St. Hilarion and Bellapais
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
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.
Meeting place for bus trips: University of Nicosia Parking and returning same place
Description: after a short drive we will arrive at the foothill of St Hilarion castle and will visit all three levels of the castle. We will then drive through Kerynia to Bellapais and visit the Abbey first and the church of Panagia Asproforousa.
Necessary documents to have: valid passport or ID/EUDCC vaccination certificate with 3 vaccins or rapid test 48 hours.