This beautiful Mediterranean island has a rich Prehistoric, Classical and Medieval past. The earliest date for the occupation of Cyprus was over 10,000 years ago, and it was these early settlers who developed their own distinctive artefacts, buildings, art and culture we see today.
A very beautiful journey takes us through the land famed as the birthplace of Aphrodite and includes a visit to the Bronze Age olive oil ‘factory’, Roman tombs, and vineyards once tended by crusaders. Each of these remains tell a unique story of ancient Cyprus. Dr. Paul Croft leads us from Prehistoric to Classical sites, overlooking the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean.
- Diverse archaeology from Neolithic houses to mosaics
- Journey into the unspoilt Troodos Mountains
- Pay visits to a selection of incredible local museums
- Explore the renowned World Heritage Site of Paphos
- Spend the final morning at Aphrodite’s Sanctuary
- Historic Churches
- Ancient Greek
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We fly from London to Larnaca and transfer to our first hotel.
We begin our tour at the site of Khirokitia, an exceptionally preserved Neolithic walled village with over 60 stone roundhouses. We enjoy a specially arranged tour to the excavations of the Bronze Age olive oil ‘factory’ at Kalavasos Ayios. 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. We end the day at Limassol Castle, found in a stunning location in the harbour of the old town.
All day is spent in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. A settlement since the Bronze Age, the city has been continuously inhabited for almost 5,000 years. Here, we visit the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, which houses the world’s most extensive collections of Cypriot archaeology. After, we visit Leventis Municipal Museum, home to Medieval pottery, photographs, archaeological artefacts, jewels and furniture. This afternoon we have free time to walk around the old town, including the well-preserved Venetian walls, built in an attempt to defend the city from Ottoman invasion.
We drive into the beautiful Troodos mountains to visit a wonderful series of frescoed Byzantine churches, many of which are World Heritage Sites. The collection of churches and monasteries here is one of the largest concentrations in the world. The lively details and colours in the frescoes are remarkable. We also have a walking tour at the traditional town of Kakopetria, surrounded by thick forestland and picturesque Medieval streets.
Delving into Classical Cyprus at the ancient city of Kourion, which blossomed under the Ptolemies and Romans, we see 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 Hylates. We find a complex of buildings from baths, a central courtyard and, of course, the four post Temple of Apollo. Finally, we proceed to Kissonerga-Mosphilia, one of the major Chalcolithic sites of Cyprus with a long history of habitation from 3800 BC to 2300 BC. Apart from the interesting architectural features uncovered here, the site is outstanding for its evidence of ritual behaviour.
Our visit today is to the World Heritage Site of Paphos. We explore the elaborate rock-cut, so-called ‘Tombs of the Kings’ which date from the 3rd century BC. We spend lunch within Paphos Harbour before continuing to the Archaeological Park to see Nea Paphos and the fantastic mosaics there.
We spend our final morning visiting the famous Sanctuary of Aphrodite at the World Heritage Site of Kouklia before we fly to London 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
For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.
Information for travellers: 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.