost of living in Northern Cyprus is notably less that in the UK, but standards are on a par, with the added bonuses of fantastic scenery and weather! The number of permanent British residents is growing every year, and integrating with the local communities, rather than outside them as has been the case in other countries favoured by ex-pats. A legacy from the British colonial days means that traffic drives on the left and since car hire is cheap and easy, travelling around is no problem.In the past two years, Northern Cyprus has experienced a true property boom. Property prices have doubled in the last year, with still more potential for capital growth. There are many different types of property to be found, from large and small villas to town centre apartments. Popular choices amongst these are the gated complexes of apartments being built by SeaTerra, one of the largest developers in North Cyprus. Out towards the East side of Girne, their projects are set next to the village of Esentepe and further along the coast road towards Tatlisu.The fact that so many people are now becoming aware of Northern Cyprus shows there is huge potential for more tourists to start visiting the area. This seems to be a European and even worldwide awareness. With around 215,000 people living there permanently, this figure more than doubles in the summer months. With both a new golf course due to be opened shortly, and plans for a 400 berth yacht Marina just along from Esentepe, this will no doubt prove to be a big draw for those who have not as yet discovered this wonderful place. At the moment there are about 60 hotels in the region, with another 11,000 beds planned and in the process of being built. More than 60 flights per week arrive at Ercan Airport during the summer, this grows steadily and countless other flights bring people to Northern Cyprus via Larnaca in the South. The winter tourist is also increasing in numbers hugely proving that the secret of Northern Cyprus is well and truly out.This article has been provided by Karen Arter, marketing manager for Cyprus SeaTerra a specialist Northern Cyprus property developer. For further information visit north-cyprus-properties-sale.co.uk or cyprus-seaterra.com.