Day 1: Arrival and transfer to hotel - introduction to programme of our Christian Tour which includes the following visits:
Day 2: St Paul and Paphos, the Roman capital of Cyprus
The Apostle Paul converted the Proconsul Sergius Paulus to Christianity in Paphos in 47 AD making Cyprus the first area to be ruled by a Christian.
- Photostop at Petra tou Romiou, rock marking the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, Ancient Greek & Roman Goddess of Love & Beauty. Ancient pilgrims would visit Cyprus for the Goddess' annual three-day festival
- Pillar of St Paul where the Apostle was bound and flogged
- The Pillar is surrounded by the remnants of the early Christian basilica of Chrysopolitissa constructed in the 4th Century. This was the first stop on the itinerary of Pope Benedict XVI during his pilgrimage to Cyprus in June 2010
- The medieval Church of St Kyriaki is built over part of the basilica remains - an Anglican or Catholic Mass can be arranged here for your group
- UNESCO-listed Archaeological Park: the 3rd Century AD colourful Roman mosaics depict mythological scenes and the Park overlooks the picturesque fishing harbour of Paphos.
- Monastery of St Neophytos, one of the most beautiful Cyprus monasteries. In 1159 a monk by the name of Neophytos cut this hermitage in the rock - it contains fine frescoes from the 12th to 15th Century
Day 3: UNESCO Byzantine Churches of the Troodos Mountains
Day spent in the pine-scented Troodos mountain range to visit two of the ten painted Byzantine Churches, which are included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- UNESCO-listed Church of St. Nicholas of the Roof, so called because its dome is covered by another protective sloping roof. The church’s frescoed walls and ceiling span 600 years of Byzantine art (11th-17th centuries)
- Medieval village of Kakopetria
- Church of Theotokos (also known as the Archangel Michael Church, due to the larger-than-life painted archangel that keeps guard over the main portal). The timber-roofed chapel is completely painted in the post-Byzantine style of the early 16th Century
- UNESCO-listed Church of Panagia Poditou. An inscription dates the building to 1502 and although it once formed part of a monastery, today it is its only surviving building. The frescos of the church are classified as having Italian-Byzantine style.
Day 4: Ayios Herakleidios Monastery & Nicosia (Lefkosia)
Nicosia has been the capital of Cyprus from the 11th Century and remains a divided city since 1974
- Convent of St Herakleidios, named after Herakleidios who acted the Apostles’ guide. He was converted, baptised, consecrated first Bishop of Tamassos and martyred.
- Drive through the Venetian Walls still encircling the old town of Nicosia
- Byzantine Museum housing an icon collection spanning 1000 years of art
- The small, magnificently-painted Cathedral of St John
- Laiki Geitonia, a 19th Century pedestrian neighbourhood restored to its former glory with sops, galleries, restaurants
- Archaeological Museum housing the most important collection of antiquities from 7000 BC to 500 AD.
Day 5: Kykkos Monastery, Makarios and the Troodos peaks
Your bus ascends to the highest areas of Troodos mountain range, with panoramic views of pine and cedar valleys
- Kykkos Monastery, the most famous monastery in Cyprus. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it possesses one of the three surviving icons ascribed to Saint Luke. The Monastery is also home to an impressive Byzantine Museum.
- Tomb of Archbishop Makarios III, the first president of the Republic of Cyprus. Makarios had started his ecclesiastical career as a monk at Kykkos and had requested to be buried at this scenic location near the Monastery.
- UNESCO-listed Church of St John the Illuminator at Kalopanagiotis village. The commemorative Church was built across the ravine where St Herakleidios was baptised by Paul and Barnabas and is decorated with excellent frescoes of the 13th and 15th Century
Day 6: St Lazarus, Larnaca & Lefkara village
- Panayia Angeloktisti Church, well-known for its 6th Century mosaic depicting a standing Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus on her arm, flanked by the two archangels.
- Hala Sultan Tekke, a Mosque bordering the Salt Lake and housing the Mausoleum of an aunt of the Prophet Mohammed. It is considered the 3rd holiest site in Islam
- Church of St Lazarus (landmark of Larnaca), one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus. The Saint returned to his native Cyprus after his resurrection and became Bishop of Kition (ancient Larnaca)
- Sepulchre of St Lazarus can be visited under the Altar
- Pierides Museum which houses a private collection of Cyprus civilization through the centuries
- Picturesque village of Lefkara, famous for its local lace and silverware. Lefkara lace was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. According to tradition, Leonardo da Vinci visited the village in 1481 and bought an altar cloth, which he donated to the Milan Cathedral.
Day 7: St Helena at Omodhos village & Crusader Castles
- Kourion, an important ancient city kingdom destroyed by an earthquake in 4th Century AD. The ruins now stand in solitary splendour on a massive rock ledge 70 metres above the sea. Amongst some of the treasures to be seen: the Greco-Roman amphitheatre still in use today, the 5th Century AD mosaic floors of the House of Eustolios depicting Christian motifs and the ruins of an Early Christian Basilica
- Crusader castle of Kolossi which served as the headquarters of the Knights of St John after 1291. The Castle is a fine example of medieval military architecture and the sweet dessert wine Commandaria was first produced here by the Knights –it is the Communion wine of the Cyprus Orthodox Church and also one of the oldest names wines in the world still in production.
- Wine-producing village of Omodhos. The village has one of the most beautiful Cyprus monasteries. Its Monastery of the Holy Cross derives its name to a fragment of the Holy Cross said to have been donated by St Helena. The narrow streets lead to an old wine mill and we have the opportunity to try some of the local wine including Commandaria
- Visit the Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats near Limassol before spending some tile in Limassol (Lemesos) town centre for a walking tour of the town centre (seeing also from outside Limassol Castle where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191 on his way to the Crusades)
Day Eight: Departure