At the ragged summits of the Kyrenia mountain range, overlooking the Mediterranean and the surrounding areas of North Cyprus and in view of The Hideaway Club Hotel, Saint Hilarion Castle stands proudly as a monument to those who built it. Famed as the supposed inspiration for Walt Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty', Hilarion is one of the best preserved of all the Crusader Castles and offers plenty to anyone with a keen interest in history – or anyone searching for some truly spectacular views!


The castle is named after Saint Hilarion, a hermit who fled from persecution and lived in a cave. He was an abbot from Palestine, who became a convert to Christianity and was supposed to have visited Saint Antony. Returning to his birthplace, he discovered his parents dead and gave away all his belongings. His regime was monastic in the extreme and he lived on figs, bread, vegetables and oil and slept in a shelter of reeds. Disciples came to learn from him and crowds were attracted to him by his austerities and miracles. Eventually settling in Cyprus, he died at the age of eighty.


The castle of Saint Hilarion was originally built as a watch tower to give warning of approaching pirates and although a monastery and a church were built here originally, the first references to a castle are in records of 1191BC. For some time the site remained of military value, but later became the summer resort of the Lusignan nobility. When the Venetians invaded Cyprus in 1489, they relied on major cities and ports for defense and Hilarion was neglected and fell into disrepair. In its outline and arrangement today, the castle remains as the Byzantines built it, but parts are Frankish and the work of those who rebuilt and improved the castle in Lusignan times

Saint Hilarion is in easy reach of Kyrenia and The Hideaway Club Hotel. There is a good road to the site and a large car park for the use of visitors and the views alone make it a worthwhile place to visit. There is quite a lot of steep walking, so stout shoes are advisable. Especially in hot weather, it is also essential to take some refreshments with you, though there is a cafe at the base of the castle.

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Edremit, Kyrenia, North Cyprus

Tel: +90-542-855-0771

Fax: +90-392-822-2621

Email: info{at}hideawayclub.com

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