Introduction to Limassol
Limassol is the chief port of the Republic of Cyprus.
A holiday resort with an excellent family reputation, Limassol has some great beaches and lots of tavernas, cafés and restaurants. But there’s plenty else to see and do here. Limassol Castle was built in 1228 by Frederick II of Germany, but largely rebuilt by the Ottoman rulers during the 19th century. It now houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum. The Limassol Archaeological Museum has many fascinating objects from the island’s history, expecially from the Ottoman period.
Further afield, the Amathus site, about 11km east of the city, has the ruins of a Temple of Aphrodite and tombs from the early Iron Age era. In the other direction is the village of Kolossi; the splendid castle overlooks vineyards where the Cypriot Commandaria wine is produced.
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Explore Limassol with Fred. Olsen
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- Experience the contrast between the north and south of Cyprus
- Learn about the effects the civil war has had on the divided capital
- Take in the history and culture Nicosia
The modern city of Nicosia developed around the Old Town, which is enclosed by the 16th century Venetian walls. Nicosia is still divided following the Turkish intervention and the breakout of the civil war between the Greek and the Turkish - you will visit both sides to see the differences between the two areas.
From Limassol you will embark on a scenic drive across the east part of town heading towards Nicosia - the capital of Cyprus. Your tour will begin within the south, Greek side, of Nicosia with a visit to the archaeological museum; one of the oldest and largest museums in Cyprus. The museum is home to a priceless and fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities and art treasures, including jewellery from the Neolithic age to the early Byzantine period. Among the most impressive exhibits are the bronze statue of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the Sleeping Eros and Aphrodite.
You will continue within the walls of the Old Town and visit Archbishop Palace Square, where the Archbishops residence is located. Also within the Old Town you will see St John’s Cathedral. A stop will be made to visit the church which dates back to 1660. The church has an impressive wooden iconostasis and murals of the 18th century.
Re-join your coach for a short drive to Laiki Yitonia - Old Nicosia, to embark on a walking tour to the restored pedestrian area within the walled city, opposite the Nicosia Municipality. Charming winding alleys with traditional houses and shops, restaurants and galleries; all lovingly restored as typical examples of urban Cypriot architecture of a bygone era. Here you will have time at leisure to perhaps wander around the many souvenir shops.
Continuing on fot you will cross the buffer zone (the Green Line) which is the crossing point to the Turkish side of Nicosia - the North side. Your first stop will be at St Sophia Cathedral. This gothic cathedral was built over the byzantine church in the 12th century during the catholic occupation of the island. It is a fine example of the Gothic architecture of the time and gives an excellent example of how places of worship have changed with the occupants of the island.
To conclude your tour you will go to Buyuk Han, also known as the Great Inn. Built in 1572 by Mustafa Pasha it is a caravanserai for traders - an original motel for travelling salesmen. The faciltity was large enough to take a well-laden camel! There are two storeys of apartments with fireplaces to provide warmth and comfort, and in the centre of the courtyard is a small raised mosque with an ablution facility beneath. There would have been camel stables nearby, but no trace remains today - currently the building is used as an arts and crafts retail centre, houses and shops.
This insightful tour is bound to last long in the memory, as you have the chance to explore this unique capital city.
THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour requires a moderate level of walking, and is therefore not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. All participants must have their passports with them, as they will be crossing the green line at the border. You will have approximately 40 minutes of free time on the Cypriot side of Nicosia. Please note that public toilets are only available at Archbishops Square and in Old Nicosia.
- Appreciate one of the most charming villages in Cyprus
- Take in the beautiful aromas of the olive trees
- Take a step back in time as you wander the cobbled streets of Omodos
This relaxing tour will take you to one of the most picturesque villages in Cyprus, and enable you to see a part of the island’s agricultural countryside where forests give way to extensive vineyards.
By coach you pass through the village of Zakaki and the Phassouri plantations, with their citrus and avocado groves, and travel past Kolossi Castle. You will then continue uphill amid carob and olive trees through to a low pine forest, before continuing onto the vineyards of Omodos. The vineyards of Cyprus have produced wines for many years due to the rich and fruitful surrounding countryside.
Omodos village is situated at the foothills of the Troodos Mountain range, nestled in a quiet valley. As you walk through the narrow cobblestone streets and square, surrounded by picturesque white-painted houses, you are sure to feel an atmosphere of days long gone, that time has left untouched. You will see an old ‘Linos’ wine press, and visit the church of the Holy Cross. It is said that within the silver cross here there is a piece of the cross of the crucifixion of Jesus, donated by St Helen. There is also a fine iconostasi (icon alter) to admire.
Time permitting you should have free time to browse the local village shops that sell handicrafts, glassware and wine.
The final stop before heading back to your ship will be at a local taverna, where you can taste haloumi cheese and sample the local wine for which the Omodos region is famous.
THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately 45 minutes of walking involved in this tour, which is mainly at the guests discretion. We do not recommend this tour for wheelchair users due to steps and cobbled ground. Conservative clothing should be worn to visit the church; knees and shoulders must be covered (i.e. no vests or shorts).
- Admire the ancient mosaics that portray Mythological scenes
- Uncover the history behind the Paphos Mosaics
- Enjoy some time at leisure to discover the Paphos promenade
Paphos is the ancient capital of Cyprus and said to be the land of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. On leaving the port, you will drive though impressive countryside of low hills, carob and olive trees and vineyards. Reach the Stone of Romios where according to legend, the Goddess Aphrodite arose from the sea. You have a photo opportunity here, and then continue on to Paphos.
Your tour takes you via the picturesque coastal road to Paphos. Named by excavators as ‘the Villa of Theseus’ and ‘the House of Dionysus’, the Roman villas are where the magnificent ancient mosaics were uncovered. The mosaics are astonishingly well preserved, mainly depicting mythological scenes. A trip is made next door to the House of Aion, which houses vivid colour mosaics of the fourth century, which are a delight to behold.
As your tour draws to an end, you can have some time at leisure to explore the Paphos promenade independently, where you will be able to browse the shops, or relax in a café and enjoy the impressive sights overlooking the harbour. The coach then transfers you back to your awaiting ship.
This Tour Description is Correct For 2017
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There will be a moderate amount of walking during this tour, which is mainly at the individual discretion of the individual. There is a walk of approximately 200 metres (650 feet) from the car park to the mosaic area; this is to prevent pollution at the site. There are ten steps or a ramp to enter the Paphos mosaic viewing area. This tour is not recommended for wheelchair users. For reference, the journey time from Limassol to Paphos is approximately one hour; the majority of the driving will be along the highway.
There is no better way to enjoy the essence of Cyprus than in the Troodos Mountains.
This tour covers some of the best scenery of the Greek section of the island. One of the two mountain formations of the island, the Troodos Mountains are the larger and more extensive, lying on the western half of Cyprus.
Our tour will take us through Limossol, a busy town that combines modern, commercial activities and tourism with the ancient spirit of the island. From the seaside the road rises amongst pine and plane trees on our way to Troodos, the highest continually inhabited place in Cyprus. These tranquil pine scented mountains are both a popular summer and winter resort. As the road climbs we will pass subtropical Carob trees, which produce the Carob bean used for cattle and cosmetics, then apple, pear and cherry orchids until the pine forest and mountain area take over.
A short stop will be made in Troodos Square, where we may do a little shopping or stroll at leisure, enjoying the invigorating fresh air.
After Troodos we will continue our tour by passing outside Platres, a summer resort, before making a visit to Omodos wine making village. Free time here will also allow us to explore by ourselves. At Omodos we will have the chance to taste the local wine.
TOUR NOTES: The majority of walking on this tour is during the periods of free time and is therefore at the discretion of the individual. Cobblestone streets and slight inclines will be encountered at Omodos village, which unfortunately is not suitable for wheelchair users (it is not possible to remain on the coach during this stop). Guests on this tour are advised to bring a jacket or jumper with them, as the temperature in Troodos can be cooler than on the coast.
DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2011 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN SEASON.
Departing the quayside, we drive across the eastern part of Limassol town and onto the motorway towards Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.
Also the largest city in Cyprus, Nicosia lies roughly in the centre of the island, and has a rich history that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. The modern city developed around the old town, which is enclosed by the impressive 16th century Venetian walls.
Upon arrival here, we visit the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, located just outside the walled city, opposite the Municipal Gardens and Theatre. The museum contains a priceless collection of Cypriot antiquities and art treasures, including jewellery, dating from the Neolithic Age to the early Byzantine period. Among the most important exhibits are the impressive bronze statue of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the Sleeping Eros and Aphrodite.
Next we continue to Archbishopric Palace Square, where the Archbishop’s residence, St John’s Cathedral and museums are found. We shall visit the Cathedral, which dates back to 1660. The church has an impressive wooden iconostasi, and features frescoes from the 18th century, which illustrate important moments in Cypriot religious history.
From here we proceed to Laiki Yitonia, a restored pedestrianised area within the walled city. Here we can find charming winding alleys with traditional houses and shops, restaurants and galleries, which have all been restored as typical examples of Cypriot urban architecture of a bygone era. At Laiki Yitonia we can enjoy refreshments before we have 30 minutes of free time to stroll at leisure or browse the local shops.
Following our visit, we re-board our tour coach for the return journey to the Limassol and our awaiting ship.
TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, and a few steps to negotiate. Unfortunately it is not suitable for wheelchair users. There will be approximately 30 minutes of free time at Laiki Yitonia, where walking is at the discretion of the individual. For reference, refreshments consist of pitta bread with grilled halloumi cheese and a soft drink. Please note that the drive from the quayside to Nicosia takes approximately one hour each way along the motorway – a comfort stop will NOT be made en route. Religious practice requires passengers to dress conservatively when entering the cathedral (i.e. no vests or shorts).
DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2010 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN CRUISES
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