A picturesque island where past meets present at every turn, with a strong culture and many traditions handed down through the ages. In ancient times Cyprus was the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and the principal centre of her worship. Euripides, in his work ‘Bacchae’, calls Cyprus the island of Aphrodite. Land of saints, painted churches, legends and miracle-working icons. Nowhere else can you see every style of Byzantine art in such a small area. Cyprus was the first country in the world to come under Christian administration when the Apostles Paul and Barnabas visited the island in their mission to spread Christianity.
10,000 Years of civilization gathered together on one island. It is said, "scratch the soil anywhere in Cyprus and you will find traces of its magnificent past". This is no exaggeration. Evidence of the island's 10,000 years of history is scattered throughout the island.
Situated at the maritime crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean basin, Cyprus has a rich and varied history.
Hospitality, accompanied by authentic smiles and friendly faces, is what characterizes Greek Cypriot people. Loyal to family bonds, traditions and culture, lovers of nice food and endless entertainment, Cypriots are always friendly and approachable.
Countryside blessed with natural and man-made beauty with an abundant historical heritage. Its beautifully unique natural environment is complemented by its traditional villages and architecture which lend it a special character and are always welcoming of visitors in the traditional warm and hospitable Cypriot way.
Such an environment imbues a peaceful harmony between humans and nature, something which can be felt as soon as you have arrived in Cyprus and is one of the reasons visitors come here. In this kind of environment, a visitor comes in to contact with the welcoming locals of the traditional villages both mountain and coastal, experiences the simple and serene life, learns Cyprus customs, takes in the surrounding tranquil nature life and to round the experience off, enjoys the unique to the island traditional food and drink.
The earlier you are going to Cyprus, the earlier you will be surprised by this beautiful island state and how worth it was to put the effort to get there. From the delectable cuisines to pristine beaches, nice weather, to historic sites, Cyprus is an irresistible destination to spend some of your valuable time.
Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long and dry summers from mid-May to mid–October, and mild winters from December to February, which are separated by short autumn and spring seasons. Winters are mild to average with rain in all cities and snow only on Troodos Mountains usually starting before Christmas. June, July, and August average a temp of 30-37 degrees. The climate in Cyprus makes walking a pleasure, and the wealth of trails and tours give unparalleled access to the island’s natural beauty and magnificent scenery.
Cyprus is known for its beautiful sandy beaches with clean waters – the European Environment Agency recognises Cyprus’s beaches as the cleanest in Europe. For swimming and other water sports, the island boasts over 40 official blue flag beaches. From each city, you can enjoy a part of the Mediterranean Sea, with the most expansive coastlines being Larnarca, Famagusta, Ayia Napa, Kyrenia, Limassol and Paphos.
With a wealth of 350 beaches to choose from, you’re bound to find one that suits your taste. From the quiet backwaters of the western peninsula, to the lively resorts in the east, the island has something for everyone. The eastern coast is famous for its fine white sandy beaches with shallow turquoise waters. Deep water bays with rocky outcrops are perfect for snorkelling or diving. Even in winter you’ll find the weather is warm compared to most parts of Europe.
Cyprus is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world. In fact, the dessert wine “Commandaria” is the only wine that has borne the same name since the 12th century.
More recently, numerous small wineries have sprung up in many villages in the wine regions, in addition to the larger industrial wineries.
Well before the Bronze Age, Cyprus was known for its copper pots, saucepans and planters, all of which make wonderful gifts and are ideal adornments for the home. Gold and silver are also a noted art in Cyprus, many pieces providing faithful reproductions of ancient designs, and often exceptional examples of Cyprus folk art skills.
For visitors who wish to appreciate a life of luxury in Cyprus, there are a number of options – from family-run luxury hotels to five-star resorts, you are guaranteed the allure of the traditional Cypriot hospitality combined with modern sophistication. Cyprus is also home to a number of casinos, world-class sporting and spa facilities for your entertainment.
Food is a huge part of Cypriot culture, and the chances of leaving the island without trying the local cuisine are slim. Renowned for its taverns, serving delicious meze, Cyprus also offers a lesser-known type of eatery, mostly visited by locals. And although taverns are equally as recommended, eating at a mageirio is another experience. These smaller, more casual establishments serve only a few home-cooked meals of the day, and are definitely worth a visit.
Filled with enchanting little villages and stunning, verdant Mediterranean nature, there’s no question as to why Troodos is referred to as the ‘green heart of Cyprus’. An array of hiking trails, biking sites and camping facilities are found throughout the mountains, and although not as famous as the Alps, the Troodos mountains offer visitors the chance to do some skiing and enjoy sublime snowy vistas too. In winter the peaks become blanketed in snow, creating a dazzling winter wonderland, and thanks to the mountain’s central location and the small size of the island, the region is reachable in under an hour from almost every major city in the area.
If you are travelling between autumn and spring, you are most likely to find an ongoing festival. What more constructive way to learn about a culture than indulging in its festivities? The island hosts a variety of annual events including historical, arts, religious, sporting, and cultural festivals. Whatever that tickles your fancy, find a festival or an event and make your visit count. It could be wine, fruit carnival or a sporting event like mountain biking, cycling or water sport activities.