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A bird’s-eye view of the “ghost town” of the Mediterranean

Stunning footage captured by a drone has unveiled the shocking decay of a beach resort that once thrived, but has now been transformed into an eerie ghost town. In its heyday, Varosha, Cyprus, was an exciting retreat that enticed the rich and famous. This included Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor, who came for the modern amenities and beautiful beach.

Yet it was abandoned by its 40,000 settlers following the Mediterranean island’s invasion by Turkish troops, that continue to occupy the Varosha to this day.

The high rise hotels crumbled and the land in Varosha has become overgrown by plants. This drone footage provides a rare glance at the deserted suburb, which has turned into one of the world’s most noted ghost towns.

Varosha Photo Credit
Varosha – By TomasNY- CC BY 2.5

The untouched beach on Varosha’s crystal clear Mediterranean waters still appear as inviting as ever in the rare drone images.

In the early 1970s, this place was a top tourist destination, comprised of shopping centers, hotels, and golden sand beaches. Currently in ruins, the former visitors and residents are barred from entering the now eerie resort, which is encased in a fence that reaches to the sea.

After several decades of neglect, the residences, restaurants, apartments, and high-rise hotels continue to crumble. Hotels with broken windows line the beach, the streets are deserted, and signs forbid video footage or any photographs. Turkish soldiers still stand guard.

Appearing trapped in time, the deserted suburb has turned into one of the world’s most noted ghost towns, attracting photographers from around the world. Several have been able to get behind the fences to take some pictures of the abandoned structures, while many others have been turned away.

There have been a number of proposals to recreate the ghost town and bring it back to the world, but so far none of them have been approved.

Crumbling hotels in Varosha- By Vikimach – CC BY-SA 3.0

Even after the war ended, business and residents owners have not been allowed to return to the occupied suburb.

Haunting drone footage recorded earlier this month offers a rare look at this rundown resort, and has been viewed around 50,000 times on YouTube.

This camera-equipped drone hovers over the abandoned suburb, helping viewers get a glance of the crumbling high rises and the fence that separates them from a modern neighborhood that is currently occupied by residents. The structures look worn and faded compared to those that are located on the other side of the fence.

The war in 1974 has divided the island, and talks between Turkish and Cyprus Greek communities are still ongoing. Both sides express the desire to return Vorasha to its past glory.

The previous year, both sides agreed to open the two checkpoints combining The Turkish and Greek halves.

Crumbling hotel facade in the Varosha district Photo Credit
Crumbling hotel facade in the Varosha district – By Bantam bee – CC BY-SA 4.0

Residents have never been able to return to their homes, and very few people have even been allowed to enter the fenced community. The invasion resulted in 37 percent of the island being taken by Turkish forces. Measuring about 100 miles long, a UN buffer zone currently cuts across the island. This divides the Turkish-occupied north from the independent Republic of the Cyprus located in the south.

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the invasion, that was code named Operation Atilla, by the Turks, who had opposed union with Greece. Tensions between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots came to a peak during the late 1960s when Makarios the III, who was president of Cyprus at the time, proposed new constitutional efforts.

By this time, both of the communities had suffered hundreds of casualties from the widespread fighting. There are also hundreds more missing, presumed dead. UN peacekeepers have been patrolling the area for years in an attempt to prevent any clashes between the cultures of the two halves of the island.

In addition, check this awesome video about Ghost Towns:

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News