12 Must-Visit Monasteries In Cyprus

monasteries in cyprus
| 5 min read

If you are planning to visit Cyprus, then you should brush up on this nation’s history, particularly that of its religion. As of today, Christianity still dominates the religious belief in this country. Because of this, Cyprus became one of the top go-to destinations for pilgrims around the world. Visitors not only enjoy the top attractions but also the great places to stay such as luxury villas and Airbnb vacation rentals. To give you a little background as to how Christianity came to be in Cyprus, it all began when the Proconsul of Cyprus by the name of Sergius Paulus was so moved by the preachment of Apostles Barnabas, Mark, and Paul in the year 45 BC. Since then, people from across the globe have regarded Cyprus as the very first Christian Roman province. With this in mind, continue reading to learn more about the must-visit monasteries in Cyprus.

1. Holy Monastery of Saint Neophytos the Recluse

Church of Agios Neophytos Monastery (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris06 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

While enjoying a stay in one of the comfy Vrbo vacation rentals, travelers should embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Monastery of Saint Neophytos the Recluse for a profoundly enriching and spiritually uplifting experience.

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Tala, this ancient monastery offers a sanctuary for contemplation and inner peace. Visitors can explore the remarkable rock-cut chambers adorned with exquisite frescoes dating back to the 12th century, providing a window into the rich history of the site. The tranquil gardens and the serene atmosphere provide an ideal environment for meditation and self-reflection.

Additionally, the monastery often hosts religious services and events, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the spiritual essence of the place. A visit to the Holy Monastery of Saint Neophytos is not only a journey through history but also an opportunity to nourish the mind and soul.

Holy Monastery of Saint Neophytos the Recluse

Address: Holy Monastery of Agios Neophytos, Tala 8576, Cyprus

Website: Holy Monastery of Saint Neophytos the Recluse

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

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2. Monastery of St John the Forerunner of Mesa Potamos

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

You can enjoy an indulgent stay in one of the luxury hotels when you are in Cyprus. When it comes to sightseeing and exploring, however, you may begin with a visit to the Monastery of St. John the Forerunner of Mesa Potamos, which holds a rich and storied history and beckons travelers to explore its hallowed grounds.

Located in the beautiful region of Cyprus, this monastery dates back to the 13th century, serving as a spiritual beacon for centuries. Its historical significance lies in its role as a place of worship, prayer, and reflection for devout pilgrims throughout the ages. Nestled amidst lush landscapes and serene surroundings, it provides a peaceful retreat for those seeking a respite from the bustling world. The monastery’s well-preserved architecture, religious artifacts, and serene ambiance make it an unmissable destination for history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike.

Address: Moniatis 4745, Cyprus

Website: Monastery of St John the Forerunner of Mesa Potamos

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 6:30pm; Sat - Sun: 6:30am - 6:30pm

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3. Kykkos Monastery

One of the most famous monasteries in Cyprus, Kykkos Monastery is only about 20 kilometers (12.42 miles) from Pedoulas, which makes traveling here super convenient and easy. Moreover, did you know that Kykkos Monastery is one of the famous monasteries in Cyprus? Well, this has a lot to do with how it’s also the wealthiest monastery in the country. According to history, Esaias, who is a hermit, was living in one of the caves of Kykkos. His encounter with doux Manuel Boutoumites was what brought the icon of the Virgin to Kykkos. It was believed that this particular icon was painted by the Apostle Luke himself.

Kykkos Monastery

Address: F966, Cyprus

Website: Kykkos Monastery

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

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4. Apostolos Andreas Monastery

monasteries in cyprus | apostolos andreas monastery
Source: instagram

If you are planning to visit Cyprus, whether you are going there as a pilgrim or as a tourist, you must find the time to visit the Apostolos Andreas Monastery. This church and monastery in Cyprus is located in the easternmost part of the island. Here’s a little fun fact: the Apostolos Andreas Monastery was originally known as the Lourdes of Cyprus. It was one of the most important sites for the Cypriot Orthodox Church. One of the main characteristics that distinguish this monastery is that it is organized by a changing group of volunteer laymen and priests. Both the Turkish Cypriot, as well as the Greek Cypriot, consider this place to be a holy place.

Apostolos Andreas Monastery

Address: Karpaz Anayolu, Dipkarpaz 99890

Website: Apostolos Andreas Monastery

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5. Machairas Monastery

2014-10-18 Machairas Monastery
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maxeras used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Visiting the Machairas Monastery should be on your list of things to do when you visit Cyprus. The most interesting thing about this is that there is a legend surrounding an unknown hermit who stole one of the 70 icons painted by Luke, the Apostle. The icon remained in hiding until 1145 when two Palestinians, Neophytos and Ignatius, came across said icon in a cave. The architecture of the Machairas Monastery is reason enough to visit this pilgrimage site. It is rectangular in terms of its layout and has red-tiled timber for its roof.

Machairas Monastery

Address: Machairas Monastery, Lazanias 2618, Cyprus

Website: Machairas Monastery

Opening hours: 8:30am - 6pm (daily)

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6. Panagia Apsinthiotissa

Panagia Apsinthiotissa (5)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris06 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Panagia Apsinthiotissa is a Greek monastery found at the foot of the Pentadaktylos range. Let’s first talk about its etymology: the word “Panagia” comes from the Orthodox term for the Virgin Mary. Moreover, “Apsinthiotissa” refers to the process of wormwood cultivation. It may sound bizarre to associate these two words together but wormwood was a common shrub found in the surrounding area of the monastery. The architecture of the Panagia Apsinthiotissa is interesting and very picturesque. If you plan to visit this place, be sure to take a photo of its exterior design but be discreet when you are inside the monastery.

Panagia Apsinthiotissa

Address: Kaynakköy 99390

Website: Panagia Apsinthiotissa

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7. Stavrovouni Monastery

Much like the majority of the monasteries included on this list, Stavrovouni Monastery is situated atop a hill. This is a Greek Orthodox monastery found on the hill called Stravrovouni, Cyprus. Why should you visit this monastery? Well, for one, visiting this place allows you to see one of the original pieces of the actual Holy Cross. In addition, Stavrovouni Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Cyprus and in the world. There’s so much history that is embedded into its wall. You would not want to miss this chance!

Stavrovouni Monastery

Address: Larnaca, Cyprus

Website: Stavrovouni Monastery

Opening hours: 7am - 11am, 2pm - 6pm (daily)

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8. Panagia tou Sinti Monastery

As you may have noticed, Panagia tou Sinti Monastery also features the word “Panagia,” which means the Virgin Mary. You can find this near Pentalia Village in the district of Paphos, Cyprus. Under the blue skies, this monastery looks like a scene from an old classic movie. This is actually one of the many reasons why tourists flock to this place. On another note, pilgrims from around the world also visit Panagia tou Sinti Monastery as they are particularly interested in its history, one which is very much devoted to the Virgin Mary.

Panagia tou Sinti Monastery

Address: Pentalia, Cyprus

Website: Panagia tou Sinti Monastery

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9. Trooditissa Monastery

As we near the end of this list, we present to you a much more modern-looking Trooditissa Monastery. Nevertheless, don’t let its architectural design and structure fool you. This was founded in 990 AD. However, the current building is fairly new. It was constructed around the year 1731, which explains why it has a more contemporary feel to its walls. The closest village to Trooditissa Monastery is Platres. This monastery is particularly popular among couples who wish to bear a child. Here, you’ll find the thaumaturgist icon of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that it brings wonders and magic, as thaumaturgist pertains to the ability of a saint or magician to work miracles, to childless couples.

Trooditissa Monastery

Address: Between the villages of Platres and Prodromos, Cyprus

Website: Trooditissa Monastery

Opening hours: 9am - 12pm, 2pm - 4pm (daily)

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10. Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery

A@a chrysorogiatissa monastery paphos - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user An. Antoniou used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery will be the last one on this list of must-see monasteries in Cyprus. The monastery is dedicated to Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate. The yearly celebrations are held every August 15 as a way to honor the Virgin Mary. This monastery is located on the outskirts of Pano Panayia in Paphos, Cyprus. It was established by a monk named Ignatios in 1152. According to the legend, the icon drifted to the shores of Paphos from Turkey, which was then known as Asia Minor, and was found by Ignatios.

Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery

Address: E703, Pano Panagia, Cyprus

Website: Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery

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11. Panagidia Galaktotrofousa Monastery

Monks of Panagidia Galaktotrofousa monastry, Cyprus
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dickelbers used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Larnaca District is a must-see destination in Cyprus. Visit churches, museums, and monasteries. One such place is Panagidia Galaktotrofousa Monastery, which is located in Kofinou. The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and belongs to the Church of Cyprus Diocese. There is a church in the courtyard and dormitories that house some rooms used for exhibitions. One place is dedicated to the history of the monastery and another room features a cabinet with the founder’s ossicles. Aside from admiring the architecture and history of the monastery, you can also try the olive oil that is both produced and sold by the monks in the monastery.

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12. Kantara Monastery

Saint Hilarion Castle
Source: Photo by user George M. Groutas used under CC BY 2.0

In the northern part of Cyprus, you can enjoy visiting the remains of Kantara Castle. The castle combines Frankish and Byzantine architectural elements. After admiring the beauty of the castle ruins, don’t forget to check out the Kantara Monastery nearby. Dedicated to Panagia Kantariotissa (or the Our Lady of Kantara), this monastery lies on the southern slopes of Cyprus’ Northern Range. The villages of Davlos and Ardana are also nearby.

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Visit some of Cyprus best monasteries

You’ll find some of the most stunning monasteries in Cyprus on a map of the world. In addition to its aesthetically pleasing structures, each of the monasteries included on this list has a rich background as to how icons of the Virgin Mary found its way to Cyprus from Asia Minor, which is now known as Turkey. Check out the best of architecture and history as you use this article as your guide. While you’re here, have a look at the best places to eat as well. Stay in adults-only hotels or vacation rentals for your accommodation needs.

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Frequently asked questions about must-visit monasteries in Cyprus

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Joyce Gonzales has always had the case of wanderlust. She was a former financial analyst who took a leap of faith and started writing about her travels. She is intrigued by the existence of...Read more

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