Cyprus – More than just a Travel Guide

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and a member of the European Union. The country has two official languages, Greek and Turkish, and is divided into six administrative regions. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia. Weather-wise, Cyprus has a subtropical climate, with long, hot, dry summers and short, cool, wet winters. The temperature usually begins to heat up in April and doesn’t start to cool down until November.

Cyprus attracts visitors from all over the world, and is a particular favorite for Europeans. The pristine beaches and luxurious resorts are the main reason so many people visit the island. 53 beaches in Cyprus have been awarded the Blue Flag for meeting stringent environmental, water quality, and safety standards. This naturally leads to these beaches being quite beautiful. Beaches such as Santa Barbara and Loures in the Limassol District are popular, as well as Petra Tou Romiou, where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love is said to have risen from the sea. In the Paphos District, there are a number of beaches that draw tourists to their shores, including Coral Bay, Faros, and Pachyammos. In the Linarca District, Phinikoudes Beach is the most popular beach, due to its promenade and proximity to town. In the Ayia Napa District, both Nissi Beach and Macronissos Beach have clear water, white sand, and are popular with visitors looking to party.

Many people visit Cyprus to check out its ancient architecture and remains. Due to its location, Cyprus has been under the rule of the Greeks, the Ottomans, the Hittites, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Persians, the British, and others. As such, the island has a fascinating mix of architecture, medieval cities, and other ruins left from these empires. Cyprus also has three UNESCO World Heritage sites. They include the town of Paphos, the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region, and Choirokoitia. Paphos was included due to it being inhabited since the Neolithic period and its remains of palaces, villas, fortresses, and tombs, which make it a place of great architectural and historic value. The Painted Churches date back to the Byzantine Empire, and are one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of its kind. Choirokoitia was included due to it being a Neolithic settlement and one of the most important sites of its kind in the eastern Mediterranean. All three sites are of great interest to visitors wanting to know more about the history of the island.

Another reason why people continue to return to Cyprus again and again is due to the kindness and hospitality of the Cypriot people. They’re known for their friendliness and warmth, and really know how to make visitors to their country feel welcome. Cyprus is also known for its delicious food. A mix of Greek, Turkish, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisines makes for a flavorful mix. Visitors should try kleftico, a local meat specialty, and meze, which offers a taste of a number of different dishes. Being an island, Cyprus also has an abundance of fresh fish, squid, and octopus. Wine connoisseurs will love Cyprus, as Cypriots have been making wine for over 4000 years. Visitors can tour wineries on the island, check out local wine festivals, or just have fun drinking what is said to be the world’s oldest wine, Commandaria.

Visitors to Cyprus can also choose to get active if they prefer that to lounging on a beach or leisurely touring ancient ruins or wineries. The island is known for its many hikes for visitors who enjoy a good trek through the mountains. Cyprus also has a number of golf courses, complete with stunning views of the coastline. Scuba divers will also find plenty to do on the island, as the water is usually very clear with great visibility. There’s also a shipwreck off the coast of Larnaca, the Zenobia, that remains one of the most accessible shipwrecks for divers in the world.

Cyprus History

Cyprus is an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea which is currently a part of the European Union. Like many countries in the region, Cyprus has an extensive history, and is seen as a very popular destination for many tourists visiting the European region.

The history of Cyprus is rather extensive, dating back well over twelve thousand years. Due to the location of the small island nation, Cyprus has been a part of many of the greatest empires of the world, ancient and modern. The Hittites took control of Cyprus during the bronze age, holding that control for many years until the Greeks arrived at the shores. The ancient Greeks took control of Cyprus for many years. When the rise of the Roman empire occurred, Cyprus became a part of it, like just about everything else in the region.

As the middle ages began and the Roman empire collapsed, Cyprus became a part of the Byzantine empire in the East. Pirates became the largest problem in Cyprus, robbing and killing many of the people who lived on the island. Entire cities were destroyed, many of them banishing from existence instead of being rebuilt. With the Crusades, Cyprus was invaded. The Third Crusade had the most impact on Cyprus and its people, causing the island nation to be taken over by the crusaders and becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire until being annexed. With the rise of the Ottoman Empire, Cyprus would undergo many transformations from the middle ages into the industrial revolution.

Between the end of the Ottoman Empire and today, Cyprus would make the transition into becoming an independent nation. In the late 1800’s, when the Ottoman Empire began to fall, the British was given the lease of Cyprus. During the British control, it was used as a base to deter aggression from the rising Russian empire. World War I caused the British to then annex Cyprus due to the Ottoman Empire entering the war on the opposing side. After the war, in 1925, Cyprus was officially recognized as a British colony, much to the dislike of the people living there. Cyprus’ status of a British colony was short-lived, however. On August 17, 1960, Cyprus became a sovereign nation.

With exception of minor political battles, Cyprus after the Ottoman Empire has made progress as an independent nation. With its alliance with Europe and the historical relationship with Greece, in May of 2004 Cyprus became a part of the European Union. Upon entering the EU, Cyprus dropped its currency for the Euro in 2008.

The history of Cyprus draws many tourists to the small island nation. Like with most destinations throughout the world, many of the travelers drawn to Cyprus prefer to spend their time at the many resorts in the country. The resorts of Cyprus are numerous, and many of them are in the most beautiful locations in the world.

The most popular destination for resort goers is Ayia Napa. Ayia Napa is a resort city on the eastern side of Cyprus. This city is a hotbed of many of the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus and many nightlife destinations.

Another of the most popular destinations in Cyprus is the capital city of Nicosia. While not on the beach, Nicosia holds many historical sites, such as the many houses and a fortress which dates back to the sixteenth century.

The birthplace of Aphrodite, Paphos, is another resort which would excite travelers. This region of Cyprus is located on the south-west side of the island and has numerous historical sites, beautiful beaches, and burial grounds which are thought to be from the fourth century.

One of the most easiest locations to get to in Cyprus is a resort area which has its own airport and boasts of its reputation as the world’s oldest living city. Larnaca is located on the south coast of Cyprus. It offers many tourist activities such as scuba diving, cruises, and many historical landmarks to enjoy.

A more quiet area in Cyprus, sheltered away from the hustle of beach resorts with millions of activities and little time to relax are the Troodos Mountains. This quiet region holds many monasteries, churches, and cultural sites, but not so many that makes relaxation a hassle.

Overall, Cyprus is a very popular destination for travelers full of amazing resorts and sights for all ages and backgrounds. The island nation as a whole, despite its small size, reflects the exceptionally diverse history of all mankind.