Who would expect to come across this natural cave church in a secluded area in the crowded summer resort of Protaras, Cyprus?
Ayioi Saranta is a quirk church embedded in the rugged rocks of an unspoiled hill. A white wall was erected, at a later stage, to protect the interior from the elements of nature. As you are getting closer, the primitive image of the cave church engenders feelings of awe and curiosity. The church’s name means “Forty Saints” and was possibly inspired by the forty stalactites hanging from the ceiling.
There are multiple paths to reach the cave but the easiest to explain is the following: As you reach Protaras from Ayia Napa, just after you pass the right turn to Grecian Park Hotel, you find on the left side of Cape Greco – Protaras Avenue the sign ‘Moonshine Ranch’. Turn left, take the uphill road, which turns into a dirt road at some point, and drive towards the hill for 15 minutes approximately.
You may find it difficult to spot the church since it is naturally camouflaged within the surroundings. Use as your compass the hand-carved rocky dome of the church which is visible from a distance. Alternatively, GPS is always a safe choice to navigate you to the cave.
The way to the church is not easy but the experience will definitely reward you! What do you think? Isn’t one of the most unusual churches you ever came across?