CYPRUS – ISLAND OF LOVE & MYTH

  • Duration:9 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS
  • Countries Visited:Greece
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Round trip airfare NYC/Cyprus/NYC
    • Comprehensive sightseeing as per the itinerary
    • Transportation by a deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
    • English speaking tour escort
    • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person
    • Select International Travel Portfolio

DAY 1: DEPART U.S.A

 

Depart U.S.A on an overnight flight to Cyprus.

DAY 2:  CYPRUS

Welcome to Cyprus! You are greeted by your tour escort and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to become acclimated to a new time zone. You have time to stroll the lovely promenade of Pafos, enjoying a refreshing drink in one of the many cafes along the water. Pafos is where, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, is said to have risen from the waves that crash on its shores.  Overnight in Pafos. (D.)

DAY 3: LEFKOSIA

We depart for Lefkosia passing by the Famagusta Gate to the lovingly restored old section of town called Laiki Geitoni. We’ll  have time to explore before visiting the Archbishop’s Palace where we visit the Cathedral of St. John. We then visit the Byzantine museum and the Cyprus Handicraft Center workshops, where traditional arts are practiced today much as they were in ages past.  On the way back, we stop in Fikardou to see the preserved 18th century houses declared a national monument. Overnight Pafos (B.D.)

DAY 4: FOOD and WINE of CYPRUS

{mosimage} Our first stop is the village of Kelokedara, where we visit a donkey farm and  vineyard to  sample the local food and wine.  Each village in Cyprus has its own destinctive food  and we stop in several places for a tasting of the local delicacies.  You may try the local cheese, wine, sweet cakes or rosewater well known in the island.  On the way back to  Pafos  we visit of Kourion, a Greco-Roman site with a beautiful amphitheater and to see the Temple of the God Apollo. Overnight Pafos. (B.D.)

DAY 5: LEMESOS

After breakfast we see the Tomb of St. Barnabas and the Monastery, built on an ancient Basilica. We then see Limassol Castle, the Medieval Museum and the Folk Museum and have time to explore the town. We’ll stop at the Cyprus wine museum and the KollosiCastle, where the famous Commandaria wine was created. Overnight Pafos. (B.D.)

DAY 6: APHRODITE’s PATH

{mosimage} We drive this morning to the traditional spot known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, which has an interesting legend of its own.  Then we visit the pretty  Kouklia village and the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, dating back to 12th century B.C. which was a popular pilgrimage spot in the ancient Greek world. We then drive to the Polis area, where the ancient kingdom of Marion stood, and visit the Baths of Aphrodite, a grotto where the goddess is said to have bathed and for the hikers among us a great place to explore. Here we see the Fontana Amorosa, whom many believe bubbles with Aphrodite’s secret love potion. The day ends in Pafos as we explore the magnificent excavations including the House of Dionysus, Orpheus and Aion, and the Villa of Theseus, buried for sixteen centuries  and yet remarkably intact. No wonder the entire town of Pafos is under the protection of UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site.  Overnight Pafos. (B.D.)

DAY 7: PAFOS

Today we visit the Tombs of the Kings, a monumental honeycomb structure carved into sheer rock, and see the stone pillar where St. Paul, according to tradition, was bound and beaten for preaching Christianity. We then see the 12th century monastery dedicated to “Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate” and the Agios Neofytos which contains some of the world’s finest Byzantine frescoes and icons as well as interesting Byzantine museum. Rest of the day is at leisure to explore more archeological discoveries including an optional visit to the local Archeological Museum or to simply relax in a local taverna with a nice glass of Cypriot wine or local coffee. Overnight Pafos. (B.)

DAY 8: TROODOS MOUNTAINS and  the Painted Churches

The thick cedar and pine forests of the Troodos region are a surprising contrast to the Mediterranean coast, less than half an hour away. This area is also famous for the ten painted churches which have been listed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and are a must see on any visit. We won’t have time to visit all ten of the painted churches but we will visit several of the most important and best preserved ones, including the Kykkos which is the most famous and the richest of the group and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It possesses three icons ascribed to St. Luke.  We follow the route also of the wine villages and stop at Omodos, to visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross and enjoy the atmosphere of this picturesque village known for its lace and embroidery. Here we have dinner before returning to Pafos for overnight.  Overnight Pafos. (B.D.)

DAY 9: LARNAKA

We change hotels today for our last night, closer to the airport and a visit to Larnaka. We visit the village of  Lefkara enroute to see how the ancient craft of lacemaking is still practiced. We visit the Lace and Silver Museum and then have time to explore and shop.  We continue on to Larnaka and the Church of St. Lazarus, where tradition tells us Lazarus, after his resurrection from the dead by Jesus, elected to live out his life as the second Bishop of Cyprus. The church is built over his tomb. Larnaka was called Kition in the days of the Old Testament, and became the center of commerce in the 17th century. Rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight we have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant with wine and music. Overnight Larnaka. (B.D.)

DAY 10: RETURN TO THE U.S.A

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight home.  (B.)

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