22 days in Cyprus & Istanbul Itinerary

22 days in Cyprus & Istanbul Itinerary

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Istanbul, Turkey
— 6 nights
Kyrenia, Cyprus
— 3 nights
Pedoulas, Cyprus
— 1 night
Nicosia, Cyprus
— 9 nights


Istanbul, Turkey — 6 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Popular historic sites such as Hagia Sophia Mosque and Suleymaniye Cami are in your itinerary. Do some cultural sightseeing at Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Galata Tower. There's lots more to do: take an in-depth tour of Topkapi Palace, explore the activities along Bosphorus Strait, steep yourself in history at Historic Areas of Istanbul, and hunt for treasures at Kapali Carsi.

For ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Istanbul trip planning website.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Istanbul is an approximately 8-hour flight. When traveling from Riyadh in December, plan for colder days in Istanbul, with highs around 7°C, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can fly to Kyrenia.
Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 23:

Kyrenia, Cyprus — 3 nights

Famous for its natural port and Byzantine castle, Kyrenia is not only a lovely old Venetian town, but also the most visited tourist destination in Northern Cyprus.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Saint Hilarion Castle and Buffavento Castle. Get a sense of the local culture at Bellapais Monastery and Kyrenia Castle. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kyrenia: Famagusta (St Barnabas Monastery and Icon Museum & Salamis Ancient City). The adventure continues: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of Antiphonitis, stroll through Alagadi Turtle Beach, pause for some serene contemplation at Archangelos Michael Church, and don't miss a visit to The Cyprus House & Carob Warehouse.

For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Kyrenia trip itinerary site.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Kyrenia takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Istanbul to Kyrenia due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Istanbul in December, you will find days in Kyrenia are somewhat warmer (19°C), and nights are about the same (9°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to drive to Pedoulas.
Historic Sites · Beaches · Outdoors · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:

Pedoulas, Cyprus — 1 night

Take a trip inland and visit the village of Pedoulas, a scenic destination tucked in the Troodos Mountains.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Tue): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Panagia Podithou, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis Church, then explore the world behind art at Folkloric Museum, then examine the collection at Panagia (Monastery) of Kykkos, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Agios Ioannis Lambadistis Monastery. Keep things going the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Archangelos Michael Church, pause for some serene contemplation at Church of Archangelos Michail, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Painted Churches in the Troodos Region, then pause for some serene contemplation at Timios Stavros Monastery, then see the interesting displays at Oleastro Olive Park and Museum, and finally do a tasting at Nelion Winery.

To see where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Pedoulas trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Kyrenia to Pedoulas in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Nicosia.
Historic Sites · Museums · Wineries
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:

Nicosia, Cyprus — 9 nights

the last divided capital

Experience a combination of traditional and modern Cyprus, including archaeological sites encircled by ancient walls, in the country's capital, Nicosia.
Get some historical perspective at Hala Sultan Tekke and Kourion. Church of Saint Lazarus and Zenobia Wreck are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Nicosia's surroundings by going to Stavrovouni Monastery (in Pyrga), Kalavasos-Tenta Neolithic Archaeological Site (in Kalavasos) and Limassol City (Kolossi Castle & Limassol Castle). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Finikoudes Beach, delve into the distant past at Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement, stroll through Mackenzie Beach, and get engrossed in the history at The Cyprus Museum.

Planning Nicosia trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Drive from Pedoulas to Nicosia in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Pedoulas in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Nicosia, with lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to fly back home.
Historic Sites · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 6:

Cyprus travel guide

Beaches · Ruins · Nightlife
From sandy beaches to stone castles, and from bustling nightclubs to romantic tavernas, Cyprus is the perfect destination for those who seek a complete Mediterranean experience. Many civilizations have left their mark on the island's long and vibrant history, and consequently its customs, cuisine, and architecture. Beyond the divide between the predominantly Greek south and Turkish north, throughout the island you'll recognize Venetian, Genoese, British, and Middle Eastern influences. Of course, the main attraction that draws tourists from all over the world is the sunny coast, dotted with historical cities and fully equipped beaches. There is also a selection of peaceful villages, both inland and by the sea, where those looking for a more secluded holiday can retreat. A visit to the country's capital Nicosia, with its vibrant art and culture scene and numerous sightseeing opportunities, is definitely worth adding to your itinerary wherever you're staying.