Interesting facts about Cyprus

cyprus flag

Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean, has rich, turbulent history stretching back to antiquity.

Cyprus’s official name is the Republic of Cyprus.

It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt and east of Greece.

The official languages of the Republic of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish.

The island is divided into two, and the Cypriot Turks live to the north, the Greek Cypriots to the south.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Cyprus was estimated to be 1,172,071 people.

Cyprus is 240 kilometers (149 miles) long from end to end and 100 kilometers (62 miles) wide at its widest point.

Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia is the capital city of the island country of Cyprus. It is also the largest city of that country.

nicosia

Nicosia is the only divided capital city in the world. It has a northern (Turkish) section and a southern (Greek) section.

Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a center of the cult of Aphrodite and
of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite’s legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century B.C. The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs mean that the site is of exceptional architectural and historic value.

paphos

The mosaics of Nea Paphos are among the most beautiful in the world.

paphos mosaic

The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis lying about two kilometres west of Paphos harbour in Cyprus. The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC, are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials up to the third century AD. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

tombs of the kings

The Painted Churches in the Troödos Region are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Troödos Mountains of central Cyprus. The site comprises ten Byzantine churches and monasteries all richly decorated with Byzantine and post-Byzantine murals.

painted churches in the troödos region

Kykkos Monastery is one of the wealthiest and best-known monasteries in Cyprus.It was founded around the end of the 11th century by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081–1118). The monastery lies at an altitude of 1318 meters on the north west face of Troödos Mountains.

kykkos monastery

Olympus, or Chionistra, at 1,952 meters (6,404 feet), is the highest point in Cyprus.

Cyprus has a coastline length of 648 kilometers (402.6 miles).Cyprus’s coastline is rocky and heavily indented, with a number of bays and capes.

Fig Tree Bay is a sandy beach in the resort of Protaras, Cyprus. In 2011, TripAdvisor declared it to be the third best beach in Europe, but it dropped to 9th place in 2015.

fig tree bay

Nissi beach, is a well-known sandy beach in the resort of Ayia Napa, Cyprus.The sandy beach stretches for 500 meters (1640 feet) and the waters are clean enough for the beach to have been awarded blue flag designation. Nissi beach has become a popular destination for clubbers following live programs transmitted through BBC’s Radio 1 Roadshow during the summer tourist season since 2002.

nissi beach

Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite’s Rock, is a sea stack in Paphos. It is located off the shore along the main road from Paphos to Limassol. The combination of the beauty of the area and its status in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite makes it a popular tourist location.

aphrodite's rock beach

More than 55 beaches on Cyprus have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for cleanliness & safety.

Cyprus is one of only a few places in the world where Green Turtles & Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) nest.

Cyprus is home to 20 rare species of orchid.

orchid cyprus

After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The island of Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkish troops invaded to stop Greek military plans for enosis (union) with Greece.

Cyprus is as multi-religious as it is multi-lingual and multi-cultural. The majority of the island’s residents, 78%, belong to the Autocephalous Orthodox faith; 18% are Muslim; while the remaining 4% of worshipers are Maronite or Armenian Apostolic.

The national anthem of the country is known as the Hymn to Liberty, which is also the national anthem of Greece.

Cyprus has the largest number of sunny days in the Mediterranean. It receives up to 13 hours of sun a day during the summer.

cyprus sun

Cyprus was once the wealthiest nation in the known world. It was during the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island’s rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries.

It has the world’s oldest wine label – the Cypriot dessert wine commandaria is recognized as the world’s oldest named wine.Knight crusaders are thought to have named it in the 13th century, but it may have been made for 5,000 years.

commandaria

Archaeological evidence suggests that people first lived on the island of Cyprus 10,000 years ago.

In 2004, archaeologists found the remains of a person buried with a cat on Cyprus. Dating back about 9,500 years, this is the oldest known pet cat.

Traffic in Cyprus drives on the left-side of the road and the power plugs used are English style.

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