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The Quirky, Hidden Church of Ayioi Saranta

Religious Sites

Famagusta

Overview

Certainly the quirkiest and most idyllic church of the Famagusta district – if not of the island – is Ayioi Saranta Church, tucked away in a cave in a secluded road of Protaras.

Built within the cave, it’s not an easy church to find as you have to drive down a dirt road just before Grecian Park Hotel and keep an eye out for the church, hidden somewhere in the rocky hills. An easy to spot it is to look out for the dome that sits onto of the cave. The sight is definitely worth it though as one can’t help but admire the small, tranquil church. A pathway leads up to its entrance and inside is a tiny worship spot with a few icons and places to sit which is a charming and peaceful sight even for non-religious visitors.

It is unclear when it was first built and it’s name, Saranta which is the Greek word for 40, is believed to derive from the forty stalagmites on the ceiling of the cave, linked to the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste.

Its uniqueness has managed to earn it a spot in Daily Mail’s article of the quirkiest churches in the world to visit as well as Huffington Post’s piece on mysterious cave churches around the globe.

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MyCyprusTravel Tip

You'll most likely need a car to reach the cave church, though numerous tours visit it.

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