THIS TRIP IS INTENDED FOR MOUNTAIN ENTHUSIASTS WHERE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DISCOVER HIDDEN IN THEM MONASTERIES
ROUTE: Omodos - Forests of Troodos - Olimpos - Kykkos Monastery - Grave of Archbishop Makarios - The Village of Panagia - Monastery of Chrisorroyiatissa.
Coaches leave in the morning around 8am from Paphos - taking you directly from your hotel to take you for an adventure to the one of the most beautiful villages in the foothills of the Troodos mountains.
A picturesque village in the region Commandaria, which is known on the island for centuries for making delicious wine from grapes grown in here. Grapes are being dried in the sun to gain wonderful aroma. Its pleasing taste is reflected in each bottle of that wine. On the local market, in addition to tasting of local wine and Zivania (type of vodka), you will be able to buy many local delicacies mostly derived from grapes, nuts and olives.
The village is also famous for the Monastery of St. Cross where you can see the relics of the Holy Cross framed in gold.
You will have about half an hour of free time to explore near surroundings and do some shopping at the local market.
Mountains of Troodos
Next, we will depart from the mountain village to continue our travel into the Mountains of Troodos where a breathtaking view of a beautiful forests of pine and cedar are visible - within them there's a hidden monastery. Travelling through the mountains you can draw your attention to the phenomenon that distinguishes the mountains of Cyprus from the typical European mountains . As we travel upwards the vegetation becomes increasingly richer than from individual trees to the whole forests - that's to the richer rainfalls in those parts of the mountain. The guides will provide you with a lot of information about the fauna and flora and the geological structure of the tallest mountain range in Cyprus.
Olympus - the highest peak Cyprus
Climbing higher and higher, finally we find ourselves at the foot of the highest peak in Cyprus - Olympus - which rises to a height of nearly 2,000 meters above sea level. At the top of the mountain is a military base, located there radars are covered with characteristic coverings.
One of the tourist attractions that should be are 3 ski lifts located across this mountain. In the period from December to March this attraction gives a wonderful opportunity for skiers to practice this sport. From the Mountain peak just only a few dozen kilometers away you can lie on the beach and enjoy the sun and that's why Cyprus creates an incredible holiday opportunities throughout the whole year.
Travelling further through the scenic mountains and forests our trip arrives at the most beautiful, famous and richest Monastery of Kykkos.
NOTE: The Monastery has a dress code (if necessary we can obtain free cassock to cover exposed body).
The monastery was founded in the 11th century and according to the legend the first monk who ever lived in here was a hermit Isaiah. That was him who had a vision of the Holy Mother who asked him to bring an Icon of Virgin Mary painted by St. Luke in the 40 AD to this monastery.
This icon brought from Byzantium, Manuel Voutomites who was byzantium governor of Cyprus. It was placed in a chapel with rich decorations where nearly 3 tons of gold been use by artists. Mary's face is covered with decorated ornamented robe, because whoever looks into her eyes lose its sight. The only exception when this icon is exposed to the eyes to heaven are times of war, drought, disease or during prayers for rain.
NOTE: The is full prohibition of photographing inside the chapel.
Within the monastery there is a small museum with collected monuments of Orthodox art: icons, frescoes, wood carvings, manuscripts and books. Down in the treasury we can fine wide collections of valuables items like: relics of saints covered in gold frames.
NOTE: In the Monastery you have about 40 minutes of free time for the independent sightseeing. In a local shop you can buy souvenirs, such as religious icons, prayer books, holy water and oils.
Near the monastery there is the tomb of Archbishop Makarios III - the Superior of the Cyprus Orthodox Church and President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1960 until 1977.
After visiting the monastery we will have free time and an optional lunch (coaches will drive you to nearby restaurants).
On the way back you will be able to see trees which only gorws high in the mountains surrounded by clean mountain air - Cedar tree has a characteristic shape, silver/gray short needles and cones pointing toward the sky.
At the end of our tour we will stop to see another mountain village - Panagia.
Name of the village of "Panagia" is derived from the words Mother of God, main reason of its name is contained here an icon of the Virgin Mary placed in a convent called Chrysorrogiatissa.
This monastery was founded in the 12th century by the monk named Igansiosa, who according to the popular belief he found on a coast of Paphos an Icon of the Holy Virgin Mary, which sailed from Asia to the shores of Cyprus.
Now we slowly finish our journey through the mountains and their hidden monastery and detour down to the sea where along the road we will be able to admire the charming mountain villages.