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For anyone on a short visit to Famagusta, the first stop is usually St. Nicholas Cathedral, Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque. Ginkgo is conveniently located next to the mosque on Namik Kemal Square. There's an atmospheric dining area inside the old stone building, but most choose the shaded outside area on the square. We found it hard to resist the polite invitations of the Cameroon staff here. So much so, that we returned here for their friendly service 18 months after our first visit, to be served by the same waiter. If you're looking for friendly service and reasonable prices in a prime location, you can't go far wrong with Ginkgo.
Click thumbnail to view full-sizeGinkgo, Famagusta. | SourceOutside dining at Ginkgo. | SourceEfes, Turkish beer. | SourceGinkgo, Famagusta. | Source Gazimagusa Beach Buffet
After walking from the walled city to the coast by Palm Beach Hotel we were grateful to find this beach bar serving cold drinks, meals, and snacks. As we were there, a tour group picked up their lunch to eat on the beach while looking at the Ghost Town nearby. Prices were very reasonable, especially given its great beachside location.

If you are heading out this way out of season, it might be a good idea to check opening times. Others, who went here the week after us, found the beach bar closed.

Click thumbnail to view full-sizeTowards Palm Beach Hotel. | SourceAn eery location. | SourceGazimagusa beach buffet. | Source Petek
If you are looking for an atmospheric and traditional patisserie and brasserie, then Petek, conveniently located opposite the Sea Gate in Famagusta is the place to go. Unmissable with its rooftop red logo, Petek is in two sections. The cafe area, on two levels, has a shop adjacent to it. The ground floor dining area is arranged around an ornamental central fountain. A curved staircase, decorated with old photos, leads up to the upper level around a central fireplace. Weather permitting, doors are pulled open so that diners can sit out on the balconies, with plenty of shade available. This is the place to try a Turkish coffee and sample a cake. We also found that they do good tea.

Next door, the patisserie stocks an amazing array of cakes and sweet delicacies, including a wide range of Turkish delight. If you are really taken with Petek, be sure to pick up one of their leaflets, which gives details of their other locations in Northern Cyprus.

Click thumbnail to view full-sizePetek, Famagusta. | SourcePetek from the Sea Gate. | SourcePetek ground floor. | SourceStreet view. | SourceUpper level. | SourceA view of the Sea Wall. | SourceBalcony seating. | SourceTraditional Turkish coffee. | SourceTurkish coffee, Turkish delight and water. | SourcePetek's cakes are recommended. | SourcePetek patisserie. | SourcePetek patisserie. | SourceTurkish delight. | SourceSweet treats. | SourcePetek, Famagusta. | Source 2. St. Barnabas Monastery
Barnabas, a Cypriot Jew, traveled with Paul on missionary journeys, as detailed in the Bible. Christian tradition holds that Barnabas was martyred at Salamis, Cyprus in 61AD by Jews who resented his success in preaching the Christian gospel. His body was privately buried. He is regarded as the founder of the Cypriot Orthodox Church and the patron saint of Cyprus.

Legend has it that, in 478, Barnabas appeared in a dream to the Archbishop of Constantia (Salamis, Cyprus), Anthemios, revealing that he was buried under a carob tree. The archbishop found the remains of Barnabas buried with a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel on his chest. Anthemios founded a church near the burial site and placed the remains here.

There has been a monastery on this site since the 5th Century. But the building that survives today dates from 1756. Until the division of Cyprus in 1974, Famagustans used to get their babies baptized here. Tourists visit to admire the icons and the frieze depicting the discovery of Barnabas's remains by Archbishop Anthemios, but it is now a museum, rather than a place used by Christians.

The cloisters house an archaeological museum with many artifacts discovered in the surrounding area. There is also a cafe in the pleasant courtyard area and a gift shop near the entrance.

There's a small charge for entering the monastery area. In addition, there is a further nominal charge for the toilets.

After visiting the monastery and museum, we were still none the wiser as to where the remains of Barnabas were located, until we noticed a path beyond the car park area, leading to a small chapel a short distance away. The original church has long since crumbled, but a mausoleum, dating from the 19th Century, has been built over the supposed tomb of Barnabas. It is free to enter. The interior is very plain with a few icons. Go down the steps into a cave-like level to find a shrouded coffin and more icons. It's a slightly eery experience, but one not to miss, when visiting the monastery.

We took a taxi there from our resort 9 kilometers away. A visit here combines well with one to the nearby ruins of Salamis.

Click thumbnail to view full-sizeA cloister view of St. Barnabas monastery. | SourceSt. Barnabas monastery. | SourceSt. Barnabas monastery. | SourceSt. Barnabas monastery. | SourceIcons. | SourceSt. Barnabas monastery courtyard and cloisters. | SourceArchaeological museum. | SourceArchaeological museum. | SourceArchaeological museum. | SourceThe archaeological museum. | SourceMausoleum above the tomb. | SourceTomb of St. Barnabas. | SourceTomb area. | SourceSteps out of the tomb. | SourceInside the mausoleum above the burial site. | SourceSt. Barnabas monastery. | Source 3. Salamis
A major historical site on the east coast of Cyprus, archaeological finds from Salamis date back to the Bronze Age. It is thought that the silting up of the harbor at Enkomi, led to the relocation of its inhabitants to Salamis, where a major trading post was developed. This former capital of Cyprus was occupied by Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians. But much of what visitors now see dates from the Roman period, when Salamis was developed as a cultural center. Beset by earthquakes, the city was repaired, remodeled and renamed Constantia after the emperor Constantius.

The silting up of the harbor prompted its inhabitants to move south to Famagusta. The city was plundered and it is not unusual to come across stones and columns from Salamis in other parts of Cyprus; an early form of recycling. Earthquake, tidal wave and Arab raids in the 7th Century took their toll and this once thriving metropolis was buried under the sand for hundreds of years.

Excavations on the site started in the late 19th Century for a period and were carried out again 1952-1974. Since the division of Cyprus, little has been done here. It is a major tourist attraction, with coach loads of visitors being deposited in the car park for brief guided tours around the most accessible parts, as a stop on a day trip. It is said that a full exploration of the extensive site would take 2 days. A snapshot visit can be achieved in 1-2 hours.

We arrived by taxi and after paying a small entrance charge, we made our way through the swimming pool to the columned courtyard of the gymnasium. From here we had our first sight of the Corinthian columns in a picture postcard setting. We moved on towards the amphitheater, which demanded a lot of imagination, as the remains have been overtaken largely by the undergrowth.

Some parts of Salamis have been well-preserved, such as the street and the theater, which, although not back up to its original height, has enough rows of seats to give visitors a feel for what the original was like. The signage is mixed.

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