If you want to discover the history of Cyprus then pay a visit to Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery. Located just a 40-minute car journey from Panagia village, this religious site dates back to the 12th century. However, the building you see here today was built in 1770. You should note, to get to this attraction you'll need to hire a car. When you arrive you'll be greeted by a building showcasing stunning white walls within a tranquil setting. This monastery is one of the wealthiest and most lavishly decorated monasteries Cyprus has to offer, so it's no wonder tourists make their way up the mountains in their thousands to pay a visit. The story behind this fascinating building is pretty impressive. Allegedly, back in 1152, a monk named Ignatius found a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary washed ashore near Paphos. As he believed this to be a miracle he took the figure up into the hills and built a monastery that was dedicated to her. Today you can still see the gold and silver-plated icon on display. Many believe this was painted by Luke the Evangelist himself (one of Jesus' Apostles). Legend has it this work of art is one of only three of its kind to survive.
Must-seesWhile you're there don't forget to explore the museum. Here you can browse through a vast collection of religious artefacts; these exhibits truly are a history buff's paradise. This museum displays icons dating back hundreds of years; beautiful wood carvings, original manuscripts and embroideries that embody Cyprus's rich and fascinating history. Once you've finished looking around Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery visit the shop where you can buy vintage wines, produced by the monks in their own winery. If you're driving then it's probably best to avoid the wine, so if you need refreshments head over to the café opposite the main entrance and enjoy their delicious coffee. This is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and soak up the beautiful panoramic views.
Sight-seeingIf you have some extra time, head over to Panagia village for a real taste of mountain life. It's a lovely place to visit if you have a couple of hours to spare. Tourists love meandering through the winding streets and savouring the spectacular views.
Important informationOur best advice is to arrive as early as possible. This attraction can get really busy from 11am onwards so you'll want to avoid the rush. This is still a very important religious site so you're required to dress conservatively if you want to enter Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery. This means covering knees and shoulders. At the time of writing shawls and other cover-up clothing is provided on site (however, in our opinion it's not worth taking the risk of missing out on the chance to see inside the monastery, so go prepared).