Gothic architecture:

 

 

St. Hilarion castle (only by full day tours possible)

 

At a height of 730 m St Hilarion castle is the westernmost and best preserved of the three redoubts built by the Byzantines and Crusaders. 

With walls and towers that appear to sprout out of the rocks almost randomly, it is a fairly-tale sight living up to Rose Macaulay's much-quoted description ”a picture-book castle for elf-kings” and the rumour that Walt Disney used it as a model for the castle in Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. The legend that was spread locally says that St Hilarion housed 101 rooms, of which 100 could easily be found; the last, an enchanted garden with a magnificent treasure belonging to an elusive “queen” of Cypriot folklore, most probably a holdover of Aphrodite worship.

 

 

Bellapais Monastery

 

Located in the majestic Five Finger Mountains in Kyrenia, the Bellapais Monastery is a fine example of Gothic architecture, and is thought to have been started between 1198 and 1205, with more sections being added after 1267 and after 1324.

 

Do not miss the refectory where you can admire a nice sample of Gothic art. Explore the priests’ rooms that are located to the east of the courtyard. You will find the dormitories and chamber of accounts on the upper level. Explore the marble tombs in the courtyard, and take in the insignias of the Jerusalem, Lusignans, and the Cyprus Kingdoms, which can be found on the door behind the tombs.

 

In addition to enjoying the historical value and architectural beauty of the Bellapais Monastery, you can also enjoy spending time in a beautiful part of Kyrenia, and enjoying stunning views and surroundings. 

 

 

Kyrenia Castle 

 

Kyrenia castle lies to the north east of Kyrenia town and stands at the entrance to the harbour at Kyrenia. The original castle which is thought to have been built in the 7th century A.D. by the Byzantines for the purpose of defending Kyrenia against Arab raiders and pirates in the early 7th century. The castle has had various additions made to it during the reign of the Lusignans and was given its present form by the Venetians. 

 

The castle also houses a Shipwreck Museum, which displays the remains of a 2,300-year-old Greek ship and its cargo, recovered from the sea in the 1960s. The sailors apparently lived on almonds: thousands of them were recovered from the wreck. 

 

 

Old Town Famagusta / St Nicholas Cathedral 

 

In the Old Town of Famagusta you visit the gothic formerly Nicklaus’s Cathedral, which serves nowadays as Lala Musafa Pascha Mosque. Besides you have the opportunity for nice shopping and tasting the nice sweets of the renowned pastry shop Petek.