Cyprus Fast Facts

Cyprus Fast Facts

Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island and is home to the Republic of Cyprus, which is divided into two parts, consisting of Greece and the non-internationally recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Varied landscapes, exciting culture and great destinations as well as dream beaches make Cyprus an impressive travel destination! See for education in Cyprus.

Capital City Nicosia
Size 5,896 km²
Resident 848,300
Official Language Greek, Turkish
Currency Euro
Time Zone UTC+2/+3
Telephone Area Code +357

Fast facts to know

  • Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Invites you to go hiking, swimming and diving.
  • First Christian ruled country in the world.
  • Like the whole country, the capital Nicosia is divided into two.
  • Cyprus was once the most densely forested island in the Mediterranean.
  • Traffic drives on the left in Cyprus.
  • Southeast of Cyprus is considered the hottest region in Europe in summer.
  • Seven border crossings between the two parts of the country, five of which can be passed by car.
  • Sure, both in Greek and Turkish part, crime rate very low.
  • Has more than 40 monasteries, mosques and cathedrals.
  • Varied landscapes.
  • Uses Euro as currency.

Exciting Cities & Villages in Cyprus

  • Nicosia
  • Limassol
  • Omodos
  • paphos

History of Cyprus

  • First permanent settlement in the Ceramic Neolithic.
  • As early as the Bronze Age, Cyprus became an important stopover in trade between Crete, Greece, the Levant and Egypt.
  • 1191 Conquest of the island by Richard the Lionheart.
  • Kingdom of Cyprus.
  • 1489-1570 Venetian rule.
  • Conquest by the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1878 Cyprus ceded to Britain making it a British Crown Colony.
  • 1959 Released Independence.
  • 1960 Accession to the United Nations.
  • 1974 Turkey occupies the northern part of the country with the aim of preventing annexation to Greece after an attempted coup by the Cyprus National Guard. Beginning of the “Cyprus Conflict”.
  • 1983 Proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was and is not recognized internationally.
  • 2004 accession to the European Union.
  • 2008 Renewed attempts at reunification begin – so far without success.

Climate & travel weather in Cyprus

  • Subtropical Mediterranean climate.
  • Hot, dry, very long summers & short, very mild, wet winters.
  • In mountain ranges in winter also snow.
  • In the plain between the mountain ranges, extreme temperatures of over 45° are possible in summer.
  • West Coast cooler than East Coast.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Coastal region: all year round.
    • Winter sports: March.
    • Hiking: September-November.
    • Beach holiday: April-June, September-October.

Ideas for trips in Cyprus

  • Explore the colorful streets of Limassol.
  • Dive to the Zenobia Ferry (one of the most famous wrecks in the world).
  • Hiking the 7km Troodos Artemis Trail around Mount Olympos.
  • Swim on dream beaches.
  • Visit mosques, monasteries, castles & churches:
    • Hala Sultan Tekke (most beautiful mosque)
    • Monastery of Panagia tou Kykkou
    • The ancient city of Kourion
    • Kolossi Castle
    • St Hilarion Castle
    • Salamis and the Tombs of the Kings
    • Kato Pafos Archaeological Park

Eating & drinking in Cyprus

  • Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Italian and English influences.
  • Herbs and fresh ingredients are often used.
  • Cereal soups, casseroles, fruits pickled in syrup are widely used.
  • Very varied dishes.
  • Very good hotel kitchens, breakfast mostly British accented.
  • Meze: 10-30 small dishes that anyone can help themselves to, enjoyed with friends and family. Starting with salad plates, meat plates to dessert plates, a very sumptuous and delicious meal.
  • Lunch often around 2 p.m., dinner around 9 p.m.
  • Island of Wine: the best known is the sweet aperitif wine Commandaria.
  • Another national dish: long drink brandy sour.
  • Bread is served with almost every meal.
  • Coffee houses very popular, mostly mocha is drunk.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Supjés (squid).
    • Suvláki (meat skewers).
    • Afélia (marinated, fairly fatty pork stewed in red wine).
    • Choratikí saláta (farmer’s salad with feta cheese and olives).
    • Dolmádes (vine leaves stuffed with rice or minced meat).
    • Kúpes/kupékia (roughly ground wheat dough balls filled with minced pork, onions and parsley).
    • Chiroméri (cured goat meat).
    • Humús (mashed chickpeas, oil, parsley, garlic).
    • Kléftiko (lamb or goat meat baked in a traditional clay oven with potatoes in their own juice).
    • Paidákia (lamb chops).
    • Scheftaliá (grilled minced pork sausages in lamb belly skin).
    • Stifádo (pork, beef or rabbit goulash with tomato sauce).

Particularly scenic

  • Golden Beach on the Karpaz Peninsula
  • Akámas Peninsula
  • Cape Greco
  • Turtle Beach Alagadi Beach
  • Rock of Aphrodite
  • Nissi Beach
  • Millomeri Waterfalls
  • Troodos mountains
  • Blue Lagoon Cyprus
  • Avaka’s Canyon
  • Sand dunes & salt lakes near Limassol

Cyprus Fast Facts