The Ayia Napa monastery was built around 1500 AD and is a prominent landmark in the town. It has a tranquil courtyard and marble fountain.
The monastery stands in what was once a fishing village, surrounded by thick forest. In fact the term “Napa”, which means forest, is an ancient Greek word. So Ayia Napa monastery is steeped in history. Legend has it that the original icon for the building was discovered accidentally by a hunter in a cave – the icon was named as the Virgin Mary of Ayia Napa, and the monastery was built around the cave.
An ancient sycamore, believed to be over 600 years old sits outside the south gate, of the Ayia Napa monastery.
The monastery was restored in 1950 and 1978 and is now a conference centre serving churches in Cyprus and the Middle East. Inside there is a cave which tells of the history of the monastery as a place of worship for early settlers to the island.
The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was long regarded as a convent for women. Later converted into the monastery and now a conference centre, it serves the church’s activities in Cyprus and the Middle East. The monastery is open in summer from 9.30 hours to 21.00 hours and during winter is open from 9.30 hours to 15.00 hours.