Buffavento Castle

Kyrenia, Cyprus

At 955m above sea level, Buffavento castle stands the highest of the three crusader castles in Cyprus. It probably originated as a Byzantine watch tower to guard against Arab raiders in the 10th century. The castle was extended during the Lusignan rule (1192–1489). The Lusignan kings used the castle mainly as a political prison. In particular, Peter I when reluctantly warned by his friend John Visconti of the queen's infidelity, repaid the favour by imprisoning and torturing him at Kyrenia, and later locking Visconti up at Buffavento to starve to death. By the 16th century, the castle was dismantled by the Venetians in an attempt to protect themselves, as their focus moved to the strongholds along the coast at Kyrenia and Famagusta.

From the seaward side, the castle is almost invisible, and the best long distance view is from the Nicosia side, where you can clearly see the remains of the castle bulging out from the top of the mountain. On the top level there are remains of a few buildings and a ruined chapel. However, the climb is worth it for the views alone, taking in Kyrenia, Famagusta, Nicosia and, on a good day, the Troodos Mountains.



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Kyrenia, Cyprus
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Founded: 10th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Cyprus


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laura & Stuart Hildersley (11 months ago)
The views are definitely worth the long climb, but the steps are excellent. Unrestricted opening times and free to visit, you can go later in the afternoon, after other places will have closed.
Attila Elliott (2 years ago)
Buffavento is a real must see and visit place! This fortress is situated on a peak and You can approach it on a very long trail from the parking lot. Very important! Take enough water with you especially if You take children with yourself! The fortress itself is in very good shape let's say unmolested! The scenery is hilarious You can spot the sea in various directions! There is no entrance fee anyway. The fortress is full of empty rooms and sometimes You cannot imagine that the place is a ruin because of its excellent condition. If You visited Buffavento and you liked it do not miss to visit the fortress of Cantara and Saint Hilarion You will like them also!
Sotiris (2 years ago)
Lots of stairs but amazing view. Go during a weekday for less tourists around
Yiota Prp (2 years ago)
Amazing view from up there!
Linas Sasnauskas (2 years ago)
Amazing! The best castle in the Cyprus! There are not many castles left, but the image to go towards it is unbelievable!
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