Cyprus, the "island of Aphrodite", is located at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean and it is a unique place with endless sandy beaches, busy cities and many hidden beauties. The location of Cyprus, at the crossroads of the maritime routes of eastern Mediterranean, has been a key factor for the history of the island and the shaping of its culture. The island has had influences both from the European culture as well as from the way of life of the Mediterranean coast of the East.
The common roots between Greeks and Cypriots are obvious when you observe the similarities in the culture and lifestyle of the two peoples. Despite the similarities, however, Cyprus has a unique dialect, local gastronomy, and traditions.
In recent decades, Cyprus has become a popular tourist destination. The natural beauty of the island with the beautiful beaches and warm climate combined with an abundance of archaeological sites and modern monuments, attracts visitors from all over the world. Cyprus has a good tourist infrastructure in terms of hotels, luxury spas, tennis and golf courts, roads and water sports. The fans of nature will not be disappointed as the island offers the possibilities of mountaineering, hiking and jeep safaris.
The cities of Cyprus have found the perfect balance between tradition and modern lifestyle and they have become centers of tourism. Nicosia, the capital, is a busy shopping and business center. In the heart of the city you can see the old neighborhood, which is protected by the Venetian wall, reminiscent of times that are long gone. As you walk down the narrow streets, you can see the mosques, the traditional shops, cafes and taverns. The city divided in two due to the tragic history of the island.
In the southern coastal area of the island, there are the other three major cities of Cyprus: Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. Larnaca, on the southeastern side, is a city that is well known for its Byzantine and Ottoman monuments, dozens of churches and mosques. Limassol is the second largest city of Cyprus and the most important wine center of the island. It is a crowded tourist resort with intense nightlife. Paphos, on the west coast, hosts great archaeological treasures and used to be the capital of the island for 600 years. The archaeological park with the unique mosaics and the Tombs of the Kings are probably the most famous archaeological sites in the area. Due to its abundance of monuments, the city is part of the Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO.
Cyprus has much to offer whether you are looking for busy holiday resorts and cosmopolitan beaches or secluded areas with rare natural beauty.
- The island has two airports (Larnaca and Paphos) and four international ports (Larnaca, Limassol, Latsi and Paphos).
- To travel from Greece to Cyprus you do not need any special travel documents, only your identification card.
- The local time is the same as in Greece (GMT +2).
- The official currency of Cyprus is the euro.
- The cars on the island have the steering wheel on the right hand and move on the right side of the road.
- The buses on the island are few and old and are primarily used by residents of smaller villages for their journey to the island's big cities. In the city centers, the majority of people take taxis, which is relatively inexpensive.
- Tap water is drinkable throughout the island.
- If you want to call Cyprus from abroad, dial 00357 and then the eight-digit phone number.
- In case of an emergency, call 199 or 112 from any part of the island.