Mavi Kösk – The Blue Villa, the hidden gem of Çamlıbel
The Mavi Köşk [the Blue Villa], home to Makarios’s Italian born Greek lawyer Byron Pavlides, was built in 1957 on the outskirts of Çamlıbel [Myrtou] since 1974 safely inside an Army camp and looked after by the military. Pavlides is accused of being the biggest arms smuggler of the Middle East of the day but he was an importer of cars into the island.
To visit it you must head west from Girne on the road to Lapta and Güzelyurt, passing the newly enlarged Geçikoy reservoir and taking a right towards Çamlıbel off the Lefkoşa road. Leaving the village behind the villa is signposted, but, as it is within a military area you have to leave your passport or kimlik card with the sentry on duty.
The car park is at the end of a tree lined avenue where you will enter Pavlides’ luxurious home with its air conditioning, an impressive reproduction of a Greek Taverna, modern bathrooms and an earthquake resistant room. You will tour the house and garden armed with A4 sheets of paper providing an odd ‘English’ description that has been translated from the Turkish. Some of the information may be true or may be pure fiction.
Filmed in October 2000 the Army now appears to restrict filming and the use of cameras by some visitors.