While in Paphos my friend and I took a day trip to Troodos Mountains. According to the advert the trip would have a maximum of 10 travellers, so we were rather disappointed to be picked up by a large coach for 60 that’s already nearly full!
On the other hand, as we choose not to drive abroad, the coach trip was probably the only way for us to visit Troodos Mountains
The tour was basically a circular drive around Troodos Mountains taking in 3 monasteries. We started off from Paphos to Omodos, then headed north to Kykkos Monastery for our lunch break. We headed back south through Paphos Forest to Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery, on our way back to Paphos
Omodos is a pretty little village with cobbled streets and a small village square flanked by cafés and shops selling local produce.
Omodos Timios Stavros Monastery – Holy Cross Monastery
The charming monastery of the Holy Cross is said to house a piece of the rope used by the Romans to fasten Jesus to the cross.
Kykkos Monastery Troodos
For me, the main attraction of the tour was Kykkos Monastery which stands on a mountain peak of over 1,200 metres high, with magnificent views of the mountains. It’s one of the best known and richest monasteries in Cyprus.
The monastery was founded at the end of the 11th century. The current complex was rebuilt after it was destroyed in 1541. It’s renowned for its prided possession – the icon of the “Virgin Mary”, which was reputedly painted by the Apostle Luke. It’s also where Archbishop Makarios, the first President of Cyprus, became a young monk and was later buried.
I did not bother to sneak a photo of the opulent interiors of the church as it’s clearly stated that photography is not allowed. In any case, the courtyard and corridors provided enough photo opportunities!
The open courtyard
With a large well at its centre, the courtyard is the the focal point of and background for many photos. It’s such a serene and charming place that it must have been photographed from all angles ….. like I did !!
The open-air corridors
On the open-air corridors on the first floor, the ornamental balustrades are as ornate as that at Holy Cross Monastery in Omodos. The gilded religious murals of angels and scenes from the lives of Jesus and the Virgin Mary that line the corridors are quite a feast for the eyes!
There’s a restaurant at the car park, a short walk away from the monastery Here are some views of Troodos mountains that could not be captured from a moving vehicle!
This is a charming 12th Century monastery dedicated to “Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate” but the current building dates back only to 1770. After the grandeur of Kykkos Monastery it looks rather plain.
On the other hand, having spent what seemed an eternity on the coach up and down some twisty winding roads, it provided a welcome 30-minute break. The view at the back was rather lovely too!
It was a long day with 5 out of 8 hours spent on the coach. I am glad I have done it, though I would not want to do it again in a hurry! If I were a hiker Troodos Mountains would have been an ideal place for a week’s hiking!
There’s no fridge magnet to accompany this blog, but my friend was as diligent as ever to take a photo of me in my usual pose!