Stavravouni monastery near larnaca
The most prominent mountain-top visible once one enters Cyprus through Larnaca, stavravouni monastery (sometimes spelt as Stavrovouni Monastery on road signs) is the oldest monastery in Cyprus (Kykkos monastery is the most famous though).
It is perched on top of a 700 m hill almost equidistant from larnaca, limassol and nicosia. There is only one tarmac road to the top of Stvravouni and it is from the section of the Limassol-Nicosia highway.
- If you are driving from Limassol, go towards Nicosia, cross the Larnaca exit and within a few kms, you should see the exit for Stavravouni (13 kms from this point)
- If you are driving from Larnaca, go towards Limassol, take the exit to Nicosia and within a few kms, you should see the exit for Stavravouni.
- If you are driving from Nicosia, just drive towards Limassol, you should see the exit to Stavravouni
Almost 7 years back, my parents were here to visit me. I was just 6 months old in Cyprus and hadn’t travelled much. I decided to take them to Stavravouni. I have always seen this big mountain on the way from Larnaca and assumed that there would be an exit from the limassol-larnaca highway. it wasn’t to be and what should have been a 30 minute drive turned into a 2 hr drive. Yes, you can get lost in this small island
Few points to note:
- In summer, it can get quite hot on the top. Similarly, it gets very windy in winter
- The view is great from the top, so don’t forget your camera
- If you have a jeep and want to get adventurous, you can drive to the top from the larnaca side of the highway, provided you find the path!
- Only males (properly dressed ones) are allowed to ascend the steps into the actual monastery. Ladies have to just stand and admire the monastery from the parking lot, which would also be not possible on a misty day
Of course, the ladies (and the guys too) can visit the church at the other end of the parking lot.
I heard that there is a trekking trail to the top which avoids the roads. I am yet to go on this trail. Once i do that, i shall update info on that too.