Surrounded by Paphos’ forest, Panagia, is a picturesque village. The village’s name is dedicated to Virgin Mary and its connection with religion is obvious from the numerous churches and chapels found. A hike around the village is a way to discover the area, the vineyards, and the Natura 2000 zone.
A small mountainous village, Panagia, is located in the outskirts of Paphos forest, in Paphos district.
The name of the village, Panagia is associated to Virgin Mary, in Greek "Παναγία". The numerous churches and monasteries in the area, dedicated to Virgin Mary, have given to the village its existing name. The village is also known as Pano Panagia due to its location - "Pano" ("Πάνω") meaning "up" or "on the top of" - in the foothills of the mountains, in an altitude of 900 metres above sea level.
Apart from the name, Panagia village is generally linked with religion due to the numerous churches, small chapels, and monasteries surrounding it. The main church is situated in the centre of the village, and it is dedicated to Saint George. It was built between 1929 and 1932. Outside the village, in the heart of the forestry area, it is found the stone-build chapel of Saint George of Emnon ("Άγιος Γεώργιος των Εμνών"), taking its name from the surrounding forest area called "Emnes". Northeast of the village there is a small, stone-built chapel, Panagia Eleousa, dedicated to Virgin Mary. Other chapels of the area include the chapel of Prophet Elias, Saint Kyriacos, and two more chapels dedicated to Virgin Mary.
Situated a few kilometres outside Panagia village, is the Monastery of Panagia Chrysorrogiatissa (translated as "Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate"). The Monastery was founded on the 12th Century by monk Ignatius. However, due to destructions occurred, the current church dates to the 18th Century. Entering the church and above the three entrances one can see frescoes dated more than three centuries back, and within the monastery there is a significant collection of icons and treasures along with the silver icon of Virgin Mary. Just outside the monastery is located the old winery, producing wine from the monastery’s vineyards, a cafeteria where the visitors can relax and enjoy the stunning view, and an old pine tree, more than 100 years old.
Pano Panagia is also the birthplace of Archbishop Makarios III, the first president of the Republic of Cyprus. In this respect, in the village the visitors can find the house which he was born, now restored, and serving as a small local museum, the statue of Archbishop Makarios and the Cultural Centre of the village that was named in his honour.
To experience the stunning nature and the beauty of the surrounding area, one can follow the Nature Trail. Starting opposite the cultural centre of the village, the hiking trail "Vouni" has a length of around 10km and it passes through vineyards, as the region is well-known for the production of local wine, and the Natura 2000 area "Vouni Panagias". Natura 2000 is a protected zone with a vital natural habitat, important species of wildlife, such as the Cyprus mouflon, various species of birdlife, and rare varieties of plants. Further, the trail leads towards the Monastery of Panagia Chrysorrogiatissa.
A hidden gem within Paphos forest, Panagia village allows the visitors to discover the local culture, appreciate the beautiful scenery and explore the natural environment.