Historical & Cultural Attractions

Monastery of Agios Nicolaos of Cats (Agios Nikolaos ton Gaton)

Situated on Cape Gata south east of Akrotiri Salt Lake, is perhaps the first monastery of Cyprus. The present church probably dates to the late 14th century. Abandoned in the late 16th century, it was re-occupied by Orthodox nuns in the early 1980s. According to tradition, the monastery was founded in the 4th century by Agia Eleni, mother of Constantine the Great, who left a piece of wood from the Holy Cross there. At the time, the island was experiencing a severed rought, forcing many people to leave the island. Snakes multiplied and life in Cyprus, particularly at Akrotiri peninsula was unbearable. According to the medieval historian Stephen Lusignan, after Agia Eleni's departure, Constantine the Great sent governor Kalokeros to Cyprus who brought thousands of cats to the island to exterminate the snakes.

Source: Cyprus Tourism Organisation, www.visitcyprus.com

Agios Dimitrianos

Close to the Akrotiri marsh, Agios Dimitrianos is a small chapel (basilica) dating to the Arabs Raids period (12th century).

Other archaeological sites

The southern cliffs of the peninsula host the earliest known archaeological site in Cyprus, at a locality known as Aetokremmos. This is a hunter-gatherer site dated to 12,000 years ago with findings which include bones of pigmy hippos and pigmy elephants. The wider area includes many other archaeological and religious sites of later periods such as churches, lock-cut tombs and catacombs.

Many more archaeological sites prove that the area was inhabited during the different historic eras, and it was indeed an important place. At the site of Aetokremmos, about 1500 rock-cut tombs have been discovered, of Roman, Byzantine and Early Christian periods. There are also many other archaeological sites on the peninsula, from Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Christian periods as well as later period’s monuments. Lamnia archaeological site of the Hellenistic period, Saint Nicholas of the Cats monastery of the early Byzantine period, Agios Dimitrianos, a chapel of the 12th century, Panagia Galoctotrofousa, monastic building also from 12th century, are just few examples.

Source: http://english.akrotirienvironment.com/History-and-Culture.php

Kourion Archaeological Site

One of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island, Kourion was an important city kingdom where excavations continue to reveal impressive new treasures. Noted particularly for its magnificent Greco - Roman Theatre, Kourion is also proud home to stately villas with exquisite mosaic floors and an early Christian Basilica among other treasures.

Originally built in the 2nd century B.C., Kourion’s awe - inspiring theatre is now fully restored and used for musical and theatrical performances. The House of Eustolios, consisting of a complex of baths and a number of rooms with superb 5th century A.D. mosaic floors, was once a private Roman villa before it became a public recreation centre during the Early Christian period. The Early Christian Basilica dates to the 5th century and was probably the Cathedral of Kourion, with a baptistery attached to the north face. The House of Achilles and the House of the Gladiators also have beautiful mosaic floors. The Nymphaeum, dedicated to the water nymphs, is an elegant Roman structure.

The 2nd century A.D. stadium is located outside the main Kourion site, about 1kilometre to the west on the right hand side of the road to Pafos. Also impressive is the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, situated about 2,5 kilometres west of the ancient city.

Source: Cyprus Tourism Organisation, www.visitcyprus.com


Akrotiri village is one of the villages in the countryside which contribute to the preservation of basketry, one of the oldest fields of handcrafting. In the old years, several residents of the village dealt with basketry professionally, while nowadays very few villagers practice the profession of basketry since it is no longer profitable.

The raw material used for the making of baskets mainly included plants found in wetlands and the constant need for raw material contributed to the conservation of the wetlands of Akrotiri up until today. In fact, ten different kinds of plants were used for the making of baskets.

The Centre of Environmental Education and Information contributes to the preservation of basketry by organising basketry courses, visits of groups to basket makers where people can both admire and buy baskets and also through the creation of a cultural trail. While walking along this trail, strollers are given the opportunity to walk past all the houses whose residents continue to make baskets. For any further information regarding the efforts made by the Environmental Education Centre to preserve basketry, please visit the Centre’s website.  


Akrotiri Marsh

Akrotiri marsh (also known as Fassouri marsh/reedbed) is part of the unique Akrotiri wetland complex at the Akrotiri Peninsula in Limassol district. The site lies within the Cyprus Sovereign Base Area and is also a state land.

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Visit the Marsh

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