Bare Bones - North Cyprus
Cyprus offers a beautiful setting for archaeological discovery. Amidst the unspoiled natural landscape of this sun-blanched land, on our journey through the northern part of the island we find an array of Medieval castles, expansive classical sites, and gentle villages. Meet with a local archaeologist who offers a real insight into the ongoing excavations on the island.
Salamis is, of course, the true highlight of our tour. The ancient city covers a small stretch of land along the Cypriot shore, and is easily the country’s best archaeological site. Discover the fully restored Roman amphitheatre, a gymnasium with marble baths, and a fascinating collection of mosaics.
- Explore vast archaeological sites of once mighty classical cities - with a mammoth gymnasium complex, Roman baths and a partially restored theatre
- Enjoy gorgeous, breathtaking views from the Kyrenia Mountains out across the Mediterranean Sea
- Discover atmospheric Byzantine castles, domed Ottoman mosques, arched caravanserai, and other landmarks from Cyprus’ rich history
- Cultural Excursion
- Ancient Greek
- Special Access
We fly from London to Ercan, via Istanbul.
Today begins with a visit to the famous Bellapais Abbey, a 13th-century monastery also known as the Abbey of Peace. In the afternoon we head for the Neolithic settlement of Akanthou, where we have special access to ongoing excavations.
We spend the day strolling through the beautiful town of Kyrenia - the ancient town of Girne. We take a guided tour of the impressive Kyrenia Castle, which dates back to the Byzantine period, and has also served the Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans and British in the long contest over the ownership of the island. We also stop at the Shipwreck Museum, which tells the story of trade in the Mediterranean at the turn of the 4th century BC. Next, we explore ancient Lamboussa, including the necropolis and Roman fish tanks. Later, we discover the magnificent Castle of St. Hilarion in the Kyrenia mountains. The best preserved of the Kyrenia strongholds, it was originally founded as a monastery and later fortified by the Byzantines as a defense against the Arabian pirates who raided the coast in the 11th century.
We dedicate a full day to the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia. In the morning we will visit the Cyprus Museum, housing the most important archaeological artefacts found throughout the island and the Archaeological Museum. Just before an independent lunch, we have an appointment at the Centre of Visual Arts & Research, where the Severis Collection is on display. The rest of the day will be spent in the northern part of Nicosia’s Old Town, where we visit the sixteenth-century Büyük Han, a beautiful caravanserai built by the Ottomans. We also explore Nicosia’s Selimye Mosque, converted from a cathedral in 1570.
This morning we travel to Güzelyurt, stopping en-route to see the well-known altar at the late Bronze Age sanctuary of Myrtou Pigadhes. We will see the Museum of Archaeology and Natural History before heading to the 5th century BC Palace of Vouni, with its beautiful views out across the sea. Our visit of the day is to the ruins of Soli, once one of the ten ancient city kingdoms of Cyprus.
We spend the day in Famagusta, visiting Othello Castle built by the Lusignans in the 14th century which might have been the inspiration for Shakespeare’s play. In the afternoon we will experience the medieval remains of Famagusta during a walking tour.
We enjoy a morning at the ancient site of Salamis, famous for its archaic period “Royal Tombs” and Cellarka cemetery. We also visit the St Barnabas Monastery and the Bronze Age city of Enkomi, once an important trading centre.
We return home today.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
- Hotels - Bed & Breakfast