Cyprus: 10,000 years of history and civilization

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. A small country with a tumultuous history, Cyprus has a rich cultural heritage, as evidenced by the vast number of ancient monuments, archeological sites, castles and forts around the island. Cyprus is also the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, beauty and fertility.

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Spouse/Guest Tour - September 21, 2004
All Day Tour

The trip will cover a visit to the mountain range of Troodos with its idyllic forests that offer cool sanctuary in the summer and opportunities for sports in the winter. Idyllic mountain resorts, resplendent Byzantine monasteries and churches, and picturesque mountain villages that cling to terraced hill slopes make up the splendor of Troodos.

Our first visit will be to Kykkos Monastery, the most famous (and wealthiest) monastery in Cyprus. Founded in 1100 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it possesses one of the three surviving icons ascribed to Saint Luke. Kykkos Monastery has its own museum as well as an important collection of consecrated vessels and Cypriot antiquities.

Next we will visit the village of Galata, where there are four painted churches in dating back to the early 16th century. The churches are Agios Sozomenos, built in a post-Byzantine style; the church of Archangelos Michael or Panagia Theotokos, a timbered-roofed chapel completely painted in the post-Byzantine style, the church of Panagia Podithou, erected in 1502, which houses paintings are of the Italo-Byzantine style Agia Paraskevi, built in 1514.

Later on, we will rest in a cafe in Troodos square. On our way back to Limassol we will visit Fini, a small village famous for its pottery and its loukoumi sweet. In Fini, those who wish can visit the Pilavakeion private pottery collection.

Price per person : $20.00.
Minimum number of people 30.

Larnaka - Lefkara

Spouse/Guest Tour - September 22, 2004
All Day Tour

Larnaka, a town with an easy-going pace, has strong links to the past. Our first stop will be in the heart of Larnaka, where we will view remains of the ancient city-kingdom of Kition, whose architectural remains date back to the 13th century BC. The city was rebuilt in about 1200 BC by the Mycenean Greeks. We will also visit the mosque of Hala Sultan Tekesi, built in 1816 over the tomb of Umm Haram, a relative of Prophet Mohammed who died on this spot in 649 during the Arab raids. We will then visit Angeloktisti Church, an 11th century Byzantine church. The church, known as one of the finest pieces of Byzantine art, houses a rare 6th century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child between two archangels.

On our way back to Limassol we will visit Chirocitia, an ancient site included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage official list. Chirocitia, which is near is a Neolithic settlement, is in a better state of preservation than most other churches from this period. Second stop on our way back to Limassol will be Lefkara, one of the most picturesque villages of Cyprus, which is famous for its handmade lace, known as "Lefkaritika". At the village we will visit the beautiful House of Patsalos, housing a lace and silver museum.

Price per person: $22.00.
Minimum people 30.

Limassol, Paphos

Optional Conference Tour - September 23, 2004
Half-day Tour

Limassol stretches along the south coast. Proud of the hospitality of its people, its archaelogical sites, its mediaeval castles and its Carnival and Wine festivals, Limassol is the island's most important tourist and wine industry centre.

The trip will start with a visit to Kolossi Castle, a fine example of military architecture, originally constructed in the 13th century and subsequently rebuilt in its present form in the middle of 15th century. We will then continue by visiting Kourion, an important ancient city-kingdom and one of the most spectacular archaelogical sites on the island. Paphos, the third destination, is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world heritage. The majestic landscape of Paphos is the place where the Aphrodite the beauty-goddess emerged from the sea thousands years ago. In Paphos we will visit the famous mosaic floors dating from the 3rd to the 5th century AD. These unique mosaic floors depict primarily scenes from Greek mythology. Our tour will finish with a visit to Petra tou Romiou-Birthplace of Aphrodite. According to legend, Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty, rose from the waves in this majestic spot.

Price per person: $25.00.
Minimum number: 30 persons.

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Last modified: Aug 17, 2004, 11:11 EDT
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