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Unspoilt & ancient

Savour rest and relaxation, and step back in time, as you explore the beautiful, unspoilt north of Aphrodite’s Isle.

Discover a historic region of this idyllic island in the sun – inhabited since earliest times, dotted with the relics of ancient civilisations, and uniquely shaped by the changing tides of history. From your base in delightful Kyrenia, one of the Mediterranean’s most alluring locations, set against a backdrop of rugged hills and fringed by deep blue waters, you'll enjoy included visits to Lawrence Durrell’s beloved Bellapais, to divided Nicosia, ruined Famagusta and the scenic Karpaz peninsula on this wonderful tour of Northern Cyprus.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' half-board accommodation at your chosen hotel (upgrade hotel available)
  • Tours of Kyrenia, Nicosia, Salamis and Famagusta
  • Trips to St Hilarion and Bellapais and the Karpaz peninsula
  • Return flights to Cyprus
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
  • The services of a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly from the UK to Larnaca or Paphos and transfer north to Kyrenia and your chosen hotel.

  • Explore the delightful port town of Kyrenia, in the company of your tour manager. Here, the natural, horseshoe-shaped harbour looks out over pristine azure waters, flanked by shops and cafés and all watched over by an imposing medieval castle. It's a picture-perfect scene mostly unchanged down the years despite the trappings of modernity. Within the massive castle walls you'll find a fascinating shipwreck museum, and a gallery of archaeological finds from the surrounding area.

    This afternoon, return to your hotel to relax, or explore the town under your own steam. Why not visit a museum or gallery, or take a seat in one of the harbour’s delightful fish restaurants - perfect places in which to pass the hours?

  • A fascinating day awaits, today, as you journey to the island’s east. Your first call is at the monastery of St Barnabas, where the side chapel of the twin-domed church is said to hold the tomb of the early Christian martyr. This is followed by a visit to the extraordinary Roman ruins of the ancient coastal city of Salamis. The remains, which include colonnades, a magnificent theatre and a bathhouse, were part of a much larger settlement that still lies submerged beneath the blue waters and sand dunes.

    You’ll then head to the fascinating city of Famagusta, once one of the world’s richest, and today a living museum. Here ruined churches, the Lala Mustapha Pasha mosque (once the city cathedral) and Venetian Palace rise in amongst the city's modern cafes and shops, as described in Victoria Hislop’s novel, The Sunrise. Most unforgettable is the Ghost City of Varosha, left abandoned since 1974, and a poignant reminder of the island’s past troubles.

  • The highlight of today’s fascinating included excursion will be your visit to historic Nicosia, capital of Cyprus for more than 12 centuries, and separated into a Turkish north and Greek south since the Green Line was first drawn, in 1963.

    Enjoy a guided tour of Lefkosa, the northern territory, where highlights include the ancient Buyuk Han, once the largest caravanserai (roadside inn) on Cyprus, the colourful covered bazaar and the cathedral/mosque of Selimiye/St Sophia. After crossing into the southern territory, Lefkosia, you'll have free time to explore the narrow streets that shelter within the Venetian walls of the old town. Why not visit tiny St John's Cathedral or one of the various museums of Cypriot history and culture before we return to Kyrenia?

  • Today you're free to enjoy the hotel and its surroundings, or to head into Kyrenia once again. Many, however, will want to join our optional excursion to the green, citrus-grove surrounded town of Guzelyurt. The town's name means "beautiful place" in Turkish, and you'll have time to see its archaeology museum and church of Agios Mamas. The enjoyable day will also include visits to the fascinating excavated city of Soli, with its Roman and Byzantine remains, and to the Green Line border town of Lefke, with its former copper mines and citrus groves.

  • Today’s included tour heads first towards the magnificent mountain-top castle of St Hilarion, with its preserved fortifications and spectacular views of the coastline and the surrounding Five Finger Mountains. In the foothills below lies the beautiful village of Bellapais. Set beneath the preserved ruins of its Gothic abbey, this idyllic spot was celebrated writer Lawrence Durrell's home for three years to, and he chronicled his stay here in his novel Bitter Lemons. Wander the ruins of the Abbey, stepping back in time as you soak up its unique atmosphere, then return to Kyrenia for the rest of the day.

  • Our last scenic excursion takes you to the unspoilt Karpaz, or Karpasia, peninsula, a rugged spit of land fringed by some of the island’s most stunning beaches and bluest waters. Dotted with ancient villages and home to herds of wild donkeys, the peninsula is also where the remote monastery and shrine of Apostos Andreas boasts a famous ‘holy well’. As well as a visit to an ancient olive press, today will include a chance to enjoy a dip (weather permitting) in the sea at one of the island’s finest bathing spots.

    You’ll return to Kyrenia at the end of a wonderful day, to enjoy a final dinner at the hotel.

  • Bid farewell to your Cypriot hosts, and return to the airport to check in for your flight home.

Prices

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Hotels

Altinkaya Hotel

Nestled amid olive groves just 2.5km from Kyrenia Harbour, this family-owned three-star hotel offers the warmest of welcomes.

Pia Bella Hotel

This welcoming four-star hotel is about 1.5km from Kyrenia's historic harbour and set amid pretty gardens. The local shops, bars and restaurants are within walking distance.

Further Information

  • The transfer time from Larnaca airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 30 minutes, and from Paphos airport is two hours and 40 minutes.
  • Please note that some hotel facilities are operating on a seasonal basis and may not always be open/available. Examples might include shuttle buses to the town centre and beach, swimming pools and selected bars/restaurants (eg beachside restaurants).
  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
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