North Cyprus counters over-tourism

INTREPID Travel has introduced North Cyprus as a new destination in its 2018 Europe program, putting it at the top of a “Not Hot List” for travellers keen to avoid areas of over-tourism.

The company’s chief executive officer James Thornton said the list had been developed in response to concerns about the impact of large-scale tourism and travellers’ desire to “get away from the masses”.

“Europe is a favourite with Australian travellers, so we’re constantly on the look-out for new ways to explore the continent by adding unique itineraries and new destinations,” Thornton said.

“Over-tourism has become a real issue in many of the world’s most beautiful cities and it’s impacting the experience for locals and for travellers, so in 2018 we’re encouraging travellers to consider the alternatives and look beyond the typical destinations,” he said.

While other destinations on the list stretch from Portugal to Moldova, it’s the newly added destination of North Cyprus that takes number one spot.

Intrepid’s new North Cyprus tour explores the island for four days, visiting ancient hill-top castles, traditional villages and stunning coastline. Priced from $1,360 per person, it also provides a chance to explore Europe’s last divided capital, known as Lefkosia to the Turkish and Nicosia to the Cypriot communities.

Meanwhile, sister brand Peregrine Adventures has tripled the number of small ship adventure cruising departures it offers in Europe this year.

Operated by small ships with no more than 50 travellers on board, the cruises allow guests to visit small ports that big ships can’t access to explore little-known towns and villages.

Options include Croatia Coastal Cruising between Split and Dubrovnik, Hidden Gems of Greece combining Santorini and Mykonos with lesser known islands such as Syros and Sifnos, and a Cruise Croatia’s Central Coast itinerary which heads north from Split to Zadar.