Ayios Neophytos Monastery

Useful Information

Location: Pafos. Located in a hill high above Pafos, 9km north of Pafos, near Tala.
Open: APR to OCT daily 9-12, 14-16.
NOV to MAR daily 9-16.
Fee: Adults CYP 0.50.
Classification: ExplainCave Church
Light: not necessary
Guided tours:  
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12th cty monastery founded by Saint Neophytos.


The Saint Neophytos lived in a cave high above the city Pafos at the end of the 12th century. He was a famous author and wrote a large number of theological treatises. Importants was his Ritual Ordinance for Monastic Life. Most famous was his history of Cyprus entitled Concerning the Misfortunes of the Land of Cyprus. Because of his popularity, the hermit was often disturbed by pilgrims, and so he climbed up a rope ladder, into a second cave, higher up the cliff face. There they could not reach him.

Today the lower cave, called Egkleistra, is still the only one accessible to the public. But since the time of the Saint it was decorated with frescoes and murals depicting the Saint in full length. The visitor is rewarded for his ascent by an impressive view from the high balcony.

The Egkleistra is not a single cave, but a series of three adjacent caves. The fisrt is a cave church with a shrine of the Holy Cross. The second one was the cell of the Saint. The third one was his own tomb, and when he had finished the tomb, he stood in front of it and said to himself "Neofytos, even if you would earn the entire world, nothing will remain yours but this grave". Saint Neophytos is said to have spent a whole year (1159) to carve the caves with his bare hands.

The monastery is located at the Charta summit of the Melissovouno (honey mountains), which reaches 612m asl. The monastery's church houses an ecclesiastical museum with manuscripts, holy utensils, and old books. The ecclesiastical collection includes garments, various religious objects, and post Byzantine icons of the 16th century. The historic collection includes ancient jewelry, Cypriot pottery, and old maps.