Perched at 1,318 meters in the Troodos Mountains, against a backdrop of pine-covered slopes, Kykkos Monastery (Panagia tou Kykkou) is not only Cyprus’ largest and most famous monastery, but one of its most magnificent tourist attractions. The original Byzantine monastery was founded in the late 11th-century, but today most of the structures date back to the 19th century, while an impressive collection of icons, manuscripts and antiquities are housed in the onsite Monastery Museum.
The richly decorated monastery is a feast for the eyes, with its gleaming marble floors, colorful murals and elaborate frescoes, but its most notable asset is a silver-gilded icon of the Virgin Mary, one of three surviving icons painted by the Apostle Luke, enshrined in an ornate tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl case and never uncovered. Also in the monastery grounds is the tomb of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus.
Kykkos Monastery is located in the Troodos Mountains in central Cyprus, around 75 km northeast of Paphos and is open daily from 10am to 4pm in winter or 6pm in summer. Entrance to the monastery is free, while adult admission to the museum is €5.