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This was a full days tour, and as we first to picked up and last to be dropped off it was a total of 11 hrs !! , however, no moaning as knew it was going to be a long day. There is a comfort stop on the way for refreshments and the usual . Also all there are loos and refreshments at all the attractions, which would be most welcome on a hot day . I personally would have liked longer at Salamis to really take in all the amazing history of the place , but we were understandably on a strict schedule. Next stop was St.Barnabas monastery and icon museum, a simple style of church as opposed to much of the opulence seen in Greek Orthodox churches, but one that is stunning in its simplicity. The icons on show are amazing . There is also an artefact museum on site. Next stop was the old walled city of Famagusta, and Othellos Tower, and a great climb for the view at the top of the wall. ( very steep steps) . The old Cathedral of St.Nicholas which is now a mosque dates back to 1298 lies is in the centre the old town along with other very old places of interest. Here there are plenty of eating places all at very reasonable prices. Our last visit was to the Ghost town of Valosha ; prior to my visit I read Victoria Hislops novel The Sunrise, which is a fictional novel woven around the history of the place, and something I think is important to know before seeing it. I found it a very emotional experience. Our guide was very knowledgeable on all the places we visited, though my husband ( who is hard of hearing) found it difficult to understand her because of her very local accent ; however, it didn’t bother me as being local she had a passion about her country which is good. I was glad I made the trip - just don’t forget to take your passport !
Firstly the tour guide, I don't know her name but she is Finnish now living in Cyprus, from the 5 tours I booked through Viator in Cyprus, therefore Ruslan Travel, she was the best guide, more friendly when looking around the attractions, making sure everyone was in the shade and everyone was on/off the coach, she was very knowledgeable about everywhere we went.
I really enjoyed looking around the old theatre at Salamis and town of Famagusta. When you are driving through the outskirts of Famagusta you think oh no the town will be run down etc but no, the inside is very quaint, the catherdral, othello tower, ventian walls and mosque, pretty flowers. There's also an awesome Turkish Delight shop wall to wall, which also has a cafe attached, not to be missed, this is opposite steps that give you a view of sea and town, a few mins walk from coach drop off point. We got 2 hours in Famagusta which was enough as we had had stops at a monastery and Salamis beforehand.
The ghost town is a subarb of Famagusta and the coach drove us around, again the tour guide was very knowledgeable. You cannot get out and look round as this is a restricted area.
The only 2 things that stop me giving the tour 5 stars which is a shame due to excellent guide and price are-
The coach was terrible so old, it was 38'c outside and it certainly felt like it, there was no air con above the seat I was sitting in, the coach was full so no-where to move too and as a whole the air con being pumped around the coach didn't seemed to be doing anything it was absolutely roasting and very uncomfortable and smelled.
Even the passport officer who came on to scan our passports crossing back into the south side commented on how hot it was inside. Considering it was the further place to travel from Paphos luckily I was the second drop off on the way back so it was just over three hours back for me, Ruslan Travel certainly weren't worried about their paying customers. I emailed them when we got back quoting the coach regn number but I didn't even get acknowledgment - which says it all-don't care!
The coffee stop at Choirokoitia, complete disappointment, a road service station, nothing to see or do for 30 minutes boring!
Really good tour. Guides were knowledgeable. Bottles of water given out when we arrived in Salamis. Plenty of rest stops. Met the coach at the bus station, where a mini bus had been round the hotels picking up most people which meant we didn't have to sit for an hour on a coach picking up people which was a massive bonus. No negatives, I would recommend this tour to anyone. learnt loads about Cyprus and was given information throughout the coach trip.
Really enjoyed this tour very educational and our tour guide had so much information. It's a long day but worth it. The only thing that let it down was we didn't stop and get out at the ghost town which I was looking forward to as my brother had been on this trip last year but they stop and walked around it so I was disappointed that we only drove though it. Had a nice 2 hour stop in turkey for lunch and shopping and some site seeing would recommend it.
This day tour was brilliant. The courier gave us a detailed commentary giving us historical and social information which was very interesting. The cost was reasonable and much cheaper than our holiday company was offering. The coach was comfortable but did not have a toilet, however there were frequent stops with toilet facilities.