27 Jun 10 Jul

Much more than Oranges!

Since 1977, this event held by Guzelyurt Municipality, has been the venue for a festival that originally celebrated the orange harvest.

The Turkish name Güzelyurt means ‘beautiful place’ and refers to the surroundings of the town – large orange and grapefruit groves.

Indeed the area is most renowned for being the agricultural plain in which the bulk of the oranges produced in North Cyprus are grown, hence why it also referred to as the “fruit basket” of the island.

In spring, a sweet scent covers the air, and in June to July each year, the harvest is celebrated with the holding of The Portakal (Orange) Festival.

Initially starting as a humble weekend occasion, this infamous event which has been running for over forty years and has expanded into a two-week festival, kicked off each year with a customary parade through Guzelyurt and followed by a massive opening ceremony.

This is followed by a calendar of events, mainly taking place in the town fairground, including art exhibitions, folk dancing displays, music concerts, recitals, beauty contests, raffles, fun fairs, various tournaments and much more for both adults and children.

The festival involves all the local community including schools, businesses and dance troupes, and each day will offer a packed schedule.  

In the market stalls visitors can buy beautiful souvenirs and handicrafts, try their luck at archery, taste local delights and of course as the name suggests, this festival is also a great opportunity to taste the world-famous Cyprus oranges.

If you are interested in seeing a whole town themed and decorated in the orange colour, then this festival is not to be missed. You can view the full programme on the Guzelyurt Municipality website.