Head up the winding roads that veer away from Limassol and into the surrounding countryside, and some of the most beautiful villages on the island beckon. Blessed with cobblestoned lanes and buildings that tell tales of yesteryear, it’s not just the village centres that command attention. With each community often home to its own church or two, there are also a number of monasteries that stand proud, luring curious visitors into their scenic grounds and courtyards as religious and cultural heritage takes centres stage.
Head towards the village of Monagri (20 kilometres outside Limassol) and take a turn towards the Monastery of Archangel Michael, situated 500 metres north-west of the village. A truly gorgeous place to visit, many are unaware that the village itself was actually set up as a religious area to serve the monastery, with farms belonging to the monastery since Byzantine times. During the Frankish period, it appeared on the Cyprus map as ‘Monag’ or ‘Monagri’.
With the monastery built solely with local stone, the building today is considered to be one of the most beautiful of its kind on the island. And while a big fire once destroyed the monastery, it was rebuilt by Bishop Makarios A of Kitiou in 1740. An incredibly peaceful and serene place to visit, the large garden is filled with flowers and benches to kick back on, with the monks always making visitors feel welcome.