Discover an island rich in history and culture, and full of wonderful experiences just waiting to be enjoyed. If you are heading to Cyprus for the perfect holiday or business, everything you need to know – from what to eat to what to see – is right here.
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination
It is often said that life is not only what you are given, but what you make of it. In the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the welcoming locals have truly taken the motto to heart. Whether it’s an elderly man, who basks under the shade of a leafy lemon tree while passionately playing a game of backgammon with his long-time friend in the village square, or a mother making a range of homemade delicacies for the entire family to enjoy, passion and a lust for life are experienced at every turn. Even in the most hidden corners of the island, you can always find yourself amazed at the unexpected. Colourful orange groves surround stunning ancient ruins, rugged cliffs embrace idyllic calm turquoise waters, and shady pine covered mountains are brought to life with clusters of stone-built villages, begging to be explored. Amidst the wide diversity of cultural and natural heritage, you can discover cosmopolitan towns where modernity and tradition perfectly blend together. Glamorous restaurants sit side by side trendy boutiques, as winding old streets dotted with quaint taverns give way to contemporary galleries or artistic cafes. Take a seat and soak up all the splendour around you. You will immediately feel right at home when the locals give you a warm smile, tell you tales and make sure you never leave their side hungry.
Beachside Splendour Meets Countryside Bliss
Lovers of the Mediterranean often flock to the island of Aphrodite to catch their breath in a place where time stands still because it is mesmerised by the beauty of nature. Famed for its spectacular beaches, the crystal-clear Cypriot waters are among the cleanest in the world, as well as being just right to offer everyone a whole range of unique experiences. Thrill seekers dive off the caves of the picturesque Cape Gkreko, others choose to lay back on the soft white sands of the Agia Napa and Protaras coves, while real nature lovers explore the wild Akamas Peninsula, where baby turtles hatch in the protected Lara Bay. Take a step back from the scenic coast and submerge yourself in the green, natural world of the Troodos Mountains. With its countless pine trees and treasures just waiting to be discovered, the Troodos Mountains seem to be suspended in time. Its hidden stone-built churches and stunning monasteries, decorated with countless Byzantine icons are at the forefront of a picturesque and peaceful countryside scene. Take the time to marvel at nature in all its glory, including glimpses of the lonesome Moufflon and herds of meandering goats wading through a landscape rich in endemic flowers and aromatic herbs. Put your feet up for the night in one of the countless agro-tourism resorts and relax completely in a traditional environment. Wake up fully energised the next day and take a road trip towards the sun kissed southern slopes of the mountains. Follow the winding streets and journey through olive groves and hillsides blanketed in vines which produce the grapes used to make Commandaria, the world’s oldest wine. Every bend, every scene has a story of culture and history to tell. . These stories are treasure chests for archaeology lovers, as countless days can be spent ogling ancient sites, from the awe inspiring Kourion Theatre to the intricate UNESCO world heritage mosaics in Pafos. But Cyprus isn’t just about the glories of the past, as its pulsating contemporary towns have little to envy of their European counterparts. And if you just so happen to need a break in between all the excitement, you’ve certainly come to the right place, as there’s always time for another lavish meze to tantalise the taste buds, followed by a delicious roasted Cypriot coffee to wash it all down.
Situated at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean basin, Cyprus is the third largest island in the region, with an area of 9,251 square kilometres (3,572 square miles).
Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government. Under the 1960 Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term of office through a Council of Ministers appointed by him. Ministers cannot serve concurrently in the House of Representatives.
On May 01, 2004 the Republic of Cyprus became a full member of the EU completing a long journey that lasted more than three decades. Accession to the EU was a natural choice for Cyprus, dictated by its culture, civilisation, history, its European outlook and adherence to the ideals of democracy, freedom and justice. EU accession has launched a new era of challenges, opportunities and responsibilities for Cyprus. The application of the EU laws and regulations is suspended in the area under military occupation by Turkey, pending a solution to the division of the island. Meanwhile, the government of Cyprus in cooperation with the EU Commission, has been promoting arrangements to facilitate increased economic transactions between the two communities and improve the standard of living of Turkish Cypriots.
On January 01, 2008 the Republic of Cyprus joined the Eurosystem and in so doing introduced the Euro as its official currency, replacing the Cyprus pound as the unit of account. Thus, Euro banknotes and coins are the country’s legal tender.
Cyprus is also a member of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and many other international organisations.
Population (de jure): 946,000 (End 2013)
72%: Greek Cypriots (690,900)
17.6%: Foreign residents (167,100)
9.6%: Turkish Cypriots (91,000)
Population of Main Towns
As of end of 2013, the population of the island’s main towns is as follows:
– Lefkosia (Nicosia): 333,800 (part of Lefkosia in the Government controlled area)
– Lemesos (Limassol): 239,700
– Larnaka (Larnaca): 145,900
– Pafos (Paphos): 91,200
– Ammochostos (Free Famagusta) rural area: 47,400
Whatever the season, Cyprus provides ample opportunity to experience something new, interesting and exciting, including activities, events, customs and places that are unique and special to the island.