Our Guided Tours

Join me on a walk in history and time throughout my island

Cyprus has a rich and varied history with plenty of archaeological ruins, byzantine churches and monasteries, crusader castles and palaces, not to mention its more modern history of invasion and division.

To me however it is one island, the island where I was born and raised and to which I have devoted most of my working life as an archaeologist and art historian to bring to a wider audience its many beautiful sights.

My web site can offer you excursions and walks with a historical but also contemporary insight into places of interest and subject matters of special significance on both sides of the dividing line.

HOW TO BOOK YOUR WALK

  • 1. Choose your destination and the dates from the HOME page or here
  • 2. By clicking on the photograph you will be directed to where you can book the walk/trip
  • 3. Please fill up booking questionnaire, tick on I agree and the "Book Now" button
  • 4. You can choose to pay online with PayPal or offline
  • 5.If you choose to pay offline, you will receive an email with a booking confirmation link that you have to activate
  •     - Please click on the link so as to confirm your booking
  •     - Unless you activate the link you booking is NOT CONFIRMED
  • 6. If you choose online the site will take you directly to PayPal (Paypal works with VISA, MasterCard, American Express and does not require registration)
  • 7. If you choose to pay offline you can pay in the bus the day of the event

 

Discovering Nicosia

Discovering Nicosia

An amazing city, from the Bronze Age to the present day. A capital since the 12th century A.D built on layers of culture and tradition both from East and West, from both France and Jerusalem. A medieval city encircled by a unique fortification system, stemming out of la citta ideale of the Renaissance. Walking in Nicosia is encountering the past and understanding the present! We will walk through the dividing line and try to visualize, understand and appreciate the beauty of our capital in its entity.

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Discovering Famagusta

Discovering Famagusta

The Key and the Heart of Cyprus, the hub of the Mediterranean, the port that merged East and West, where the spice routes met the silk roads, where pilgrims and merchants met Kings, knights and crusaders; where Greek, French, Armenian, Genoese, Venetian, Jewish, Syrian, Catalan, Pisan, Turkish and Arab merchants lived side by side, each in their own quarter, celebrating within their own traditions, their own religious building. A city adorned with 365 churches, one for everyday of the year. A city, or rather a living museum.

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Discovering the origins of Famagusta: Enkomi and Salamis and the Monastery of St.Barnabas

Discovering the origins of Famagusta: Enkomi and Salamis and the Monastery of Barnabas

Two of the most important sites of ancient Cyprus and a monastery of particular importance to the history of the church of Cyprus.

Enkomi was the Bronze Age city and port from where copper was exported to many parts of the ancient world; Salamis, the continuation of Enkomi is the living memory of the arrival of the Greeks in Cyprus after the Trojan War; a Greek city par excellence that flourished during antiquity, under the Persians, the Assyrians, the Ptolemies as Arsinoe, the Romans, the Byzantines as Constantia. Royal tombs with rich burials such as those described by Homer in the Iliad, a Roman theatre, a Gymnasium, baths and two of the most important basilicas of Cyprus...An amazing and enriching experience in ancient and byzantine history not only of Cyprus but of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Discovering Soli and the Palace of Vouni

Discovering Soli and the Palace of Vouni

The palace of Vouni and the Basilica of Soli: Where the city kingdoms of ancient Cyprus met Persian rule. Two ancient sites with a rich history, a palace probably in the most beautiful spot of the island, two kingdoms enriched through copper trade and the presence of Greek classical tradition. The palace of Vouni is a stunning monument to visit, a particular moment of Cypriot history where Greek influence takes over oriental building habits. The Basilica of Soli, recently restored is a testimony of the deep roots that Christianity has in the island.

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Saint Hilarion Castle

Saint Hilarion Castle

Perched high up on two peaks of the Pentadactylos range, this original byzantine lookout post was transformed into a royal castle of the 13th century by the French Lusignan princes. A magnificent location with views both towards the sea and the plain, it is an exceptional monument of gothic architecture and nature.

The ruined Castle of St. Hilarion is a particularly interesting and perhaps unique example of a «chateau fort», built as a royal residence, and completely abandoned since the close of the middle ages. Such a monument illustrating the mode of life of medieval royalty, untouched by subsequent alterations, would be difficult to find in Europe. Here we have the most interesting of souvenirs of the once famous Royal House of Cyprus and Jerusalem.

George Jeffery. A description of the Historic Monuments of Cyprus. Nicosia 1918

 

Bellapais Abbey

bellapais

An exclusive European gothic abbey, originally used by the Augustinian order and then by the Cistercian order. A beautiful building of the 14th century unique in Cyprus, much in line with abbeys found in Spain and Italy.

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Buffavento Castle

Buffavento Castle

Probably the castle that offers the most breathtaking views of the island, perched high upon a windy mountain, a look-out post first by the Byzantines transformed later into a castle by the Lusignan kings so as to protect both the capital and the shores from intruders. The castle is halfway between St. Hilarion and Kantara, at the summit of a crest in the Pentadactylos range.

In this castle, a watch was kept every night and as soon as they descried ships at sea they forthwith lit beacon fires or torches to pass the news to the city of Nicosia and to Kyrenia Castle.

Father Stephen Lusignan, Description ou histoire de Cypre, Paris 1580

 

Monastery of Panagia Apsinthiotissa

panagia apsinthiotissa

About a mile north of the village of Sykhari, are the remais of the Monastery of Panagia Apsinthiotissa, property of the Orthodox Sea of Jerusalem, and known during the medieval period as the Abbey of the Abscithi. A Byzantine church restored by the Lusignans in the Gothic style in the 15th century. Fragments of wall paintings are seen in the church.

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Kantara Castle

Kantara Castle

After the Arab raids of the 6th and the 7th centuries A.D the Byzantines first fortified the peak of the mountain, to be followed by the Lusignans, who embellished and strengthened the fortifications so as to protect Famagusta and the important and rich peninsula of the Karpas; The French royal family of the Lusignans used the palace during the hot summer months.

The superb Castle of Kantara, the Hundred Chambers, which, seeming to hang in mid-air, dominates this end of Cyprus has been often visited and described. Buffavento stands higher, and St Hilarion can show more perfect ramparts and turrets, but neither recalls so strangely a forgotten age, neither seems to be so thickly peopled with its ghosts, as this lovely ruin on its pillar of rock. No painter’ s wildest fancy has pictured anything so fantastic as these Cyprian Castles, and standing at the foot of the last steep leading to the gate of Kantara, and involuntarily recalling the fairy towers of romance, the traveller might imagine in the stronghold of a Sleeping Beauty, untouched by change or time for a thousand years.

George Jeffery. A description of the Historic Monuments of Cyprus. Nicosia 1918.

 

Monastery of Panagia Tochniou

monastery of panagia tochniou

An interesting monastery of the 14th century, where byzantine art persists and blends with medieval forms. Fragments of wall paintings are found in the dome and the apse of the church.

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The Castle of Kyrenia

kyrenia castle

One of our most beautiful and best preserved castles built by the Lusignans on the sea front. An amazing and robust construction entirely out of limestone from the nearby quarries of the Kyrenia range. The castle has an interior court yard, a little chapel dedicated to St. George and houses today the original shipwreck of the Kyrenia ship that sailed in the 3rd century BC from Samos to Cyprus with a rich cargo of wine amphorae and stone mills. The ship sunk a few miles out of the little town of Kyrenia; marine archaeologists and scientists studied the shipwreck for years and managed to preserve the hull which today is exhibtied in one of the rooms of the castle.

Antiphonitis Church

antiphonitis church

A most important wall-painted church, both through its structure and its iconograpy, situated in a beautiful setting of pines and cypresses of the Pentadactylos range. The church is a single aisled building with a large dome dating to the 12th century AD. It is a monument of extreme beauty and elegance, unique in its kind. The wall paintings date from the 12th and the 15th century.

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Towards the west

toward the west img1

A days trip into the western part of the island, to visit the Monastery of St. George Rigatis next to Kyra village, and the Maronite Monastery of Prophetes Elias in Skylloura

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Unknown Cyprus

unknown cyprus img1

We will visit a cave in Platani in the Mesaoria plain, we will use the crossing of Lefconico to cross to the coastal road. We will see Panagia Pergaminiotissa from the outside and will then proceed towards the peninsula of the Karpas, go through Komi Kebir and visit the newly restaured church of Ayios Auxentios, and Panagia Kyra in the village of Livadia. An amazing church and very important church in the history of art of Byzantine Cyprus. We will make a break for a coffee in Koma tou Yialou, visit the strange chapel of Ayia Solomoni and proceed to Lythrangomi to visit Panagia Kanakaria

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