Cyprus, the ‘Island of Aphrodite’, is a fascinating blend of mythological tales, religious lore and a wealth of stunning landscapes. This new twin-centre holiday highlights the rich heritage of beautiful Roman remnants, from huge amphitheatres to intricate mosaics depicting brave and romantic stories of Zeus, Apollo and Aphrodite. To take in the many facets of this island, we also visit medieval castles, the mosque of Hala Sultan Tekke and The Pillar of Saint Paul, as well as offering opportunities to venture into Northern Cyprus to see Famagusta and the ancient city of Salamis, and to enjoy Cypriot delicacies and warm hospitality as you explore the quaint villages.
7 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Larnaca. On arrival we transfer to the Palm Beach Hotel (4T).
Day 2 Larnaca
We start our exploration of Cyprus with an excursion to the beautiful Larnaca Salt Lake. During the winter it is home to colonies of flamingos and other migratory birds, but in summer months the water evaporates leaving vast salt deposits. Lush gardens on the edge of this lake make a tranquil setting for the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, built over the tomb (according to legend) of Umm Haram, wet nurse of the Prophet Muhammad. We then take a short drive to the magnificent church of St Lazarus that covers the tomb of Lazarus. After exploring the church, we walk to Larnaca Castle, a medieval building that was converted into a prison under British rule. Spend some free time walking along the beautiful palm tree-lined promenade and around the lovely marina, before returning to the hotel.
Day 3 Larnaca
Legend tells that our first stop on today’s tour was built by angels, leading to its name Panagia tis Angeloktistis (Panagia built by angels).The interior of the 11th century church is decorated with frescoes and elaborate wall mosaics. We journey to the quaint village of Kato Drys and the Bee & Embroidery Museum, dedicated to village life in bygone days - you can watch the making and preparation of homemade products such as bread, fig pies, wine and Zivania, and admire the rich collection of traditional lace and embroidery ‘Lefkaritika’ dating back to 1880. Later, we visit the Golden Donkey Farm, which cares for approximately 200 donkeys, as well being home to beautiful botanical gardens, a winery, and an olive mill.
Day 4 Larnaca
Spend a day relaxing in the quiet resort or take an optional excursion to learn more about the area’s botany and history. Cyherbia Botanical Park and Labyrinth includes nine beautifully landscaped herb gardens, and woodlands of endemic trees and shrubs. Continue to the ancient Roman city of Salamis, in northern Cyprus, where a theatre with a seating capacity of 15,000, statues, pillars, and the remains of roman baths and the first great Christian churches, can all be seen. The next stop is the Monastery of St Barnabas, and then Famagusta, one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the eastern Mediterranean.
Day 5 Larnaca - Paphos.
As we journey to Paphos, our full-day tour visits Kolossi Castle, a former Crusader stronghold originally constructed in the 13th century, serving the Knights of St John of Jerusalem and the Knights Templar during its history. We visit here before continuing to Kourion, where excavations have uncovered an ancient city, with highlights that include large public baths, a 2,000-seater amphitheatre, and many beautiful floor mosaics. Just outside the city is the 1st century Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates. Our final stop is in Paphos, at the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, dating as far back as the 12th century BC, as can be discovered in the interesting museum. Our hotel in Paphos for three nights, is the Coral Beach Hotel & Resort (5T).
Day 6 Paphos
Paphos has a wealth of treasures to visit, from its 8,000-year history, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage listed. This morning we visit the impressive Tombs of the Kings and the spot now named The Pillar of Saint Paul, where he was allegedly tortured whilst attempting to convert the ruler of Paphos to Christianity. We take time to admire the magnificent Paphos Mosaics, a series of ancient mosaic floors which feature mythological characters and scenes, before a guided tour of the ‘House of Dionysos’, ‘House of Theseus’, and the ‘House of Aion’.
Day 7 Paphos
Spend your last day exploring the wonderful city or take an excursion to taste some local treats. Visit a carob museum to see how carob syrup and pastelli (carob toffee) is made before tasting a sample, and then visit an olive park, with a museum displaying the production of top-quality organic olive oil. Continue to the beautiful mountain village of Agros to visit a rose water factory and a sweet making factory where you can experience the traditional Cypriot way of producing spoon sweets, marmalades and Soutzioukos.
Day 8 Paphos - Larnaca - London.
We transfer to Larnaca Airport for a direct scheduled, British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.