Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and is located south of Turkey, west of Lebanon and north of Egypt. This country possesses a richness of contrasts: The East region is famous for the sparkling and crystal waters and the golden sandy beaches. The South has orchards and vines which undulate toward the sea. The Troodos Mountains are the island’s “green heart” with endless vistas of forests, valleys orchards, and traditional villages.
The island has a long history and a rich culture that spans 10,000 years. It is said, “scratch the soil anywhere in Cyprus and you will find traces of its magnificent past”. It is not surprising then that UNESCO includes a number of the island’s sights on its list of World Heritage Sites.
The climate is mild and Mediterranean with dry summers and variably short winters.
The area of the island is 9250 square kilometers, 3355 square kilometers in the occupied zone.
Population: 946 000. 72% Greek Cypriots, 9.6% Turkish Cypriots, 17.6% Foreign Residents
Cyprus is an Independent Sovereign Republic with a Presidential system of government.
Valid Passport, for EU citizens the ID card is enough.
Two hours ahead of U.K., one hour ahead of C.E.T.
Cyprus enjoys an exceedingly high level of freedom of worship. While the majority of Greek-Cypriots are Greek Orthodox Christians, other denominations are represented on the island, including Armenians, Maronites and Roman Catholics. The Turkish-Cypriot community is predominantly Muslim.
The official languages of the island are Greek and Turkish, whilst English is widely spoken. French, German and Russian are also spoken within the tourism industry.
Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport
Cyprus benefits from an intense Mediterranean climate with long dry summers (mid-May to mid-October) and mild winters (December to February) separated with a very short spring and autumn period.
Summer is a season with high temperatures, a cloudless sky and a sea breeze creating a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas.
Winters are mild with a little bit of rain in the mountains (Troodos region). In Cyprus, the sun is King and even in December and January, there are approximately 6 hours of sunshine per day. In total, more than 300 days of sunshine each year!
Regarding the gastronomy, Cyprus has Greek and Oriental influences. Discover new tastes and enjoy many traditional dishes. The speciality of the local cuisine is the famous Meze!! A real treat for the taste buds, with about twenty dishes to share.
Nicosia (Lefkosia in Greek) is the only divided capital in the world. The “green line” separates the Cypriot Republic, mostly Greek, from the northern part occupied by the Turks since 1974 and self-proclaimed Turkish State. The old city of Nicosia is surrounded by massive Venetian walls. Ledra street, in the old center and its famous “check point” allows everyone since 2008 to go to the occupied part of the capital during the day.
What to see:
-Saint John Cathedral
-Byzantine Art museum
-The old town and its popular and commercial district “Laiki Yitonia”
-The Cyprus Archaeological museum
Limassol (Lemesós in Greek), is the second most important city of Cyprus with around 230 000 in inhabitants. The city is located on the Akrotiri’s bay, on the coast of the island. Limassol is ideally situated, with equal distance between the airports of Larnaca and Paphos (70 kilometres). Limassol is a major tourist destination and is especially dynamic with a lot of new projects under development.
It is also an Economic head quarter for a lot of companies wishing to do business with the Middle East, North of Africa or Eastern Europe. The city has the biggest Commercial transit port of the Mediterranean. Since several years, the municipality put in place a large renovation plan of infrastructures with a grand final: the creation of the Marina combining elegant residences, restaurants and shops.
What to see
-The old town of Limassol
-The promenade on the seafront
-The Archaeological Museum, the Medieval Castle of Limassol, the Castle of Kolossi and the Museum of Wine
-The wine route of Limassol
-The archaeological site of Amathounda & the archaeological site of Kourion
-The Akrotiri Salt lake & the Akrotiri Environmental Education & Information Centre
A charming little port town located on the Western coast of the island. During several centuries of the ancient period it has been the capital of Cyprus. Today, Paphos is on the official list of cultural and natural treasures of the UNESCO WOLD HERITAGE and the city has been awarded the accolade of one of the European Cities of Culture for 2017.
What to see:
-The Archaeological Park. The Mosaics (the mosaics, the Tombs of the Kings & the Odeion)
-Tombs of the Kings
-Yeroskipou village with the Byzantine painted church of St. Paraskevi
-Aphrodite’s rock ( legendary birthplace of Aphrodite)
-Kouklia ( ancient Sanctuary of Aphrodite)
-Pillar of Saint Paul
-Medieval Castle near the small port
-Baths of Aphrodite in the area of Polis
-Akamas National Park
Larnaca is situated on the site of one of the most important ancient kingdoms of Cyprus, Kition. It’s the city of the great philosopher Zenon, founder of stoicism and has also welcomed Saint Lazarus, who lived there 30 years after his resurrection. That is why the Saint Lazarus church is one of the most cherished monuments of the island. Larnaca is an enjoyable seaside resort which has a palm-lined promenade along the beach, a modern Marina, an ancient Turkish district. For divers the wreck of the Zenobia lies in the bottom of its Bay. The wreck is ranked in the top 10 of the world’s best wreck sites by The Times!
What to see:
-Saint Lazarus’ Church
-Neolithic site “Choirokoitia”
-Tekke Hala Sultan mosque
-Kiti’s Church “Angeloktisti”
-Larnaca Salt Lake
Located is the Eastern end of the island. Sparkling, crystal waters and powdery, golden sands are one of the most defining features of the region, which is comprised of the main holiday resorts of Ayia Napa and Paralimni-Protaras.
Both, Ayia Napa and Protaras are renowned seaside resorts of the island. The region attracts visitors from all over the world as well as Cypriots from the entire island who like to enjoy fine sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters during the summer. Ayia Napa (Virgin of the Holly forest) was a place of pilgrimage 450 years ago.
What to see:
-Ayia Napa’s port
-Fig Tree Bay
-Ayia Napa’s love bridge
-Natural Forest Park of Cape Greco
-The medieval church of Ayia Napa
-Thallassa Ayia Napa Municipal Museum
-Avgorou Ethnographic Museum
-Deryneia Folkloric Museum
Mount Olympus in the Troodos mountain range is the highest point of the island at almost 2000 meters high and offer an interesting alternative to the summer heat of the coast. You can take short walks or true hikes of all levels through the forest while enjoying the magnificent panorama of the island; you may be lucky and see some mouflons (emblematic animal of the island). Numerous waterfalls are patiently waiting for spring time, and in winter the Troodos Mountains are covered with snow and you can ski, surf or sledging in a very relaxed atmosphere at the small ski resort.
What to see:
-10 UNESCO World Heritage Site Byzantine churches