Agios Mamas Church At Agios Sozomenos

This is the somewhat forgotten site of the 16th-century Gothic church of Agios Mamas, whose arches were never finished in the first place it's like an exercise in nonstart-ers. Perhaps that's why the beautiful arches have a sense of nostalgia about them. The church was built in retrograde Lusignan style and, although the site is locked and cannot be entered, the arches, the nave, and two aisles can be easily seen and admired. The isolated ruins are in the deserted mud-village of Agios...

Old City

Dining in the Old City is centred on two main areas with a sprinkling of low-frills, cheap eateries scattered in between. Laiki Yitonia Tziellari ( 2243 1099 Korai 24 meze per person CY 10 S dinner) You won't have to look hard to find this place. All you have to do is open your ears as you get to the murky night-time Plateia Achiepiskopou Kyprianou, then follow the sound of the bouzouki down a dark alley and push the heavy doors into Tziellari. There is such a distinct atmosphere in this...

Morfou Guzelyurt Mopooy

The quiet and generally uneventful town of Morfou (known as Guzelyurt by Turkish Cypriots) was once the centre for Cyprus' lucrative citrus industry. Sunzest, the company owned by renegade and runaway Cypriot businessman, Asil Nadir, used to produce vast quantities of orange juice for the export market. The factory now languishes in receivership, and the potentially lucrative citrus industry has taken a severe downturn. This is bittersweet news to the Greek Cypriots, who were particularly...

Lifestyle

The Cypriot standard of living has rocketed in the last five to ten years, and particularly so in the Republic. Years of tourist interest have resulted in lucrative land sales, development opportunities and a general rise in wealth. Compared to the Cyprus of the 1950s when most people immigrated to the West to try and earn a living, this wealth has given the country a standard of living that matches most European countries, and, frankly, exceeds some too. In fact, Cyprus has the third-highest...

Alcoholic Drinks

Drinking alcohol in the dedicated pub sense - as in the UK or Australia, for example - is generally unknown in Cyprus. Alcohol is normally taken with food or at least meze. Local beer comes in two brands Cypriot-made KEO, and Danish-inspired but Cypriot-brewed Carlsberg. Other beers, while available, are normally more expensive. In the North you will commonly find Efes or Gold Fassl beer. While they are nominally Muslims, many Turkish Cypriots either drink alcohol or are quite happy to let...

St Hilarion Castle Aim Iaapin

The outline of the almost magical, fairytale remains of St Hilari n Castle ( 0533 161 276 admission 6YTL S 9am-4.45pm) will not become apparent until you are directly beneath it, so blended is the structure with the cliffside. The castle (kalesi in Turkish) has just enough hidden rooms, tunnels, overgrown gardens and steep staircases and paths to leave parents gasping for breath and the children asking for more. Rumour has it that Walt Disney drew inspiration from the jagged contours of St...

Necropolis Of Salamis

Commonly known as the Royal Tombs (Salamis Mezarlik Alani 378 8331 admission 5YTL S 9am-7pm), these are a scattering of 150 graves spread out over a wide area. This historic cemetery, dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries BC, confirms the account of Mycenaean tombs described by Homer in The Iliad. Kings and various other nobles were buried with all their favourite worldly goods, food and drink, even their favourite slaves, in order to make their afterlife a little easier. In one particularly...

Kyrenia Girne the North Coast

As Northern Cyprus is being touted as 'pure Mediterranean' in tourist brochures, images of Kyrenia (Girne) harbour and castle are flooding the advertising spaces on Europe's urban buses and billboards. So potent is the romantic appeal of Kyrenia's harbour that it ranks as Cyprus' most beautiful vista. And although it's now commercialised and in reality not so romantic, the harbour is the centre of most tourist activity in the North, and the Gothic Kyrenia mountain range and the north coast have...

Cinema

In Cyprus, cinema is a relatively recent phenomenon - hardly surprising given the turbulent and disruptive nature of recent Cypriot history. At the end of the 1940s, the British colonial government started to train Cypriot film makers in the Colonial Film LTnit. With the impetus created by the arrival of TV in 1957, the first home-grown cinema productions began. These were mainly documentaries, and the first independent production was entitled Roots. The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation...

Festivals Events

Most major coastal towns hold an annual Kataklysmos Festival in June each year, usu ally about 50 days after Orthodox Easter, but the festival holds special significance for Larnaka. Kataklysmos means 'deluge' in Greek, and is ostensibly a feast to celebrate the salvation of Noah from the Flood, but is often an excuse for people to throw water at one another and generally have fun. In Larnaka, Finikoudes is given over to a nightly bazaar of stall holders selling snacks and trinkets,...

Monastery Of Apostolos Andreas

Twice a year, on 15 August and 30 November, coachloads of Greek Cypriots make the long trek to this monastery (admission free but donations accepted S noset opening hours), near the tip of the Karpas Peninsula. Over the last 30 years, these were the only times when the Turkish Cypriot authorities allowed large numbers of Greeks to their side of the island, but nowadays, with eased border crossings, visiting is fairly straightforward. Nevertheless, the visit is undertaken with great fanfare and...

Mesaria Villages

Renting a car and driving around the Me-saoria is a good way to see the area's villages, but keep in mind that roads tend to fan out haphazardly along roughly defined valleys and ravines, and cross from one valley to another. The journey can therefore be slow as the roads are narrow and winding. So-called 'safari' tours often take travellers to see some of the villages of the Mesaoria as part of a wider tour around Cyprus. One of the more popular villages is Pera (population 1020), a couple of...

Laiki Yitonia

Laiki Yitonia, meaning 'popular neighbourhood', was restored after it served for many years as an area for painted ladies and dodgy merchants. This tiny southern part of the Old City is Lefkosia's only tourist area. This means that it's crammed with bad restaurants with tacky water features, where waiters try to lure you in with cheesy greetings, and the food is often overpriced. However, it's Despite the fact that crossing into the North is now easy and some of the 'mystery of the other side'...

Icon Museum Of Skele

If you're heading up to Kantara Castle or cutting across the northern Mesarya plain back to North Nicosia from Bogaz, you can easily make a brief stop at the little crossroads village of Iskele (Trikomo), birthplace of Greek EOKA leader Georgos Grivas. Here is the Panagia Theotokou, which has been converted into an icon museum (iskele ikon Muzesl admission 4YTL S 9am-7pm) with a small collection of 12th-century to 15th-century wall paintings and more recent icons from the 1950s and 1960s. The...

Cyprus Today

The Greek Cypriots quickly regrouped and put their energies into rebuilding their shattered nation. Within a few years the economy was on the mend, and the Republic of Cyprus continues to enjoy international recognition as the sole legitimate representative of Cyprus. The economy is booming the Cyprus Stock Exchange opened in mid-1999 and initially absorbed vast amounts of private funds. Later, the stock exchange took a nose dive and many Cypriots lost huge amounts of money. Tourism is...

Omeriye Hammam

Switch off your mobile, put your shower cap on, and strip down to your birthday suit for a lovely, relaxing Turkish bath at Omeriye Hammam (Omeriye Hamam Plateia Tyllirias admission & Turkish bath CY 10, traditional body peeling CY 6, massage CY 12-25 S 9am-9pm, men only Tue, Thu, Sat, women only Wed, Frl,Sun,toursMon11am-5pm). This building was recently restored and sports a luxurious, stylish design. The domed reception has an enormous chandelier hanging over the circular bar area, while...

Kyrenia Girne

Backed by its wide-bellied sand-coloured castle, Kyrenia's crescent-shaped harbour is like a sacred image among Cypriots. Promoted and praised by the Turkish Cypriots, and remembered in wistful songs and poems by Greek Cypriots, this small town is the centre of the North's tourism and home to the biggest British expat settlement on the island, with its own church and community centre. Perhaps Kyrenia is 'sold' too well to tourists. They are led to believe that the place will look the same as it...

Useful Phrases

Exete to t vou era ayyMa I'd like To Aoyapiaoito, napaKaiui). I'm a vegetarian. Eipai xopTotpayoi. I don't eat meat or dairy products. & ipuoo Kp a( ii Y< AaKT0K0 tiKd npoiovra. e-he-te to me-nustang-gli-fa tha the-la to lo ghar ya-zmo, pa ra ka-lo ' me khor-to-fc-ghos dhen fro-o kre-as i ghalaktokomi ro proio 7-da If you're a vegetarian and you love Greek cuisine, try out Diane Kochikas' Greek Vegetarian Encyclopaedia for a meatless menu. I'd like the menu (in English), please....

National Parks Reserves

The previously neglected topic of the island's national parks is now receiving some serious attention. In the South, the areas under study for inclusion as national parks include the Akamas Peninsula, the Akrotiri In order to get the best out of flower spotting, enthusiasts will need to spend plenty of time trekking and searching carefully, since many species are limited to small geographical areas, sometimes to only a few hundred square metres. So arm yourselves with patience and good...

Jellyfish Sea Urchins Weever Fish

Avoid contact with jellyfish, which have stinging tentacles. Stings from jellyfish in Cyprus can be very painful, but are not dangerous. Dousing in vinegar will deactivate any stingers that have not 'fired'. Calamine lotion, antihistamines and analgesics may reduce the reaction and relieve the pain. Watch out for sea urchins around rocky beaches if you get sea-urchin needles embedded in your skin, immersing the limb in hot water will relieve the pain test the water temperature first . You'll...

Oo

H ltls- Hit 1 . .' l iissi .'- Inj-.- 1'. . Hctc .-i ssri 1 c-idc-i D y C. f.i-ii' s 1 c c c 1 I.J-IK , tn.IS CMfl c C6 Belediye Pazan Municipal Market 18 C6 Buyuk Ham mam Great Baths 19 C6 Biiyiik Han Great Inn 20 C6 Cyprus Turkish Shadow Theatre see 20 Dervish Pasha Haydarpasha Kumarcilar Han Gambler's Inn 23 C6 Lapidary Library of Sultan Mahmut II 25 C6 Roccas Kaytazaga Bastion 26 A6 Sarayonu Mosque 27 B6 Selimiye Mosque 28 C6 Turkish Museum 29 B5 P.-vr-ir-it C frs I' i.-itc Bist-c S, , y...

Wet nWild

As Lemesos' reputation as a 'good time gal' has to be maintained to compete with that of its younger sister, Agia Napa, so too Lemesos has to have a crazy water theme park. It actually has three, but Wet 'n' Wild 2531 8000 www.wetnwild.com.cy 13 yrs amp over 2-12 yrs under 2 yrs CY 12.50 6.25 free S 10am-6pm Apr-Oct is particularly special. It's in the middle of the tourist centre, and is set back a few hundred metres from the beachfront. There are raff rides, inner-tube rides, body flumes,...

Thalassa Municipal Museum of the

This very swanky new museum 2381 6366 Leoforos Kryou Nerou 14 admission CY 1.50 S 9am-1pm amp 6-1 Opm Wed-Sun, 6-10pm Tue, closed Mon May-Oct, 9am-5pm Wed-Sun, 1-5pm Tue, closed Mon Nov-Apr is dedicated to all things to do with the sea thalassa means 'sea' in Greek . The museum's centre piece is the amazing reconstruction of a boat that was shipwrecked off the coast of Kyrenia in the 3rd century BC its original skeleton is displayed in Kyrenia Castle pl87 . The ship was reconstructed using...

Ancient Enkomi Alasia

Heading further west from the Necropolis of Salamis, you will come across the Bronze Age city of Ancient Enkomi Enkomi Oren Yeni admission 5YTL S 9am-5pm , which dates back as far as 1800 BC. Most activity at the site, however, seems to have taken place during the Late Bronze Age period 1650-1050 BC when Enkomi was a large copper-producing centre. The name Alasia derives from Akkadian cuneiform slabs found in Tel el-Amarna in Egypt, in which the Pharaoh of the time received promises from the...

Lemesos Mini Zoo Reptile House

Also good for kiddies, although slightly small is the Lemesos Mini Zoo Municipal Gardens GOING UNDER THE BEST DIVES IN CYPRUS What's an islander to do with all that water Well, dive in it, of course. If you love discovering remains, rocks or shipwrecks at the bottom of the sea, Cyprus is a perfect spot for a varied and interesting choice of dives. Either Larnaka or Lemesos is a good base for diving. The prime location is the shipwreck of the Zenobia, rated as one of the world's top-ten diving...

Beaches

Kyrenia's top swimming beach is west of the town and is known as Yavuz ikarma Five Mile Beach, which is overlooked by the restaurant of the same name pl91 . This sandy cove has three names in Turkish. Altinkaya, after the rock next to it, is also the name of the recommended restaurant that overlooks the beach pi91 . Its two other names are Bejinci Mil Five Mile , and Yavuz Qikarma Resolute Outbreak . This beach was used by the Turkish Army to launch their invasion rescue operation in 1974. The...

Music

Greek Cypriots have tended to follow the musical preferences of mainland Greece. Conversely, Cyprus has also produced some of its own home-grown musicians who have made successful careers in Greece as well as in their homeland. The bouzouki, which you will hear all over Cyprus, is a mandolin-like instrument similar to the Turkish saz and baglama. It's one of the main instruments of rembetika music - the Greek equivalent of American blues. The name rembetika may come from the Turkish word...

Zafer Burnu Cape Apostolos Andreas

A further 5km from the monastery, along a reasonable dirt road to the easternmost tip of Cyprus, the island ends or begins and drops off into or rises from the sea. You can gaze at the cluster of little rocky islets known collectively as the Kleides Keys . If you have a 4WD, you can take a rough northern track from here back to Dipkarpaz, though the going can get rough in wet weather. Most sleeping and eating places are on the expanse of Golden Beach p215 , ranging from basic to quite...

Akpothpi Kopmakith

The bare northwestern tip of Northern Cyprus is known as the Koru am Burnu Cape Kormakitis and, apart from being yet another 'land's end' in the same sense as Cape Greco and Cape Arnaoutis in the South, or Zafer Burnu Cape Apostolos Andreas in the east, it is also home to one of Cyprus' least-known religious communities see the boxed text, opposite . A trip to the cape makes for a pleasant excursion from Lapta. There is at least one decent beach on the way with a popular grill and fish...

Numbers

M L ei Kav i ayyMa Aev Kaia a aivoo. fpaiJjTE to, napaKaiui . 21 ' ko-si e-nas m '-a eIkooi va pia m f the- o n'a-gho-ra-so 03ioo v' ayopacoo Do you accept rf ie che ste xeoie credit cards pi-sto-ti-to'to-ta maiooiiKii Kdpia travellers tak-si-dhi-o-ti-te Ta iSicoTiKEt I'm looking for psach-no ya Yaxvoo yia the embassy tin pres-w'-a tijv npsapda the market ti lai-fe'a-gho-ra xi Aciiki ayopa the post office tota-hi-dhro-m '-o to Taxu6popdo a public toilet myo dhi-mo-sia iia 6i ioaici the...

Choirokoitia

Archaeology buffs and early-history lovers should visit the fascinating Neolithic site of Choirokoitia 24322710 admissionCYE0.75 S 9am-7.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat amp Sun May-Sep, 9am-5pm daily Oct-Apr , 32km southwest of Larnaka. It's best combined with a day trip to either Lemesos p82 or Lefkara below . Dating from around 6800 BC, this Unesco World Heritage site is one of the earliest permanent human settlements in Cyprus. The Choi-rokoitians lived in round stone huts and practised a...

Mara Varosia Bapoia

The ghostly sight of the barricaded Mara district known as Varosia in Greek in southern Famagusta is one of this city's more haunting legacies, and is a lingering reminder of the dark days of 1974. Only a small part of the town is still inhabited, and the lights that still flicker do so alongside dark, deserted tower blocks. At some of the windows of these buildings, you can catch a glimpse of the wind playing with a curtain -a remainder of what was once a residential town. Reports by UN forces...

Maheras Monastery

It's a fair hike out to the sprawling Ma heras Monastery S 9am-noon Mon, Tue amp Thu , perched in the foothills of the eastern spur of the Troodos Massif and under the all-seeing radar installation on Mt Kionia 1423m to the southwest. The Maheras Monastery was founded in a similar way to the Kykkos Monastery pi 10 . In 1148 a hermit named Neo-phytos found an icon guarded by a sword maheras means knife or sword in Greek in a cave near the site of the present monastery. The monastery developed...

Dipkarpaz Rizkarpas

The remotest and largest village on the peninsula, Dipkarpaz is where the electricity fizzles out and the generators kick in. Here, a mosque and an Orthodox church sit side by side, although the church is a mute companion whose bell cannot be sounded. A Greek and a Turkish coffee shop ogle each other from across the street, and there are around 350 Greek Cypriots who still live in the village. A small shop and petrol station are the only real facilities. Dipkarpaz is now mainly populated by...

Lapta Lapithos AailHOOX

The village of Lapta is popular as a day trip for its proximity to Kyrenia as well as for its views and cool, leafy atmosphere. Forest fires devastated much of the Kyrenia Range escarpment in the mid-1990s, but fortunately Lapta managed to escape most of the ruination and still retains its old-world charm. Lapta was one of the original city kingdoms of Cyprus and was a regional capital under Roman rule. Its abundant water and protected position have made it a favourite choice for foreign...

Chapelle Royale

This unassuming little church is just off the Lefkosia-Lemesos motorway Al , close to the village of Pyrga. hapelle Royale Royal Chapel admission CY 0.75 S dawn-dusk is a small Lusignan shrine dedicated to Agia Ekaterini St Catherine . Established by the Latin king Janus in 1421 the last of Cyprus' crusader kings , it has interesting French-influenced wall frescoes, not all of which are in good condition. There's a funny, rather incomprehensible guide, who points out the paintings of The Last...