Small Group Tour to St. Hilarion Castle and Bellapais Monastery in Kyrenia
Join this half-day small group tour to two of the most beautiful sights in Kyrenia: St. Hilarion Castle, rumored to be Walt Disney's inspiration for the castle in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Bellapais Monastery, a masterpiece of gothic architecture in Cyprus. Your driver will collect you between 8:50am to 9am from a central meeting point in Kyrenia, and you drop you off there again at the end of the tour.
The tour begins between 8:30am and 9am at a central meeting point in Kyrenia. From here, your guide will drive you to St. Hilarion Castle, 2,395 feet (730 metres) above sea level in the Kyrenia mountain range. Saint Hilarion was originally a monastery, named after a monk who allegedly chose the site for his hermitage in the 10th century. The castle's walls and towers appear to sprout out of the rocks almost randomly, giving it a fairy-tale look. It's no surprise, then, that St. Hilarion Castle is rumored to have inspired Walt Disney when he was designing the castle in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
From the castle, your guide will drive you eight miles (14 kilometres) to Bellapais Monastery, the ruin of a monastery built by Canons Regular in the 13th century. Also known as 'The Abbey of Peace', Bellapais Monastery is a masterpiece of gothic architecture in Cyprus and stands 722 feet (220 metres) above sea level, with spectacular views of Kyrenia and the Mediterranean sea. The small village of Bellapais and the monastery were made famous by the book Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, an autobiography by Lawrence Durrell on his three years living in Cyprus.
After the 5-hour tour, your driver will return to the central meeting point in Kyrenia. This is a small group tour, for 15 people or less.