Located in the South East of Europe, it is the third largest island in the Mediterranean.
Welcome to Cyprus
Cyprus is one of the most popular tourist destinations, with one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean with 10,000 years of valuable ancient history, amazing natural beauty with rare flora and fauna, stunning coastline with golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters.
Holiday in Cyprus
In Cyprus you will find some of the finest hotel resorts and holiday accommodation with impeccable service, fine restaurants, clubs and pubs. Everything the discerning visitor wants is catered for: spas, golf, cruising, water sports, walking and cycling activities, horse riding, diving, sailing, fishing, organised excursions to archaeological sites and wine tours.
Cypriots have been famous since antiquity for their hospitality and the warm and friendly welcome they extend to visitors. Due to the geographic separation of the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities following the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Greek language now predominates in the south and Turkish in the occupied north. However, English is widely understood on both sides of the island, especially among the younger generations.
The Republic of Cyprus is divided into six districts and six towns: Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos.
Since the dawn of recorded history, Cyprus has been one of the most sought-after areas of the region. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, along with Crusaders, Byzantines, Franks and Ottomans, have all left a remarkable legacy for the modern visitor to explore.
Languages: Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities respectively. English is widely spoken and also an official language. French and German are also well spoken within the tourist industry.
The majority of Greek-Cypriots are Greek-Orthodox Christians, other denominations are represented on the island, including Armenians, Maronite’s and Roman Catholics. The Turkish-Cypriot community is predominantly Muslim.
Cyprus enjoys a very sunny climate compared to most countries with 11.5 hours of bright sunshine per day over the six summer months. Even during the months of December and January, there is 5.5 hours of sunshine.
Cyprus has a highly developed system of primary and secondary education offering both public and private education. The high quality of instruction can be attributed in part to the fact that nearly 7% of the GDP is spent on education which makes Cyprus one of the top three spenders of education in the EU along with Denmark and Sweden. State schools are generally seen as equivalent in quality of education to private-sector institutions.
Nicosia “The last divided capital in the world”
Situated in the North central part of Cyprus, Nicosia has been labelled the last divided capital in the world. It is an alluring city with a mixture of old and new, therefore it is ideal for experiencing what modern
Cyprus is all about. The ancient walls, traditional taverns and an increasingly vibrant and young cafe and cultural scene successfully showcase the city’s basic make up. It is the seat of government and the administrative and financial hub of the island as well as home to several universities, colleges and other educational establishments.
The capitals sights are mostly concentrated in and around the old city. A perfect example is the Cyprus Museum as it is home to the best collection of archaeological finds in Cyprus dating back to the 6th Century BC.
Nicosia has incorporated elements of the many empires and kingdoms that have claimed it over the centuries stretching back to the Bronze Age. Step through the stone gates of the thick city wall and enter a place where the past is still alive.
Famagusta was once one of the most glamorous resorts in the Mediterranean.
Its miles of pale sand and clear turquoise sea made it a destination for the seventies jet- set, attracting thousands of visitors each year. With the deepest port in Cyprus, Famagusta handled more than 80% of the islands cargo.
The walled city that contained the historical treasures, including numerous Byzantine churches and a spectacular 14th century cathedral from the Frankish period was lived in by the Turkish Cypriots, while the modern district where the luxury hotels and apartment were situated , was inhabited mostly by the Greek Cypriots.
After the Turkish occupation in 1974, Cyprus was divided and Famagusta was completely evacuated by its Greek population who fled before the invading army and after the town had been bombed by the Turkish air force.
The Greek Cypriots who had fled from Varosha were not allowed to return, and journalists are banned. It hasbeen frozen in time with department stores still full of clothes, now many years out of fashion, and hotels empty but still fully equipped. Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson, who visited the Swedish UN battalion in Famagusta port and saw the sealed-off part of the town from the battalion’s observation post, called the area a ‘ghost town’. Turkish Cypriots continue to live north of Varosha, especially in the walled city. These sections of Famagusta remain vibrant with many fascinating buildings.
Due to its relative isolation and neglect over the past 30 years despite being such a historically and culturally significant city, Famagusta was listed on the World Monuments Fund’s 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world.
Paphos “The birthplace of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite.”
Paphos is famous as the birthplace of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. Modern day Paphos is divided in two, with the upper section over the hill being the commercial centre and the lower Kato Paphos containing the main archaeological points of interest as well as most hotels and taverns.
Situated on the south west coast of Cyprus, Paphos is the ideal holiday destination for families seeking sunshine and relaxation.
Yet there is more to Paphos than that: lovers of archaeology, history and culture will find a wealth of attractions. A great example is the Tomb of The kings, a Unesco World Heritage Site with amazing ancient mosaics dating back to the 4th century BC. Paphos offers a variety of water sports and has 3 golf courses, what’s more, you can go horse riding, cycling, hiking, in the nearby countryside.
The picturesque harbour with its medieval castle is a beautiful area to take a romantic stroll or enjoy a coffee at one of the many
restaurants and cafeterias. If you want to do some souvenir shopping before you go home Paphos is the place for it!
Limassol has become the principle sea port of Southern Cyprus
A city counting centuries of history is located between two of the most renowned ancient kingdoms of the island, Amathous on the east and Kourion on the west. Limassol is the second largest city after Nicosia.
Following the Turkish invasion in 1974, it has become the principle sea port and has developed into a significant tourist destination.
It is popular for its extensive cultural traditions, and has a wide spectrum of activities and a number of museums and archaeological sites which are available to the interested visitor. Its historical centre is located around the medieval castle and the old port, an area buzzing with cafes, bars and restaurants that are as popular with the locals as they are with the visitors. It is not by chance that it is called the city of fun as it is widely known for its rich tradition in arts as well as hosting several cultural events throughout the year.
Larnaca International Airport is located on the border of the city
Larnaca is known for its palm-tree seafront. The lively coastal walkway,
known universally as the Finikoudes, is where locals and visitors alike go for a morning coffee or an evening beer, to relax on the beach during the day and to stroll the wide pavement at sunset.
It’s the heart of the scene with restaurants, cafes and bars galore and during summer it fully revs up for the annual flood of holidaymakers.
It is an area of outstanding beauty – endowed with numerous
attractions, waterfronts and scenic vistas as well as some of the islands most outstanding beaches. It is located on Cyprus’ southernmost coast and is the country’s third largest city and home to the second largest commercial port. Larnaca International Airport is located on the border of the city with easy access to and from the city centre. The Salt Lake and the Tekke is the first thing you look at upon reaching Larnaca. The Salt Lake’s water levels rise in the winter and from November until March it is home to flamingos, in summer the lake dries up.
The whole town is on ancient ruins and here and there you will see empty plots where diggers are still in the process of excavating ancient remnants.
Kyrenia – “The en- tire city is steeped in history”
Kyrenia is a major cultural and economical centre, considered to be the touristic capital of Northern Cyprus. It is home to numerous hotels, a vibrant nightlife and a busy port.
It hosts an annual culture and arts festival with hundreds of participating artists and performers and is home to three universities with a student population around 14,000.
It enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is surrounded by the sea on one side and the five fingers mountain range on the other. There are plenty of hotels, sandy beaches, and excellent activities to enjoy. For those who love nature, Kyrenia will not disappoint. It is home to a wide range of flora and fauna including many different varieties of orchids.
The entire city is steeped in history and there are a number of castles in and around Kyrenia and the harbour itself is overlooked by Kyrenia castle. This castle is also home to the famous shipwreck museum where you can view the wreckage of an ancient ship.