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Cyprus Winter Sun
8 days - by Scheduled Air

Price from £539.00 per person*
Departures from 13th Dec 2017 to 25th Apr 2018

Please see Includes tab for flight times

Paphos was old even in ancient times. Situated on the west coast of Cyprus, it was in the classical era the capital of Cyprus and the most famous centre in the ancient world for the worship of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty.

Now a thriving and cosmopolitan centre, Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of world heritage, and has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2017.

Of outstanding historic value is the Paphos Archaeological Park which contains the remains of a 1200 seat amphitheatre (dated 4th century BC), several villas and palaces, fortresses and tombs. Of special interest are the mosaics in the Houses of Theseus, Aion and Dionysius, which are considered to be among the most beautiful classical mosaics in the world.

Aphrodite/Venus cults

The cult of the fertility goddess was widespread in Bronze Age times and certainly predates the arrival of the Greeks in Paphos, where the cult was already thriving from c. 4,000 BC. Later the cult morphed into that of Aphrodite and Paphos was a large religious centre at the time of the Trojan War (c. 1,200 BC) and mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey (c. 700 BC). The Bible states that Paul of Tarsus visited Paphos, and the Roman historian Tacitus records a visit to Paphos by future emperor Titus, who was fascinated by its antiquity.

According to the story as told by the Roman poet Ovid, it was Aphrodite who interceded on behalf of the Cypriot sculptor Pygmalion who, upon fashioning his ideal woman out of ivory, promptly lost all interest in earthly women and wished to marry his statue instead. Aphrodite helpfully obliged by breathing life into the statue, and the ecstatic sculptor and 'his fair lady' duly went off and had a daughter called Paphos, who gave her name to the town. The 'statue' was unnamed but acquired the name Galatea in the 18th century, and later was famously reinvented by George Bernard Shaw as the cockney flower girl turned society deb Eliza Doolittle.

The Old Town (Palaepaphos) is where you will find the main shopping area, whilst the resort area, situated by the sea, hosts numerous tavernas, restaurants, shops and bars.

The resort's focal point is the charming fishing harbour by the Byzantine Paphos castle. Nearby is Petra Tou Romiou, famous as the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite. Needless to say there are several beaches nearby, with the best being in the Coral Bay area, just a short bus ride away.

This tour is organised and operated by Omega Holidays plc ABTA V4782 ATOL 6081

  • Return flight from your chosen airport to Paphos
  • Return transfer from the airport to your hotel
  • Seven nights at the 3 star Dionysos Central Hotel, Paphos with buffet breakfast and dinner
  • One piece of hold luggage (at least 20 kg weight allowance)
  • Services of an English–speaking representative
  • All airport taxes and security charges and the Government charge on air travel (APD)
  • VAT at 20%

* Based on two people sharing a room. A room (with balcony) for single person occupancy is offered, subject to availability, at a supplement of £182pp for the break.


Flights → Paphos
Airport Outbound Return Airline
Gatwick (Sunday)07:10 / 13:4014:20 / 17:20easyJet
Gatwick (Wednesday07:10 / 13:4014:20 / 17:20easyJet
Manchester (Sunday)07:00 / 13:4514:25 / 17:40easyJet
Manchester (Wednesday)12:30 / 19:1019:50 / 23:00easyJet
Bristol08:00 / 14:3515:15 / 18:20easyJet
East Midlands09:50 / 16:2517:40 / 20:35Thomson
Edinburgh10:55 / 17:5018:30 / 21:55easyJet
Luton11:20 / 17:518:30 / 21:30easyJet
Newcastle10:00 / 16:4022:50 / 02:00Thomson
Stansted09:25 / 15:5516:55 / 19:40Jet2
These flight times are correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change without notice

Day 1 Gather at your chosen departure airport for your flight to Paphos. On arrival, you will be met by our English–speaking representative and transferred to the 3 star Dionysos Central Hotel in Paphos town for check in, dinner and the first of seven nights stay.

Day 2 After breakfast, you may if you wish attend a Welcome Meeting held by your representative. Useful information about Paphos and the surrounding area will be available, including information about the optional excursions, and you will have the opportunity to make bookings and ask any questions you may have.

Day 3 – 7 The days are at leisure from breakfast until dinnertime. Excursions take place on various days during the week.

Day 8 Breakfast and then time to say your farewells as we return to the airport for your flight home.


Optional Excursions
Bookable in resort, dates and prices are provisional
Troodos/KyykosMondayapprox. €20.00pp
A full day excursion to the Troodos Mountains, the green heart of Cyprus with its traditional and picturesque villages, lovely churches and peaceful monasteries. We begin just below the peak of Mount Olympus (6,404 ft) and arrive at Kykkos Monastery, the wealthiest and most famous monastery on the island. The monastery was founded at the end of the 11th century and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It also possesses one of three surviving icons of Our Lady said to have been painted by Saint Luke. Set into the hillside close to the monastery is the tomb of Archbishop Makarios, who came to global prominence as a Greek Cypriot national hero in the 1960s and served three terms as President of Cyprus. We will then continue to the village of Omodos, famous for its wine, and from there to Panayia village and the photogenic Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery, dedicated to Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate. We return to Paphos via Cedar Valley.
Nicosia/Lefkara Tuesdayapprox €20.00pp
No visit to Cyprus would be complete without taking in a visit to its fascinating capital city, which like Berlin during the Cold War straddles two zones, the northern Turkish Zone and the southern Greek zone. You can see the famous Green Line, the buffer no-mans-land between the two and symbol of a bitter 32-year divide. The good news is that relations are a lot friendlier nowadays with mutual cross-border access and ongoing talk of reunification. Among other places of interest, we will visit the Cathedral of St. John and the 16th-century Byzantine Museum. We will continue towards the centre of Nicosia and the city within the walls. Take a walk, lunch or do some shopping and explore 'Laiki Yitonia', the old neighbourhood with its souvenir shops, cafés and tavernas. We also visit the village of Lefkara, famous for its lace and silver handicrafts, where to this day groups of women can be seen sitting in the narrow streets doing fine embroidery work, just as they have done for centuries.
LimassolFridayapprox €20.00pp
On this excursion we set off along the south coast towards Limassol, stopping on the way at Aphrodite's Rock for photos. Our next stop is Kourion, a World Heritage Site and classical city mentioned by ancient authors like Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder, with extensive archaeological remains including a stadium, bathhouse, the House of Achilles, the House of the Gladiators, a basilica, forum and amphitheatre. Just west of Limassol we discover the Crusader stronghold of Kolossi Castle. The area is known for its Commandaria wine, thought to be the oldest named wine in the world and called by Richard the Lionheart 'the wine of kings and the king of wines'. Which is quite a good excuse to go and taste some wine at the nearby Etro winery. Onwards to Limassol, but not before taking a look at the Natural Sea Sponge Centre, which tells you all kinds of interesting things you probably didn't need to know about the life-cycle of that very useful bathroom accessory, as well as giving you the opportunity to buy some. On to Limassol, packed with shops and culture, clubs, festivals, museums and ancient ruins. Famously, our wine connoisseur King Richard sailed into Limassol during the Third Crusade, rescued his sister the Queen of Sicily from the clutches of the local corrupt Byzantine boss, whom he overthrew with extreme prejudice, and then married his sister's rather fetching friend Berengaria of Navarre, instantly making her Queen of England.
Baths of AphroditeSaturdayapprox €20.00pp
We travel along the coast to Geroskipou, known for a Folk Art Museum but more for its 5-domed Byzantine church, Ayia Paraskevi. Geroskipou also enjoys the interesting distinction - and a mysterious achievement for a Greek town - of being the only place in the world with a PGI designation (protected geographical indication) for its manufacture of Turkish Delight. We continue on to the monastery of Ayios Neophytos, cut literally out of the mountain by the 12th century hermit Neophytos, and featuring some magnificent Byzantine frescoes. We stop in the small town of Polis for a coffee break before continuing to the nearby National Park with its famous Baths of Aphrodite, a beautiful natural grotto where according to legend Aphrodite used to bathe, although according to local rules you aren't allowed to. We also visit picturesque Latchi harbour, dotted with quayside tavernas, before returning to Paphos.
Above coach excursions are accompanied and guided by an English-speaking qualified guide. Entrance fees to the archaeological sites are not included. Excursions are subject to minimum numbers.
Details of these excursions are correct at the time of printing/publication but may be subject to change.

Here are some example hotels or similar ones that we use for this break, actual availability may change with the travel date you choose.

Some hotels have an additional supplement per person, as shown below. Supplements are stated for the break (not per night)

Dionysos Central Hotel, Paphos
Small and friendly hotel close to the beach and the old harbour of Paphos...
 

Quote: NWN10

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