Travel to Northern Cyprus
You will fly via Istanbul to Ercan Airport in Norther Cyprus where you will be met by your friendly local guide who will assist you in the transfer to your hotel, just outside the town of Kyrenia.
St. Hilarion Castle & Bellapais Abbey
The first stop on a full day sightseeing tour around Kyrenia is St. Hilarion Castle in the Kyrenia Mountains. Originally a monastery, the castle is the largest fortress on the island and was captured by Richard the Lionheart on his way to the Third Crusade. Rumoured to be the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Snow White, its elevated position offers panoramic views out towards the coastline. Next, travel on to the ruin of Bellapais Abbey in the small scenic village of the same name. Dating back to the 13th century, “The Abbey of Peace” is an impressive example of French Gothic architecture, consisting of a church, a cloister and a number of monastic buildings.
Kyrenia Old Town
In the afternoon, discover the charming Old Town of Kyrenia, most notably its British-built harbour and quay. Here you will pay a visit to the sea fortress of Kyrenia Castle and it Shipwreck Museum, where you can see the well-preserved wreck of a Greek merchant ship from the 4th century BC.
You will then have some free time to explore Kyrenia at your own pace. Wander by old stone buildings down its narrow alleyways, stop off in one of the harbour-side cafés, or pay a visit to the local Icon Museum.
Today you will have a free day to enjoy the delights of Northern Cyprus at your leisure. Take advantage of the warm, sunny weather and exquisite Mediterranean waters at the beach beside your hotel, or just relax by the pool. Your guide will be happy suggest activities to suit your interests.
Excursion to Nicosia
Today, you will have a full day to sightsee in Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital. Visit the 16th century Arab Ahmet Mosque, and Selimiye Mosque, which is housed in St. Sophia Cathedral, the oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus. See the Dervish Pasha Mansion, one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture on the island and stop into the Büyük Han, or Great Inn, and browse its galleries, cafes and souvenir shops.
**Depending on your tour operator, it may not be possible to cross into Southern part of Nicosia.
Today is free to pass at your leisure. A courtesy train service is available from your hotel to Kyrenia town if you wish to spend more time exploring its winding streets or shopping for souvenirs. Sample the local cuisine, which blends Greek and Turkish influences, with specialities such as Halloumi cheese and Baklava.
Today’s full day excursion begins with a visit to St. Barnabas Monastery and the Icon Museum housed in the church above the tomb of Apostle Barnabus, the patron saint of Cyprus. Continue to the ancient city of Salamis, the old capital of the island which is thought to date back as far as 1100BC. Many Byzantine and Roman ruins can be seen at the site, including the gymnasium pool and baths surrounded by vast marble columns, a restored Roman amphitheatre and intricate tile mosaics.
After lunch, visit the old town of Famagusta and explore its warren of small shops, selling local produce, from silver and copper ware to ceramics, fruit and vegetables. Nicknamed “The City of 365 Churches”, the old town is home to many historic buildings and is surrounded by impressive medieval city walls.
Spend your final day soaking up the blue skies and convivial atmosphere of Northern Cyprus at your leisure.
Your guide will assist with your transfer to the airport for your morning flight home.