NOV 14th – 19th 2021
Nicosia, Kyrenia, Kantara, Larnaca
Explore the Turkish controlled side of the island that few people see.
On our divided Cyprus tour we explore the Turkish controlled side of the island that few people see. Ghost cities, military standoffs, mansions owned by gun smugglers, stunning beaches, and world-class ancient sites with next to no other tourists.
Our journey begins on the south side of the island and is easily reachable with a variety of budget airlines. We then cross the border into Northern Cyprus and explore that are of the island. Accommodation will be hotels and one night in beach huts under the stars. Apart from some fairly incredible historical sites, we will explore the dark and fascinating history of this country including completed deserted towns and the former mansion of gun smugglers.
LIVE THE GLOBAL VILLAGE LIFESTYLE
Sunday 14th November – Nicosia
- Getting to Cyprus is rather easy, as the Mediterranean island has multiples connections with a number of affordable airlines from all around Europe.
- You will be checked for evidence of holding a vaccine certificate now that Cyprus has opened its borders to 65 nationalities who have received a Covid-19 vaccination.
- We check into our small hotel in Nicosia, which remains the only divided capital city on Earth!
- We meet our guide and head out with the rest of the tour group for a welcome meal.
After getting in a few drinks, we return to our hotel for a night’s sleep.
Monday 15th November – Kyrenia
- After breakfast, we board our tour bus and cross into Northern Cyprus. As we pass the Metahan Road border, we see a number of large Turkish military outposts and a giant Turkish flag on the mountainside. Clearly, the large display is meant to be clearly visible from the opposing Cypriot side.
- After passing through passport control, we visit a site known as Buyuk Han, or “The Great Inn.” The structure was originally made by the Ottomans, who seized control of Cyprus from the Venetians in the 1500s. It features a beautiful open courtyard with a mosque but has long-since evolved into a thriving art center.
- Returning to our bus, we pass through the decayed streets of Lefkosa on our way to Saint Hilarion Castle. An imposing structure built upon a high mountain, the castle was built by the Byzantines during the 11 th century. The goal of the fortress was to defend the Cyprus coast from pirates. Today, however, it is one of the most peaceful and picturesque areas in the country.
- On our way into the nearby city of Kyrenia, we visit the training ground of the Turkish military’s parachute regiment.
- *Tour Highlight* TRNC National Day Celebrations which may include a military flyover, military parade and a great atmosphere around Kyrenia.
- We enjoy a late lunch near the Kyrenia harbor and check into our hotel with our group.
After a day of seeing some really stuff, we will have worked up a thirst by now so this evening consists of a pub crawl around the town, peppered with a few unique sites and hidden gems.
- Return to our hotel for a night’s sleep.
Tuesday 16th November – Kyrenia
- After breakfast in the hotel and a stroll around the harbour, we jump on our bus and head west.
Our first stop is a place called Mavi Kosk, or “The Blue House.” Before the war, it was owned by an infamous arms dealer, who used his ill-gotten gains to create a beautiful villa furnished in all styles of the 1970s. It also features a hidden tunnel, which allowed the previous owner to escape capture. It’s a truly unique spot – almost like stepping back through time.
The next stop is the Bellapais Monastery, a gorgeous ruin overlooking some of the most beautiful scenery on the island. After exploring, we enjoy a lunch of kebabs and other local goodies.
The next stop is Amaranta, a literal ghost town once intended as a housing development. Unfortunately, the men behind the properties were fraudsters, who ran off with the money and left the site and left nothing but the skeletons behind.
We return to Kyrenia for an evening meal and some free time to explore the place yourself and/or have a few drinks
After dinner, it’s back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Wednesday 17 th November – Kantara
- After yet another delicious breakfast, we head to our first stop of the day: Kantara Castle. Yet another Byzantine-era fortress, you can actually see both coastlines of the country from its walls.
- We continue along the coastal road, taking our lunch break in a spot with gorgeous ocean views.
- The next stop is the 6km long beach known as “Golden Beach.” Not only does the area more than live up to its name, it is an ecologically-protected area free of litter, it is pretty spectacular
- We move our belongings into the beach huts we’ll be sleeping in, and head off to a nearby restaurant for some dinner and beers on the beach
- Nearly everything on the beach is run off of generators, so there is very little light pollution at night. All going according to plan there should be an amazing view of the stars
Thursday 18th November – Larnaca
- We start off our day with a cup of coffee, a light breakfast, and an early morning swim in the ocean if you feel like it.
- After packing back up, we head up the panhandle to an area where donkeys roam freely around the surrounding roads. Our tour guides give us some time to feed them and take photos before we head to a nearby Greek Orthodox Monastery. The Monastery is still in use, and we’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some bearded priests celebrating Mass.
- After this, we head to the northernmost tip of Cyprus, where a solitary military outpost sits underneath a massive flag. At this point, we are only some 100km from the Syrian coast.
- We have a quick lunch before we hit the ruins of Salamis, a Greek city-state founded by Teucer. According to legend, he could not return home from the Trojan War due to the disgrace of failing to avenge his brother Ajax. The ruins are absolutely epic, and boast a well-preserved amphitheatre among other beautiful structures.
- Leaving Salamis, we head to Famagusta, where we take in the sights of Palm Beach.
- TOUR HIGHLIGHT: After this, we head for the Varosha, a ghost city and no-go zone controlled by the Turkish forces.
- In its heyday, Varosha was one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country. Since the war, however, it has remained abandoned and riddled with damage from bullets and bombs. Should you be allowed to enter, you would still be able to see cars, dinner tables, and laundry hung out to dry in 1974!
- Going back to the bus, we make our way out of Turkish-controlled areas and visit the British Sovereign military base. Called Dhekelia, it is one of two British bases on the island, and offers some UK comforts like fish and chips. We have a meal there before leaving to check into our hotel in Larnaca.
- We head out for a farewell dinner and enjoy a few drinks to celebrate the journey.
Friday 19th November
- Breakfast at the hotel this morning, depending on what time you fly out you can lounge around the pool or the beach for a few hours
- End of tour, airport transfers can be arranged upon request
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