North Cyprus

Ruins at Salamis
Ruins at Salamis
Medieval St. Hilarion Castle
Medieval St. Hilarion Castle
Roman statue at the ruins of Salamis
Roman statue at the ruins of Salamis
Marina of Kyrenia
Marina of Kyrenia
Beautiful view of Kyrenia Castle
Beautiful view of Kyrenia Castle
Kyrenia Castle, North East Tower
Kyrenia Castle, North East Tower
Interior of an abandoned and deserted Christian orthodox church at the village of Akanthou
Interior of an abandoned and deserted Christian orthodox church at the village of Akanthou
Bellapais Abbey
Bellapais Abbey
Bellapais Abbey
Bellapais Abbey
Hellenistic and Roman baths with exposed under-floor heating system in Ancient Salamis
Hellenistic and Roman baths with exposed under-floor heating system in Ancient Salamis
The interior of Nicosia’s Selimiye Mosque
The interior of Nicosia’s Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque
Ruins of the Palace of Vouni
Ruins of the Palace of Vouni
View over Famagusta
View over Famagusta
Old streets in Nicosia
Old streets in Nicosia

Cyprus offers a beautiful setting for archaeological discovery. Our journey through the northern part of the island takes us amidst the unspoiled natural landscape of this sun-blanched land; we discover an array of Medieval castles and churches, 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, a real highlight and easily North Cyprus’ best archaeological site. Discover the fully restored Roman theatre, a gymnasium with a monumental bath house attached, cisterns, Byzantine churches and much more.

  • Explore a number of impressive archaeological sites, including the Greco-Roman splendours of the 'Homeric' royal tombs of Salamis, the Bronze Age 'copper' city of Enkomi and the atmospheric Medieval churches of Famagusta
  • Enjoy breathtaking views from the Kyrenia Mountains out across the Mediterranean Sea to distant Anatolia.
  • Discover domed Byzantine churches, Lusignan-era Gothic cathedrals, Medieval castles, Ottoman-era mosques and caravanserai, along with many other landmarks from Cyprus’ rich history

Themes

  • Romans
  • Medieval
  • Cultural Excursion
  • Ancient Greek

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Arrive in Cyprus and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy some free time to explore or to relax before meeting the group tomorrow.

Hotel: Arkin Palm Beach
Meals: Snack in hote room due to late arrival

Day 2

We spend a full day in Famagusta. We enjoy a walking tour during which we see St Nicholas Cathedral, turned into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest, the splendid churches of the various Eastern Christian denominations, the remnants of the Venetian palace, and the wonderfully well-preserved city walls themselves.

Hotel: Arkin Palm Beach
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We enjoy a morning at the ancient site of Salamis, famous for its archaic period ‘Royal Tombs’, as well its 15,000 capacity theater, impressive bath house complete with mosaics, and numerous other remnants from what was once Cyprus’ premier city. This afternoon we wander the Bronze Age city of Enkomi. Seldom visited today, it was once an important trading center.

Hotel: Arkin Palm Beach
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

We start the day with 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 visit the Shipwreck Museum, housed in Kyrenia Castle, which tells the story of trade in the Mediterranean at the turn of the 4th century BC. After lunch, we explore ancient Lamboussa, including the necropolis and Roman fish tanks.

Hotel: Arkin Colony
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We begin at the magnificent Castle of St. Hilarion. The best preserved of the Kyrenia castles, it was originally founded as a monastery, later fortified by the Byzantines as a defense against Arabian pirates, and then as a mountain retreat by the Lusignans. We drive to Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus, to visit the northern, Turkish part of the city. We visit the 16th century Büyük Han, an Ottoman caravanserai, Nicosia’s Selimiye Mosque, converted from a Lusignan-era cathedral in 1570, and walk along the Green Line. 

Hotel: Arkin Colony
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

This morning we travel to the famous Bellapais Abbey, a 13th century monastery noted for its superb Gothic architecture, set in a pretty village immortalised in Lawrence Durrell’s 1950s memoir ‘Bitter Lemons of Cyprus’. This afternoon we head for the Neolithic settlement of Akanthou, where we have special access to ongoing excavations. The site includes a faithful reconstruction of one of the dwellings discovered on the site.

Hotel: Arkin Colony
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

This morning we travel to Güzelyurt, stopping en-route to see the well-known altar at the late Bronze Age sanctuary of Myrtou Pigadhes, set in a lovely valley. We continue to Morphou to 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 final visit is to the ruins of Soli, once one of the ten ancient city kingdoms of Cyprus.

Hotel: Arkin Colony
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.

Meals: Breakfast & lunch included

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We arrive in Northern Cyprus and transfer to our hotel.
Hotel: The Arkin Colony Hotel & Casino, Kyrenia
Meals: Snack in hotel room due to late arrival

Day 2

We start our exploration of Cyprus with a guided tour of Kyrenia Castle, which dates back to the Byzantine period and served Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans and British in the long contest over the ownership of the island. Visit the Shipwreck Museum, housed in Kyrenia Castle, which tells the story of trade in the Mediterranean at the turn of the 4th century BC. After lunch, visit ancient Lamboussa with its necropolis and Roman fish tanks.
Hotel: The Arkin Colony Hotel & Casino, Kyrenia
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

This morning we visit the Neolithic settlement of Akanthou, where we have special access to the excavations. The site boasts a reconstruction of one of the dwellings discovered there. Later, we travel to Bellapais Abbey, a 13th century monastery noted for its superb Gothic architecture, set in a village immortalised in Lawrence Durrell’s 1950s memoir, “Bitter Lemons of Cyprus”.
Hotel: The Arkin Colony Hotel & Casino, Kyrenia
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

We drive to Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus, to visit the Turkish part of the city. In the morning, we visit the 16th century Büyük Han, an Ottoman caravanserai, Nicosia’s Selimiye Mosque, converted from a Lusignan-era cathedral in 1570, and walk along the Green Line. In the afternoon we discover the magnificent Castle of St. Hilarion.
Hotel: The Arkin Colony Hotel & Casino, Kyrenia
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Travel to Güzelyurt, stopping en route to see the altar at the late Bronze Age sanctuary of Myrtou Pigadhes. We continue to Morphou to see the small but interesting Museum of Archaeology and Natural History and Byzantine church of St Mamas before heading to the 5th century BC, hill-top Palace of Vouni, with its beautiful views out across the sea. Finally, we visit the ruins of Soli, once one of the 10 ancient city kingdoms of Cyprus.
Hotel: The Arkin Colony Hotel & Casino, Kyrenia
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We spend a full day in Famagusta, enjoying a walking tour of this Venetianwalled city, during which we will see St Nicholas Cathedral, turned into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest; the splendid churches of the various Eastern Christian denominations, who once lived in this most cosmopolitan city; the remnants of the Venetian palace; and the wonderfully well-preserved city walls themselves, defended so heroically by the Venetian Marco Bragadino in 1570-1571.
Hotel: Arkin Palm Beach, Famagusta
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Visit the ancient site of Salamis, famous for its archaic period Royal Tombs and Cellarka cemetery, its 15,000 capacity theatre, bath house complete with mosaics, and other remnants from what was once Cyprus’ premier city. Later, take a tour of the Bronze Age city of Enkomi.
Hotel: Arkin Palm Beach, Famagusta
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

Today we fly home.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

Information for travelers: We would like to make guests from the US aware that they should enter Cyprus through the south (Larnaca and Paphos airport) and then travel across the border. This is because the northern of Cyprus has been occupied since the Turkish invasion in 1974 and is only recognised as a state by Turkey, which means that anyone entering through the north or flying into Ercan airport is considered to be entering the country illegally. To avoid complications, we would advise this information is taken seriously so that you can be safely on your way to enjoying your holiday.

Joining the Tour

For full information about how to join the tour, please click here.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2020 Tour Details

Tue 14th Apr - Tue 21st Apr

Available

$3,415

without flights

sgl supp: $495

NCY20A

Led By: Terry Richardson

Thu 15th Oct - Thu 22nd Oct

Available

$3,415

without flights

sgl supp: $495

NCY20B

Led By: Terry Richardson

Guide Lecturer

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