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A haven for a Saint and today's tourist - Agios Neophytos Monastery

Discover the proximity of Ayios (Saint) Neophytos Monastery from our hotel, offering various scenic routes for an interesting drive. Embark on a delightful excursion through Pegia (Peyia), Kathikas, Stroumpi, Tsada - all noteworthy sights. Take a right turn for Tremithousa and then head back northwards to reach the captivating Ayios Neophytos Monastery, each route offering a unique and picturesque journey.
Embark on a journey to Ayios Neophytos Monastery, perched at an elevation of 612 meters (1694 feet), offering panoramic views of the Paphos seascape. Step back in time to the 12th century when an extraordinary hermit named Neophytos sought refuge in this serene locale, giving rise to the monastery's rich history.

Born in Kato Dhrys in 1134, Neophytos, originally marked for marriage, chose a monastic life, settling in the hills of Paphos. Initially, he lived in a cave, visible to the left of the present-day monastery constructed in the 15th century. Despite his initial desire for solitude, like-minded individuals, including a prelate named Basil, convinced him to become a monk.

Neophytos attracted followers over the years, prompting him to excavate another cave higher up the hill for increased isolation. He spent his remaining years emerging only on Sundays to preach, using a retractable ladder to maintain his solitude. Known for his scholarly writings, Neophytos had a critical view of historical figures, describing Richard the Lion Heart as a 'wretch' and criticizing Isaac Comnenus in the struggle for Cyprus.

Ayios Neophytos is an independent monastery within the Diocese of Paphos, featuring a square perimeter cloister enclosing a garden with olive and fruit trees believed to be cultivated by the Saint. The monastery houses the extraordinary cave named Enkleistra, where Neophytos lived, adorned with frescoes that may have been created by the Saint and his followers. The little chapel boasts a simple wooden cross and beautifully restored frescoes depicting significant events of Christ's life.

As you explore the ancient excavations and marvel at the artistic richness of the monastery, Ayios Neophytos provides a tranquil retreat amid the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. This visit not only reconnects us with spirituality but also encourages reflection on the importance of seeking solitude and peace in our lives.