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Rural Encounter
Limassol Old World Tour
Ancient Capital Tour
Modern Capital
Traditional Cyprus Tour
Treasures of Byzantium
Lace & Silver Tour
Rural Encounter go to the top of the page

Travel back in time through rural Cyprus. The tour proceeds to Kelokedara village where delegates visit a 300 year old village house. There the group will be able to see how zivania (Cyprus Schnapps) was made and will sample some local snacks, all produced fresh in the village.

Thus fortified, the group boards a traditional Bedford village bus for the drive down through the countryside and the orange groves to reach the farm.

The farm is located in the Xeros river valley, one of the most untouched and tranquil parts of the island.  There the transport changes to…donkeys!

On arrival at the farm the guest meet the friendly donkeys. The tour continues on donkeys along country tracks passing local shepherds with the flocks of grazing sheep and goats.
Upon arrival at the 13th Century Sindi monastery, there is a guided tour, light refreshments and also an opportunity to look around the atmospheric structure. The monastery has been lovingly restored by Unesco and received the Europa Nostra award in 1997. It is now listed by Unesco as a World Cultural Heritage site.

En route back to the farm, there is a stop at the ruins of four watermills.

Back at the farm, it is time to relax and enjoy a typical Cypriot homemade variety of dishes. Rejuvenated, the group can join the farm staff dancing some traditional Greek and Cyprus favourites including sirtaki.

At the end of the visit, each participant receives a diploma for completing all the ‘tests’: zivania drinking, sirtaki dancing, donkey riding and as recognition of an initiation into Cypriot village culture.

Limassol Old World Tour go to the top of the page

The tour leaves Limassol via the Phassouri citrus plantations to visit Curium, an important ancient city-kingdom destroyed by an earthquake in the 4th Century AD. Treasures to be seen include the amphitheatre, the Public Baths and their mosaics. The tour continues to the well-preserved Crusader Castle of Kolossi, a fine example of medieval military architecture. The Castle was also famous as the Headquarters of the Knights of St John following their loss of Acre to the Saracens in 1291. The Knights consoled themselves by making the red dessert wine known as Commandaria (from the word Commanderie meaning Headquarters) one the oldest named wines in the world.

Return to Limassol to visit Limassol Castle where Richard the Lionhearted married Berengaria of Navarre in 1191 and crowned her Queen of England. The Castle now houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum.

A guided walk through Limassol town centre includes the visit to the Carob Mill behind the Castle displays the equipment used to harvest and treat this important crop.

Optional features

  • Short dance performance based on ancient Greek myths at Curium theatre.
  • Commandaria wine and orange juice in the gardens of Kolossi Castle.
  • Time Elevator – state-of-the-art technology that combines panoramic film projection with motion-based seating synchronised to the 25-minute film. Unexpected special effects whisk the audience through key stages of the History of Cyprus.
  • Treasure hunt in Limassol town centre.
Ancient Capital Tour go to the top of the page

All sites visited today are included in the UNESCO List of Cultural Heritage.

En route to Paphos, there is a stop to see Petra Tou Romiou, the rock that marks the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, Ancient Goddess of Love & Beauty.

A visit to the Museum housing remains found at her famous Sanctuary sheds a fascinating light on the form of worship of her cult.

The tour continues to the Monastery of St Neophytos. The hermit Neophytos was born in 1134 and moved here at the age of 25 to seek solitude. However such became his reputation, that numerous disciples gathered around his simple cave-hermitage, founding the Monastery here long before his death in 1220. The tour visit the “Egkleistra” an enclosure carved out of the mountain by the hermit – the walls are covered in fine Byzantine frescoes some said to have been painted by Neophytos himself.

The tour passes by the fishing harbor of Paphos with its Arab fort to visit the Roman mosaics worthy of the wealth and opulence of imperial Paphos. The mosaics vividly depict mythological scenes and legends.

Last stop is at St Paul’s Pillar where the Apostle was tied and given “40 less one” lashes for his preaching before he converted the Roman Proconsul to Christianity.  The Pillar is next to the Church of Chrysopolitissa a 12th Century Byzantine church surrounded by the foundations of an earlier seven-aisle basilica constructed in the 4th Century.

Optional feature

Aphrodite and her Handmaidens appear and after a short performance, offer guests refreshments at her Museum

Modern Capital go to the top of the page

Enjoy an exploration of Nicosia. The first stop is the Cyprus Archaeological Museum. This houses the most important collection of Cypriot antiquities and archaeological art treasures spanning 5,000 years.

The tour continues through the old Venetian Walls to visit the Old Power Station building lovingly refurbished to become an art exhibition area, the Omeriye Mosque and Hammam, the House of Kornesios (recreated residence of the Ottoman Dragoman), the Byzantine Museum boasting a marvellous collection of icons as well as the picturesque Cathedral of St John.

There is some leisure time at the old town streets known as "Laiki Yitonia", a 19th Century folk neighbourhood of traditional houses, shops, restaurants and galleries all lovingly restored as examples of Cypriot urban architecture of a bygone age.

Optional feature

  1. Short dance performance at the House of Kornesios based on story of his life.
  2. Lunch at the Old Power Station, once the Capital’s own abandoned Electricity Authority building now an art gallery and exhibition center in the heart of Nicosia. The conversion won the coveted Europa Nostra award.
  3. Bike tour through the streets of old Nicosia
Traditional Cyprus Tour go to the top of the page

The tour climbs up the vine-covered lower foothills to visit Omodhos, a picturesque village with a tradition in wine production. A guided walk through the village leads delegates to the Monastery of the Holy Cross, the traditional house and the traditional wine mill for a tasting of the local wines.

The tour continues to the village of Lania to visit the Artists studios and try some Cypriot coffee.

Optional feature

  1. Treasure hunt: the group is split into teams each armed with a route book, a Quiz Competition book and instructions to complete special tasks at the village.
  2. Folkloric dances at village setting or even the culmination of the tour in a full-blown village fiesta
Treasures of Byzantium go to the top of the page

We ascend the Troodos Mountains to visit Kykkos Monastery, the richest and most famous of all the monasteries of Cyprus. The iconostasis of the monastery contains an icon of the Madonna said to have been painted by St Luke. The Monastery houses an excellent Byzantine art museum.

We then proceed to the Medieval village of Kakopetria. We explore life on its cobbled streets and the old water mill before visiting the nearby church of St. Nicholas of the Roof. It has been given this name 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). The Church is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List because of its original architecture and the excellent quality of its frescoes.

The tour proceeds to the Tsiakkas Winery at Pelendri village to learn the secret of winemaking and to enjoy some of the wine produced there.

Lace & Silver Tour go to the top of the page

The tour sets off for the picturesque twin villages of Lefkara, after the common Cypriot practice of having a “Pano” (Upper) version of a village and a “Kato” (Lower) one.

The villages are famed for their handmade lace, silverware and loukoumia sweets. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have visited the village in 1481 buying an altar cloth for the Cathedral of Milan. In sunny weather the narrow streets between the quaint-looking stone houses become open-air workshops for the women practicing their lace-making skills.

Most shops and the House of Patsalos are located in Pano Lefkara while Kato Lefkara boasts the single aisled domed Church of Archangel Michael with wall paintings from the late 12th Century.

Additional Option

The group can be split into teams to compete in an Archery lesson and competition, Giant Puzzle construction and Mountain Bike relay.

 
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