Surrounding Villages, Troodos
Asinou Church, Nikitari, Cyprus
At the village of Asinou (456 meters above sea level) is an early 12th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It has frescoes of the 12th century and later periods that are considered to be among the finest examples of Byzantine mural painting in the island.The narthex was added in the late 12th century and its paintings were gradually accumulated over the centuries.The church consists of a rectangular nave covered by a barrel vaulted dome, a common design for churches of that period. It was built mainly from mud mortar, which seems to have been responsible for its frequent collapses and the need for rebuilding.There are more than 100 paintings in the church, which stands as a representation of the universe with a painting of Christ in the dome, at the center, and below him are the Angels and the Apostles. The main paintings cover all the events in the life of Christ, including the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, while at the lower levels in the church are paintings of individual saints.The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and there are numerous paintings depicting scenes from her life.Visitors should ask for the priest of Nikitari village to escort them through the church.The church is five kilometers from Nikitari, off the main Nicosia-Troodos road, approximately 20 kilometers north of Kakopetria.
The village of Kakopetriá is one of the most beautiful in the Troodos range, cascading down both sides of the Troodos valley. In the center of the village is a large square surrounded with local restaurants and shaded by tall trees.The old quarter of the village, with its traditional houses, has been declared a protected area.Yet the village is very accommodating to tourists, with numerous hotels, restaurants and even night clubs.Although the most famous church associated with Kakopetria is Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, there are also several other beautiful churches within the village. The small 16th century church of Panagia Theotokos, off the main road, has retained about half of its murals. The church of Agios Georgios Perachoritis has some very original wall paintings belonging to the first quarter of the 16th century.
Church of St Nichola of the Roof
Three mi / 5km from Kakopetria is the church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, with murals dating from the 11th to the 17th century. It is considered one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island.The paintings cover the New Testament cycle. Of particular note is the raising of Lazarus and the Transfiguration in the west vault, which is particularly expressive, as is the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. The Forty Martyrs are also very impressive.
Laghoudera is a small village in the eastern hills of the Troodos range. At the far side of the village is the church of Panayia Arakou. The church was Byzantine in origin, but parts of it have since been rebuilt. It is a single-aisled vaulted building with a steep pitched roof. It contains one of the most complete collections of paintings of the Byzantine period, which have been restored very well. Over the north door is the dedication stating the church was donated in 1192 by Lord Leon, son of Authentis, who was a Byzantine noble or governor of the region.In the dome is the painting of Christ the Pantokrator (ruler of the universe), looking serene and surrounded by angels and then by a choir of 12 prophets. There are also many other interesting paintings throughout the church.The key for the church is at the cafe.
Panagia tou Araka Church
Lagoudera village is 15 kilometers from Agros off the Kakopetria-Troodos-Limassol road (Karvounas crossroad). The 12th century church situated just outside the village has fine frescoes. Together with Asinou Church and that of Agios Nicolaos tis Stegis, it is considered to be one of the most important Byzantine churches on the island.
Platres is one of the most popular resorts on the Troodos range. It is a favorite for Cypriot holiday makers who are looking for a respite from the heat of the local summers.The village is distinctive for having a perennial stream flowing through it, giving the village an unusually lush quality.The village is divided in two, Kato (lower) and Pano (upper) Platres. Kato Platres is quiet. The upper part caters to tourists, with numerous tavernas, restaurants, night spots and a Cyprus Tourism Office.The Kaledonian Falls are just upstream, and are accessible on foot or by car from the trout farm at the top of the village.Buses to the village leave from both Limassol and Nicosia.
There are four painted churches in and around the village of Galata. The church of Agios Sozomenos, dating from the early 16th century, retains a complete series of frescoes in the post-Byzantine style. The church of Archangelos Michail is a timber-roofed chapel and is completely painted in the post-Byzantine style. Nearby is the larger church of Panagia Podithou, which once belonged to a monastery. It was erected in 1502, and its paintings are of the Italo-Byzantine style. The small church of Agia Paraskevi, on the old Kakopetria-Galata Road has murals dating to 1514.
Archangel Michael Church
Just below the village of Galata is Panayia Theotokos or Archangel Michael church. Inside the door is a painting of Christ flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist and below them the donors who were, according to the inscription, members of the Zacharia family and probably Venetian nobility. There are unusually detailed portraits of the donors. On the upper walls is the New Testament cycle and on the lower walls, as usual, the individual saints.
Pano Panagia, Cyprus
On the west of Troodos, one-and-a-half kilometers from Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery, is Pano Panagia, the birthplace of Archbishop Makarios III, first President of Cyprus. The house where he was born has been converted into a museum.Visitors can see his parents' bed, plates and various photographs of him and his family. The house demonstrates clearly the archbishop's humble origins.In the main square there is also a small museum and a cultural center, which has more photographs of Makarios' presidency and various items of clothing, including items burned in the coup of 1974. There is also a small library and photographs of recent cultural events.
Church of the Virgin Mary of Moutoullas, Moutoullas, Cyprus
Moutoullas village, less than a kilometer from Kalopanagiotis, is known for the traditional craft of wooden carved basins, which is still preserved in the village. It also has an interesting church. Panagia tou Moutoulla, or Church of the Virgin Mary of Moutoulla, is a tiny 13th century chapel and a fine early example of the steep-pitched wooden roof type of churches with frescoes dating from 1280.The village is also famous for its spring water which is bottled and sold around the island.
Holy Cross Church, Platanistasa, Cyprus
Platanistasa is located 15 kilometers from Agros, 30km off the Nicosia-Astromeritis road. Just outside the village there is a 15th century church which retains the most complete cycles of mural paintings from the second half of the 15th century in Cyprus.The church of Stavros Tou Ayiasmati has a typical steep pitched roof. The walls of the nave are divided into two zones, the upper showing festivals and narrative paintings and the lower focusing on individual saints.There are very good paintings, which have been restored under the auspices of UNESCO.
Holy Cross Chruch, Pelendri, Cyprus
Pelendri is three kilometers below Kato Amiantos, off the Karvouna-Limassol Road, 32km from Limassol. It was once the property of Jean de Lusignan, son of the Lusignan King of Cyprus, Hugh IV. There are two interesting churches: the 14th century church of Timiou Stavrou or the Holy Cross, with beautiful wall paintings, and the church of Panagia Katholiki in the center of the village.
St John's Church, Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus
The village of Kalopanagiotis is famous for its sulfur springs and the 11th century church of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis, with excellent frescoes from the 13th and 15th centuries. It is a complex of two churches and a chapel.One of the biggest religious fairs in the valley is held here on St John's day, October 4.
Omodhos, 11 kilometers southwest of Platres, was once the property of Sir John de Brie, Prince of Galilee and has the Monastery of Stavros "Holy Cross" standing by its stone-paved square.A festival is held in the village every August, and there is a large religious fair on September 14.
Foini, four kilometers west of Platres, is famous for its pottery and its loukoumi sweets. Visitors can see the Pilavakeion private pottery collection in the village.
Pilavakeion Private Pottery Collection
The Pilavakeion Private Pottery Collection is located in Foini village, near Platres. The village is famous for its pottery and this museum includes interesting pieces reflecting Cypriot tradition and history.
Koilani is an attractive village with the single aisle vaulted church of Agia Mavri, typical of the 12th century. It also has its own local ecclesiastical museum. Koilani is 1.5km southwest of Pera Pidi, off the Limassol-Troodos Road.
Church of the Archangel Michael, Pedhoulas, Cyprus
Pedoulas is the third village on the road up from Nicosia to Troodos, after Kalopanagiotis and Moutoulas. It is a summer resort famous for its cherries. The painted church of Archaengelos Michail in the lower part of the village dates from 1474.
Troodos Village, Cyprus
Troodos village is a collection of shops, cafes and hotels, which becomes chaotic in the winter skiing season and when the tourist buses come in the summer. Despite the appearances, the cafes offer some of the best kebab on the island.
Prodhromos, at a height of 4,560ft/1,368 m, is the highest village on the island and has several hotels as it is a popular summer retreat.