Cyprus: Where East Meets West

July 15 - 25, 2016

Connie Rodriguez, PhD, Loyola University New Orleans

The island of Cyprus at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has a rich and varied archaeological heritage reflecting its unique position as a crossroads for some of the great civilizations of the world.  The cultures that developed on Cyprus through time quickly formed the unique cultural identities that so often occur on islands when there is a barrier to communication. They found their own path as they were shaped by the geology, geography, flora, fauna and simply 'Cyprusness' of their surroundings. During prehistory the island was influenced by the Pharaohs of Egypt to the south, the Mesopotamian kingdoms to the east, the Hittite empire to the north and the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the west.   Colonized by the Phoenicians, and ruled by the Assyrians, Greeks and Romans – every major civilization of the ancient world recognized and exploited the strategic location of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.  Its importance continued to be recognized during the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Under the 1878 Cyprus Convention, the Ottoman Turks handed over the administration of the island to Britain.  The island became an independent Republic in 1960.  On 15 July 1974, the ruling military junta of Greece staged a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government of Cyprus. On 20 July, Turkey invaded Cyprus, allegedly to restore constitutional order.  It seized about 36.2 percent of the territory of the island in the north, an act universally condemned as a gross infringement of international law and the UN Charter, resulting in the island being divided (the Green Line) between the Cypriot Greeks in the west and Cypriot Turks in the east.  Successive rounds of UN-sponsored talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities since 1974 to resolve the Cyprus problem and reunite the country have been so far fruitless.

The home of three UNESCO World Heritage sites, Cyprus has a heritage that reflects and preserves all the civilizations landing on its shores and made the island something truly unique and distinctive.

Our journey around the island will explore this rich heritage from the earliest settlements (Souskiou, Khirokitia, Tenta) through the Bronze Age (Kouklia) and subsequent periods (see the itinerary) into modern times and the controversy that has led to Cyprus being a divided island.

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July 14

Arrive Cyprus
Transfer to Larnaca
Overnight Larnaca

July 15

Old Turkish Fort
Pierides Collection
Archaeoogical Museum
Lunch Larnaca
Kition – Bronze Age
Hale Sultan Tekke -- This is the Tomb and Mosque of Umm Haram, the maternal aunt of the Prophet Mohammed, and one of the most important Muslim shrines in the world.
Overnight Larnaca

July 16

Cross the Green Line into Turkish Cyprus
Salamis – Archaic/Classical
Enkomi – Middle Bronze Age
Monastery of St. Barnabas, patron saint of Cyprus
Famagusta -- Medieval
Lunch Famagusta
Overnight Larnaca

July 17

Khirokitia – Neolithic (UNESCO site)
Kalavassos (Tenta) -- Neolithic
Amathus  -- Early Iron Age
Limassol Archaeological Museum
Lunch Limassol or Amathus
Overnight Limassol

July 18

Kourion – Hellenistic/Roman/Christian
Sanctuary of Apollo
Lunch on Kourion beach
Kolossi Castle – Crusader period (13th century)
Limassol Castle -- Ottoman
Overnight Limassol

July 19

Agios Nicolaos tis Stegis – painted church (UNESCO site)
Kakopetria (Medieval architecture)
Mt. Troodos  -- Geological history of the island
Lunch on Troodos
Forest Park Hotel, Platres Platres has been a popular hill resort since the British took control of the island of Cyprus in 1878. Over the years, Platres gained a reputation as the destination of choice for many notable people, including King Farouk of Egypt, for whom the brandy sour, a drink intimately associated with Cypriot cuisine, was developed during the late 1930s, at the Forest Park Hotel. This hotel is also known as the location at which British writer Daphne du Maurier composed the majority of her acclaimed novel Rebecca.
Overnight Limassol

July 20

Petra tou Roumiou – Birthplace of Aphrodite
Sotira/Khaminoudia -- Chalcolithic
Souskiou – 3rd-4th millennium BCE
Kouklia -- Chalcolithic/Bronze age
Lunch in Kouklia or Pissouri
Lemba -- Chalcolithic
Overnight Paphos

July 21

Nea Paphos – Hellenistic/Roman (UNESCO site)
Tombs of the Kings – Hellenistic (UNESCO site)
Paphos Castle – Byzantine
Paphos Museum
Overnight Paphos

July 22

Nicosia – walking tour of old city
The walled city of Nicosia has much to offer.  The moat of the city now contains gardens and recreation areas. The House of the Dragoman on Patriarch Gregorios Street is a fine example of urban Ottoman architecture that is open to visitors. Our walk will pass through the Green Line to visit the northern side.
Archaeological Museum
Byzantine and Folk Art Museums
Overnight Nicosia

July 23

Cross the Green Line into Turkish Cyprus
Kyrenia Museum – Kyrenia shipwreck (4th cent. BCE)
Lunch Kyrenia
Bellapais Abbey – 13th cent.
Overnight Nicosia

July 24

Depart for US

Price: $2,068.  Single Supplement $333.

Price Includes:

  • Meet and Assist by Homeric Tours representative
  • All transfers
  • Air conditioned motor coach with English speaking guide to assist Dr. Rodriguez
  • Accommodations in Double room:
    • Larnaca -- Amorgos Boutique Hotel (or similar) -- 3 nights
    • Limassol -- Navarria Hotel (or similar) -- 3 nights
    • Paphos -- Kissos Hotel (or similar) -- 2 nights
    • Nicosia -- Centrum Hotel (or similar) -- 2 nights
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Porterage of one (1) suitcase per person at the hotels
  • Sightseeing tours as per itinerary
  • Fees to sites and museums as per itinerary
  • 24 hour emergency hotline
  • USTOA One (1) million dollar Consumer Protection Plan at no additional cost
  • ADDED VALUE:  keepsake DVD of group's digital photos at no additional cost

Not Included:

  • Airfare to and from Cyprus (Larnaca Airport)
  • Tips for driver(s)
  • Lunches and Dinners