Cyprus Pilgrimage tour Day 1:
Salamis – St Barnabas – Famagusta
Arrive any airport, in Cyprus as early as possible before midday to be in Larnaca area.
Begin today with Famagusta on the Eastern Coast. The old city is surrounded by one of the best-preserved Venetian fortifications in the eastern Mediterranean. The city was important during the Lusignan period on the Island. King Guy de Lusignan built 365 churches, one for each day of the year. Most of the churches and renaissance buildings are in ruins bearing the scars of the Ottoman siege of 1571. View the citadel, also known as Othello’s Tower. A stone stage in the central courtyard was used until recently for performances of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” and Martinengo bastion, City walls & Palace. Other churches to visit in this area are Nestorian Church (of St George the Exiler), the Twin Churches (of Templars and Hospitallers). The larger of the two churches built in the 14th century belonged to the Knights Templars. Visit the cathedral of St. Nicholas /Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque is the largest medieval building in Famagusta and was commenced in 1300 AD. Other churches are St George Greek church and St Peter & St Paul church /Sinan Pasa Mosque. Continue to the archaeological site of ancient Salamis, the birthplace of St Barnabas. When St Paul & St Barnabas came to Cyprus in 45 AD accompanied by Mark, they had travelled from Antioch to Silesia and from there by ship to Cyprus, arriving at Salamis, the largest port on the island at the time. (Acts 13.5) Visit the impressive Greco Roman monuments excavated here. Its huge necropolis of Royal tombs features burial customs like those described by Homer. Explore the Roman city with its elegant colonnade, hypocaust, mosaics & monuments. Visit the monastery of St Barnabas, founded on the site of the apostle Barnabas, and is a reminder of the important role Cyprus played in the history of Christianity in the Mediterranean. Barnabas was born in Salamis and joined the apostle Paul to spread the Gospel through Cyprus and Asia Minor. St Barnabas Church houses artifacts from the Bronze Age site of Enkomi of Salamis. It is thought that the apostle is buried in the tombs underneath the church.
Transfer to hotel in Larnaca. Check in to your hotel.
Cyprus pilgrimage tour Day 2:
Paphos & St. Neophytos Monastery
Visit Pafos on the west coast and discover the remarkable history of Pafos town which UNESCO awarded the coveted title ‘World Heritage Site’. Paul and Barnabas headed west to Paphos, passed Amathus and then Kourion, both cities perched high on cliffs.
Stop to view Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock) it is here where according to the legend that the goddess of love & beauty was born. View the amazing landscape of the area combining sea and mountains.
Pass by Ayia Solomoni church home to 12th century Christian catacombs, to the archaeological sites from the Neolithic period. Visit the archaeological park. See the Roman Villas with their extensive floor mosaics are of particular interest with new ones still being excavated since it is widely believed that there are many treasures still to be discovered. Admire a series of beautifully preserved mosaics depicting scenes from Greek Mythology such as the “House of Dionysos” (the god of wine) is one of the largest and best known of the mosaic houses. The “House of Theseus” (Thesesus killing the Minotaur) is another Roman house of which an earlier version of it may very well have been the residence of Sergius Paulus, the proconsul (Roman governor of Cyprus), who is mentioned in Acts 13:4–12, and who was converted to Christianity by St Paul. This palace has been under excavation by a Polish team since 1966. Visit the fascinating site of St Paul’s Pillar, once home to one of Paphos largest religious structures. What remains are the foundations of a 4th Century Christian Basilica, demonstrating the size and magnificence of the original church and one of the largest on the Island. Destroyed during Arab raids in 653, several marble columns remain from the
colonnades and others are scattered around the site. St. Paul’s Pillar, is where, Saint Paul was flogged before the Roman Governor Sergius Paulus who later converted to Christianity. The Apostles managed to convert the Roman Proconsul who embraced the
Christian faith thereby making Cyprus the first country in the world to be governed by a Christian. A small church of Ayia Kyriaki on the site is now used for Anglican, Lutheran and Greek Orthodox services.
We journey to the hills above Paphos to visit the Byzantine Monastery of Ayios Neophytos where we view the cave that St Neophytos excavated in a peaceful corner of this beautiful, dramatic landscape in the 12th century. The hermit’s cave, called the ‘Enkleistra’, is decorated with some of the finest examples of Byzantine wall paintings, dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The monastery that developed around the cave now houses an excellent ecclesiastical museum.
Visit the harbour area with its small castle in the distance.
Return to hotel in Larnaca.
Cyprus Pilgrimage tour Day 3:
Free at Leisure until time for departure.
Time permitting you can visit Saint Lazarus church. As the hotel is in Larnaca, you may easily visit the Church of St Lazarus on foot as very close by. There are also many eateries in the area for lunch or snacks.
St Lazarus Church:
Visit the magnificent church of St Lazarus, built by Emperor Leo Vl, in the 9th century. Restoration was carried out in the 17th century and is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture. Lazarus of Bethany whom Jesus Christ resurrected four days after his death came by boat to Cyprus and landed in Kition where he met the Apostles Paul and Barnabas. He lived on the Island for another thirty years. He was buried under the sanctuary in a hidden tomb. Walk along the Finikoudes Promenade the famous palm tree lined seafront with the medieval castle standing in the water’s edge.
Prices on request
Please contact us for a tailor made price.
Cyprus Tours – Archaeological – Cultural – Private – licensed Guided – tailor made tours by Chronos Travel Cyprus