WHY TO VISIT CYPRUS
Still separated in two by the ‘green line’, this county is rich in numerous treasures: a variety of landscapes, castles and monasteries, beautiful nature, and smiling Cypriots. They will all help you forget that this island is separated into two parts, the Turkish part to the North and the Greek part to the South.
Nicosia, the capital, is right on the separation line. The old town, surrounded by ramparts, has various places of interest: The Leventis Municipal Museum, The Byzantine Museum, the Saint John Cathedral with its frescoes, the Kyrenia Gate, the Selimiye Mosque and the famous Büyük Hammam. You can visit the Turkish part with a day visa.
The sea resort of Paphos is worth a detour, even if only for the mosaics.
The region of Troodos in the south will seduce you with its mountains and numerous hiking paths by which you will discover ancient monasteries and lost villages.
Visit the Akamas Peninsula with its splendid wildlife, the sea resort of Polis in its magnificent setting, Kolossi Castle in the south surrounded by citrus plantations, the town of Farangusta with its many churches and most especially the archaeological site of Salamine where you will find many things to surprise you.
WHAT TO SEE IN CYPRUS
Top destinations in Cyprus are:
- Ayia Napa
WHEN TO GO TO CYPRUS
Weather in Cyprus
Best period to visit Cyprusis from April to November.
The vast majority of tourists begin their trip on the narrow coastal strip in the south, which hosts the main towns of Larnaka, Lemesos and Pafos, each with a historic old town, promenade and popular beaches. Beyond them, to the north, foothills rise to the island’s main mountain range, the Troodos Massif, dotted with villages, churches and monasteries. To the west of the island is a plateau covered in vineyards, the great wilderness forest of Tiliria and the stark empty beauty of the Akamas Peninsula. North of the Troodos (and lying within north Cyprus), lie the dramatic mountains of the Kyrenia Range, home to St Hilarion castle. Beyond here is the even narrower northern coastal strip on which Girne (Kyrenia) is by far the most important and most beautiful town. To the east is the broad and largely flat Mesaorian Plain on which stands the island’s divided capital Nicosia, known today as Lefkosia (south) or Lefkoşa (north);further east is the crumbling port city of Gazimağusa (Famagusta), with its range of pretty and not-so-pretty ruins, and the long, tapering Karpaz Peninsula, home to wild donkeys and far-flung villages.
For traditional sun, sea and sand holidays, you have an extensive choice – in the south, Protaras and Agia Napa east of Larnaka, the beaches either side of Lemesos, Pafos and its satellite Coral Bay are packed with resorts offering a range of activities; in the north, the coast either side of Girne and north of Gazimağusa offers more of the same. For smaller hotels with a more individual character, try the north coast around Polis and the Akamas Peninsula, or the hill villages of the Troodos Mountains which offer traditional homes converted into guesthouses.
In terms of what to avoid, be aware that certain southern resorts (especially parts of Lemesos) can be quite sleazy, (dominated, it’s said, by the Russian mafia), with dubious “gentlemen’s clubs” and working girls operating openly in the streets. North Cyprus has also developed a reputation for vice and more obviously gambling; its dozens of casinos attract not only Turks from the mainland but also, perhaps surprisingly, hedonists from the south.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Cyprus
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH CYPRUS
To travel internally, buses are frequent and inexpensive but they are not available on Sundays. Collective taxis are a good backup.
by plane, main airports are:
by train, is not possible because Cyprus has not a working railway system
GENERAL INFORMATION ON CYSPRUS
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: European euro
local time zone: GMT+2 (+3)
electricity: type G (240 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN CYPRUS
typical food in Cyprus
- Afelia, stew of pork marinated in wine and ground coriander seed (South);
- Kleftiko ofto, lamb on the bone, slowly roasted with herbs in a sealed clay oven (South);
- Halloumi, Cyprus cheese, kneaded by hand and then grilled (South);
- Dolmades, preserved vine leaves stuffed with meat and rice (South);
- Stifado, casserole of beef cooked with wine, vinegar, onion and spices (South);
- Souvlaki, pork kebab of Greek Cyprus (South);
- Seftalia, seasoned pork rissoles, grilled in a skin of caul fat (South);
- Soutzioukos, strings of almonds coated with boiled grape juice that has been thickened with a little flour and flavoured with rosewater, cinnamon and mastic (South);
- Pastelaki, crispy sweets made of carob honey, often mixed with peanuts and almonds with a topping of sesame seeds (South);
- Commandaria, amber-coloured sweet dessert wine;
- Imam bayildi, aubergines stuffed with tomato and onions (North);
- Adana kebabs, minced lamb with herbs and red pepper, grilled on metal skewers (North);
- Tava, baked stew of lamb, cumin, onions and potatoes (North);
souvenirs from Cyprus
- Olive oil, wines, cheese (Halloumi), coffee, herbs;
- Leather products;
- Lefkara and Omodhos hand-made laceworks;
- hard-wearing woolen rugs in geometric patterns and stripes or brightly striped traditional ‘rag rugs’ made from cotton;
- traditional instruments: tampoutsia and shepherd’s flute;
- hand-crafted red baskets;
- jewellery and silverware;
Hello: Χαίρετε (Chaírete)
Goodbye: Αντίο (Αντίο)
How are you?: Πώς είσαι; (Pós eísai?)
Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (Efcharistó)
What is your name?: Πως σε λένε? (Pos se léne?)
How much is it?: Πόσο κοστίζει? (Póso kostízei?)
Sorry: Συγνώμη (Sygnómi)