Explore Cyprus 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.
Due to its ideal position it was influenced by many foreign cultures. There are remains to prove that it was populated as early as the 10th millennium BC in the Neolithic village of Khirokitia.
In western Cyprus Water wells were discovered and are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old.
Cyprus has a large number of remarkable Byzantine monuments. Scattered throughout the island are historical churches and monasteries. The cultural importance of the island has been honored by UNESCO which has included ten churches of the island on its list. All ten churches dating from the 11th to the 17th century are located in the mountainous region of Troodos.
What to see. Best top attractions in Cyprus.
- The many archaeological and antiquities sites scattered around the island, dating from the New Stone Age through to the Roman Empire
- the beautiful coastline of the island – still quite unspoilt in many places – is well worth exploring
- Nicosia, the capital as it has a wealth of history, preserved Venetian walls surrounding the city, some wonderful bars and restaurants within the old walls of the city and of course the ‘green line’ – the dividing line with the Turkish part of Cyprus, which cuts through the centre of Nicosia, now the only divided capital
- Troodos mountains, rising as high as 1952 metres, offering some beautiful trail walks and also quaint little villages such as Kakopetria, Platres and Phini. In winter there is the chance to ski there and the ski resort is being developed
- Pitsilia area on Troodos mountains, where agricultural life and some of the finest wineries can be experienced while staying in small agrohotels in Agros, Kyperounda, Pelendri, Potamitissa and more. There you can visit few of the best wineries of Cyprus, such as Kyperounda Winery, Tsiakkas Winery at Pelendri.
Commandaria area is the region where the legendary Commandaria sweet dessert wine is produced. A visit to Commandaria Museum is worthy the time. Don’t forget to stop in a local agrohotel, or visit the local kafeneion to chat with local people.
- Hamam Omerye, Nicosia is a 14th century building restored to operate once again as a hammam for all to enjoy, relax and rejuvenate. Dating back to French rule and located in the heart of Nicosia’s old town, the site’s history dates back to the 14th century, when it stood as an Augustinian church of St. Mary. Stone-built, with small domes, it is chronologically placed at around the time of Frankish and Venetian rule, approximately the same time that the city acquired its Venetian Walls. In 1571, Mustapha Pasha converted the church into a mosque, believing that this particular spot is where the prophet Omer rested during his visit to Nicosia. Most of the original building was destroyed by Ottoman artillery, although the door of the main entrance still belongs to the 14th century Lusignan building, whilst remains of a later Renaissance phase can be seen at the north-eastern side of the monument. The hamam is still in use today and after its recent restoration project, has become a favourite place for relaxation in Nicosia. In 2006 it received the Europa Nostra prize for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage.
- KOURION – CURIUM ANCIENT THEATER (Limassol District)
- PETRA TOU ROMIOU – BIRTH PLACE OF APHRODITE (Paphos District)
- KOLOSSI MEDIEVAL CASTLE (Limassol District)
- KATO PAPHOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK & TOMBS OF THE KINGS (Paphos District)
- CHOIROKOITIA NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENT (Larnaca District)
- KATO PAPHOS CASTLE & HARBOUR (Paphos District) Paphos Harbor & Medieval Castle
- APOLLO TEMPLE (Limassol District)
- FAMAGUSTA GATE (Nicosia District)
- UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE – BYZANTINE PAINTED CHURCHES (Troodos Mountains)
- TZIELEFOS MEDIEVAL BRIDGE (Paphos District / Troodos Mountains)
- STAVROVOUNI MONASTERY (Larnaca District)
- AGIA NAPA MONASTERY (Famagusta District)
- NICOSIA VENETIAN WALLS (Nicosia District)
- NICOSIA OLD CITY (Nicosia District)
- LIMASSOL OLD TOWN (Limassol District)
- LIMASSOL MEDIEVAL CASTLE (Limassol District)
- LARNACA MEDIEVAL CASTLE (Larnaca District)
- LARNACA SALT LAKE & HALA SULTAN TEKKE MOSQUE (Larnaca District)
- AMATHOUS ANCIENT CITY (Limassol District)
- CYPRUS VILLAGES
Places of interest are also
- Hala sultan Tekke
- Larnaka salt lake
- Mathias south
- The rural settlement of Fikardou
- Klirou bridge
- Malounta bridge
- Church of Panagia Aggeloktisti
- Church of Panayia Chrysokourdaliotissa,
- Agioi Varnavas and Ilarion at Peristerona
- Troodos, mount Olympus, troodos botanic garden
- For golf lovers
- Secret valley golf course
- Aphrodite hills golf
- Minthis golf club
- Elea estate golf course
English is widely spoken by locals of all ages to varying degrees of fluency – partially because of previous British rule and partially due to the tourism industry. English is less widely spoken in the north. However, one will encounter monolingual Greek speakers and Turkish speakers in rural areas in both parts of the island, especially in the north and most of whom are elderly.
Other common languages spoken on the island are Russian, French and German.
What to Buy
Cyprus has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money.
Cypriot wine – the iconic local variety known as Commandaria is strong, sweet and somewhat akin to Porto wine
Lacework of an intricate nature – from the village of Lefkara.
Zivania – is a strong spirit based alcoholic drink
Leather goods such as shoes and handbags
Paintings from Gallery
Best time for shopping is from 10am to 4pm otherwise shops could easily be found closed. Generally cheapest prices could be found in big cities. Kiosks usually don’t sell bread and vegetables.
What to Eat
Cypriot meze (appetizers akin to Spanish tapas) are an art form, and some restaurants serve nothing but. Meze are available in a meat variety or fish variety but quite often come as a mixed batch, which is rather pleasing.
Halloumi (Hellim) is a uniquely Cypriot cheese, made from a mix of cow’s and sheep’s milk. Hard and salty when raw, it mellows and softens when cooked and is hence often served grilled.
Taramosalata is traditionally made out of taramas, the salted roe of the cod or carp. The roe is either mixed with bread crumbs or mashed potatoes. Parsley, onion, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar are added and it is seasoned with salt and pepper.
Dolma , Turkish stuffed bell peppers.
What to do in Cyprus
- Natural parks
- Scuba diving
- Kite surfing
- Spa Centers
There are many beaches to choose from, you’re bound to find one that suits you. 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 snorkeling or diving. The long finely packed grey sand of the southern coast lend themselves to long winter walks or jogging, while the secluded coves of the western coast beckon when you want to be alone.
- Agia Napa
When you want to explore Cyprus, just use one of the 3 airports in Cyprus.
- Larnaca international airport
- Paphos international airport
- Ercan international airport
Official tourism websites of Cyprus
For more information please visit the official government website: