Travel Magazine

Famagust, Cyprus: Some Tips to Explore the City

By Simon Hales @itertrav

When you are thinking about places to visit on your next vacation getaway, consider traveling to Famagusta, Cyprus.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Turkey, Famagusta is a great destination for those who enjoy the history and architecture of the Turkish and Greek cultures: Famagusta is a unique tourist destination that you will be talking about for years.

Generally believed to have been settled around 285 B.C. by King Ptolemy of Egypt, Famagusta was a walled city whose architecture was as unique and stylish as any found in Eastern Europe. The area of Famagusta has seen many cultures come and go, including the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and others, each leaving their own impressions on the land and buildings around the city.

The city of Famagusta, along with the island of Cyprus, was taken from Egyptian control by the Greeks around 100 B.C. and stayed in Greek hands until the Romans took control of the island approximately 50 years later.


In the mid-1300’s, a problem developed between the Venetian and Genoese merchants, resulting in the Venetians losing any holds they had in the city of Famagusta and the Genoese taking control. The City of Famagusta went through several changes in culture and ownership throughout the years until it became a very popular location in the early 1950’s for the rich and famous to build their luxury homes on the Mediterranean coastline around Famagusta.

Today, the island of Cyprus and the area of Famagusta has been restored as a tourist destination with many great attractions to provide you with a picture of the history of Famagusta and the cultures that have come and gone through the years. There are a number of sites to visit in the city, including Bellapais Abbey (the site of a 28 year occupation by the Turks) as well as the old village of Famagusta (just outside the new city of Famagusta), the Kertikli Bath, the Twin Churches, Canbulat Tomb and Museum, the Cathedral Sycamore Fig Tree, St. George of the Greeks and the Royal Tombs and Museum.

When you visit the island of Cyprus, be sure to visit Othello’s Castle and Citadel in Famagusta. This medieval fortress was the main defense location of the city for any invaders trying to attack from the harbor. Othello’s Castle is a great example of Venetian architecture from the 16th century. Other great places to visit in Famagusta include the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, built between 1300-1400 A.D. The mosque took 100 years to build and is the largest building in Famagusta to have been built in medieval times.


Be sure to visit the Tomb of the Kings in nearby Paphos, just a few minutes from Famagusta. You will see a great number of tombs carved into the rocks in the hillsides with elaborate designs created to honor those who are buried here. Another popular attraction is the Baths of Aphrodite in Paphos Harbour: they were used as a community center of sorts where the residents would come together and visit while enjoying the baths.

Famagusta and the island of Cyprus have many villas and hotels that you can stay in during your getaway to the island. You will find amazing villas in Cyprus with a private swimming pool, fully equipped kitchen and scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea as well as Famagusta villas very close to the history and culture of the city.

When you are ready to experience the best that the Mediterranean has to offer while combining a historic location and architectural marvels, check out the island of Cyprus and the city of Famagusta.

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