Once upon a time Famagusta was the most important port city on the island. The naturally deep harbor attracted ships, merchants and traders from all over the eastern Mediterranean and further. It was during this time that the region began to flourish with wealth, and the idea that wealth could be measured by the churches they built inspired these rich merchants to build a multitude of them. Famagusta came to be known as “the district of churches” – legend has it that at one time the area had a church for every day of the year.
Today the area boasts some of the most impressive medieval ruins anywhere in the world. The contrasting Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque is fascinating for its gothic cathedral exterior as it was once a church, which has since been transformed into a mosque on the inside. A walk through the walled city offers wonderful insight the history of the area, like a crumbling postcard to the past.
Salamis is a home to some fantastically preserved Roman ruins, including statues, standing columns, theatre and baths. But, of course, the area is as famous for its spectacular beaches as its rich history so there is really something for everyone.