A unique pilgrimage that encompasses the entire island of Cyprus. During this tour, pilgrims will see number of the holy sites central to pilgrim itineraries from the days of old. Amazingly preserved Medieval Byzantine churches with very refined art, along with classical antiquities, set against the beautiful landscape of sea, beaches and mountains, will leave lasting impact on all travelers.
Day 1. Monday, October 9, 2017
Arrival to Cyprus, transfer to the hotel, dinner, orientation, rest. Overnight – vicinity of Larnaca.
Day 2. Tuesday, October 10, 2017
We’ll explore some of the most famous sites in and near the resort town of Larnaca. Of chief interest is the Basilica of Agios Lazaros (with relics of Lazarus of the Gospel, “the friend of the Lord”) dated back to the 9th century, the Angelok-tisti Church with mosaics from the era of Emperor Justinian, and the Stavrovouni Monastery, one of the oldest and strictest on the island.
Day 3. Wednesday, October 11, 2017
After breakfast, we will cross into the Northern occupied area to the explore the ruins of Salamis, the once largest city of the island. Imposing ruins give a good idea of the magnitude of the city, populated by multitudes at one time. Among them, there was a sizable Jewish community, including a man named Barnabas. Later in life he was a disciple of the Lord and co-laborer of the Apostle Paul. Near the ruined city there is a monastery (now a museum since the occupation in 1974) and the shrine dedicated to the Apostle. Our last visit of the day will be to the Medieval fortifications of Famagusta, the place of fierce battle against the Islamic onslaught in 1571. Prior to that, it served as the Western Crusader Capital of Cyprus.
Day 4. Thursday, October 12, 2017
We will spend on the Karpass Peninsula, a National Park of incredible Natural beauty and historical importance. In Antiquity, it was a densely-populated area. Vestiges of Paleo-Christian basilicas stand out as true gems of Christian Art and legacy on the Island. We will visit several of them before a lunch break at restaurant in Agios Philon. Once an important trading harbor and the capital of the entire Peninsula, now it is a relaxed place in the shade of palm trees, next door to the ruined remains of a 12th century Byzantine church of the same name. After lunch, we will travel further East for a visit of St. Andreas Monastery, the only Orthodox Monastery that was allowed to remain open by the occupational authorities. It was built on a spot where, according to tradition, a boat with Apostle Andrew docked. Recently, the monastic complex was renovated as a symbolic gesture of improving relations between the divided parts of the island.
Day 5. Friday, October 13, 2017
In the morning, we will check-out from the hotel and travel west toward the city of Kyrenia (Girne). On the way we’ll stop to see the Monastery of Antifonitis with some of the best Byzantine Art to be found on the island. It also bears deep scars of the war, as some of the frescoes were damaged in an attempted to smuggle them from the island to be sold to western dealers. Our next stop will at Bellapais Abbey, the site where the Canons, Latin Custodians of the Holy Sepulcher have settled after Jerusalem fall to Saladin in 1187. Around lunch time we will arrive to Kyrenia, a nice little city with a distinct Mediterranean feel to it and a lively Venetian Harbor with great number of restaurants. After the exploration of the citadel and museum, you’ll be given some free time to explore the city and to have a dinner in the harbor.
Day 6. Saturday, October 14, 2017
During our last day in the Northern part of the island, we will travel farther west to venerate relics of Agios Mamas, depicted on the icons as a “man on a lion”. Native of Asia Minor, St Mamas was martyred in the third century and his holy relics are kept in the church bearing his name in the town of Morphou. The Pilgrim site of St. Mamas considered to be one of the most important on the island. Our next stop will be the site of Ancient City of Soli. Here the development of a pilgrim site of antiquity can be seen, especially in the remains of the splendid Byzantine basilica where one can view the vestiges of the house of St. Auxibius who was baptized and ap-pointed first Bishop of the city by Apostle Mark. Our last visit before we cross back into Southern part of the Island will be at the Pal-ace of Vouni. The origins of the palace are lost in time, but it is assumed to be by the Persian in the 5th century B.C. For dinner and overnight stay we will arrive to the Village of Kalopanayiotis.
Day 7. Sunday, October 15, 2017
We’ll start our day by attending Divine Liturgy at one of the local churches in the area. After a late breakfast we will visit the Church and Museum of St. John Lampadistis Monastery, the Church of Archangel Michael in Pedoulas, and Church of the Virgin in Moutoullas. The Troodos Mountains that we will be exploring for the next couple of days contain many treasures. Ten of the Medieval Byzantine churches were added to the UNESCO list of World heritage due to their high quality of Art and excellent state of preservation. For lunch, we will stop at the village of Moutoulas and from there proceed to the Trooditissa Monastery, one of the most im-portant pilgrim sites in the area.
Day 8. Monday, October 16, 2017
We’ll continue to explore the Byzantine legacy of the area, with some true gems such as Church of St. Nicholas of the Roof in Kakopetria, Church of Panagia Podithou in Galata, and Church of the Virgin of Asinou. We will remain in Asinou for Lunch. In the afternoon, we will re-trace our route back, and we will travel to the Monastery of Kykkos, the largest and one of the most beautiful in all of Cyprus. Kykkos Monastery, just as the Monastery of Trooditissa is known for the Miracle-working Icon of the Moth-er of God, ascribed to the hand of St. Luke the Evangelist. Overnight in Kalopanagiotis
Day 9. Tuesday, October 17, 2017
We will part with our gracious hosts and travel to Nicosia, capital of the Republic of Cyprus. Here, in the maze of Medieval streets, is the cathedral of St. John. Next door there is a Byzantine Museum with an incredible collection of icons, frescoes and mosaics that could rival any Byzantine collection, not only of the continental Greece, but certainly the World. In the afternoon, we will travel south of the city and before night fall we will make a stop at Machairas Monastery. This Monastery is dedicated to the Mother of God, and through centuries was very popular among the local folk.
Day 10. Wednesday, October 18, 2017
On our way to Pafos, we will stop to visit several more churches from the UNSECO World Heritage list. Platanistassa, Stavros tou Agiasmati, Lagoudera Panagia tou Araka and Pelendri Church of the Holy Cross will be the last three major Byzantine Monuments that we are going to see in the greater Toodos area. After Lunch in Pelendri, we will visit the picturesque village of Omodos for souvenir shopping and wine testing at the local winery. From there we will proceed some two hours South-West to the town of Pafos.
Day 11. Thursday, October 19, 2017
Our last full day on the island will be filled with awe and adventure. We will start our day by exploring the Ancient Pafos. Right in the Middle of the City there are ruins of a Basilica that mark the place of the torture of the Apostle Paul. Just outside the border, more remains of the An-cient city have been located. Some suggest that one of the houses, (known as the house of mo-saics) was actually the home of Proconsul Ser-gius Paulus, a convert to Christianity who embraced the faith based on the Apostle’ witness. Nearby, there is a cemetery known as “Tombs of the Kings” with elaborate burial chambers cut in the rock. Later in the afternoon we will visit the Monastery of Agios Neophytos, an original monastery consisting of a set of natural and cut rock-caves. Later as the monastery expanded, new churches and other facilities were built on the clearing in front of the cliff where the original monastery is situated. We will return to the hotel for Dinner and lodging.
Day 12. Friday, October 20, 2017
After checking out from the hotel we will travel toward the airport in Larnaca. On the way to Larnaca we will visit a unique five-domed Basilica of Agia Paraskevi in Yeroskipou and the site of Ancient Kourion, the capital of one of the ten Ancient states of Cyprus. An important center of Classical Antiquity, it survived well until the Arab raids of the seventh century. Known for its wealth and prominence, the site still boasts several large Basilicas with beautiful floor mosaics. After lunch we will continue our travel to the airport. Departure from the Larnaca International airport
If you are travelling separately from the group and your flight is not till the following day, please inform us, so we could help with arrangements for you to stay near the airport for an extra night.
Church Services: in addition to the prayer services at Holy Places and Sunday Divine Liturgy, we plan to attend Vesperal service in several Monasteries along the way. Even though this is not expressly indicated in the itinerary, such is our plan. Dates/times of services will be announced upon confirmation with local clergy closer to the trip.
Food: you’ll be provided with two or three meals daily, usually those be breakfast and dinner at the hotel. On some occasions lunches, will be provided as well.
Swimming: Some of our hotels will be situated right on the beach. As during that time of the year, the weather on Cyprus is still very favorable, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity and have your bathing suits with you.
Walking and climbing: Even though we won’t have too much walking (in a single stretch) during our trip, the days will be long. Please be prepared for an overall higher level of physical activity. Cyprus is a mountainous region.
Roads: Please note that some smaller roads (especially in Troodos area) are good, but could be windy. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, please have Dramamine or a similar remedy with you. We do not anticipate any major issue however we do want you to be as comfortable as possible
Financial arrangements: The current cost of the trip is $2500* per person, based on double occupancy in a group of 26 people. The additional fee for single accommodations is about $400.
*The price may be adjusted due to the fluctuating exchange rate of the US Dollar vs. Euro or in case of imposition of some unforeseen government taxes. Our hope is that the price of the tour will remain essentially the same. In any case you’ll be informed right away of any financial changes or adjustments.
- Transportation with a private coach with experienced driver/s for all the days mentioned according to the program.
- Accommodation in clean and comfortable tourist ***/***** class hotels on
- Half-board basis (breakfast and dinner [3 course set menu or buffet style])
- English speaking guide for all the days according to the program.
- Entrance fees for the sites and museums according to the itinerary.
- All taxes, fuels and tolls
Price does NOT include:
- Air Fare
- Personal medical/travel insurance
- Meals other than specified
- Beverages during meals
- Entrance fees other than specified
- Porterage, gratuities and extras
- Anything not specifically mentioned in “Price includes”
Sign up and Payment:
We would request $700.00 deposit at the time of signing up for the trip. Deposit is non-refundable. The deadline for signing up for the trip is May 31, 2017. The entire amount is requested by June 25, 2017. If decide to join the pilgrimage after the deadline, please contact tour coordinator for availability as soon as you can to secure your participation.
All payments should be made by check to the “Palomnik, LLC” and mailed to attention of Rev. Ilya Gotlinsky to: 53 Baxter Street, Binghamton, NY 13905. Any returned checks are subject to $20 fee. Special arrangements can be made for those who desire to pay by major Credit Card via PayPal system.
All special requests, concerns and suggestions must be submitted in writing to Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky no later than the date of the final payment (June 28, 2017).
In the unlikely event of cancellation, the charges, in addition to the full amount of the deposit are*:
• No penalties over 91 days to departure
• 50% of the tour cost, 90 to 31 days prior to the departure
• 100% of the tour cost 30 days prior to the departure
All the cancellations must be in writing and sent directly to agent/coordinator – Fr. llya Gotlinsky, and must be received for reimbursement by the dates shown in the cancellation schedule.
Rules on the road:
- It is strongly suggested for a traveler to obtain insurance covering medical needs and coverage regarding personal property;
- be aware that all medical needs will be sole responsibility of the traveler;
- act in a manner consistent with the surrounding environment;
- make arrangement to have sufficient funds to cover personal needs and unexpected happenings.
The places that we will be visiting may not have the same amenities that one may be accustomed to. Medical facilities in some areas may be limited. Because of the difference in language and customs, it is expected that the traveler will follow the directions of the Tour Leader at all times.
The Director reserves the right to restrict a person’s participation in the group’s activities, including exclusion from the group, when, in the opinion of the tour leader, such action is appropriate.
Please note: The Director of the trip (Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky) does not hold any legal responsibilities concerning any of the arrangements. He plays only the role of a coordinator.
Passport and Visa:
A valid passport is needed to travel to Cyprus. The passport must be until your return. US citizens do not need a visa to travel to Cyprus. However, if you are not a US citizen, please contact Cyprus Embassy or Consulate General to see if you do need a visa to travel to Cyprus.
Greece has a good health system and drugs are widely available at many pharmacies. However, we still would recommend that you bring whatever medications you think you may need, and especially prescription drugs. No special vaccinations are needed when traveling to that part of Europe, but please remember that due to the climate and time change, hectic itinerary and lots of walking, your body will need extra care. It is very easy to become dehydrated on a trip like this. Make sure to drink lots of liquids (pure water is the best choice). In case of hot weather, please be prepared adequately and don’t take your chances with heat and sun. In most places in Greece it is safe to drink tap water, but we always recommend to inquire about that with the clerk of the hotel or some local personnel.
Many stores in Cyprus accept credit cards (mostly Visa or MasterCard, no Discov-er or American Express). However, if you plan to shop at the markets or at the souvenir stands, you will need cash (Euros). The easiest way to obtain cash is to use the ATM machine. For ATMs use your debit card because you won’t be charged any interest on cash withdrawals. On your credit card purchase or with your debit card cash withdraw-al, you get the best exchange rate, that of the day.
It is a good idea to let your bank or credit company (the one whose card you will be using) know that you are traveling overseas. Without such a notice some companies may “freeze” your account in an attempt to prevent foreign card fraud.
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