Nicosia has the distinction of being the last divided capital city in the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dividing north and south is the Green Line which runs directly through the city. The northern side has been occupied by Turkey since July 1974 and the southern side by Greece. Nicosia is the largest town in Cyprus and has been its capital since the 11th Century AD. This remarkable city which is encircled by the old city walls, has managed to successfully blend its bustling modern day business and cultural centers with its historic heart, all the while retaining its charming character.
Your tour will first journey to the Neolithic Khirokitia Archaeological Site, which dates back to 7000 BC and is considered one of the most important prehistoric sites of the eastern Mediterranean. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage list, this very unique and well-preserved site consists of a cluster of dwellings situated on the slope of a hill overlooking the Maroni river valley. The village is believed to have maintained a relatively low population of between 300 - 600 inhabitants and is the earliest known culture in Cyprus. Archaeological evidence found at the site indicates a well-organized and developed society resided here. Leaving Khirokitia, you'll continue on to the Cathedral of St. John, built in 1662 by the Archbishop Nikiforos. Here you will be afforded the opportunity to view the 18th century frescoes that embellish the walls with colorful biblical scenes.
Next, you will drive by the Green Line checkpoint at Ledra Street where you will view the Turkish side which occupied half of Nicosia and the northern territory of Cyprus. The tour then proceeds through the impressive Venetian Walls into the old city via the Paphos Gate. Before returning to the ship, you will have free time in the restored 19th century neighborhood called Laiki Yitonia. The quaint, narrow pedestrian streets in this neighborhood are lined with traditional houses, craft shops, taverns and galleries, making for a delightful stroll or souvenir shopping.
Please note: This tour includes considerable walking and/or standing - at times on uneven ground. There is also some climbing and/or steps to negotiate. Therefore, it is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Comfortable, flat walking shoes with non-slip soles, light clothing and a hat are recommended.