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.
- Cyprus is an Island in the Mediterranean Sea
- Cyprus is NOT part of Greece
- The name of Cyprus may originate from the Mediterranean Cypress Tree (Kyparissos) or derived from copper that was discovered in Cyprus.
- Current population is 1 204 788 (Jan 2016)
- Spoken language is Greek and English is widely spoken
- The phone dialling code for Cyprus is +357
- The Electricity and plug system is the same as the UK
- The official currency is EURO
- Time Zone GMT + 2:00 hours
- Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia
- Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is the only capital in the world which is divided between two nations (see point 15)
- 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
- The highest peak is Mount Olympus, which reaches around 6402 ft above sea level
- The Akamas peninsula has a unique beauty. It’s the last coastal region on the island which remains untouched by mass tourism and development
- 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.
- Turkey occupied 36,2% of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus and forcibly expelled from their homes about 200,000 Greek Cypriots
- 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
- The English crusader King Richard the Lionheart – got married to Queen Joanna at Limassol Castle on May 12, 1191
- The Choirkoitia Neolithic settlement is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Europe.
- Stavrouvouni Monastery is the oldest monastic site in Cyprus
- Cyprus (southern part) joined the European Union in 2004
- In 2012–2013 Cyprus faced a financial crisis
- Tourism, financial services and shipping are significant parts of the economy
- Cyprus is ranked 23rd in the world in terms of the Quality-of-life Index
- Cyprus constitutes one of the largest ship management centres in the world
- The majority of Cypriots are Christian Orthodox
- Cypriots are known for their hospitality
- The majority of the population is educated
- Name days are celebrated by the majority, hosting dinners or mini parties
- Traffic in Cyprus drives on the left-side of the road
- The most comfortable way to get around is by car
- Cyprus has two international airports – one in Larnaca and one in Paphos
- Cars with red plates are rented
Food & Drinks
- Commandaria, a sweet red wine, is the older wine in the world produced in Cyprus.
- Halloumi, a semi-hard cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk originates from Cyprus
- Cypriots love to eat.
- Souvla is the traditional food which is large pieces of meat cooked on charcoal.
- The famous “Meze” is a wide selection of small, delicious dishes mostly of meat.
- Flaouna is a cheese stuffed pastry which is only consumed during Easter.
- Loukoumades is Greek Cypriot dessert similar to doughnuts.
- Pourekkia is a delicious snack stuffed with halloumi or anari cheese
- National alcoholic drink – Zivania, with alcohol content 45%
- A Cypriot coffee is always a must after a heavy meal
- Ayia Napa in Eastern Cyprus is one of the most popular nightlife districts
- “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
- The Limassol Wine Festival is one of the popular events in Cyprus.
- Carnival is another popular event which is celebrated in Limassol
- Over 2 million tourists arrive in Cyprus every year
- A myth says that Cyprus is the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite
- 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.