Ancient Churches of Cyprus

On May 22, 2023, of the Cyprus tour, we drive east from Limassol to see Panayia Angeloktisti in the village of Kiti. This ancient church contains a beautiful, fifth-century mosaic of Mary and Jesus. Then we drive into Larnaca to see the ninth-century Church of St. Lazarus with its beautiful iconostasis and its basement crypt with the supposed tomb of Lazarus. A few blocks away we tour a medieval fort located right on the seacoast. From Larnaca, we drive a short distance to the beautiful mountain village of Lefkara where we have free time for you to stroll the narrow streets, stopping to see Lefkara lace and silver jewelry made by local artisans and/or tour the ethnological museum and the Church of the Holy Cross with its many icons. Then we drive south to the coastal village of Zygi, where we will have a splendid seafood dinner outdoors by the sea.

4th century apse of Panayia Angeloktisti
Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaca
Village lane in Lefkara
Church of the Holy Cross in Lefkara

Ethnological Museum
Fishing boat at Zygi
Sunset over Zygi harbor


Paphos, Cyprus

May 21, the second full day of the Cyprus tour, will be more ambitious than the first day. We drive west to Paphos to enjoy wonderful archaeological sites, eat lunch by the harbor at cafes of our choice, enjoy the splendid mosaics (tomorrow’s post), see the legendary Paul’s pillar, walk among the opulent burial houses at the tombs at the kings, and stop on the way back to Limassol to see the rock where (according to legend) Aphrodite first emerged from the sea foam.

The picturesque harbor at Paphos draws many people.
At the end of the harbor is a Medieval fortress that you may tour if you wish.
Site of the ancient Panagia Chrysopolitissa complex. According to legend, the short, white pillar in front of the tree is where Paul was bound and beaten.
Tombs of the kings—actually just tombs for very wealthy people. The word necropolis designates such sites. Necros in Greek means dead, and polis means city (city of the dead).
The top of this tomb is ground level. Standing by a pillar, my wife gives perspective on the size of this home of the dead. Numerous niches may be seen in these tombs.
Aphrodite’s Rock. No, the young woman swimming in the Mediterranean is not Aphrodite emerging from the sea.

Cyprus Tour, May 20, 2023

On May 20 of the Cyprus tour, we will have an easy day (jet lag is real!). We will take a short ride (driving on the left side of the road) to the Crusader fortress at Kolossi. Then we go to the nearby, much earlier, expansive archaeological site of the Roman city of Kourion to see the many buildings and artifacts uncovered by archaeologists. Then we return to Limassol for a leisurely stroll along the harbor walk into the old city.

Kolossi Fortress built in 1454 by French crusaders.
Inside Kolossi Castle. Note the thickness of the walls.
The large Roman city of Kourion was built with a lovely view of the Mediterranean Sea. We will see the theater, opulent homes, and the many other remains of this city.
Romans loved their baths and saunas. The short brick pillars in this photo once supported the floor of a huge room. Hot air from fires on the perimeter was circulated under the floor to heat the entire area.
This mosaic in Kourion depicts a scene with two gladiators.