1st Local Route: Lefkosia – Old City of Lefkosia Religious Route
The local route of the Old City is a tour to the churches of Lefkosia (Nicosia). This stroll can be made on foot since the streets are narrow and very picturesque, ideal for walking.
The Cathedral of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, located next to the Archbishop Palace and opposite the Pancyprian Gymnasium, has a very rich collection of frescoes of the 18th and 19th centuries. The next stop will be the Byzantine Museum of the "Archbishop Makarios III" Foundation, located precisely next to the Cathedral. Amongst its wonderful exhibits also lie parts of the mosaic of the church of Kanakaria which date back to the 6th century AD. The church of Panagia tis Chrysaliniotissas is the most significant Byzantine church in Lefkosia and could not be excluded from the walk. At the same time, the church of Αgios Kassianos located very near to Panagia tis Chrysaliniotissas is a church of the 18th century. The church of Panagia tis Faneromenis was built in 1792 and its grandeur is unique. The church of Τimios Stavros tou Missirikou dates back to the years of the Venetian rule while it was converted into a mosque under Turkish rule. The church of Agios Antonios dates back to the 18th century and has a particularly significant wood-carved iconostasis and a carved stone bell tower. The last stop of this route is at the church of Αrchangelos Michael tou Tripioti renowned for its beauty; in its interior lies an icon of the 15th century which is influenced by Italian painting.
Total route length: 2 kilometres.
Start Point: Cathedral of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, Lefkosia
End Point: Church of Αrchangelos Michael tou Tripioti, Lefkosia
1st Local Route of Lemesos Religious Route
This route starts from Cyprus Mediaeval Museum, which is located inside the Castle of Lemesos (Limassol) and covers with its exhibits a time period of approximately 1.500 years. The next stop is at the church of Agios Efstathios in Kolossi, a church which dates back to the 12th century, which, in its interior significant frescoes of the 15th century have been salvaged. In the picturesque village of Omodos there is the Monastery of Timios Stavros, which according to tradition, had been established by Agia Eleni and it is here that "Agios Kannavos", that is, a piece of the rope which tied Jesus Christ on the Cross is kept. The church of Agia Mavri, located in Koilani, used to be a small monastery while the church of Monogenous is the second parish church of Koilani and dates back to the 17th century. The church of Panagia is a church which also hosts the Ecclesiastical Museum of Koilani. Τhe last stop of this route is at the church of Τimios Stavros in the village of Kouka, which dates back to the 12th century, in which there are preserved frescoes of the 14th and 15th centuries.
Total route length: 72 kilometres.
Start Point: Cyprus Mediaeval Museum (inside the Castle of Lemesos)
End Point: Church of Τimios Stavros, Kouka, Lemesos
1st Local Route of Pafos Religious Route
Pafos (Paphos) area bristles with ecclesiastical monuments first on the list being the Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa in Kato Pafos (Kato Paphos). This church has yet another reason to constitute an excellent place of interest and this is its relation to Apostle Pavlos since it still houses the column on which, according to tradition, the Apostle was tied and whipped. In Peristerona, there is the Ecclesiastical Museum, which is hosted by the Archbishopric of Arsinoes and houses icons, canonicals as well as other objects from the villages of the area. The Church of Agia Kyriaki was built on the north aisle of the ruined Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa.
In the Holy Bishopric of Pafos there is the Βyzantine Museum whose collection can easily be compared to that of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation. In Geroskipou, there is the second church of Cyprus with five domes as well as significant frescoes which is dedicated to Αgia Paraskevi and, in Acheleia, we find the Church of Agios Theodosios with significant frescoes which date back to the 13th century one of which depicts the Apostles Petros and Pavlos and a portrait of the donors. The route passes from the churches of Panagia tis Katholikis in Kouklia, the Hermitage "Palaio Egkleistro" in Souskiou and ends in Pano Archimandrita and the Hermitage of Agion Pateron.
Total route length: 53 kilometres.
Start Point: Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, Kato Pafos
End Point: Hermitage of Agion Pateron, Pano Archimandrita
Local Route of Larnaka Religious Route
In the local route of Larnaka (Larnaca), the first stop is at the church of Αgios Lazaros as well as the Εcclesiastical Museum located there since they constitute two of the most significant monuments of Cyprus. In Kiti, there is the church of Panagia tis Aggeloktistis, a very significant Byzantine museum which in its interior lies an arc of an old-Christian church with a mosaic of the 6th century. Heading to Kato Lefkara, the route passes from the church of Archangelos Michael, with beautiful frescoes of the 12th and 15th centuries. The church of Τimios Stavros, in Pano Lefkara is located at a point which has a visual contact with the Monastery of Stavrovouni and in its interior there is a silver cross in remembrance of the Bishop of Amathous. Although not known when it was built, it is certain that the Monastery of Agios Minas, in Vavla, was revived after 1965 when it became a women's monastery.
In Hoirokitia lie the ruins of a monastery which once belonged to Knights Templar and later to Knights Hospitaller and the church of Panagia tou Kampou has some significant frescoes.
Pyrga is the last stop of this route and gives the chance to the visitor to visit the Monastery of Stavrovouni, a men's monastery with a strict ritual, the Μediaeval Chapel as well as the church of Agia Marina.
Total route length: 73 kilometres.
Start Point: Church of Αgios Lazaros, Larnaka
End Point: Church of Agia Marina, Pyrga
Local Route: Larnaka - Ammochostos Religious Route
The route starts from Larnaka (Larnaca) and specifically from the church of Αgios Lazaros and Larnaka Εcclesiastical Museum, two very significant ecclesiastical monuments. In Sotira, the route passes from the Church of Μetamorfoseos tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Savour), a cemetery church dating back to the last years of the Venetian rule and from the church of Αgios Mamas of approximately the same period which houses a few frescoes. In the Hortakia region lies the church of Αgios Georgios Hortakion, which stands out for its good proportions although its frescoes which have been salvaged are very few. In the same area, the visitor can visit the church of Panagia Hortakion which dates back to the 15th century. In Paralimni, the route takes us to the church of Αgios Georgios, located in the city centre and built in the 19th century. Next to the church of Agios Georgios lies the church of Panagia, a two-aisled church, estimated to have been built in the 14th century. In the interior, there is also a small Εcclesiastical Museum. A very significant stop in this route is at the Μonastery of Agia Napa built in the 14th century, which is one of the most significant places of interest and, at the same time, related to poet Georgios Seferis.
Total route length: 76 kilometres.
Start Point: Church of Αgios Lazaros, Larnaka
End Point: Μonastery of Agia Napa
Monasticism and Asceticism - Route A Religious Route
Monasticism and, by extension, asceticism are unbreakably related to Orthodoxy and the fact that Cyprus neighbours Egypt and Palestine where asceticism grew resulted in Cyprus also becoming an important place for hermits.
Since this route is very long, it is divided into five different routes in order to cover the entire island.
In the years of iconoclasm, monasticism grew in Cyprus especially mainly due to the fact that the inhabitants kept their faith and offered refuge to all prosecuted monks from Constantinople as well as other parts of the then Byzantine Empire. The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, the Monastery of the Priests and many other cities were connected to this era. Later in the 11th and 12th centuries, when the Byzantine Empire receives attacks from the Turks as well as the Crusaders, a number of Monasteries are established in Cyprus which are very significant and even grow in number under Frankish as well as Venetian rules (Μonastery of Panagia Podithou, etc).
Monuments: Monastery of Archangelos Michael, Analiontas – Monastery of Agios Erakleidios, Politiko – Monastery of Machairas, Lazania – Agia Thekla, Mosfiloti – Monastery of Timios Stavros, Stavrovouni.
Total route length: 97 kilometres.
Start Point: Monastery of Agios Erakleidios, Politiko, Lefkosia
End Point: Monastery of Timios Stavros, Stavrovouni