The city of the gods, Larnaca, is located in the north-east of Cyprus. Larnaka is best known for its numerous archaeological sights. According to legend, the city was the home of Lazarus who was resurrected and was the first bishop of Larnaka. The Byzantine-style Church of St. Lazarus, with its three domes, ancient icons and burial chamber, is the city’s main church. Other sights include the museum, the fortress with archaeological finds and the remains of the city kingdom of Kition, which houses five temples. Larnaca is the starting point for some sights in the area, such as the pilgrimage site and mosque Hala Sultan Tekke or the Stavrovouni Monastery.
Monastery of Agios Neofytos
The monastery of Agios Neofytos is located northwest of Paphos and is one of the most important monasteries in Cyprus. St. Neophytos was a hermit and in the 12th century began to carve out a living room with a bed in a rock cave. Even today, well-preserved frescoes adorn the stone living room. Gradually, more wall paintings were created in the expanding monastic complex. The monastery, built against a rock face, is still in use and beautiful and valuable icons can be seen in the monastery museum. In the caves and church rooms, monks look grimly from the walls. The writing implements that Neofytos used to document the current political developments of the time are also on display.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Cyprus, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
The Troodos Mountains National Park is located in the heart of Cyprus and its foothills stretch north-west to the Akamas Peninsula. The area is often referred to as the Black Forest of Cyprus because of its black pine trees. The highest peak is Mount Olympos. It is considered a hiking destination in summer and attracts skiers in winter. Many nature lovers love the tranquility and the many plant species that thrive on the mountain slopes. In addition to lavender and rock roses, orchid species are also at home here. Worth seeing waterfalls can be found in Pano Platres. In addition, many monasteries are embedded in the mountains.
Hiking trails in the Troodos Mountains
A must for all mountain lovers is a hike through the natural beauty of the Troodos Mountains. The Artemis Trail starts above the Prodromos road junction towards Mount Olympos. It is a 7 km loop trail that goes around the highest mountain in Cyprus. A nature trail, the Atalante Trail, starts in Troodos. The trail partially passes by Olympos and is 9 km long. The Kaleidonia Trail leads 7 km to the Kaleidonia waterfall and along a river. If you arrive around ten o’clock in the morning, you can see a rainbow stretching over the waterfall.
Kykkos Monastery Troodos
There are many stories about Kykkos Monastery, located in the heart of Cyprus, ranging from unbelievable to touching. The evangelist Luke painted an icon so sacred it is hidden behind a silver plate. She is said to be 2000 years old. Many Orthodox Christians make pilgrimages to Kykkos Monastery, which was also once the center of the Cypriot resistance. Today, 25 monks still live in the monastery, managing the monastery’s immense property. Pilgrims traveling with a maximum of two wheels can spend the night in the monastery hostel for a donation.
St Hilarion Castle
The medieval ruined castle of St. Hilarion is located on the coast of Northern Cyprus. In the 10th century the monastery was built on the mountain and gradually a fortress, a bailey and a lower bailey were added down the hill. The entire complex fits perfectly into the environment. A Gothic work of art is the Queen’s window in the Upper Castle. On the north side of the rock there are living quarters and corridors with loopholes. From there you have a wonderful view over the coastal plain.
The most beautiful beaches in the country are located in the south of Cyprus around the former fishing village of Agia Napa. In the 1970s, a modern hotel town emerged that offers numerous water sports and is well suited for holidays with children. There are many bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Worth seeing in Agia Napa are the Maritime Museum, the monastery with its Gothic elements and the cave church and St. Mary’s Church below the monastery. The interior of the Marienkirche in particular impresses visitors with the colorful depictions of Bible stories and holy pictures.
Museum Village Fikardou
In the western Troodos Mountains lies the small mountain village of Fikardou, which has been abandoned by its inhabitants. Today it is used as a museum village. It is a listed building and the houses have been lovingly restored. You can spend the night in the traditional mud brick houses and immerse yourself in the everyday life of the Cypriot villagers of bygone times. In addition to a wide variety of household items, there are old wine presses and stills to see.
The Cypriot cuisine is characterized by Turkish, English, Oriental and Italian influences, which provide a good change. The meat skewers, Sufla and the typical Cypriot goat cheese Halloumi are eaten from the grill. Lamb and goat meat from the traditional clay oven are very popular and are often combined with sesame paste, aubergine puree or cucumber yoghurt sauce. Salad is served with every meal. An eventful day can end with good Cypriot wine and desserts such as filled puff pastry, fresh fruit and semolina cake.
Beautiful cliffs with sea caves, cliffs and beautiful views over the sea can be found on the south-eastern tip of Cyprus. You can circumnavigate Cape Greco by boat from Agia Napa. There is also an 8 km nature trail through bizarrely jagged rocks with beautiful views. The path also starts in Agia Napa and heads north to a chapel above a sea cave with natural stone pools. If you want to return to Cape Greco, you have to toss a coin and your wish will come true.