Cyprus has numerous signposted paths or nature trails, some more challenging than others, but all are a delight to the senses, especially in spring when you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature at first hand. Thyself route interest are the churches of St. John, is located near Saranda and Panagia.
It is an easy trail, without terrain problems and mild changes in gradient. There you can enjoy your walk and really be enchanted by the beauty offered by nature.
There is a fountain with drinking water at the start of the route, initially follows the forest route which offers excellent view over the plain of Mesaoria.
Start Point: a) Church of Our Lady. Side road at a distance of 300m on the left of the road Greko - Protaras direction in Protaras.
b) Saranda. Access in Protaras through dirt roads. Connects to the Prophet Elijah paths - Konnos and Mary - Saint John.
In the beach located in the southeast of Xylofagou, a point where the cliff is sharp and steep descends vertically and immersed in the sea, there is the mouth of a cave, known as "Cave of the Saranda". It has an opening of about 20, height 45 and depth 65 feet. On the floor, the sides and the roof is kneaded with hard rock and inseparable countless fossils. Residents of nearby villages believed that these bones must have been early Christians relics of martyrs who were massacred here.
Thus established be considered the bones of Saints Forty Martyrs and every year on March 9 residents Xylofagou of Ormidhia and Avgorou headed priests descended in the cave where the primary function was honoring the memory of the Saints. But once coincided to visit Ormideia during this pilgrimage Team Archbishop and ordered to stop this habit immediately, because there was no historical evidence for the fact of martyrdom. Since then about 140 years ago ceased to cave to a place of pilgrimage for Christians in the region. The fossilized bones in the cave of "Saranda", belong to a hippopotamus, before millions of years.
The cave got its name from the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste frozen lake. In Sivas in Asia Minor lived Saranda who were soldiers of the Roman Empire. When they began persecutions against Christians Saranda who had converted to Christianity to save fled to paralai of Asia Minor. There they began to teach Christianity. Continuing their missionary arrived until the current North Epirus. Residents to honor them for their good works, they built their village and named it "Forty Saints". After two years they continued their journey on a boat that took them to the coasts of Cyprus and in particular Xylofagou-Liopetriou River. Agkyrovolontas River and eyeing the crowds began looking for a quieter place to stay. They took the beach south of the river and found the cave between the high forest and the sea. Without hesitation they decided to stay there to enjoy the peace and quiet. It is said that by the gushing water crystal cave in winter and summer, which is why today when dripping homes in Xylofagou say Otto "dripping Saranda".
The Saints were left in the cave by the end of 242. informed that their persecutor died in Sivas. But the information was wrong. They were immediately arrested and tortured hard to renounce Christ. They stoned the heads and then threw them into a lake with iced water. They were pulled from the lake, burnt alive, and their remains were thrown into the river. The remains were gathered by Christians and buried with Saints prices. Our church honors their memory on March 9.
Time: 45 minutes
Degree of difficulty: 1
Points of interest: To the picturesque chapel of Saranda.