Cyprus the island of Saints, Culture and Beauty
This tour will take you from Paphos up through the mountains from Panagia to Troodos as follows:
- Kykkos Monastery
- Beautiful mountain village
- Birthplace of Archbishop Makarios III
- Chrysorogiatissa Monastery
- Panagia Museum
Panayia is a beautiful and hospitable village in the Paphos region. It was the birthplace of Archbishop Makarios III the first president of the Cyprus Republic. It stands 880m above sea level within the evergreen Paphos forest.
The home of Archbishop Makarios III has now been converted into the small Panagia Museum. Here you can you can see furniture from a typical Cypriot House of the last century. The furniture all belong to Archbishop Makarios III.
Set in beautiful surroundings, the Monastery of Chrysorogiatissa is dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate’. It was established in 1152 by monk Ignatios who, according to popular belief, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary off the shore of Paphos that had been thrown into the sea in Asia Minor during the iconoclastic controversy and carried by the waves to Cyprus.
The monastery was restored at the end of the 18th century. The single – aisle church, built on the foundations of an older one, has fine frescoes above the three entrances. The monastery is home to a collection of important icons and treasures. An impressive religious ceremony is held on August 15th. The monastery’s old winery produces some of the finest Cypriot wine.
- Most impressive monastery of Cyprus
- Dedicated to Panagia
- Amazing mosaics
The Monastery of Kykkos, the richest and most lavish of the monasteries of Cyprus, is found in the region of Marathasa. It is situated on a mountain peak, at an altitude of 1318 metres northwest of Troodos. Dedicated to Panagia, it possesses one of three icons attributed to Agios Loukas the Evangelist. The icon, covered in silver gilt, is in a shrine made of tortoise shell and mother – of – pearl that stands in front of the iconostasis.
The monastery was founded sometime between the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the12th century, during the reign of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118 AD). Unfortunately the monastery burned down several times and nothing remains of the original structure.
Blessed with divine grace, Cypriot hermit Isaiah miraculously cured the emperor’s daughter of an incurable illness. As a reward, he asked for the icon of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) kept at the imperial palace at Constantinople. Though grieved at the prospect of losing his precious treasure, the emperor sent it to Cyprus with fitting honours together with funds to pay for the construction of a monastery where the sacred relic would be kept. At the hermit’s request, the emperor’s representative in Cyprus Manuel Vutomites also endowed the monastery with three villages. As the gift was later confirmed by imperial charter, the monastery is considered to have been established by imperial decree.
The first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, served here as a novice. At his own wish he was buried on the summit of Throni, 3 kilometres west of the monastery, and not far from his native village of Panayia. The monastery produces zivania and a variety of other alcoholic drinks and holds religious fairs on September 8th (Birth of the Virgin) and August 15th (Dormition of the Virgin).
- Burial grounds of Archbishop Makarios III
- Amazing mountain views
Rising to almost 2,000 metres above sea level, the Troodos peaks provide panoramic scenes to all corners of the island, a cool retreat from the heat of the coast and popular for taking in the healthy mountain air and enjoying nature in all its majesty.
- Traditional village
- Agios Nickolas tis Stegis church – amazing murals
- Agios Georgios Perachoritis church – wall paintings
Kakopetria is a place not to miss. It is a beautiful village, whose old quarter is a protected area. You can see local Cyprus chairs being made from wood and straw or wander around the old part of the village which has preserved much of its traditional architectural character. In the middle of the village is a large square where you can relax at one of the tavernas or restaurants. There are several churches around here to visit including the famous Agios Nickólaos tis Stegis which has some amazing murals dating from the 11th-17th century. The church of Agios Georgios Perachoritis also has some original 16th century wall paintings for you to enjoy.