Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

Cyprus: Treasures of the Eastern Mediterranean

June 5 – 17, 2009

with an Optional Extension to Jordan (June 12 – 17, 2009)

We welcome you to join Bryn Mawr Alumnae Travel on this custom-designed itinerary that explores the ancient impressions and modern interactions that constitute the fascinating culture on the divided island of Cyprus. During our tour in Cyprus, we explore the ancient sites and recent relics that have created the island's unique historical mosaic over thousands of years. The program also offers an optional post-trip extension to Jordan's west coast, where we visit the dazzling site of Petra among other local points of historic, religious, and cultural interests.

We begin in the republic of Cyprus, whose strategic location as the easternmost island in the Mediterranean has attracted countless competing cultures, all of which are reflected on the island today. A veritable crossroads of three continents, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and in close proximity to Europe, Asia and Africa. This unique position has given Cyprus an exotic cultural mix created over a 9,000 year history. Here on your visit you will discover a compact world of stunning beaches and fragrant mountain peaks, vineyards studded with olive trees and ancient ruins that stir the imagination, citrus groves, and old stone villages where the wine flows as freely as conversations at the local café. While discovering Cyprus' historical relics and ancient archaeological sites, you will also meet the warm-hearted people and explore the issues that divide their country.

Travelers may join us on our optional post-trip extension via a short flight to exotic Jordan. We explore the country's rich history through the treasures and monuments in and around Amman and the Dead Sea. We will also spend a full day walking among the massive, rose-red ruins of the ancient city of Petra, today a UNESCO World heritage Site.

Bryn Mawr Study Leader

We are so fortunate to have two Bryn Mawr faculty members to lead our trip to Cyprus. Accompanying us on our journey will be Professor James Wright and is wife Dr. Mary K. Dabney. Professor James Wright is Chairman of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. He teaches the prehistory of the Aegean and classical archaeology and has been a member of the department since 1978. He has excavated in England, Italy and Greece. Since 1981 he as been directing research in the Nemea Valley sponsored by Bryn Mawr College, especially the prehistoric settlement of Tsoungiza. Currently he is co-directing excavation of a chamber tomb cemetery that belongs to the settlement. He has published widely on Mycenaean architecture and on the archaeological reconstruction of Minoan and Mycenaean societies.

Dr. Mary K. Dabney is a Research Associate and Lecturer in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. Her teaching and research interests include interconnections between Greece and the Near East during the second millennium B.C. As Co-Director of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project in Greece she is publishing the Late Mycenaean settlement on Tsoungiza and co-directing the Mycenaean cemetery excavations. Dr. Dabney has also directed museum and historic sites in the Philadelphia area.

Preliminary Itinerary

(Subject to change)

Friday , June 5
Depart the USA for Larnaca, Cyprus.

Saturday, June 6
Arrive in the Republic of Cyprus. Transfer to Nicosia and check in to our hotel, located within the old Venetian city walls. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner. HOLIDAY INN NICOSIA (D)

Sunday, June 7
View the island's finest collection of archaeological relics on a tour of the Cyprus Museum. Cross the border into the Turkish-occupied region to explore St. Hilarion Castle. Enjoy lunch in Kyrenia and visit an Augustinian abbey. Afterwards, tour the massive Byzantine-era Kyrenia Castle and view the remains of Cyprus' oldest shipwreck, circa 300 B.C. Return to Nicosia and tonight, enjoy one of the many restaurants in the old part of town on your own. HOLIDAY INN NICOSIA (B,L)

Monday, June 8
This morning, visit Agios Ioannis Church's and its colorful frescoes and the Byzantine Art Museum, with its stunning collection of Byzantine icons. After lunch, walk down bustling Ledra Street to the Turkish side of town and see the Ottoman-era Büyük Han (Turkish for "Great Inn") and the Gothic Selimiye Mosque. We leave the capital and travel to Limassol, located on the island's southern coast and check into our comfortable resort hotel, where sea-view rooms have been reserved. Tonight, enjoy dinner together in the hotel. MEDITERRANEAN BEACH HOTEL (B,L,D)

Tuesday, June 9
Take a scenic drive north to the mountainous Troodos Massif, with its frescoed Byzantine churches, thriving pine forests and traditional way of life. Shop for handicrafts or taste the famous Cypriot "Commandaria" wine in the village of Omodos, then go deep into the mountains to visit the 11th-century Church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis ("Saint Nicholas of the Roof"), home to some of the most impressive frescoes on the island. After a lunch of Cypriot specialties in Kakopetria village, visit tow more ‘painted churches' before returning to Limassol. The evening is at your leisure, a perfect chance for a relaxing sunset stroll along the shore and dinner in town. MEDITERRANEAN BEACH HOTEL (B,L)

Wednesday, June 10
Drive along the coast to Kourion and enjoy views of the famous Petra tou Romiou ("Rock of the Greeks") from which Aphrodite allegedly sprung. Continue to the Archaeological Park of Paphos and visit its Roman villas with wonderfully preserved mosaics. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the picturesque harbor. Then, explore the Hellenistic and Roman Tombs of the Kings and visit Agios Neophytos Monastery, before returning to Limassol. MEDITERRANEAN BEACH HOTEL (B,L,D)

Thursday, June 11
This morning, we visit the Neolithic-era site of Khirokitia, one of Cyprus' earliest human settlements, dating to 6,800 B.C. Shop for homemade lace in the village of Lefkara before arriving in Larnaca to tour the Pierides Archaeological Museum and the Church of Agios Lazarus. After lunch on your own in Larnaca, we visit the impressive ancient city-kingdom of Salamis. Afterwards, we check into our hotel on Larnaca Bay. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel. GOLDEN BAY HOTEL (B,D)

Friday, June 12
Transfer to the Larnaca airport for flights back to the USA, or join the extension to Jordan. (B)


Friday, June 12
Fly to Amman, Jordan. Upon arrival, drive to the Dead Sea for a swim and lunch. Afterwards, enjoy a tour of Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom, often referred to as the "White City" due to the prolific use of white stone in local architecture. Visit the citadel and the Roman theater. Tonight, enjoy a specially arranged traditional Jordanian dinner in the home of a local family. CROWNE PLAZA AMMAN (B,L,D)

Saturday, June 13
This morning, visit the city of Jerash, part of the Decapolis (the ten largest settlements in the eastern Roman empire) and the best-preserved example of Roman occupation in the area. Commonly called the "Pompeii of the East," the city features theaters, churches, temples, a nymphaeum and colonnaded streets. After lunch, proceed to the 12th-century Saracen castle at Ajloun, built by Saladin in his campaign to drive the Crusaders from Jordan in 1189, and an outstanding example of Arab-Islamic military architecture. Return to Amman for an evening at leisure. CROWNE PLAZA AMMAN (B,L)

Sunday, June 14
Travel south to Mount Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses that overlooks the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Next, we visit Madaba, where the oldest known map of the Holy Land exists on the floor of the Basilica of Saint George. Enjoy lunch and visit Kerak castle, one of the most important defenses guarding the Latin Kingdom. Continue to Petra along the Desert Highway and check in to our hotel, the closest hotel to the entrance. Tonight, enjoy a cooking class and festive dinner at Petra Kitchen, where we will learn how to make Jordanian specialties under the guidance of a chef. CROWNE PLAZA PETRA (B,L,D)

Monday, June 15
Enjoy a full-day tour of Petra, the ancient Nabataean capital city settled by Arab traders more than 2,000 years ago. Walk or take a 1/2-mile horse ride (led by a local Bedouin guide) up to the narrow canyon or 'siq', the spectacular main entrance to the city. Explore one of the world's most incredible antiquities, Al Khazneh (The Treasury), as well as Petra's elaborate royal tombs, Roman theater, colonnaded streets, water channels, and staircases. Enjoy lunch at Basin restaurant at the end of the valley before making your way back to the hotel. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool against the backdrop of Petra's famous red rocks. Dinner is at the hotel tonight. CROWNE PLAZA PETRA (B,L,D)

Tuesday, June 16
Travel to the valley of Wadi Rum and board 4 x 4 vehicles for a thrilling tour of the Rum Nature Reserve where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed. Magnificent rock formations and awe-inspiring mountain ranges cast eerie shadows over red and yellow moon-like desert terrain. After lunch, drive back to Amman and enjoy a final dinner together. CROWNE PLAZA AMMAN (B,L,D)

Wednesday, June 17
Transfer to the Amman airport for flights back to the USA. (B)

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Cost and Program Inclusions

Tour quotation, per passenger, based upon double occupancy: (Land Only)

Cyprus Program         $3,995
Single Supplement      $495
Jordan Extension        $2,195
Single Supplement      $395
(Airfare from Cyprus to Jordan not included)

Program Inclusions:

  • Six nights' accommodations in Cyprus at the following hotels:
    • Two nights at the Holiday Inn in Lefkosia
      Three nights at the Mediterranean Beach Hotel in Lemesos
      One night at the Golden Bay Hotel in Larnaca
  • Five nights' accommodations on the Jordan post-tour extension at the following hotels:
    • Three nights at the Crowne Plaza in Amman
      Two nights at the Crowne Plaza in Petra
  • Breakfast daily, four lunches, and four dinners, including welcome and farewell dinners during the main program
  • Breakfast daily, five lunches, and four dinners (including an exclusive dinner at the home of a local Jordanian family) during the post-tour extension.
  • Wine is included with all lunches and dinners
  • All excursions outlined in the itinerary including entrance fees and gratuities to the drivers and guides, including a full day of sightseeing in the famed ancient city of Petra and a Bedouin-led 4 x 4 jeep ride through the desert surrounding Wadi Rum during the post-tour extension in Jordan
  • Discussions with local leaders to gain insight into the politics of the region
  • Local English-speaking sightseeing guides and a Siemer & Hand tour manager throughout the trip
  • Pre-trip service, suggested reading list and pre-departure information
  • All transfers with luggage handling at hotels and most airports for those traveling on group dates
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Itinerary Map

itinerary map

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