The walled city of Famagusta (Gazimağusa) was made for exploration. Winding lanes rimmed with terrace rows of houses suddenly give way to ruined Gothic churches where birds nest between roofless arches and scraps of faded frescos cling to stone walls. From atop the Venetian walls, the shattered shards of these once-grand churches punctuate the skyline of what was Cyprus’ most lavish city.
Long since slumped into down-at-heel dilapidation, the area within the walls is endearingly shambolic. For years tourist infrastructure remained poor and most travellers only visited on day trips. Recently over €3 million in funding to preserve the walls and monuments has flooded in under the auspices of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, the EU and the United Nations Development Programme. This spruce up has led to the opening of a clutch of guesthouses, finally allowing travellers a chance to sleep within the walled city itself.