No day out in nature is complete without an inspiring detour, and if you’re exploring the undulating countryside in the foothills of the Troodos mountains, be sure to veer off towards the lesser known village of Nikatari and on to the stunning church of Panagia Asinou.

 

 

Located on the east bank of a stream, 3km from the mountainous village of Nikitari, the small church is backed by pine-covered mountain peaks and is surrounded by idyllic grounds. And although the church is located well off the beaten track, the UNESCO Heritage site is visited by travellers from all around the world, keen to catch a glimpse of some of the finest Byzantine wall paintings on the island, some dating all the way back to the 12th century and leading up the 17th century.

 

 

 

Once a monastery church, it was erected in 1099 with the donation of Magistros Nikephoros Ischyrios, who subsequently became a monk named Nikolaos. Abandoned in the 18th century, the church comprises of two parts. The 12th-century steep-pitched timber roof, covered with flat tiles was built first, while the vaulted single-aisled nave and the narthex was a later addition belonging to the second half of the 12th century. here are no remnants of the rest of the monastic buildings.

 

 

 

Where? 3km from Nikitari village. Monday – Saturday: 9am  – 4pm. Sunday and Public Holidays: 11am – 4pm. Wheelchair access available. Tel: +357 99 830 329