To uncover a more traditional side to this popular island, explore its beautiful north with us. Staying in the historic harbour town of Kyrenia, we tour the island’s intriguing capital, Nicosia, and call in at Büyük Han, a large caravanserai (roadside inn) where Silk Road travellers used to stop by. Visits to the atmospheric Bellapais Abbey ruins and ancient remains of Salamis city give you plenty of chances to ponder the people and cultures that forged today’s Cyprus.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Larnaca. On arrival we transfer to the north of Cyprus, and Kyrenia where we stay for the week.
This morning, a guide introduces us to the highlights of Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus. We see the Arab Ahmet and Selimiye Mosques, the latter being housed within the grand Gothic Cathedral of Saint Sophia. We also see the Dervish Pasha Mansion and the 16th-century Great Inn (Büyük Han), the largest of the island’s historical roadside inns, known as caravanserai.
Today is free to enjoy in the surroundings of your hotel. Or you may choose to take an optional excursion to the Karpas Peninsula, sometimes referred to as the panhandle. From your hotel, you’ll travel into the past through old villages set in the shadow of the Five Finger Mountains. In the beautiful coastal village of Bogaz, you can watch the fishermen at work. At the archaeological site of Sipahi, you’ll view the spectacular, intricately patterned mosaics of the Basilica of Agia Triada.
Your last stop is the Monastery of Saint Andrew, a peaceful site where both Greek and Turkish Cypriots come to worship. You may be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife, including many wild donkeys.
This morning, we embark on an excursion in Kyrenia, to explore two remarkable sites. Saint Hilarion, dramatically sited on a rocky crag overlooking the glittering sea, was once a monastery and is also one of the best preserved of the Crusader castles. We have time to wander and take in the beautiful views.
Our day continues to Bellapais Abbey, a 13th-century Gothic monastery made rich by the gifts and donations offered by crusading knights and pilgrims. The impressive sanctuary may be in ruins, and the frescos of the life of Christ faded and fragmented, but the abbey is filled with an air of tranquillity and beauty.
Today, we take a tour to Famagusta, stopping first at the 5th-century Monastery of Saint Barnabas, which is now a museum exhibiting magnificent Cypriot artefacts. Our tour continues with a scenic drive to the ancient city of Salamis. We’ll roam the extensive ruins here including the marble columns, ancient baths and Roman theatre.
Later, we arrive in the old city of Famagusta with time at leisure to wander the streets of charming shops selling silver and copperware amongst others.
Enjoy a day at leisure; perhaps relax in the hotel or discover some of the surrounding sites including Kyrenia’s historic harbour and grand castle.
Today is free, or join an optional excursion to see the west coast of Cyprus. Begin by exploring the region of Güzelyurt, commonly referred to as the ‘Fruit Garden of Cyprus’ being located in a fertile alluvial plain. Visit the 18th-century Saint Mamas Monastery and the Güzelyurt Museum located next door. Continue to Soli, an ancient city kingdom with many Roman remains to independently explore.
We transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
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