Set at the crossroads of three continents, Cyprus is a cultural melting pot boasting 10.000 years of checkered history and a wide diversity of landscapes; Cyprus is a land of contrasts, small but perfectly performed! The island offers a rich cultural heritage of Greco-Roman remains, Byzantine churches, picturesque wine villages and the last divided capital in Europe. Cyprus also enjoys a glorious Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild winters making any time of year the perfect time to visit.
Arrival to Larnaca or Paphos Airport, transfer to your hotel.
Follow the footsteps of Lawrence Durrel. Cross the ‘green line’ to the northern part of Cyprus. The view of the St. Hilarion hilltop fortress appears like a flashback to the fairytale world of bygone times. Be captivated by the enchanting atmosphere of the Gothic monastery of Bellapais, enjoy the local charm and the breathtaking view across the rolling countryside all the way to the horizon. At the
foot of the Pentadaktylos mountain range lays the picturesque port of Kyrenia with many hidden treasures. Here, time seems to have stood still. The medieval fort, the small houses along the narrow streets and the U-shaped port with its colourful fishing boats all are invitations to enjoy a beautiful leisurely stroll.
Hellenistic and Roman civilisations have left their mark on this ancient metropolis. During this day excursion follow the trails of Paphos’ rich cultural heritage. Discover the melange of history from mythology to the Roman lifestyle at the time of the birth of Christianity when Paphos was the capital of Cyprus. Explore the magnificent and exciting past, which is now incorporated in an Archaeological Park. Paphos has been featured on the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO since 1980 and is in fact a town where archaeology is part of current affairs! The highlight of the morning is the extensive and impressive necropolis on the coast, the socalled Tombs of the Kings. The visit to one of the most significant examples of Roman art on the island at the Roman villas with outstanding floor mosaics is a most memorable experience. Stroll along the road to the Roman Odeon and Aesculap’s sanctuary, the God of medicine. The medieval ruins of a French fort will lead to the 40 Column Fort (Saranta Kolonnes). On the outskirts of Paphos is the former sacred garden of Aphrodite, today known as the village of Yeroskipou. Here is a visit to the five domed church of Agia Paraskevi which dates back to the 9th century.
A tale of two cities; Nicosia is the last divided capital city in Europe today, a buzzing hub of old and new. A guide will explain its varied history as a visit to some of the best sites the city has to offer is undertaken. The tour starts in the square before heading to St John’s Cathedral where there will be some free time to take pictures and have a stroll. The coach will then go to Eleftheria (freedom) square for a walk down Ledra Street. The highlight of the day is to walk across the U.N. controlled green line into northern Nicosia, something that not so long ago was unimaginable. Once in the north there is a visit to Buyuk Han and the cathedral of St Sophia. There will be free time on both sides of the line for shopping and exploring. An unforgettable day!
Travel into the region east of Olympos into the Pitsilia region, where countless small villages lie nestled within the mountain valleys. The first stop is in Fikardou, a village awarded the Europa Nostra Prize. Visit the carefully restored houses and then one of the oldest monasteries of Cyprus - Macheiras. The tour proceeds through the constantly changing countryside with nut, almond and fruit trees to reach Vavatsinia, where a traditional lunch is taken. Before returning to Limassol there is a visit to Lefkara, one of the most beautiful villages on the island. Discover the beautiful architecture as well as innumerable objects of interest during a walk through the narrow streets.
The day starts with a drive via the mountain village of Platres up to Troodos square at the foothills of Mount Olympus, the highest peak of Cyprus. Here is a visit to the Kykkos Monastery with its impressive mosaics and frescoes. Then a nearby visit to the tomb of Makarios III, the first president of Cyprus. Proceed through constantly changing countryside into the wine region and visit Omodhos, one of the most beautiful wine villages on the island. The village’s winding, narrow streets all lead to the unique cobble stoned square with its coffee shops and a visit to the most interesting Holy Cross Monastery and old wine press dating back to the 4th century. During the day there will be the opportunity for wine tasting.
Cross the demarcation line and proceed to the occupied part of the island. Uncover Famagusta’s hidden treasures with the cathedral, known as Othello Tower and the impressive city wall. Nearby is a chance to see the abandoned city, a part of the town that has literally stood still since the Turkish invasion of 1974. On trip to the beautiful Mediterranean coast visit the recently restored ancient site of Salamis with the amazing theatre and gymnasium.
Transfer from the hotel to either Larnaca or Paphos airport.