An Island of Love, Culture & Division.
Since 1974, Cyprus has remained a divided country. With an estimated population of 1,099,000 of which 87.5 % is the Greek Cypriot community in the South and 12.5% is Turkish Cypriot community in the North of Cyprus. Cyprus is divided by the green line which runs for approximately 180.5 kilometres (112.2 mi) stretching from the western part of the island near Kato Pyrgos through the heart of Nicosia (divided capital) to the east just south of Famagusta (Ghost Town).
The official languages of Cyprus are Greek, Turkish and English. You should have no trouble communicating in English due to the fact that Cyprus was a British colony from 1878 until 1960, therefore many; excluding the older generations speaks English. Most Greek Cypriots belong to the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, while most Turkish Cypriots are Muslim.
Cypriots are a little more reserved initially in friendship than the Americans and most Europeans, but tend to become closer friends once friendships develop. Being on time may be a virtue, but it is not one well-practiced in Cyprus. Being 30-45 minutes late to a social engagement is not considered unacceptable. It is actually expected.
Overall, Cypriots are extremely hospitable. It is considered polite to accept at least a little of what is being offered to you even if you do not want it. This applies most often to food and drink.
Love in Cyprus
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. The goddess has been worshipped from the early Iron Age in the form of Ishtar and Astarte. There are many legends as to where Aphrodite came from the main myth being that she rose from the sea along the Paphos coast at Petra tou Romiou “The Rock of the Greek”. The local legend has it that if you swim around the rock 3 times you will be blessed with eternal youth and beauty.
Marc Antony, Caesar’s heroic charismatic general, fell smitten for Cleopatra in 37BC; one of his many gifts to her was the Island of Cyprus.
Richard the Lionheart also found love on the Island. Whilst using his might to possess the island, in the heat of his battle he fell in love with the enchanting Berengaria of Navarre in 1191, for whom he married and stayed in Cyprus.
Name: Cyprus also spelt Kipros, Kypros
Location: Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey
Size: 9,250 sq. km
Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Languages: Greek & Turkish, with a minority speaking Armenian & Arabic
Currency: Euro € previously the Cypriot Pound £
Dialling Code: 00 357
Time: GMT +2 Hours
Airports: 2 – Paphos & Larnaca
Drinking Limit: 17 years of age
Fact: Third largest Island in the Mediterranean