Home to the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia District lies along the border between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Nationally significant museums dot bustling Nicosia while centuries-old monasteries and a beautifully preserved village lie on the slopes of the Troodos Mountains.
Things to do in Nicosia
Spend a day or two sightseeing in the city of Nicosia, which is dominated by the soaring minarets of Selimiye Mosque. Get up close to Stone Age artefacts and Roman-era coins at the Cyprus Museum before admiring the 15th-century wall paintings on display at the Byzantine Museum. Nicosia is ringed by Venetian-built walls marked by several impressive gates.
Nestled in the mountains south of Nicosia is the 12th-century Machairas Monastery, which is dominated by a red-tiled timber roof and features a Byzantine church decorated with chandeliers, wall frescoes and stone floors. It’s famously home to an icon of the Virgin Mary said to be painted by Luke the Apostle that was smuggled to Cyprus by an unknown hermit.
One of Nicosia District’s most atmospheric villages is Fikardou, which has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century. It’s now owned by the Department of Antiquities, with steep pathways leading between its quaint stone houses. Marvel at the beautifully preserved woodwork at the House of Katsinioros and the House of Achilleas Dimitris, both of which have been transformed into museums depicting life in times gone by.
Getting around Nicosia
Nicosia District is around an hour’s drive from Larnaca and Larnaca International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Buses are the main means of getting to and around Nicosia District while hiring a car will give you greater freedom to explore the region.