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Country Facts

Welcome to the year-round island - the third largest island on the Mediterranean Sea and one of its most popular tourist destinations with an advanced, high-income economy. An island whose rich dramatic history can be traced back over nine thousand years; an island so coveted over the centuries that it has been invaded and claimed by a fascinating mixture of civilizations from near and far all of which have left their culture and shaped its character.

Enjoy a tour around Aphrodite's Cyprus, at the crossroads of three continents where East meets West. An island whose archaeology stems from the Neolithic Age, the Ancient Greeks and the Roman period; where churches and monasteries still stand from Byzantine times; castles and palaces from the days of Crusaders and splendid city walls from Venetian days.

A new experience awaits you every day. Enjoy the Championship Golf courses, inviting beaches and breathtaking mountain trails, explore the quaint villages Once you've been to Cyprus, it's easy to see why you'll come back again.

  • Capital: Nicosia
  • Official Languages: Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities respectively. English is widely spoken.
  • Government: Presidential Republic
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Zone: +2 GMT. (3 ½ hours behind India)
  • Telephone Calling Code: 00357

When To Go

Best time to visit: Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers starting in mid-May and lasting until mid-September and rainy, quite mild winters from November to mid-March. Spring and autumn are effectively short intervals in between, characterized by smooth weather. With almost year-round clear skies and sunshine, daylight length ranges from 9.8 hours in December to 14.5 hours in June.

What To Do

Food too reflects the divide: in the North you'll find mostly Turkish cuisine; in the Republic, Greek.

What to eat and drink
  • Kleftiko: Oven-baked lamb, Greek in origin
  • Mezedes: Dips, salads and other appetizers
  • Fruit: You'll find strawberries, stone fruit, melons, prickly pear, citrus and grapes
  • Macaroni Pastitsio: Delicious to be eaten right after baking. Although the preparations stay the same, the ingredients may vary. In Cyprus, the special ingredient includes halloumi cheese, cinnamon, bechamel sauce and nutmeg.
  • Barbecued Halloumi Cheese: This dish is baked adding halloumi cheese (Arab in origin), then placed under a hot grill and grilled on both sides until golden brown. The slices are then served on a warm plate with the dressing poured over. Garnish with sprigs of coriander or flat parsley before serving, eaten together with toasted pita bread.
  • Grape Tart: The grape tart is baked in large quantities and served chilled.
  • Kalimeras Halloumi: There's nothing lighter, more refreshing or tastier than this cheese dish, grilled or fried until it's beautifully brown and served alongside a salad with Greek dressing.
  • Seafood and fish: Squid, octopus, red mullet, and sea bass.
  • Lountza: Smoked pork loin and charcoal-grilled lamb.
  • Souvlaki: Pork and chicken cooked over charcoal.
  • Sheftalia: Minced meat wrapped in mesentery.
  • Melomakarona: Honey soaked buns sprinkled with coarsely ground almonds.
  • Brandy Sour: Brandy Sour is the drink of Cyprus. It combines local brandy with the fresh tang of Cyprus lemons. The ingredients used are lemons squash, brandy, angostura, soda and lots of ice cubes.

Handicrafts: Ceramics, basketry, weaving, wood carving, silver and copper products.
Local spirits: Zivania (Raki in the North), brandy or Commandaria liqueur wine and other better-quality Cypriot wines are also good purchases.



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