Kykkos monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia) and this is the reason the locals call it "The Panagia tou Kykkou". The monastery was founded in 1100, during the reign of Emperor Alexios Komninos, and now is the largest and the most charismatic monastery on the island.
The museum is an integral part of the monastery and houses a priceless collection of icons. 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.
Location: Troodos | Near Mylikouri Village.
The church of Panagia Phorbiotissa, better known as Panagia of Asinou, is situated in the north foothills of the Troodos mountain range. It is built on the east bank of a stream, three kilometers south of the village of Nikitari. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
Panagia Forbiotissa used to be the katholicon (monastery church) of the Monastery of Forbion, as its name implies. According to the dedicatory inscription above its south entrance, which is dated to 1105/6, the church was built with the donation of Magistros Nikephoros Ischyrios, who subsequently became a monk with the name Nikolaos. The monastery was founded in 1099 and it functioned until the end of the 18th century, when it was abandoned.
The church consists of two parts: the vaulted single-aisled nave and the narthex, which is a later addition belonging to the second half of the 12th century. The narthex with its two semi-circular apses belongs to a type directly influenced by Constantinople. Already from the 12th century a steep-pitched timber roof, covered with flat tiles, sheltered the church. Today no traces of the rest of the monastic buildings survive.
The interior of Panagia Forbiotissa is entirely covered with wall-paintings, which vary in date. The earliest group is dated to 1105/6 and it expresses the (then) latest style of the Comnenian period. These frescoes reflect the art of Constantinople, which is thought to be the artist's birthplace, and they are one of the most important groups of Byzantine art of this period. The strong influence of the Empire's capital can be explained by the fact that the prevailing geopolitical conditions of the time led Alexios Comnenos I (1081-1118) to render Cyprus his most important military base of the North-eastern Mediterranean.
Many of the original wall-paintings, dated to 1105/6, are preserved in the apse of the Holy Bema and the west wall of the church, which must have often suffered great damages especially from earthquakes. During the 14th century, for instance, the conch of the apse collapsed and was soon after rebuilt and redecorated. At the same time the external buttresses were added and a little later, the flying buttress at the eastern end of the north wall was built.
|Opening Hours||Weekdays and Saturdays 9:30-16:00 (until 17:00 in Winter)
Sundays and public holidays 10:00-16:00
The waterfall in Phini is located in Hantara area. Undoubtedly, the waterfall, an exquisite creation of nature, enchants and impresses all visitors.
Access to the remarkable waterfall is possible only through a “pleasant and short path”. The waterfall emerges through a wild landscape filled with “platans, pine trees”, and local kinds of trees and bushes. The scents and odors of lavender and sage, in combination with “the sound of water falling, the sweet singing of the nightingale” charm all visitors.
The water falls vehemently eight meters down and “forms a small lake”. The bubbly water runs on the “hard volcanic rocks of gabbro” that filled “with tiny velvet mosses”, while “ivy has embraced the trunks of plantans”.
The waterfall fills all visitors with unique feelings! The magnificence of these feelings bestowed upon the visitor by the waterfall is indicated in a text found in the Archive of the Community Council. Explicitly, “while the water falls with its peculiar humming, within this beautiful mountainous landscape, it overwhelms you. You can effortlessly feel the mind resting and reviving. You can also feel an attraction to stay as long as possible and view this site. One can not help but think how this could be appreciated by more people with just a few alterations”.
The foundations of an old watermill that possibly operated at the beginning of the 20th century are located near the waterfall.
Trooditissa monastery is situated in a beautiful spot among pine trees. It was originally founded in the 13th century, but the present church was built in 1731. The monastery was established immediately after the iconoclastic era. As with other monasteries, it was preceeded by a hermit who resorted there during the years of the iconoclasm. Nothing remains of the monastery of the Middle Byzantine period or the period of Frankish rule. The oldest reference to the Monastery of Trooditissa is found in a copy of a 14th century deed.
The church contains priceless silver-leaf covered icon of the Virgin Mary brought from Asia Minor. The monastery is closed to the public.
Location: Near Platres Village.
The church of Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the upper Solea valley. It is built on the west bank of the river Klarios/Karkotis, at a distance of about two kilometers southwest of the village of Kakopetria. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis is the only surviving katholicon (monastery church) of an 11th century Byzantine monastery in Cyprus. The church itself is dated to the 11th century, whilst the earliest written sources that mention the monastery are dated to the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. This monastery flourished from the Middle Byzantine period up to the period of Frankish rule. It declined during the 18th century and ceased to function as a monastery by the end of the 19th century. Ever since, it seems to have functioned as a simple country church and a pilgrimage site. Apart from the church, no other monastic buildings survive today.
The church is a domed cross-in-square structure and was originally without the narthex or the timber roof which covers both the nave and the narthex. This later steep-pitched roof, which carries a type of flat tile common in the area of Troodos, gave Agios Nikolaos the nickname 'of the Roof' ('tis Stegis') at least since the 13th century. The narthex was added at the beginning of the 12th century, whilst later additions and alterations changed the original appearance of the church and often resulted in the destruction of significant wall-paintings.
The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes belonging to various periods, which cover a time span of over 600 years. The This entirely painted church has justly been described as a museum of Byzantine painting. oldest phase of the mural decoration is dated to the 11th century and it is the most important set of wall-painting which survives on the island from this period. The paintings include scenes from the Dodekaorton (the life of Jesus), the Raising of Lazarus, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, isolated figures, etc. The next phase is dated to the 12th century and it includes wall-paintings from the southwest part of the church, the narthex and elsewhere. The composition of the Forty Martyrs and the figure of Ayios Nikolaos are worth mentioning.
Most of the mural decoration of the church is dated to the 14th century. The Crucifixion and the Resurrection belong to the end of the 13th-beginning of the 14th century, whilst the Christ Pantocrator on the dome, the Prophets on the drum of the dome and the Evangelists on the four pendentives date to the 14th century. In the nave and the narthex there is a group of life size saints dated to the same period. The larger than life-size of the military Saints Theodore and George on the northwest pier are particularly impressive. Later, in the 14th century, the apse and the east and south vaults were redecorated. Some of these frescoes are now exhibited in the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation in Lefkosia. The same Museum also houses some significant portable icons from Agios Nikolaos the Stegis.
The last phase of the wall-paintings is dated to 1633 and it includes the Apostles Peter and Paul, who decorate the east piers supporting the dome, near the iconostasis which is also dated to the 17th century.
|District||Kakopetria, Lefkosia (Nicosia)|
|Telephone||22922999 (COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF KAKOPETRIA)|
|Opening Hours||Closed on Monday and public holidays
Weekdays and Saturday 9:00-16:00 Sunday 11:00-16:00
At the top of the Troodos Mountains one can find the only Skiing Center in Cyprus. Here, one can take advantage of the pleasures of Winter Sports under the beautiful Mediterranean blue sky. Skiing can be enjoyed on the slopes of Mount Olympus (1951 metres a.s.l.), usually from the beginning of January until the end of March. An International F.I.S. Skiing Competition is organized every year by the Cyprus Ski Federation and takes place at the ZEUS Slalom Homologated Piste.
The Cyprus Ski Club operates four ski lifts at the Troodos ski centre:
A Chairlift on the FIS homologated slope of Zeus (380 Meters)
A 262m T-bar type ski lift on the Hera slope
A 125m T-bar ski-lift on the Sun Valley area leading to the Aphrodite slope.
A 140m T-bar ski lift on Sun Valley leading to the Hermes slope.
The ski lifts operate from 09.00. All runs are suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers.
The Ski Shop is situated in the “Sun Valley” area. It is operated by the Cyprus Ski Club, and is run by trained technicians. It has approximately 300 pairs of Alpine skis and 400 pairs of ski boots, 50 snowboards with boots and 50 pairs of Cross Country skis and boots. The Ski Shop is open throughout the week during the winter season.
Boards can be purchased from Force Eight Sports in Limassol about an hour drive from Troodos mountain.
Contact: +357 22 449837/25 420165 (Cyprus Ski Federation and Club)
Located on the crossroads of Lefkosia, Pafos and Lemesos, the breathtaking mountain locality of Cedar Valley is nestled within Pafos Forest, and is distinctive for its thousands of endemic Cedrus brevifolia species (Cedar trees), which is a close relative of the famous cedars of Lebanon. There are also some Calabrian pines - Pinus brutia in the valley, which is popular for its peaceful seclusion.
The area is crossed by the country road that joins the village of Panagia with the monastery of Panagia tou Kykkou, and also unfolds into Stavros tis Psokas, an additional mountain locality that is home to the rare and shy Mouflon (Ovis gmelini ophion) - an endemic species of wild sheep found exclusively on the island.
The remnants of three old, Venetian mountain bridges are interesting sights to take in whilst enjoying a stroll around the area.
Location: Tripillos area.
Omodos is located about 42 kilometres north-west of the city of Limassol, in the geographical region of the wine-making villages. The village receives an annual average rainfall of about 760 millimetres; vines and various fruit-trees (apple, plum, pear, peach, and apricot trees) are cultivated in the region. There also are uncultivated areas that are taken over by varied natural vegetation. A small part of the village -in its north part -is taken up by the state forest of Pafos.
The village was quite probably created at the end of the Byzantine era or the beginnings of the Frank Domination era, after the Pano and Kato (Upper and Lower) Koupetra settlements, found in the east bank of the Cha-potami river, were dissolved.
The inhabitants of Omodos, apart from growing vines and producing excellent wine and "zivania" (traditional alcoholic beverage), also handle the making of "soutzoukos" (must-stick with almonds), "palouze" (must jelly), "kkiofterka" (dried must jelly in rhomboid pieces), and "koulourka" (rusks). The "arkatena koulourka" (crunchy rusks with yeast) of Omodos are also well known and sought after throughout Cyprus. Also, genuine and of excellent taste sweets are made out of local fruits.
Home handicraft flourishes in Omodos. The village's women, apart from the plentiful and hard work that they offer next to their husbands for the cultivation of the earth, are also occupied with handmade embroideries, making wonderful brocades, tablecloths, threaded quilts, and narrow-knit and Chantilly laces.
The French president of the world-wide association of tourism journalists and travelling writers said that there were two places in the entire world that made a strong impression on him, the "Machu Picchu" of the Inca tribe in Peru of Latin America and the village Omodos of Cyprus.
Omodos is -perhaps- one of the few villages that keeps unadulterated its old beauty and its absolutely Cypriot character.
Source: Community Council of Omodos
Location: Omodos Village, Cyprus.
Tel.: +357 25422453/+357 99 444 650.
Kalidonia Waterfalls named by the Scots when visiting the area of Platres, around 1878 and are located two kilometres north of Platres. The Scottish ware amazed by the beauty and the resemblance of the waterfall with their home land. (Caledonia used was called Scotland during ancient times).
Kalidonia Waterfalls are among the highest natural waterfalls we have in Cyprus. The water of the waterfall falls vertically from a height of 12m. The visitor may visit the area using the roadway towards the waterfall or following nature trail on foot leading to it near Psilodentro.
If you wish to visit only the waterfalls you can start from the Psilo Dentron restaurant and walk up the hill for 20-30 minutes.
Location: Platres | near the summer Presidential Residence.
The church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is situated in the east part of the Troodos mountain range. It is built on a small hill overlooking the eastern part of the village of Palaichori. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List , which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
It was erected at the beginning of the 16th century and it belongs to the single-aisled, timber-roof typechurches of the Troodos region. The narthex, which was added by the beginning of the 17th century, extends to the west and south sides of the church and is covered by the same timber roof.
The interior of the church is entirely covered with wall-paintings. These date to the beginning of the 16th century, and constitute one of the most complete groups of wall-paintings of the Late Byzantine period in Cyprus. It is the most important example of the work of a group of painters of the Venetian occupation period, who remained attached to traditional Byzantine art, whilst having limited western influences. It is the same kind of art which we observe during the 16th century in various Greek lands under Ottoman occupation.
The unknown artist was influenced by the art of the Palaiologan period but at the same time kept his own style with some influences from western art. The artist seems to have been very capable and a master in the drawing of standing human figures.
On the external side of the west wall of the church there are some later wall-paintings, dated to 1612. The wooden painted iconostasis dates to the beginning of the 18th century. Most of the portable icons are dated to the same period and are the work of painter Mathaios Koutloumousios, a monk from Mount Athos.
|District||Palaichori, Lefkosia (Nicosia)|
|Opening Hours||Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:00-13:00
The church can be visited in the afternoon and over the weekend following prearrangement with the custodian.
The church of Archangel Michael is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the valley of Marathasa, in the village of Pedoulas. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
According to the dedicatory inscription above the north entrance, the church was built and decorated with frescoes in 1474, with the donation of priest Vasilios Chamados. The priest, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, is depicted above the dedicatory inscription, offering Archangel Michael a model of the church.This church belongs to the typical single-aisled, timber-roof type of the Troodos region. The narthex, which extends to its south and west side, was used as a loft due to the small size of the church. The loft was used by the women, while only men entered the main church.
The church of Archangelos Michail is one of the few churches in Cyprus which preserves the name of the artist who decorated it. His name was Minas and he was a local painter who came from the area of Marathasa. Minas was a typical “naïve” painter with a conservative style, and followed the Byzantine tradition. However, he was aware of the artistic trends of his time and place which explains the influx of western elements in his work. During this period many contemporary churches were decorated with wall-paintings of the same style.
The wooden templon screen is worth mentioning, which also dates to 1474, with painted decoration consisting of coats-of-arms. It is one of the best-preserved examples of the kind in Cyprus. On the epistyle one can notice the painted coats-of-arms of the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus. Next to it is the double-headed eagle, the emblem of the Palaiologan dynasty, the last kings of the Byzantine Empire.
Only a few metres to the west of the church of Archangelos Michail, in a specially arranged room of the old primary school, a collection of portable icons and other objects of mainly religious art are kept. These come from the Byzantine churches of the village of Pedoulas, and are dated from the 13th to the 20th century.
|Telephone||+357 22952629 / Mobile: 99348751 (Community Council)|
|Opening Hours||Open throughout the week.|
The church of Panagia is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the valley of Marathasa. It is located on a hill above the village of Moutoullas. In 1985 it was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
According to the dedicatory inscription on the north wall of the Holy Bema, the church was built and decorated with frescoes in 1280, with the donation of Ioannis of Moutoullas and his wife Irene. Both of them are depicted holding a model of the church. It is therefore possible, that the Church of Panagia tou Moutoulla was a private chapel.
The church belongs to the well-known architectural type of the single-aisled, steep-pitched timber roof of the Troodos region. The narthex was added at a later stage, after the beginning of the 16th century, and it extends to the west and north sides the church. The timber roof also covers the narthex.
As far as the mural decoration of the church is concerned, it is worth noting that it is the only series of wall-paintings of the thirteenth century (1280) which survive in Cyprus that can be dated with precision. Due to the small size of the church, the iconographic programme was reduced accordingly. It must be noted that the donors are faithful to the orthodox tradition, without ignoring their contemporary world, a fact that becomes obvious when one notices the repertoire. It is in any case a remarkable set of wall paintings.
Both the style and the iconographic programme of the painter are of great interest. His style is a mixture of older 12th century Byzantine characteristics, with elements from his contemporary western art. He also uses elements from the painting developed in the crusader lands of the East, in Cappadocia, Crete and generally in remote Greek lands. Some of these characteristics can also be seen in Apulian hermitages and the Calabrian churches of South Italy. The exterior of the north wall of the church was decorated at the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century with a scene from the Last Judgement.
|Telephone||22952677 (Moutoullas Community Council)|
Platania Camping site is located at Kakopetria – Troodos road, 5 km from Kakopetria on the left of the road just before the Platania forest station.
The altitude is 1100 meters while the maximum capacity in terms of tents and caravans is 150. The capacity in persons is 600.
There are 5 camping sites in the state forests with a total capacity of 2,400 persons in which camping is allowed for a small fee for overnight stay. The Forestry Department manages three of these camping sites (one of these is the Platania Camping Site) while the other two that are also situated in state forest land, are managed by other agencies. They provide facilities like barbecues, drinking water, tables and washrooms.
Location: Before Platania Forest station.
Millomeris waterfall is located in the south-eastern region of Platres one kilometer away from the starting point of the nature trail that leads to the Waterfall.
Water falls from a height of 15 meters and Millomeris is among the highest natural Waterfalls of the island. Millomeris was not well known until the recent years, since its location was not accessible. Among the works carried out from the community council (roadways and nature trail) Millomeris Waterfalls attracts many visitors and tourists with its natural beauty. According to tradition the fall took its name from the words “millos” which means moist and the word “meros” which means area.
The monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the valley of Marathasa. It is built on the east bank of the river Setrachos, opposite of the village of Kalopanagiotis. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
The exact founding date of the monastery is unknown. The katholicon (monastery church), which is dedicated to Saint Herakleidios, is dated to the 11th century. Among the wall-paintings of the narthex there is an inscription, dated to the 15th century, which describes this church as “katholiki”, i.e. the principal parish church of the village. According to other written sources the monastery functioned until the beginning of the 19th century. Since then it has been used as a church. In the middle of the 19th century a room of the monastic buildings was used as a classroom for the children of Kalopanagiotis and other neighbouring villages.
The group of buildings which survives today is the result of constructions and renovations of different periods. The main monastery church is a domed cross-in-square structure, dated to the 11th century. In the 12th century the chapel of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis was added to the north of the first church, above the tomb of the Saint. This second chapel collapsed and was almost entirely rebuilt in the 18th century. In the middle of the 15th century a common narthex was built to the west of the two churches.
During the second half of the 15th century a vaulted chapel was added to the north of that of Saint Ioannis. It became known as the 'Latin chapel' because of the assumption that it was built for the Latins (Catholics). Sometime between the 15th and the beginnings of the 18th century), a timber roof covered with flat hooked tiles sheltered the entire roof complex . As a result of its tripartite character, the building acquired an external image of a large building covered with a timber roof.
The wall-paintings of the monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis are in accordance with its architectural history. The apse of the southern church of Agios Herakleidios, as well as some other parts, preserve fragmentary scenes dated to the 11th and 12th century. The rest of the church was painted in the 13th and 14th century. These frescoes are an important group and include some rare representations, as is the depiction of the Holy Handkerchief on the north pier supporting the dome.
The decoration of the narthex belongs to a later date and is the work of an artist from Constantinople, who fled to Cyprus after the fall in 1453. These wall-paintings follow the trends of the Byzantine capital, but are not of such high quality.
On the contrary, the frescoes of the 'Latin' chapel, (dated to around 1500), belong to the 'Italo-byzantine' style, which combines Byzantine and Italian Renaissance elements. In fact, it is the most complete set of this style in Cyprus. The “Latin” chapel, if it is so, denotes the coexistence of the two rites under the same roof and reflects the atmosphere of tolerance which prevailed in Cyprus after the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1439).
Worth mentioning is the wooden templon screen, dated to the 13th -14th century, with painted decoration imitating coats-of-arms. It is in fact the oldest wooden templon of Cyprus. Another important element of the monastery is the relic of Saint Ioannis Lambadistis, which is preserved in a precious reliquary. It is in a special niche and on the wall above it there are many signatures of eponymous and anonymous pilgrims and travelers who had visited the monastery in the past.
Apart from the complex of the three churches there are other monastic buildings including cells, auxiliary rooms and an oil press. One of the rooms is used today to house icons from the monastery as well as other churches of the village of Kalopanagiotis.
|Opening Hours||Winter hours
Monday - Saturday:09.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 16.00
Sunday: 10.00 - 16.00
Summer hours (16/4 - 15/9)
Monday - Saturday:09.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 18.00
Sunday: 10.00 - 18.00
Platres is a picturesque village on the southern slopes of Troodos mountains and also the largest Troodos resort. Platres is divided in two parts, Pano Platres and Kato Platres but when we say Platres we refer to Pano Platres. Over the years, Platres gained a reputation as the destination of choice for many notable people, including King Farouk of Egypt and the Nobel Prize-winning poet Giorgos Seferis.
During the tourist period, Platres exceeds the number of 10.000 tourists. If you ever visit Platres you must definitely visit the Kalidonia Waterfall, as it is a stunning landscape.