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Pilgrimage to Cyprus
w/ Fr Gary Linsky

Dates TBD

BEST TIME TO GO Summer

CLIMATE CHARTS

TIME ZONE

ET +6 hours 

AIR ITINERARY

Fr Gary Linsky invites you on pilgrimage to Cyprus.   Christian history in Cyprus is rich and deeply intertwined with the island's cultural and religious identity. It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first missionary work (Acts 13:4-13) when he, Barnabas and John Mark were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (Acts 15:39). Mnason, an "old disciple," probably one of the converts of the day of Pentecost belonging to this island, is mentioned (Acts 21:16). It is also mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3 & 27:4).

 

In addition to the magnificant early Christian history, Cyprus offers incredible natural beauty and delicious cuisine.  This is a frequently overlooked pilgrimage destination that Fr Linsky is excited to introduce to those who seek a unique spiritual experience that will deepen your faith in Christ. We hope you will join Fr  on this spectacular pilgrimage of faith, culture and history.

DAYS 1 & 2 : Charlotte > Cyprus
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We depart Charlotte en route to Larnaca, Cyprus with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft. Upon arrival at the Larnaca International Airport, we will be greeted by our tour escort and transferred to our hotel for check-in and dinner at the hotel. D

DAY 3: Pafos

After breakfast, we drive along the western coast up to “Petra tou Romiou,” the place, where according to the Greek mythology, Aphrodite the goddess of beauty and love was born. After a short break we continue our drive to the village of Yeroskipos where we will visit the 9th century Byzantine Church, Agia Paraskevi, known for its beautiful murals dating from the 9th to the 15th century.

Our journey continues to Kato Pafos, where we will celebrate Holy Mass at Chrysopolitissa Church, built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest early Christian Basilica on the island. Within the compound we will see the St. Paul’s Pillar, where St. Paul was flogged. Before lunch break, we will visit the Tombs of the Kings which date back to the 4th century BC. These tombs were used in the first Christian years as catacombs. 

After lunch and free time at the fishing port of Pafos, we continue to the 12th century Monastery of St. Neophytos. The main Church of the monastery was built around 200 years after his death in 1219, and is dedicated to Virgin Mary. A famous painter, Theodoros Apsevdis, undertook to paint the frescoes in the Enkleistra, an enclosure carved out of the mountain by the hermit. In the main church of the monastery, we will see Byzantine icons of exceptional artistic quality. We return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

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DAY 4: Peristerona / Kalopanagiotis / Monastery of Kykkos

After breakfast and Holy Mass we depart for the Troodos Mountains and the village of Peristerona, where we will visit the Church of St. Varnavas and Ilarionas dated to the end of the 11th - beginning of the 12th century.  Part of the original church’s north wall still survives, incorporated in the western part of the wall of the existing church. After a short break in the village square, we continue to Kalopanagiotis and a visit to the Church of St. Ioannis Lampadistis, with excellent frescoes from the 13th and 16th century. Originally a monastery, it is a complex of two churches and a chapel of various dates. The church is included in the official UNESCO list for the world heritage. Next to the church there is a river that tradition tells us St. Paul baptized St. Heraclidios, who became the first bishop of Tamasos. After lunch in a traditional tavern, we continue our pilgrimage to the Kykkos Monastery. Founded in 1100AD and dedicated to Virgin Mary, it possesses one of the three surviving icons tradition ascribes to St. Luke. After visiting the monastery we return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

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DAY 5: Limassol /Kourion / Omodos

After breakfast we drive to the center of Limassol and celebrate Holy Mass St. Catherine’s Church. After mass we walk through the old city up to the market, passing the 14th century medieval fort built on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle. It was here, according to tradition, Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191. We continue our pilgrimage to the archaeological park of Kourion. Kourion was an important ancient city-kingdom founded by the Greeks in the 14th century BC. We will visit the Greco Roman Theatre and the House of Eustolios - originally a private Roman villa, it became a public recreation center during the early Christian period. Finally, we visit the Cathedral of Kourion, an early Christian Basilica dated to the 5th century. We continue through vineyard area of Limassol arriving at one of the most beautiful and traditional villages on the island, Omodos. After lunch, we visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross where we will see a piece of the Holy Rope, the rope with which Jesus was bound during His passion. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

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DAY 6: Choirokoitia / Lefkara /Larnaca

After breakfast, we depart for the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia which lies on the slopes of a hill partly enclosed in a loop of the Maroni River. Occupied from the 7th to the 5th millennium B.C., the village is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. We continue to the traditional village of Lefkara located at the base of the Troodos Mountains, world-renowned for its traditional handicrafts of lace embroidery and filigree silver. We will visit the Church of the Holy Cross before returning to Larnaca. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. Larnaca is known for its warm hospitality, beautiful Finikoudes Beachwith its palm-lined promenade, sandy shores, clear waters and seaside cafes, sites such as the Larnaca Castle and the Pierides Museum, great waterfront restaurants at the marina.  

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DAY 7: Larnaca / Kiti / Nicosia

After breakfast, we will visit St. Lazarus Church built in the 9th century over the tomb of St. Lazarus. According to the tradition, St. Lazarus came to Cyprus after being brought back to life by Jesus, and became the first bishop of Kition (ancient Larnaca). We then continue to the village of Kiti to visit the Byzantine Church Angeloktistos, bult in the 11th century over the ruins of an early Christian basilica. In the Apsis of the church, there is a mosaic from the 6th century. We then travel north to Nicosia where we will have lunch in a local restaurant before a visit the St. John Cathedral, built in 1662 . The church is single vaulted without a dome, and its long walls are covered with frescoes painted from 1736 until 1756.  We continue with a visit at the Byzantine Museum. The Byzantine Museum contains the richest and most representative collection of Byzantine art on the island. About 230 icons dating from the 9th to the 19th centuries, The collection includes many icons dating from the 12th century when iconography was at its height. Among the star attractions are the famous 6th century mosaics torn from the church of Kanakaria. We then celebrate Holy Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church before free time in the old city. When then cross the check point at Ledra Street into the northern, Turkish part of the city where we will visit the gothic Cathedral of St. Sophia (Selimiye Mosque).  After some time in the old city visiting the Buyuk Han, we return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. 

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DAY 8:  Famagusta / Salamis

After breakfast we depart for the Turkish north of the island via the Strovilia check point. Our first stop is  Famagusta where we will have a guided walking tour to see the gothic monuments, the Venetian Palace and St. Nicola’s Cathedral. After free time in the old part of the city, we will continue our drive to Salamis, the birthplace of St. Barnabas. We will visit the ruins of the ancient gymnasium, the Roman baths, the Greco Roman theatre as well as The Basilica of Saint Epiphanius (also known as Ayios Epiphanios Basilica). The basilica was built during the 4th century and served as the metropolitan church of Salamis.  This church was once the largest church in Cyprus before it was destroyed in 7th century. We then continue to the St. Barnabas Monastery where we visit the Church and the Tomb of St. Barnabas. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. 

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DAY 9:  Morfou / Kyrenia / Bella Pais

After breakfast we again enter the Turkish north via the Astromeritis check-point as we drive to Morphou on the northwest coast of Cyprus for a visit to the Byzantine church of St. Mamas which also houses the Saint's sarcophagus.  The original Byzantine church was built over the site of an Aphrodite temple.

 

From Morphou we continue our pilgrimage to the Kyrenia region on the northern coast of Cyprus. We will cross the Pentadaktylos Mountains to visit the Bellapais Abbey with incredible views of Kyrenia and the Mediterranean Sea,  Built in the 13th century, it is one of the most important gothic monuments on the island.   We will then descend to the ancient town of Kyrenia which grew in importance after the 9th century due to the safety offered by Kyrenia Castle built by the Byzantines in the 7th century. The castle was modified by the Venetians in the 15th century.

 

Free time on the harbor of Kyrenia, which still retains its original character and  is dominated by the imposing castle. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
 

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DAY 10: Cyprus > Charlotte

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our return flights home with incredible memories of our pilgrimage on the island of Cyprus.

What’s Included 
· Round trip airfare from Charlotte to Cyprus.
· Meeting/assistance upon arrival and departure at airport w/ porterage at airport and hotels
· Daily Holy Mass w/ Fr Linsky

· Daily breakfast, TBD
 lunches and TBD dinners including Welcome and Farewell Dinners
· 8
 days sightseeing as per program with Catholic guide
· Luxury air-conditioned coach
· Entrance fees as per itinerary

* Price is for double occupancy - single supplement is $TBD. $TBD discount for check or Zelle payment (all payments must be check or Zelle, otherwise full price applies)
TOUR BROCHURE
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