50 Cyprus Facts, an island rich in history and culture

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50 Cyprus Facts, an island rich in history and culture

Cyprus is a lovely island located in the eastern Mediterranean, rich in history and culture. In Cyprus you will enjoy the best blue waters and taste delicious Cypriot specialties that will make you want to come back.  I’m lucky that I’m living there. I’ve made a list with 50 interesting Cyprus facts which include points about geography, history, economy, culture, transportation, food & drinks, entertainment and myths. Although I capture my own pictures, this time I choose to feature a photo which has caught my eye a long time ago on flickr. Enjoy.

General Facts

  1. Cyprus is an Island in the Mediterranean Sea
  2. Cyprus is NOT part of Greece
  3. The name of Cyprus may originate from the Mediterranean Cypress Tree (Kyparissos) or derived from copper that was discovered in Cyprus.
  4. Current population is 1 204 788 (Jan 2016)
  5. Spoken language is Greek and English is widely spoken
  6. The phone dialling code for Cyprus is +357
  7. The Electricity and plug system is the same as the UK
  8. The official currency is EURO
  9. Time Zone GMT + 2:00 hours

Geography Facts

  1. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia
  2. Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is the only capital in the world which is divided between two nations (see point 15)
  3. There are two British military zones in Cyprus, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which are a legacy of the British occupation of Cyprus which ended in 1960
  4. The highest peak is Mount Olympus, which reaches around 6402 ft above sea level
  5. The Akamas peninsula has a unique beauty. It’s the last coastal region on the island which remains untouched by mass tourism and development

History Facts

  1. The island has been divided since 1975. A UN buffer zone (known as the Green Line) separates the self-declared Republic of Northern Cyprus (which is illegal) and the controlled South Greek.
  2. Turkey occupied 36,2% of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus and forcibly expelled from their homes about 200,000 Greek Cypriots
  3. During the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island’s rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries making it one of the wealthiest countries in the world
  4. The English crusader King Richard the Lionheart – got married to Queen Joanna at Limassol Castle on May 12, 1191
  5. The Choirkoitia Neolithic settlement is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Europe.
  6. Stavrouvouni Monastery is the oldest monastic site in Cyprus

Economy

  1. Cyprus (southern part) joined the European Union in 2004
  2. In 2012–2013 Cyprus faced a financial crisis
  3. Tourism, financial services and shipping are significant parts of the economy
  4. Cyprus is ranked 23rd in the world in terms of the Quality-of-life Index
  5. Cyprus constitutes one of the largest ship management centres in the world

Culture

  1. The majority of Cypriots are Christian Orthodox
  2. Cypriots are known for their hospitality
  3. The majority of the population is educated
  4. Name days are celebrated by the majority, hosting dinners or mini parties

Transportation

  1. Traffic in Cyprus drives on the left-side of the road
  2. The most comfortable way to get around is by car
  3. Cyprus has two international airports – one in Larnaca and one in Paphos
  4. Cars with red plates are rented

Food & Drinks

  1. Commandaria, a sweet red wine, is the older wine in the world produced in Cyprus.
  2. Halloumi, a semi-hard cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk originates from Cyprus
  3. Cypriots love to eat.
  4. Souvla is the traditional food which is large pieces of meat cooked on charcoal.
  5. The famous “Meze” is a wide selection of small, delicious dishes mostly of meat.
  6. Flaouna is a cheese stuffed pastry which is only consumed during Easter.
  7. Loukoumades is Greek Cypriot dessert similar to doughnuts.
  8. Pourekkia is a delicious snack stuffed with halloumi or anari cheese
  9. National alcoholic drink – Zivania, with alcohol content 45%
  10. A Cypriot coffee is always a must after a heavy meal

Entertainment

  1. Ayia Napa in Eastern Cyprus is one of the most popular nightlife districts
  2. “Panigiri” is a traditional open-air event which takes place mainly in the villages on the occasion of a saint’s name day or during August or September
  3. The Limassol Wine Festival is one of the popular events in Cyprus.
  4. Carnival is another popular event which is celebrated in Limassol

Tourism

  1. Over 2 million tourists arrive in Cyprus every year

Myths

  1. A myth says that Cyprus is the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite
  2. The abandoned “Berengaria” hotel is rumored to be hunted by ghosts

Of course there are more than these 50 interesting facts about Cyprus and I’m sure I’ve skipped a lot so please remind me by commenting. Thanks a lot.

To find out more about Cyprus visit the Cyprus Tourism Organisation website.

2016-11-01T10:30:59+00:00 May 21st, 2016|

About the Author:

Dora Christofi
I’m Cypriot, with a London touch, experimenting with photography, working in research, love cooking, reading books and wishing to travel the world. I currently live in Limassol, Cyprus and try to travel as much as I can. Visit the [Meet Dora] section for more.

4 Comments

  1. Dora Christofi
    Dora Christofi January 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hello Ruth, Yes that’s true, I mistakenly skipped that! Thanks a lot 🙂

  2. Dora Christofi
    Dora Christofi January 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Hello Dimitri and thanks for your comment. The thing for highlighting northern and south is that there are many people who have no idea about this situation. Hence, I’ve edited stating the Northern Cyprus is illegal. Thanks

  3. Sheri Bowditch May 25, 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    The ancient Roman city of Kourion is fascinating and was only discovered by chance in the 1970’s .

    Remains of African Pygmy elephants and Rhinos’s , as well as mollusc shells , can be found up in the Troodos mountain range , most gardens have oyster shells lying very close to the surface too , indicating that the lower areas of the island were once submerged

  4. Margaret Black May 30, 2016 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Cyprus has the most wonderful all year climate .

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