Cyprus is like stepping into history. A civilization that goes back to over 10,000 years and where history is still in the making here. From Alexander’s generals, to the visit of St Paul setting the foot for Christianity here. Before the Ottoman influence, there were the famous stops made by Richard the Lion Heart en route to the Crusade wars in Palestine. Independence from British rule came in 1960 with the island to breaking up in 1983 into two parts – based on ethnic differences. The two parts are now referred to as the Southern Cyprus (Greek part) and Northern Cyprus (Turkish Cyprus). This journey into Cyprus: One Island Two Civilizations captures beautifully the history and culture of both states of this unique and rich island.
|Price (From)||:||US$ 4550|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Arrive Larnaca
We arrive at Larnaca Airport, where we are warmly received and transferred to our hotel in Limassol.
Overnight: Ajax Hotel or Mediterranean Hotel, Limassol (Inland view room) (4 nights)
Day 02: Troodos/Kykkos
We start with an interesting introductory tour of Cyprus. Our first stop will be just below Mount Olympus, which at 1951 meters is the highest point in Cyprus. It offers panoramic views. From here we drive to “Throni” to see the Tomb of Archbishop Makarious III, the first president of modern day Cyprus. He fought for the independence from the British rule. Enjoy the spectacular view of the countryside and the pine forest. Discover Troodos Mountains – the Green Heart of Cyprus. A memorable off the beaten track through idyllic mountain villages unchanged from generations. At the famous Kykkos Monastery, which was built in 1080 and dedicated to Virgin Mary, we see one of the three surviving icons painted by St. Loukas. On our return we visit the village of Omodos and the Holy Cross Monastery. Evening free to enjoy the many activities Limassol offers including several restaurants offering international cuisines. (B)
Day 03: Paphos/Aphrodite's birth place
We start with a visit to the legendary birth place of Aphrodite ‘Petra tou Romiou- Aphrodite’s Rock – birth place of the Goddess of love and beauty and then to the beautfiul Agia Paraskeyi church at Yeroskipou. Greco-Roman architecture offers it’s very own peculiarity which we witness also at Paphos when we visit St. Paul’s pillar, the Mosaics of Paphos, house of Dionissos, House of Theseus and the House of Aion. Next we visit the harbour of Paphos, and the Tombs of the Kings. We culminate the day visiting Agios Neophytos Monastery (Englystra). The Enkleistra, an enclosure carved out of the mountain by the hermit, contains some of the finest Byzantine frescoes dating from the 12th to the 15th century. (B)
Day 04: Akamas
Another interesting day as we discover the mysterious and unexplored territory of Akamas and make our way through the Avagas Gorge with it’s sheer limestone walls rising above us. Our short drive ends at Lara Bay – one of the last breeding grounds for the large Green Backed Turtles. After an adventurous morning we move onwards the edge of the northern peninsula and visit the Baths of Aphrodite where, according to legend, Aphrodite bathed with her lower Adonis. We then drive to Latchi Village for a swim in the cool tranquil water. Our last stop is at Skouli village where, at a small extra fee, you can see an interesting collection of endemic snakes and reptiles. (B)
Day 05: Lemessos/Kourion/Nicossia
Driving along the beautiful shore, our first stop will be at the medieval castle in the heart of Limassol. It was here that Richard the Lion heart married Berengaria. We will have some free time near the old harbor area before visiting one of the largest wineries in the region and get a taste of the local wines. Continuing our journey we visit the Crusader Castle of Kolossi built in the 13th Century. Next is the ancient Kourion, Greco-Roman theatre and the mosaics. Our tour of the day culminates by visiting the village of Lefkara famous for its handmade lace textiles and silver. Local legend says that Leonardo Da Vinci visited the village and got an altar coverlet for a cathedral in Milan. You will have time to do shopping and wander the narrow twisting small streets to admire local architecture. From here we continue on to the historical and enchanting city of Nicosia. Our hotel is very centrally located.
Overnight: Almond Business Suite Hotel or Holiday Inn, Nicosia (Standard room) (3 nights) (B)
Day 06: Nicosia
Nicosia-the Capital city is divided in two parts under the Turkish occupation since 1974 and the south, Free Republic of Cyprus. Walking the narrow streets of the old town, it is a scene almost from the Arabian Nights. We will visit Laiki Yitonia, a 19th century quarter lovingly restored to its former glory with houses, shops and taverns lining the cobbled streets. Driving out along the Green Line, which divides the city into two parts. The tour takes us to the Archbishopric to visit the famous Cathedral of St. John. We will also visit Panayia Chrysospiliotissa Church and the St Irakliodios Monastery. Afternoon free to enjoy the many attractions that Nicosia offers and enjoy the only divided capital city in the world. (B)
Day 07: Kyrenia
We cross the green line and head towards the Kerynia & Pentadaktylos (five fingers) mountains located in the north side of the island. We start with the Agios Hilarion Castle dating back to between the 8th and the 10th Centuries AD. An impressive castle built on the top of Pentadaktylos mountain ranges overlooking Kerynia. Its enchanting historical background and the wonderful views will take you back to bygone times. Then we visit the Bellapais Abbey. The monastery, one of the unparallel samples of Gothic Art, is situated on the flanks of the Pentadaktylos - (Kerynia) Mountains. The first settlers of the monastery were the priests of the Augustinian order who had migrated from Jerusalem. The first monastery building was contracted between 1198-1205. Then we drive to Kerynia with its horseshoe- shaped harbour, its medieval castle, snow-white houses built between archways opening on to narrow streets.
We visit the beautiful Kerynia Castle and it’s museum, which contains the original cargo and equipment from the ancient ship of Kerynia. This merchant ship, dating from 300 BC, rose from the seabed of the Mediterranean near the Kerynia castle. The ship is probably the earliest trading vessel yet discovered. We return to Nicosia. Please note entry to Northern Cyprus requires a valid passport. Evening, free to enjoy your last night at Nicosia. (B)
Day 08: Nicosia/Depart Larnaca
After an interesting tour of this historic island with diverse civilisations, cultures, langauges, yet a history so intertwined, we are transferred to Larnaca Airport for our flight back home or continuing on to enjoy one of the other equally diverse destinations of Bestway Tours & Safaris. Check out time from the hotel at 12 noon. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 08 participants
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