Aphrodite’s Cyprus: North and South
Uniquely, this two-centred tour stays in both the Greek south and Turkish north of Cyprus, allowing fuller appreciation of this charming island and its fascinating World Heritage; 10,000 years of human history with connections to the ancient Near East, to Greece and to the Crusades.
- The magnificent Roman mosaics of Paphos.
- Famous sanctuaries to Greek Aphrodite and Phoenician Astarte.
- One of the world’s best preserved early Neolithic villages.
- Dramatically sited Crusader castles.
- Stay in North Cyprus’s delightful Kyrenia.
The ancient Greek association of Cyprus with the birth of Aphrodite was in recognition of the island’s beauty, fertility and early connections with Near Eastern civilisation. This eastern Mediterranean island has long been a stepping stone between Asia and Europe, and a strategic foothold for rival foreign powers from east and west. Cypriot archaeology and history are correspondingly rich and significant, and recent relaxation of the island’s north-south divide makes now the perfect time to explore its natural charm and magnificent World Heritage.
See the ‘Itinerary’ tab above for full itinerary details.
Dates & Prices:
- 16–23 October 2019. Only £1495. Last few places.
- 01–08 April 2020. Only £1575.
- 14–21 October 2020. Only £1575.
Single supplement only £220. Reserve your place early for the lowest prices.
- Seven nights hotel accommodation; 4 in Limassol, 3 in Kyrenia (see ‘Hotels’ tab above).
- All breakfasts and all evening meals.
- Daily excursions with all transport, entrances and guiding.
- Specialist tour director supported by local Cypriot guides.
- Flexible flight arrangements and airport transfers (see ‘Flights’ tab above).
- 100% TTA financial guarantee.
Flights and Extended Stays
Flights are added on a personal basis rather than included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose your preferred departure airport, flight times, length of stay, airline etc. We will be pleased to quote and book flights for you, and any extended stays, or you can book your own if you prefer. Flights booked with us are fully ATOL protected and can be available from as little as £100 return.
How To Book
Reservations & Enquiries: To reserve your place or enquire further simply fill in the booking form on this page, or call us on (UK) 0121 444 1854. There is no commitment and no payment at this stage; reservations are purely provisional until we have confirmed availability and proceeded with booking and payment.
Booking & Payment: Once you have checked availability and reserved your place, we will require your full details and a deposit of £250 per person to secure your booking. This can be done with a credit/debit card over the telephone (0121-444-1854) or by sending us a completed booking form and cheque. To print a booking form click here.
See our booking conditions for further details.
All Hidden History’s tours include a host of fully guided excursions and interesting talks to create an enriching travel experience. They also include some luxury and leisure by choosing great hotels and keeping the itineraries fairly relaxed and varied. More about What to Expect…
- Departure TimeDeparts 16 October 2019, 01 April 2020 and 14 October 2020.
Day 1: UK / Cyprus.
You are met on your arrival and transferred to your hotel in Limassol for four nights half-board accommodation. Your tour director will be on hand to help with any questions.
Day 2: Khirokitia & Kition.
An illustrated talk by your tour director sets the scene for today’s visits. We begin with the World Heritage site of Khirokitia, a Neolithic village from 9000 years ago and amongst the world’s best-preserved settlements of the Stone Age. Continue to Larnaca whose attractive seafront is an ideal place for lunch before exploring the archaeology of the ancient city, known as Kition, and visiting the Pierides Museum, which gives a fine introduction to Cypriot archaeology.
Day 3: Kourion & Limassol.
Kourion, is one of the most impressive and extensive archaeological sites of Cyprus with a beautiful setting overlooking the sea. It is a short drive from our hotel in Limassol and we dedicate the whole morning to an exploration of the ancient Greek, Roman and Early Christian buildings, including its spectacular theatre, sumptuous mosaics, grand Basilica and bathhouses, and religious sanctuary dedicated to Apollo. We then head back into Limassol, where the attractive old town is a pleasant place for a relaxed lunch and some free time to explore the medieval castle and pleasant harbour. We finish the day with a visit to nearby Amathus, one of the Iron Age city-kingdoms of Cyprus.
Day 4: Paphos & Palaeopaphos.
A feast of World Heritage awaits us at Paphos, the Hellenistic and Roman capital of Cyprus. Here the villas of the ruling elite were adorned with magnificent mosaics which now rank amongst the best in the world. As we walk from room to room and house to house, the awe-inspiring scale of the decoration gradually unfolds. There will be time for a relaxed lunch on the Paphos seafront, and for two more visits: the Tombs of the Kings, with their elaborately carved burial tombs, and the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palea Paphos, one of the most significant and ancient religious sites on the island. We also see the famous rock where legend placed the birth of goddess Aphrodite.
Day 5: Nicosia & Kyrenia.
We transfer to our hotel in North Cyprus today, travelling via the island’s present capital of Nicosia. Here we see the magnificently well-preserved Venetian city walls, the charming streets of the Old Quarter and we visit the fabulous Cyprus Archaeology Museum, full of stunning artefacts from Cyprus’s internationally important prehistoric and ancient past. There will be time to stroll through the vibrant city centre and choose a place for lunch before we cross through the ‘Green Line’ into North Cyprus and complete the short drive to our hotel in Kyrenia for 3 nights half-board accommodation. Your tour director will offer another illustrated talk this evening.
Day 6: St Hilarion Castle, Bellapais Abbey & Kyrenia Castle.
Kyrenia has a delightful setting on the north coast, nestling around its old harbour and castle. We start with the town’s hinterland, where the impressive ‘Five Finger’ mountain range offers two spectacular Medieval sites; the precariously-perched St Hilarion Castle, once home to the Crusader kings of the island, and the beautiful Bellapais Abbey, a Gothic treasure in a peaceful village. Both sites offer tremendous views of the north coast. We return to Kyrenia to enjoy the lunch restaurants around the lovely crescent-shaped harbour and time to explore the town. We include a visit to Kyrenia’s most important historic landmark – it’s castle, protecting the harbour with its mighty walls.
Day 7: Salamis & Famagusta.
A final chance to see some more of the treasures of Cyprus. The ancient city of Salamis was founded as far back as the Trojan Wars in the 12th century BC and became one of the largest and most powerful of the island’s city kingdoms. Abandoned in the 7th century AD and engulfed by sand, the ancient city is now a vast and picturesque archaeological site with its impressive Roman theatre, baths and palaestra so far unearthed. In nearby Famagusta, the great Venetian fortifications and a fine array of Gothic churches are interwoven with the present Turkish culture as a living testament to the ‘East meets West’ heritage of Cyprus.
Day 8: Departure.
You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your flight home, or why not stay longer and make the most of your time in Cyprus – feel free to ask us for information and ideas.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change or re-ordering according to the weather or other circumstances beyond our control
Botticelli's Birth of Venus Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" In recognition of the charms of Cyprus, the ancient Greeks placed here the birth of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, and this island has enjoyed a history of affairs with both Asia and Europe. Its location made it a stepping stone between east and west; initially as a link amid ancient networks of commerce and trade, then maturing into a strategic foothold for rival foreign powers.
For an informative account of the tour by a customer who went on it in March 2016 click here.
Map & Virtual Tour
Click on the Play button for a Virtual Tour. Click on the text and photo boxes as they appear for more about each site. Use ‘Full Screen’ or ‘Details’ to see all the text and images. The number sequence follows the planned itinerary.
We have picked two great places to stay in Cyprus; one in the south at Limassol, and one in the north at Kyrenia. Both are perfectly placed for our itinerary, and are also great locations in their own right. At each we have chosen the following hotels, although please note that we sometimes have to change hotels for reasons beyond our control. We will always choose hotels of a similar standard, designed to give you a little luxury and leisure alongside your cultural enrichment:
We usually stay in one of two main hotels here:
The Atlantica Miramare Hotel,
Tel: +357 25 888 100.
This hotel is beautifully located right on the beach overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and yet just 3km from the attractive old town centre of Limassol. It has excellent, modern standards and facilities with two restaurants, panoramic terraces, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The 280 rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished with either two single beds or a double bed, air-conditioning & heating, hair-dryer, mini bar, internet connection, flat screen TV, balcony and sea or inland view.
The Ajax Hotel
Georgiou Neophytou & D. Nicolaou Street,
PO Box 56988, 3311 Limassol, Cyprus.
Tel: +357 25590000
Email: via website form
This hotel enjoys a convenient location in the heart of Limassol, within easy reach of the town’s attractions and a 10 minute stroll from the seafront promenade. It is proud of its reputation for excellent service in a relaxed, dignified setting. The main restaurant, bar and terrace overlook the hotel’s gardens and outdoor pool, where the Poseidon Snack and Pool Bar is also available. Its 170 rooms are comfortably and elegantly furnished with a balcony, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, minibar, tea/coffee facilities, telephone, TV and desk. The hotel also offers a heated indoor pool, gym, health centre, hair salon and business centre.
We usually stay in one of two hotels here:
The Dome Hotel,
Kordonboyu Street, Girne, Mersin 10, KKTC/Turkey
The Dome Hotel has an ideal location on the seafront, just a 5 minute stroll from Kyrenia’s picturesque harbour. It is the most established and best known hotel in northern Cyprus, built when the island was a British Crown Colony. It is very much part of the town’s heritage and has been steadily and thoughtfully refurbished to combine historic charm with modern facilities. It has 160 rooms, two restaurants with sea-views, a large sun terrace with three swimming pools, a traditional cafe and a cocktail bar that has been well-known since the 1930’s.
The Pia Bella Hotel,
Iskenderun Caddesi No:14, Girne, Mersin 10, KKTC/Turkey
Tel: +90 392 650 5000
Set amid spacious, tranquil gardens this hotel is just 15 minutes walk from the historic centre of Kyrenia. It has a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere and is tastefully decorated throughout. There are two outdoor swimming pools, garden bar, terrace and mezzanine, and the main restaurant provides a plentiful and varied buffet. All Hidden History guests are given superior rooms with air-conditioning and heating, tea & coffee making facilities, hair-dryer, mini bar, satellite TV and balcony with pool or mountain views.
Flexibility: Rather than reserving group seats for a particular flight, we keep your flight options open to give you greater choice of price, departure airport, airline, flight times, cabin class, use of air miles etc. Once we have confirmed availability of the tour, you can choose either to book your flights with us, or to make your own travel arrangements. Before booking any flights of your own please ensure we have confirmed availability of the tour, as our tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers of participants.
Larnaca or Paphos? South Cyprus has two international airports, Larnaca and Paphos. For ease of transfer in Cyprus we recommend using Larnaca airport for the homeward flight on the last day of the tour, whereas either can be used for the outward flight. Please enquire before making any flight arrangements.
Which Airline?: A wide choice of scheduled, charter and low-cost airlines regularly fly direct to Cyprus from a large number of UK airports, enabling various options. Please enquire for details.
Fares: Ask us for a quote. Use the enquiries/reservation form or call us on 0121 444 1854.
ATOL Protection: If you book your flights with us you will be ATOL protected, which means that you will not lose your money or be stranded abroad if things go wrong. If you book your own flights they may not be ATOL protected, even if you book direct with the airline or through an online search facility.