Examine the island’s historic role in the interaction between the cultures of Europe and the Middle East
Explore the UNESCO-listed southern sector sites of Paphos, Choirokoitia and the painted churches of the Troodos Mountains
Visit highlights of the northern sector including the mountaintop St Hilarion Castle, the beautiful Bellapais Abbey and the ancient site of Salamis
From prehistoric times onwards, Cyprus has either been contested by invaders or influenced by traders from Anatolia, Greece, Syria, Phoenicia and Egypt. The activities of collectors and archaeologists have filled museums (both in Cyprus and elsewhere) with a rich array of artefacts that reflect the island’s diverse history.
During the classical period, the settlement of Cyprus was essentially Greek in character, and so it remained throughout the Roman and Byzantine eras. With the advent of Islam, Cyprus became a contested border zone, and today a wide range of archaeological sites, monuments and museum collections represent the island’s varied heritage.
Our journey will begin in the southern (Greek) sector, which holds some outstanding sites, from the exceptional classical remains at Kourion and Paphos (whose Roman mosaics are among the most impressive in the world), to medieval castles and painted churches of many different periods. All of these are set against a beautiful landscape, from sandy beaches to the luxuriant Troodos Mountains.
We will continue to the divided capital Nicosia, enclosed in its ring of 16th century walls, to explore both its monuments and its museums. Here we will cross the Green Line into the Turkish-occupied sector of the city to visit the former Christian cathedral, converted into a mosque in 1570.
As we venture further into the northern territories, we will discover the mountaintop St Hilarion Castle; the beautiful Bellapais Abbey, made famous by the writing of Lawrence Durrell; and the fortified Kyrenia Castle on the island’s northern seafront (which also houses the famous Kyrenia ship of c 300 BC). A second day in the Turkish-occupied sector will take us to medieval Famagusta and the impressive nearby site of ancient Salamis.
Our first base will be in Paphos, at the Hotel Aquamare, located close to the beachfront. We will then move to the Curium Palace Hotel in Limassol and the Centrum Hotel in Nicosia.
This tour will be led by Philip Kenrick, MA, DPhil, a classical archaeologist and specialist in Roman pottery, who has worked widely in the Mediterranean, including in Sicily, Italy, Turkey, Jordan and Libya. He gained his doctorate at Oxford in connection with British excavations at Benghazi (ancient Berenice). Philip is the author of two Libya Archaeological Guides, Tripolitania (2009) and Cyrenaica (2013), and co-author of Classical Antiquities of Algeria: A Selective Guide (2019).
Please contact the office
for more details.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, eight lunches (one packed), dinner with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £235.