Famagusta /Magosa/Ammochostos region

 

Famagusta is the centre of the Famagusta golf in the East of the island and has the nicest sandy beaches in Northern Cyprus. Famagusta has a unique medieval old town inside its Venetian walls, has one of the most best kept Byzantine ruins (Salamis) and is also hometown for the biggest university in Northern Cyprus with more than 14.000 students (EMU).

 

 

(Historical) sightseeing requiring entrance fees:

 

 

St. Barnabas 1,5h

 

St Barnabas is credited with introducing Christianity to Cyprus together with Apostle Paul. His activities displeased the powerful Jewish community in Salamis and their reaction was to stone him to death. His body was buried in a secret location by his cousin Mark. The story might have ended there but, 400 years later, Barnabas appeared in a dream to the Archbishop of Salamis and revealed the location of his tomb. A monastery was founded on the site of the tomb in the 5th century but the present build dates from 1756. The former monk’s cells around the inner courtyard now house an archaeological collection arranged clockwise from the Bronze Age to the Venetian period. The church is now an icon museum although the best ones were stolen many years ago.

 

 

Salamis Ruins 1,5h (by special historical / archaeological interest up to 4h)

 

We visit the excavations of the antique town Salamis, which used to have 150.000 inhabitants and was the capital of Cyprus as far back as 1.100 BC. The Gymnasium, the baths and the amphitheatre with a capacity of 15.000 are preserved from its golden times. The extended excavation area covers the ruins of the St Epiphanus basilica with its wonderful mosaics, the temple of Zeus and the Forum. 

 

 

The Royal Tombs 1h

 

The Royal Tombs are a small part of the necropolis of Salamis, which has been excavated and open for public visits. The museum exhibits samples of the grave mounds, which can be viewed outdoor. The tombs, constructed in the 7th and 8th centuries BC were actually built over 500 years after the events of the Trojan War. Many fascinating finds were made such as an ivory-inland throne and bed, plus numerous objects in precious metals and ivory.

 

 

Iskele Panagía Theotókos Church 1h

 

The Panagia Theotokus Church built in the 12th Century was dedicated to St Mary and is a chief masterwork of byzantine architecture and fresco painting art.

 

 

Othello Tower 0,5h

 

The Othello Tower was the last defence post on the town walls and was originally built as a moated citadel in order to protect Famagusta's harbour. The name was given later by the English in connection with Shakespeare's "Othello" theatre play.

 

 

Sightseeing without entrance fees:

 

 

Old Town / Cathedral 1,5h

 

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.

 

 

Weekly Thursday market 1h

 

Being the biggest weekly market in Northern Cyprus, you find fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as typical Cypriot agricultural products like bread, cheese, honey, carob, etc

 

 

Swim break at Salamis 1,5h

 

The fine sandy beach and the turquoise water directly next to the excavation site of Salamis is a nice opportunity to relax and take in the deep impressions of the historical sightseeing of the ruins.

 

 

Pastry shop Petek 1h

 

Petek is a renowned popular pastry for tourists and locals in the heart of Famagusta with a lot of Cypriot specialities like ekmek kadayifi. Do not miss it!

 

 

Restaurants:

 

 

- Bedis Restaurant:

 

Typical Cypriot Restaurant next to the Salamis ruins. The perfect choice in combination with a swim break.

 

- Gekko Restaurant:

 

High standard gastronomy in the Old Town of Famagusta, next to the Lala Mustafa Pascha Mosque.

Tasting of Cypriot traditional specialities:

 

 

- Cosy picnic in combination of the Thursday market

 

 

PROPOSALS FOR TOURS:

 

 

CLASSIC:

 

St. Barnabas – Ruins of Salamis – Lunch at Bedis – Old Town / Cathedral

 

CULTURAL:

 

St. Barnabas (The icons of the Cypriot orthodox Church)– Ruins of Salamis (Roman Town in Eastern Mediterranean Sea) – Lunch at Gekko– Old Town (Famagusta Churches) – Lala Mustafa Pascha Mosque (Islam in Cyprus)

 

CULINARY:

 

Thursday Market (description of the typical products of the Island) – St. Barnabas – Picnic with product tasting (at Salamis picnic area) – Excavations of SalamisPastry shop Petek (including tasting of the Cypriot sweets) – Free time in the historical centre