Cyprus

Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Although the island is geographically in Asia it is politically a European country and is a member of the European Union.

Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Despite a constitution which guaranteed a degree of power-sharing between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority, the two populations – with backing from the governments of Greece and Turkey, respectively, clashed in 1974, with the end result being control of the northern and eastern 40% of the island by Turkey. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. So far, only Turkey recognizes the TRNC, while all other governments and the United Nations recognize only the government of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island. The UN operates a peacekeeping force and a narrow buffer zone between the two Cypriot ethnic groups. Fortunately, open hostilities have been absent for some time, as the two sides (now with the growing involvement of the European Union) gradually inch towards a reunification of some sort.

Subtropical Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters in the lowlands. Continental with warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters in the mountains.

Cypriot cities have a variety of historical spellings and writings, all in fairly common use, and which change according to the context, whether it be Greek Cypriot, Turkish or English tourist. The following list emphasizes traditional English spellings, that will most often be encountered by the traveller.

  • Nicosia (also Nikosia, Lefkosia “Lefkosa”) – the divided capital
  • Larnaca Larnaka
  • Limassol Lemesos “Limasol”
  • Paphos Pafos “Baf”

Other Destinations

  • Akamas Peninsula
  • Ayia Napa – in the far east of the Republic, considered by many to be the main party town of Cyprus
  • Troodos Mountains – the mountainous region of Troodos offers visitors a range of activities and agrotourism destinations along with over 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Prominent villages in the region include Kakopetria, Platres, Palaichori, Chandria, Spilia among others.
  • Lefkara The Lace village,in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, a charming little town with lots of character, in the heart of Cyprus.
  • Protaras – a predominantly tourist resort. It comes under the administrative jurisdiction of Paralimni Municipality. It has clear sky-blue waters and and sandy beaches, the most well-known of which is Fig Tree Bay.
  • Pitsilia This agricultural region is an area with charming picturesque villages where you can experience the authentic rural life of Cyprus. Agros, Kyperounda, Pelendri, Potamitissa are a few of the villages you can visit within a day. Beautiful nature, traditional architecture, byzantine churches, wineries, Commandaria museum are worthy visit. Most of it ask to watch or follow the local people in their agricultural activities.
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