Monasteries and Churches of Limassol
Visitors are picked up at the airport and shuttled to the hotel in Limassol.
An early morning visit to the village of Vasa Koilaniou gets the program underway. Lots to see there at the Ecclesiastical Museum, at the Folk Museum and at a modern winery. Omodos is the next stop, for a look at the historic Monastery of the Holy Cross and a short talk delivered by the program organizer titled “Saint Helen in Cyprus-The Relay of the Holy Cross”. Staying in Omodos, culinary enthusiasts among the visitors get to peek behind the scenes at Eleni’s Bakery. After visiting some wineries and oil mills it will be time for a delicious lunch. After the meal, it’s on to Koilani for a look at the Church of Saints Mavri and Timotheos–the dedicatees are Christian martyrs of Egyptian origin. In the cozy ambience of the church yard the program organizer will enlighten the group about the autocephalous status of the Church of Cyprus. The day ends back at the hotel with rest and dinner.
An 8:30 am departure for the Kykkos Monastery starts off day 3. A religious artwork of some renown can be seen on its premises, the icon of Panagia Eleousa (the Virgin of Tenderness) which is attributed to Saint Luke the Evangelist. After a viewing of the exhibits of the on-site museum the program organizer will give a brief talk on the history of the monastery and the significance of stauropegic status. Next stop, the village of Lophou for a visit to the Church of Panagia Chrysopolitissa, reportedly constructed using wine instead of water due to a severe drought. Making its way back to the hotel the group will pay a visit first to the Russian Church of Christ the Philanthropist in Zakaki, and then to the Church of Saints Arsenios the Cappadocian and Paisios of Mount Athos. Back at the hotel rest and dinner will bring the day to a close.
A visit to the Monastery of Panagia Trooditissa is the first item on the agenda on day 4. The monastery is in possession of an icon of the Virgin painted in Asia Minor that is attributed miraculous powers. Next stop, the Church of Panagia Eleousa, in the village of Trimiklini. Visitors will have lunch at that picturesque village before heading to Monagri to see the Monastery of the Archangel Michael and Convent of Panagia Amasgou. Back at the hotel in Limassol the day will be brought to a close with rest and dinner.
A visit to the Monastery of John the Baptist at Mesa Potamou kicks off the tour on day 4. The program organizer Solomos Orphanos will give a brief talk on the history of the monastery and its relationship to the surrounding communities–the Abbot will also provide informative insights. Then on to Pelendri to see the Church of Mary the Catholic and the Church of the Holy Cross. At the charming village of Lania visitors will enjoy a sumptuous lunch as well take in a series of sights including the village church, an ancient greek winery, an oil-mill-turned-museum and a Commandaria Museum. Moving along, the group will be taken to the Monastery of Saint George Alamanos, a Greek-born Cypriot saint, one of the three-hundred refugees from Palestine. At Saint Tychonas the group gets to see the remains of the ancient Kingdom of Amathus, a site of immense historical importance as relics of virtually every significant period in the island’s history are preserved there–hellenic, byzantine, medieval. A long day will end back at the hotel with rest and dinner.
The Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats at Akrotiri is the first stop of the day. Legend has it that this is the spot where Saint Helen unleashed hundreds of cats in order to deal with a severe snake infestation, the result of a seventeen-year-long drought. Next up, a visit to one of the most significant archaeological sites on the island, the Kingdom of Kourion. At the Limassol Castle its on-site museum will give visitors a glimpse of medieval island life. After lunch in the castle’s courtyard, visitors will be taken to the Metropolitan Church of Mary the Catholic and its well-stocked Diocese Bookshop next door. After a lecture on the history of the spread of christianity in Cyprus, the group will head to the Church of Agia Napa. A brief respite at the Limassol Marina for coffee and snacks comes before heading back to the hotel to wrap up the day with rest and dinner.
A free day, ideal for shopping and leisure.
Visitors will be shuttled to the airport.