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Accompanying Person Tours (North Cyprus)

HISTORY
 
From the Assyrians to the Egyptians, the Persians to the Romans, Cyprus has seen hordes of visitors disembark on her shores over the centuries – each leaving their distinctive mark on the varied landscape.

It was in the early to Middle Bronze Ages that saw the emergence of towns and trading centres, which helped build relationships with the surrounding nations. This period was followed by occupation by many Middle Eastern countries, but it was when Persian rule was overthrown by King Evagoras that the Salamis region was able to strengthen its commerce and grow wealthy. This growth trend continued through Hellenistic and Roman rule, however, when the Roman Empire’s grip began to loosen and trade began to dwindle, fortunes were only reversed when the Byzantine Empire took control of the island and restored the province to its former glory.


 
The next 500 years or so saw the island change hands through Richard the Lionheart, the French Lusignan family, the Ottomans and the Venetians. In the mid-19th century the Suez Canal was opened, so to protect the trade route to India, Britain took a vested interest in the strategically located island, which saw many new roads, pipelines, crop irrigation and railways being built. This alliance continued well into the 20th century with Cyprus’s independence being declared in 1960. This series of events led to North Cyprus declaring its independence from the south in 1974.

Tour 1 - Girne Excursion 
9:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.
Price: 55 Euro (includes transportation, guide)
 
During this tour you will have the opportunity to visit the ruins of the castle of St. Hilarion which was said to have inspired Walt Disney to build his Sleeping Beauty Castle. Enjoy the fabulous coastal view from the top of the 3rd level and step back into Crusader times.
This is followed by a visit to Bellapais village where Lawrence Durrell wrote his famous book “Bitter Lemons”. The village itself is also famous as it occupies a wonderfully scenic spot on the foothills of the Five Finger Mountain range.The Abbey of Bellapais is also regarded to be a masterpiece of Gothic Architecture.

Bellapais Abbey


The Bellapais Monastery is a remarkable piece of religious architecture located in the Kyrenia region of northern Cyprus, and is a wonderful place to visit if you want to combine sightseeing with some fascinating historical exploration. Located in the majestic Five Finger Mountains in Kyrenia, this monastery is a fine example of Gothic architecture; the construction started between 1198 and 1205, with more sections being added after 1267 and after 1324.

St. Hilarion Castle


St. Hilarion Castle was built to defent Cyprus from raiding Arabs and was named after Saint Hilarion.  In the 10th Century a church and monastery were built in this area but the first mentions of the castle were found in 1191.  Although extremely important in its time, St. Hilarion Castle later became a summer retreat for the Lusignan nobility.On visiting St. Hilarion Castle there is much to see, from the royal kitchen, to the church and the Lusignan gate.  There is also a courtyard and fantastic views from the Queen’s window on the second floor.
 
 
  • Beylerbeyi Village
  • Bellapais Abbey
  • St. Hilarion Castle
  • Kyrenia Castle and Shipwreck Museum
  • Kyrenia Old Harbour
  • Karaoğlanoğlu Martyrdom
  • Open Air Museum
  • Peace And Independence Museum

Tour 2 - Nicosia Excursion
9:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.
Price: 55 Euro (includes transportation, guide)
 
Being the only remaining divided capital in the world, Nicosia still retains its old beauty and character with narrow roads and blend of cultures. Sites that we shall visit include the old city walls of Nicosia, Selimiye Mosque (St. Sophia Cathedral), Closed Grand Bazaar (Bandabuliya) and the Great Inn (Buyük Han).
Our guide will show you the pearls of Nicosian architecture, will tell you the unusual story of the only remaining divided capital city in the world and make sure that you will not be bored!

Büyük Han (Grand Inn)


Dating back to the 16th century, this Ottoman building situated in Asmalti Street used to serve as a 67-room inn for locals or caravans passing through the town. Following careful restoration, it now houses several galleries and handicraft shops, as well as a café/restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Turkish Cypriot food. Occasionally, it is also the setting for plays, concerts and special receptions.



The Selimiye Mosque is one of the most important mosques in North Cyprus as well as being one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture on the island. Formerly the christian Cathedral of St. Sophia, the current building was constructed in the 13th century, but in 1976, it was discovered to have been built over the ruins of an even earlier building. Many Lusignan nobles and kings are buried under the mosque and the carved windows are a fine example of the beauty of Gothic art. Fortunately, the building has defied several powerful earthquakes over the centuries due to its very large and strong flying buttresses. Then, during the Ottoman period, minarets were built over the two partial belfries on either side of the entrance and its walls whitewashed to give the strikingly airy and spacious feel inside the building today.
 
 
  • Archbishop's Palace (Panoramic)
  • Boğaz Martyrdom
  • Museum of Barbarism
  • Green Line Border Tour
  • Ledra Palace Hotel and Border Gate
  • Büyük Han (the Great Inn)
  • Selimiye Mosque
Tour 3 - Famagusta Excursion
 
9:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.
Price: 55 Euro (includes transportation, guide)
 
The area  of Famagusta, also known through the Roman ruins of Salamis and the so-called “dead city” or “Varosha” which is said to be the Mediterranean’s best kept secret, offers you an exciting journey through time. Start by visiting the museum of St. Barnabas (prior Greek Orthodox Monastery), featuring the best Archaeological Museum of Northern Cyprus and a small chapel said to be built on the grave site of St. Barnabas. Then continue to the ruins of Salamis with its Bathhouse, Gymnasium and Theatre, which legend claims to have been built by Teukos – son of King Telamon. Potentially a second Ephesus, one can let his imagination take over at Salamis. We will finish the day visiting the Old City of Famagusta with its impressive 3.8 km long city wall and the former coronation cathedral of St. Sophia from the 13th Century.
 
City Walls


In 1567, the Venetians commissioned the Italian military engineers, Giulio Savorgnano and Franscesco Barbaro, to design new fortifications for the city of Nicosia, in order to protect the inhabitants from imminent Ottoman attack.

The new walls replaced the old-style medieval fortifications which engineers deemed inadequate to defend the city. The Venetians demolished several churches and palaces within the city as well as buildings lying outside the new walls, both for the acquisition of building materials and for a clearer field of vision for the defence of the city.

At the same time, the Pedieos River was diverted outside the city either in order to protect the residents from the flood or in order to flood the moat, which encircled the new walls.

This Venetian fortification complex has a circumference of 3 miles, and contains eleven pentagon-shaped bastions named after eleven families, pillars of the Italian aristocracy of the town, who donated funds towards the construction of the walls and the three gates, Porta San Domenico(Paphos Gate), Porta Guiliana (Famagusta Gate), and Porta del Proveditore (Kyrenia Gate).
 
  • St Barnabas' Monastery and Icon Museum
  • Royal Tombs (Panaromic)
  • The Ancient Ruins of Salamis and Roman Theater
  • Sea And Lunch (2 Hours)
  • Famagusta Walls and Trenches (Panaromic)
  • St. Nicholas Cathedral (Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque)
  • Namik Kemal Dungeon & Museum
  • Famagusta Walls (Free time)
  • Varosha the Ghost Town (Panaromic)