Hidden Secrets Of Northern Cyprus
7 nights. January 2019 - December 2019. From £689.00.
Based in delightful Kyrenia, one of the Mediterranean's most alluring locations, set against a backdrop of rugged hills and fringed by deep blue waters, this wonderful holiday lifts the veil on an historic region, inhabited since earliest times, and dotted with the relics of the various civilisations that have graced this idyllic island in the sun. Included visits to Lawrence Durrell's beloved Bellapais, to divided Nicosia, ruined Famagusta and the scenic Karpaz peninsula add to the pleasure of the stay.
Tour Highlights And InclusionsEnjoy seven nights in exquisite Kyrenia
Explore Kyrenia's harbour and monumental castle
Idyllic Bellapais, beneath its Gothic abbey, was home to writer Lawrence Durrell
Visit fascinating, divided Nicosia and walled Famagusta
'Ghost city' Varosha is a poignant reminder of the recent past
Salamis Roman ruins are a sight to behold
The remote Karpaz peninsula is unspoiled Northern Cyprus at its best
Discover Guzelyurt - literally 'beautiful place' - and ancient Soli on an optional excursion
Seven nights' carefully chosen dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at your chosen hotel
Return flights from the UK to Cyprus
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager Single rooms are available for a supplement
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day OneFly from the UK to Cyprus, then travel through the Cypriot countryside to Kyrenia and your chosen hotel.
Day TwoIn the company of your Tour Manager, discover and explore the delightful port town of Kyrenia, its natural, horseshoe-shaped harbour looking out over pristine azure waters and flanked by shops and cafes, all watched over by an imposing medieval castle, the whole a picture-postcard-perfect scene much unchanged down the years despite the trappings of modernity. Within the massive castle walls, a fascinating shipwreck museum, and a 'tombs-finds gallery' are among the highlights of an included visit.
This afternoon, return to enjoy the surroundings of your hotel, explore the town under your own steam, perhaps taking in a museum or gallery, or take a seat in one of the harbour's many delightful fish restaurants - perfect places in which to pass the hours.
Day ThreeToday's second 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 of which lies the beautiful village of Bellapais. Set beneath the preserved ruins of its Gothic abbey, this idyllic spot was home for three years to celebrated writer Lawrence Durrell, who 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. Return to Kyrenia for the rest of the day.
Day FourThe highlight of today's fascinating included excursion will be the visit to historic Nicosia, island capital for more than 12 centuries, and divided in 1963 by the 'Green Line' separating the Turkish North and Greek South of the city. Enjoy a guided tour of Lefkosa, the northern territory, where highlights include the ancient Buyuk Han, the former caravanserai travellers' inn, the colourful covered bazaar and the cathedral/mosque of Selimiye/St Sophia, and cross the border into the southern, Lefkosia half of the city for some free time to explore its preserved Old Town of narrow streets enclosed by Venetian walls, its tiny St John's Cathedral and its various museums of Cypriot history and culture.
Day FiveToday you're free to enjoy the hotel and its surroundings, or to head into Kyrenia once again, although many will want to join the optional excursion to the green, citrus-grove surrounded town of Guzelyurt - 'beautiful place' in Turkish - with its archaeology museum and church of Agios Mamas. An 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.
Day SixA truly fascinating day awaits you, as you journey to the island's east, first calling 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 once part of a much larger settlement, now submerged under 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, with its ruined churches, Lala Mustapha Pasha mosque, Venetian Palace and ruined churches lying amid 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.
Day SevenA last scenic excursion heads to the unspoiled 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 visits to an ancient olive press and to the important mosaics at Agios Trias, today will also include a chance, weather permitting, to enjoy a dip in the sea at a beautiful beach.
You'll return to Kyrenia at the end of a wonderful day, to enjoy a last dinner at the hotel.
Day EightBid farewell to your Cypriot hosts, and transfer back to the airport for the return flight. Back to top
Nestled amid olive groves just 2.5km from Kyrenia Harbour, this family-owned three-star hotel offers the warmest of welcomes.
The hotel has two outdoor swimming pools, a terrace restaurant, a comfortable lounge, a pool-side barbecue and a bar. There is free Wi-Fi in the hotel reception, and the hotel runs a seasonal shuttle bus into the centre of Kyrenia.
Guest rooms are located either in the main building or in the hotel grounds. Each room is air-conditioned and has either a balcony or a terrace, a safe (small charge), a telephone, a hairdryer, TV and tea- and coffee-making facilities.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.
The hotel has two outdoor swimming pools and several terraces, a bar, restaurant and free Wi-Fi in public areas.
All bedrooms have air conditioning, telephones, hairdryers, mini-bars, safes (payable locally), tea- and coffee-making facilities and satellite TV. Standard Rooms are located in the Main Building, whilst the Superior Rooms tend to be located in one of the garden buildings.Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe 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.
Seasonal hotel facilitiesPlease 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).
Combining hotel transfersWe 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.
Special requirementsIf 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.
Disabled accessThe 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.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, 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.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit 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. Back to top