Today’s country is the little island of Cyprus!
Photo courtesy of World Atlas
So, where to begin… Ah yes.
The Republic of Cyprus (or just Cyprus for short) is a small island only 9,251 square kilometres, located in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Turkey. The total population is estimated to be around 1,150,000 people to which 77% are said to be Greek, and 18% Turkish. Both Greek and Turkish are official languages, though many do know English due to the high tourism numbers coming from English speaking countries. The religions that dominate the country are Greek orthodox at 78% and Muslim at 18%. Being part of the European Union, the country adopted the Euro as their currency in 2008. With an overall GDP of 23.23 billion (statistic as of 2014 fromTrading Economics) , the county is in good economic standing considering the total collapse of its financial system in 2013, sending the country into a recession.
Cyprus has 6 regions with self titled cities, including Nicosia (Capitol city with population of 313,400), Famagusta, Kyrenia, Lamaca, Limassol and Paphos. This small island also is home to the Troodos Mountains that dominate the southern and western sides of the island, and the Kyrenia Mountains located across the northern coast of the country. Located in the centre of the Troodos is Mount Olympus with a high point of 6,401 feet, it is an infamous landmark in ancient Greek mythology. While the main water feature of the country is the expansive Mediterranean Sea that surrounds the island, another water feature worth mentioning is the Pedieos river. The Pedieos is a seasonal river that is the product of heavy rainfall in the fall and winter months. The river is said to be the largest river in the country at 100 kilometres long, rising in the north east section of the Troodos mountains, flowing through the capital city of Nicosia, and draining into the Famagusta Bay located on the west side of the island. The island is home to a plethora of unique wildlife, including its own species of indigenous cow, the cyprus hedgehog, wild donkeys that roam the island and the endangered cyprus moufflon sheep, an ancestor to the modern day sheep. From reptiles to birds and so on, there is always some new interesting creature around every turn. Watch out for the snakes though, as the island has a few venomous species like the Montpelier and the blunt-nosed viper.
Photo courtesy of World Atlas
Alright, now for the sights. Cyprus is famous for its stunning views and beaches, it’s regional vinyards, and it’s rich Greek history. If archeological sites are your thing, there are countless to choose from being that this island has been home to ancient civilization for centuries. From tombs to ruins, cyprus will not dissapoint Greek mythology lovers. Some places worth mentioning are Nissi beach, Fig Tree Bay, the Kato Paphos Archeological site, the church of St. Lazarus, Kolossi Castle, Kykkos Monastery, Tombs of the Kings and even the Fasouri Watermania Waterpark. Diving is also a very popular attraction, with various underwater shipwrecks and sea life to explore, as well as hiking! SO if you like nature, there’s plenty to explore. Cyprus also has some very delicious food! Consisting of a meat (lamb, pork, chicken or fish) and potatoes, pasta, rice or pulses, they draw mainly from Greek cuisine to which I am a huge fan of. A popular dish worth mentioning is Fassoulia Yiahni. Check out this recipe from Olive Tomato or this list from Escape Here
Visas are required after 90 days for u.s. citizens and transit visas may be needed if you have a stop at one of the Cyprus international airports on your way somewhere else. Tourists are allowed to stay for no more than 3 out of 6 months after date of first entry. If you want more info or details on visas for your country of origin, please visit http://www.cyprusvisa.eu
The weather in Cyprus is pretty favorable year round with summer Monty temperatures ranging from 30+ degrees Celsius during the day to 20 degrees or lower during the night. Rain tends to stick to fall and winter months.
Busiest times in Cyprus are generally from June to September with August being the busiest, leaving the low season from October to May.
Safety Factor: you’re pretty safe here. Crime rates are low are the citizens are very friendly! As with anywhere, take steps to protect yourself and you’ll end up having a safe visit
For more information on cyprus, things to do, places to stay and all other things cyprus, check out the following links!