Cyprus | The South
This beautiful Mediterranean island has a rich Prehistoric, Classical and Medieval past. Recent research has pushed back the dates for the earliest occupation of Cyprus to over 10,000 years ago, and over millennia the people of Cyprus developed their own distinctive artefacts, buildings, art and culture. From a Bronze Age olive oil ‘factory’, to Roman tombs, to vineyards once tended by crusaders, the remains of ancient Cyprus each tell a story.
A very beautiful journey through the land famed as the birthplace of Aphrodite. Dr Paul Croft, who has devoted his career to the study of Cypriot archaeology, leads us from mountain churches to Prehistoric and Classical sites, overlooking the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean.
- A privileged introduction to Cypriot archaeology - special access to sites, introduced by local archaeologists
- Fantastic, diverse archaeology from Neolithic houses, to the fabulous mosaics at Paphos
- Journey into the unspoilt Troodos Mountains, with traditional villages and some spectacular Byzantine churches
- Historic Churches
- Ancient Greek
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Larnaca and transfer to our hotel in Limassol.
We begin our tour with a full day in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. Founded in the Bronze Age, the city has been continuously inhabited for almost 5000 years. We visit Cyprus Archaeological Museum, which houses the world’s most extensive collections of Cypriot archaeology. We also visit the Leventis Museum, after which we have free time to walk around the old town, including the well-preserved Venetian walls, built in an (ultimately futile) attempt to defend the city from Ottoman invasion.
We begin our tour at the site of Khirokitia, an exceptionally preserved Neolithic walled village with over 60 stone roundhouses. We have special access to the Bronze Age olive oil ‘factory’ excavations at Kalavasos, especially opened for our group. After lunch we continue to the Crusader fortress of Kolossi, which stood by the vineyards from which the Knights of St John made their wine. End the day at Limassol Castle.
We drive into the beautiful Troodos mountains to visit a wonderful series of frescoed Byzantine churches, many of which are World Heritage Sites. The lively detail and colours in the frescoes are remarkable. We also stop at the traditional town of Kakopetria, the Medieval streets picturesquely set.
Into Classical Cyprus at the ancient city of Kourion, which blossomed under the Ptolemies and Romans. Tina will introduce remains including a (reconstructed) Graeco-Roman theatre, and Roman houses with superb mosaics. We then continue to the important religious centre known as the Sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis (‘of the woods’). Finally, we proceed to Kissonerga-Mosphilia, one of the major Chalcolithic sites of Cyprus with a long history of habitation from the 7th to the 3rd millennium. Apart from the interesting architectural features uncovered here, the site is outstanding for its evidence of ritual behaviour.
Our first visit is to the World Heritage site of Paphos. Today we explore the elaborate rock cut ‘Tombs of the Kings’ which date from the 3rd century BC. We spend lunch within Paphos Harbour before continuing to the Archaeological Park.
We spend out final morning visiting Aphrodite’s Sanctuary at the World Heritage Site of Kouklia. We fly home this afternoon.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
4 nights in a seaside holiday hotel on the edge of Limassol overlooking the Mediterranean sea
3 nights in a 5* spa hotel just outside Paphos with access to a beach and plenty of space to absorb the tranquility of the area
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