Depending on arrival time it may be possible to talk a walk through Kyrenia, or simply check in an relax.
Today begins with a transfer to Bellapais village (approx. 20 mins) and the beautiful 14th century Abbey set in the mountains to the south, before heading to town for lunch. This afternoon we enjoy short walk and a transfer back to Kyrenia, a pretty harbour town and a great base from which to explore North Cyprus. Archaeological excavations show the area was first settled as far back as the 10th century BC, and today historic buildings and winding lanes offer a glimpse of the past, sitting side by side more modern additions. Our tour also takes in a visit to Kyrenia's Crusader Castle, which features in English history as far back as the third crusade, when it was taken by Richard the Lionheart. Since then the castle has been updated and used by civilizations as diverse as the Ottomans, the Venetians and the British. As well as glorious views and fascinating architecture, the castle also houses the Shipwreck Museum, home to a 4th century Greek merchant vessel and its cargo.
Total walk approx. 5 km
Saint Hilarion Castle (transfer approx. 25 mins), a former stronghold of the Kyrenia mountains. Originally a hermitage site, the monastery and church were built in the 10th century and later fortified. We will spend some time exploring the castle and enjoying the magnificent views of Kyrenia, before our walk through the hills to Malatya village. We will transfer back to the hotel this afternoon.
Total walk approx. 11 km
The magnificent Buffavento Castle (transfer approx.45 mins) which, at 970m, is certainly a highlight of the week. At 970m, is the highest Crusader castle on the island. Buffavento was built in the 11th century as a part of the island's defences against the Arabs, and also controlled an important mountain pass. The dramatic location offers glorious views over Kyrenia and the Five Finger Mountains. Our walk this afternoon will be from the castle down to Bellapais village.
Total walk approx. 10 km
Today is free for further exploration of the island. Of the many tours available locally, of particular interest is a tour to the ancient city of Salamis and the historical city of Famagusta with Othello's Tower, St Sophia Cathedral and the Venetian Palace. Tours can be arranged locally (please note that you may be joining a larger group for these optional tours). Of course you could choose to spend the day relaxing, or explore under your own steam.
We head East towards the Karpas peninsula today. We will stop near the village of Cinarli and visit the Incirli cave, the largest on the island, containing an amazing collection of stalactites and stalagmites. After this short visit, we will continue on to Kantara Castle, which saw its fair share of conflict during the crusades and the conflicts with Frederick II and the Genoese. Indeed Richard the Lionheart won a famous victory here when he defeated the self -proclaimed king of the island, Isaac Komnenos, after the latter's ill-judged slight against Richard's fiancée. After visiting the castle, we will pick up our trail through the variety of landscapes of the Karpas Peninsula, finishing up at Kaplica beach. You will have time for a swim before we transfer back to Kyrenia (approx. 1 hr).
Total walk approx. 10 km
Our last daywalk will start from the Five Finger mountains (transfer approx. 30 mins), taking us on a path up towards the Herbarium of Alevkaya, where we break for lunch and may have time to visit thebutterfly museum. This afternoon we will walk to Sourp Magyar, the only Armenian Monastery in the mountains, and on to Kyrenia rock, an excellent photo opportunity.
Total walk approx. 17 km
Transfer back to Ercan and fly to London.