Excavations of Chirokitia
The archaeological site of Chirokitia on the eastern Mediterranean shows, among other things, royal tombs carved out of rock and decorated with columns. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best preserved ancient sites in Cyprus. On display are reconstructed living quarters, beautiful floor mosaics depicting mythological scenes and a theater with spectacular views over the sea. Some of Chirokitia’s roundhouses, nearly 7,000 years old, have been reconstructed and offer a glimpse of life at the dawn of civilisation.
Painted Churches of Troodos
The so-called barn roof churches are located in the heart of Cyprus, in the Troodos Mountains. The nine Byzantine churches with their pulled-down roofs are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The orthodox churches with their wall paintings lie between picturesque places that nestle against the mountains. Beautiful frescoes and their simple and impressive construction attract many visitors every year.
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Archaeological site of Kourion
The archaeological site of Kourion, in southern Cyprus, was once an important city-kingdom. Excavations still bring impressive treasures to light today. Above all, the Greco-Roman theater, the magnificent country houses, the floor mosaics and the early Christian cathedral make Kourion an important ancient site. Among other things, you can see a Roman villa, a Roman forum with ancient columns, a huge basilica and living rooms with floor mosaics depicting gladiator fights. Beautiful opera performances often take place in the ancient theater from the 2nd century.
Cyprus Museum in Nicosia
On the western edge of the old town of Nicosia is the oldest and largest museum in Cyprus. Founded in 1882, the museum’s exhibits present the nine thousand year cultural history of Cyprus. Many of the finds are surprisingly well preserved. In addition to statues, bowls, finds from the Copper Age and Egyptian amulets, there are also mosaic floors and sculptures from Roman rule.
Sports in Cyprus
In Cyprus you can practice every imaginable sport on land or in the water. Paragliding, hang-gliding or a glider take you to the top. The Troodos Mountains are ideal for climbing, hiking or even skiing. The areas around Limassol and Paphos are known for their good golf courses, almost all hotels have tennis courts. Turquoise blue water invites all snorkelers and divers to take a trip into the beautiful underwater world of Cyprus. Whether swimming, surfing or diving the well-known Zenobia wreck, there is always something suitable for water lovers.
The stronghold of Kolossi dates back to the 15th century and is located just outside of Limassol in southern Cyprus. The castle was once the headquarters of the Templars, later administration and sugar storage for export. The castle itself is an impressive and square tower with three floors. To the south of the castle there is a courtyard surrounded by walls and ruins of outbuildings. During the summer months Kolossi is open all day.
Royal Tombs of Paphos
A plowing farmer brought pieces of Roman mosaic to the surface, and so in 1963 the first excavations of the royal tombs of Paphos began. Since that time, foundation walls, numerous mosaics, stucco decorations and images have been excavated, dating back to the 3rd century BC. dating back. The site, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, is also the exhibition site. A collection of huge rock tombs of wealthy Egyptians with their burial objects can be seen at the Paphos Archaeological Park. In 2017 Paphos was European Capital of Culture.
Larnaca Salt Lakes
Four salt lakes with a water depth of only one meter are located near Larnaka. Especially the larger of the lakes is considered the most important wetland area of Cyprus. Besides their beauty, the lakes are the resting place of 85 water bird species. Flamingos in particular congregate here in the winter months, attracting flocks of bird watchers. In summer the water largely evaporates, leaving a salt crust with a beautiful view over the lakes to the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque.
The port city in the north-east of Cyprus was once an important trading center for merchants from the Mediterranean region. Today, old fortress walls and the palace ruins of the old town bear witness to this history. Worth seeing are the foundation walls of a Franciscan monastery and the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque. Two minarets were added to the former St. Nicholas Cathedral and today’s Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque after the conquest. It is also worth visiting the Othello Tower with part of the old city wall.
Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, which lies in the north of the island, has several faces: shops, hotels and industry outside the core city of Nicosia meet the old town within Venetian walls. High-rise buildings stand side by side with ancient buildings in the districts of the Turkish-occupied part of the city, where time seems to have stood still. The variety of sights in Nicosia has its very own charm. There is much to see: The Cyprus Museum, the Byzantine Museum and Gallery, the Episcopal Church of Ioannis and the Famagusta Gate which is the ancient entrance to the city. Countless churches dominate the cityscape. You will find hidden bars, small shops and cafés in the beautiful streets.