DAY 1 ARRIVAL TO CYPRUS
Upon arrival, transfer from Larnaca Airport to the chosen Hotel in Nicosia.
- Semeli Hotel
- Hilton Nicosia
- The Landmark Nicosia
DAY 2 DISCOVERING KERYNIA (B/L)
You are met by your guide at hotel lobby and depart to Agios Dometios check point to cross the border to the North.
We continue to Bellapais, a village located 6 km east from Kyrenia which is famous for its 12th century monastery and also because of British author Lawrence Durrell who lived here in 1950’s and had written a book about Cyprus – “Bitter lemons”.
We will have time to visit around the Bellapais Abbey which is a fine example of Gothic architecture of the Lusignan period. Set in the Pentadaxtilos mountain range, just ten minutes above Kyrenia, the beauty of Bellapais is legendary.
Continue to Kyrenia town centre, see the scenic harbour and the Kyrenia Castle which houses two interesting museums; the museum of Kyrenia and the shipwreck museum where one of the oldest known shipwrecks in the world is exhibited.
Lunch will be served in a local restaurant.
Continue to the Saint Hilarion Castle which is the best preserved ruin of the three former strongholds in Pentadaktylos named after one of the three hundred, who according to local tradition, sought refuge in Cyprus after the Crusades. His relics are preserved in the castle since the 14th century. The castle offers incredible views for visitors, as well as plenty to explore in terms of its history.
DAY 3 NICOSIA: THE MEDIEVAL CAPITAL (B)
Today, we will tour Nicosia or Lefkosia, lies roughly at the centre of the island, with a rich history that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Today, it blends its historic past brilliantly with the bustle of a modern city. The heart of the city, enclosed by the 16th century Venetian walls, is dotted with museums, ancient churches and medieval buildings preserving the nostalgic atmosphere of years past. The famous Famagusta Gate still stands today, proudly protecting the still-ancient town within from the modern city without.
From there, we will drive to the cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and its 18th century wall paintings; depicting scenes from the Bible and the discovery of the tomb of St. Barnabas in Salamis.
Enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the capital of Cyprus with a visit to the prominent Archaeological museum with its fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities and treasures from the Neolithic age to the Early Byzantine period.
After a passing the Venetian walls of the old city and Famagusta Gate, we arrive at Laiki Geitonia and stroll at leisure down its stone paved streets where lunch can be served at leisure.
In the afternoon, we will cross the borders to the north part of Cyprus and visit the Saint Sophia Cathedral, which is called today Selimiye Mosque. This ancient church is the chief mosque in the northern state of Cyprus, and the great festivals of Bayram and other Moslem gatherings are conducted here. It was formerly the cathedral of St. Sophia which was built in the period 1209 A.D. to 1228, over the ruins of a previous building. Only recently, in 1976, have the ruins of the ancient building before 1200 A.D. been discovered, on the southern side.
You will also explore the Büyük Khan; one of the most important architectural works of the Ottoman period, within the city walls.
Afterwards, transfer to the hotel in Limassol.
- Pefkos City Hotel
- Ajax Hotel
- The Royal Apollonia
DAY 4 BYZANTINE CYPRUS (B)
Breakfast at the chosen hotel in Limassol.
Our excursion takes us to Omodos, a traditional Cypriot wine producing village, once the property of Sir John De Brie, Prince of Galilee. The village is also renowned for its Monastery of the Holly Cross standing by the stone-paved square.
Then we will drive towards the Troodos Mountains and our first stop will be Nikitari village to visit Panayia Asinou, this is a small church dedicated to the Virgin of ‘Phorbia’, with wall paintings dating back from the 12th to the 17th century, which are considered to be some of the finest on the island. The name comes from an 11th century BC Greek city called Asine.
We will then visit another three small Byzantine Churches in the area of Galata. Panayia Podithou once belonged to a monastery. It was built in 1502. Its paintings are of the Italo-Byzantine style, which appeared on the island towards the end of the 15th century. Archangelos Michael is a timber-roofed chapel, just below the village, painted in the post-Byzantine style of the early 16th century. Agios Nicolaos tis Stegis (St. Nicholas of the Roof) once belonged to a monastery complex. It is covered entirely in wall paintings dating from the 11th to the 17th centuries and is considered one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island.
Lunch can be enjoyed at leisure at a village tavern in Kakopetria.
Our drive through picturesque villages continues to Troodos and our next visit to the monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis, situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the valley of Marathasa. It is built on the east bank of the river Setrachos, opposite of the village of Kalopanagiotis. Explore the village of Platres before return back to Limassol.
DAY 5 DISCOVER PAPHOS (B)
Breakfast at the chosen hotel in Limassol.
Legend has it that Paphos was home of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love. Still under the spell of the goddess, the area retains her magic and has remained intact by time. It seduces its visitor with its majestic landscape, lovely coastline and historical treasures.
Paphos itself is a leading cultural centre of the Mediterranean and the whole town is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Wherever one treads in Paphos one comes across a glorious history which dates back thousands of years, when the cult of goddess Aphrodite flourished in this beautiful part of the world attracting many visitors from inland and abroad.
Passing through the Fassouri citrus plantations; we come across the medieval Castle of Kolossi. It is a fine example of military architecture originally constructed in the 13th century during the crusades. After the Siege of Acre in 1291, it served as the Grand Commanderie of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem; and thus gave its name to the world famous Commandaria wine, which is still produced in the area.
We continue to the ancient Kingdom of Kourion, which is placed on one of the most spectacular sites in the island, with extensive archaeological ruins including well-preserved mosaics. Its Greco-Roman theatre, built in the second century BC, is famous for its vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. Fully restored, the theatre is today used for musical and theatrical performances. The kingdom is also renowned for its preserved mosaic floors in the House of Eustolios, the House of Achilles and the House of the Gladiators.
Our next visit will be to the Tombs of the Kings, an early Hellenistic monument dating from the 4th century BC. They are burial caves carved into the bedrock of the hill and decorated with Doric columns and capitals.
We continue to The Church of Panayia Chrysopolitissa, built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest Early Byzantine basilica on the island. Within the compound one can see St. Paul’s Pillar, where according to tradition; the saint was flogged before the Roman Governor Sergius Paulus converted to Christianity. The floor of the basilica was covered with colourful mosaics, some of which are still preserved today.
Enjoy lunch at the Limanaki of Paphos with stunning views of the fishing harbour and the medieval castle of Paphos.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Agios Neophytos Monastery, built deep within the rocky mountainside. Then journey north to the quiet, unspoiled Akamas Peninsula, as time permits, before returning to Limassol.
DAY 6 LIMASSOL TO LARNACA (B)
Breakfast at the chosen hotel in Limassol. Check out and we drive to Larnaca.
On our way to Larnaca our guests can visit Choirokitia, the oldest Neolithic settlement in Cyprus. The site is one of the best preserved prehistoric sites of the eastern Mediterranean. Our excursion takes us to the city of Larnaca, built on the ruins of Kition, as the town used to be known, which was one of the several ancient city kingdoms of the island.
After a short city tour we visit the cathedral of St. Lazarus, the first bishop of Kition, originally built in 900 AD. With three large domes and decorated with an impressive iconostasis; tradition says that the place of Lazarus’ tomb was lost during the period of Arab rule beginning in 649. In 890, a tomb was found in Larnaca bearing the inscription Lazarus the friend of Christ. Emperor Leo VI of Byzantium had the Church of St. Lazarus erected over Lazarus’ tomb in the late 9th century.
Lunch will be on your own after a tour of the Church of Agios Lazarus.
Then cross the border to the Turkish-occupied side of the island to visit the impressive ancient city-kingdom Salamis. Our visit continues to Salamis, the great city founded in the 11th century BC. The spectacular ruins include its magnificent theatre, Roman baths, gymnasium and royal tombs known as the Necropolis of Salamis.
Check in to the hotel in Larnaca.
- Amorgos Boutique Hotel
- Sun Hall Hotel
- Radisson Blu Hotel Larnaca
DAY 7 LARNACA – DEPARTURE (B)
Breakfast at the Hotel.
Departure transfer from hotel in Larnaca to the Larnaca Airport for your onward flight.
- 3 – 6 pax: $2295
- 2 pax : $2595
- 3 – 6 pax: $2595
- 2 pax : $2995
- 3 – 6 pax: $2895
- 2 pax : $3395
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