Visit the peaceful Agia Thekla Monastery, Machairas Monastery & the famous Lefkara Village
Our first stop will be at The Holy Monastery of Agia Thekla (The Healer), it is located about 500 meters south of Mosfiloti village in the Larnaca District. According to tradition it was built by Saint Helen during her visit to Cyprus in the beginning of the 4th Century AD. There is a Holy Water spring which is still used today frequently, for the cure of skin diseases. The monastery has beautiful gardens, and it is not only an interesting place but a peaceful feeling to enjoy.
Passing through the pine-wood country side, olive groves, we will stop for a coffee break at Mathiatis village.
Continuing through Kapedes village and the Machairas National Forest Park with its spectacular views, we will arrive at Machairas Monastery – one of the three Royal and Stavropegic Monasteries of the island which possesses the miraculous icon of Panagia (the Virgin Mary) of Machairas. This intriguing monastery is often visited by local Cypriots on family outings. According to legend, an unknown hermit sneaked the icon into Cyprus (between the 8th and 9th century AD) and kept it in his cave until his death. Around 1145, two hermits discovered the cave – which was obscured by bushes – and were able to reach it by cutting down the undergrowth with a knife given to them by divine hand. As a result, the revealed icon was given the name ‘Machairiotissa’ from the Greek word for ‘knife’ – ‘machairi’. The monastery was built on the same spot, also taking the name. Have a look inside the monastery shop for some natural herbs and produce grown in the monastery.
Next, we will visit Vavatsinia village, where if you would like, you may try some home-cooked traditional dishes for lunch*.
Finally, we will stop at Lefkara village, which takes its name from Greek words “lefka ori”, meaning “white mountains”. It is one of the few villages in Cyprus where the houses are built almost entirely of local white stone. Here we will visit the Traditional House of Lefkaritika Lace and Silver handicrafts, where you will learn about the history of the famous lace embroidery and filigree silver.