Cyprus, he second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, has a long, tumultuous history, beautiful climate, beaches that can compete with the best anywhere, and delicious food.
Now a member of EU, southern Cyprus (The Republic Of Cyprus) with its capital Nicosia, is a bustling city to many businesses, including international banking dealing mainly with Russian and Middle Eastern financial transactions.
Cyprus is now divided into two jurisdictions – The Republic Of Cyprus, and The Turkish Federated Republic. The Turkish army invaded the northern part of Cyprus in 1974, and called it The Federated Turkish Republic that no other country in the world except Turkey recognizes as legitimate.
Cyprus was inhabited as early as 3900 B C, then the army of Alexander The Great arrived, followed by the Hellenistic Era (Cypriots speak Greek), Byzantine Era, The Lusignans, The Venetians, and The ottomans, finally winning independence from Britain in 1960.
Every city in Cyprus (Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and everywhere in between boasts archaeological treasures left behind several rulers.
Nicosia is a walled city with well-preserved core, many churches, archaeological sites, and lively nightlife.
The Museum of Cyprus is a must see, along with many others for history buffs.
Larnaca’s history spans from prehistoric times through the Roman and Byzantine empires, and Middle Ages.
Here you can admire terracotta figurines, Attic ceramics, Roman art, and Byzantine and Medieval ceramics.
Limassol, is a colourful harbour town and Cyprus’s second largest city, full with remainders of the island’s chequered and multicultural past, from the Crusaders through to the Venetians and Ottoman eras to the present.
Don’t miss to visit Agia Napa Cathedral, Municipal Folk and Art Museum, the Municipal Gardens, the Limassol Archaeological Museum, Cyprus Medieval Museum, and Fisherman’s Harbour. When it comes to beaches, from east to west all are well maintained, relatively free of thousands of swimmers and exhibitionists, clean, and mostly from persistent ambulatory souvenir sellers.
You can chose between Agia Napa, to Protaras, Governor’s Beach, Evidemon, Pissouri, Patos, Coral Bay, Lara Bay, Asprokemos, and Polis.
For those who love water sports, swimming, windsurfing, liteboarding, jet skiing, water-skiing, parascending, snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing are only a fee choices.
Those who like can choose from many well-established routes. ‘Cyprus is year round destination, with hot summers (up to 40 C), and mild winters (never lower than 15 C).
You can book package holidays; travel independently (fly from most European capitals direct to Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, and other international cities).
You can also board a ferry from Pireus in Greece, and from Rhodos or Patmos, from Haifa, Egypt, or Beirut. Many cruise ships following eastern Mediterranean routes stop at Cypriot harbours.
In Cyprus you can rent a car, (roads are well designed and maintained), or travel by taxi, or bus, or even rent a bicycle in cities catering to tourists,
When it comes to food, Cypriot food reflects the country’s history with layers of food cultures. Try meze (various appetizers), ofto kleftiko, souvla, moussaka, souvlaki, louvi me lahana, koupepia, skordalia, karroli yahni, achtapodi krasato, barbouni, haloumi cheese, or eggplant specialties, and bourekia.
There is no shortage of local wine, beer, spirits or imported alcoholic beverages. Most wineries offer tours, followed by tutored wine tasting.
Every imaginable accommodation is available from luxury international brands, to fine hotels, villas, vintage houses, and apartments, including all-inclusive hotels, hostels and bed and breakfast establishments. Reservations are recommended for high-season travellers.
Crime in Cyprus is low, but precaution is recommended.
Credit card fraud is widespread.
Wheelchair access is limited to non-existent.
Women travelling alone or together should exercise caution.
Limassol and Pafos enjoy several nigh spots with entertainment but when approached by “friendly” locals offering to “buy” drinks, extreme caution is highly recommended.
A vacation in Cyprus can be rewarding and relatively inexpensive, particularly in shoulder- or off-season.