The enchanting Monastery of Ayia Napa stands at the heart of the bustling, touristic town. It is perhaps one of the only historical sites in the vicinity of Ayia Napa’s centre. Quite a contrast to the rest of its surroundings, the Ayia Napa Monastery was built in the form of a castle in 1500.
A distinctive landmark on the monastery grounds is the ancient sycamore tree in front of the south gate which is believed to be over 600 years old.
Surrounded by a high wall, the monastery is built partially underground and cut into the rock. It is dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Forests’, with the name coming from the Ancient Greek word for ‘wooded valley’, in reference to the area’s past topography.
An ancient sycamore tree believed to be over 600 years old graces the front southern gate. In 1994, a new church, also dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built in the south west area of the monastery.
Restored in 1950 and in 1978, the monastery became an Ecumenical Conference Centre, serving churches in Cyprus and the Middle East. After the reestablishment of the Holy Metropolis Constantia Ammochostos (Famagusta) in 2007, the monastery came under the administration of the Metropolis.
The Monastery is open to the general public all year round. In the winter it’s open from 09:00 – 15:00 (daily) and in Summer 09:00 – 21:00 (daily). Although entrance to the monastery is free of charge, donations are welcome.
Note: The monastery is closed on public holidays. Opening and closing times as well as entrance fees, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.