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About Cyprus

The country is surrounded by two mountain ranges: the Pentadaktylos range and the Troodos massif. The Pentadaktylos range runs along the northern coast and the Troodos massif in the central and south-western parts of the island. Cyprus' coastal line is rocky in the north and sandy with long beaches in the south. The north coastal plain is covered with olive and carob trees and the south with dwarf oak, pine, cypress and cedar. Messaoria lies between the two ranges. The soil here is very suitable for agriculture. The land has no rivers, but only torrents occur after heavy rain.

Cyprus is hailed as a significant trading post between Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Cyprus got its independence in August 1960 from Britain. Its first president is a Greek, Archbishop Makarios, and first vice president is a Turk. In 1983 Turkish Cypriots proclaimed a separate state, naming it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Except Turkey, no other country has recognized this 'state'.

Because of the peace talks those held sporadically, Cyprus was leftover divided. The United Nations has been losing down its hold in Cyprus.

Cyprus is having a cultural heritage of more than 9000 years. The Republic is trying to create its own identity. Hence most of the places in the Republic have been renamed as well.

However, the past has many leftovers on this island. Most of these remainders are influencing the artists till date. Many villages mastered the expertise in a particular art form. Silver and copperware, pottery, tapestry, basket weaving, and Lefkara's famous lacework can be spotted during the visit around Cyprus.

Cyprus provides a great insight into its customs and culture. Some passions are unique to this eastern Mediterranean island.

Cyprus has wonderful beaches to stretch out, peaceful monasteries to explore and age old ruins, dating back to 4th century BC, to wander.

It has an authentic cheese which is crispy and ancient wines (commandaria) which has a sweet, herby taste that evokes aromas.

It's the island marked with love and is suited to calm and relaxed pleasure.

A whole town - Paphos has World Heritage status owing to its historically unique remains of ancient tombs, fortresses and palaces. They are monumental and magnificent resting places carved from solid rock.

It is a small island with a vast history.

The city of Limassol has a Carnival which is a unique blend of ancient Greek traditions. It retains a unique, wild and untamed spirit, dresses and carriages.

It has world class diving also.

Cyprus has top wreck diving sites where the wreck of the Zenobia, a cargo ship sunk in the 1980 and is intact, with visible carpets and vending machines on her decks.

Religion and Food

Sunni Muslims are mostly in northern part, whereas the Greek orthodox stays in southern part. The food also reflects the division as the North is full of Turkish cuisine and in Cyprus, dishes like oven baked lamb and salads and other appetizers will be found. Cyprus is named and famed for its fruits like stone fruit, strawberries, prickly pear, melons, grapes, and citrus.

Languages

Greek and Turkish are the main languages here. Greek-Cypriot communicates in Greek language and Turkish is for Turkish-Cypriot communities. Other than that English is broadly spoken.

Public Holidays

The days listed below are public holidays in Cyprus.

- January 1st - New Year's Day

- January 6th - Epiphany Day

- March 25th - Greek National Day

- April 1st - National Anniversary Day

- May 1st - Labor Day

- August 15th - Assumption of the Virgin Mary

- October 1st - Cyprus Independence Day

- October 28th - Greek National Anniversary Day

- December 24th - Christmas Eve

- December 25th - Christmas Day

- December 26th - Boxing Day

- Variable - Green Monday (50 Days before Greek Orthodox Easter)

- Variable - Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)

- Variable - Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)

- Variable - Pentecost - Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood)

Transportation

Here buses are very frequent that links all villages, towns, and cities. Transportation is available within the cities also. Another means of transportation is taxis.

These taxis are not equipped with taximeters and charging is based on kilometer/tariff rate.

Cyprus country code is 00357. If somebody wants to make a call to Cyprus, they should dial the country code and then the eight-digit phone number.

Dialing instructions as well as rates are displayed in all payphones. Calling within Cyprus simply requires dialing the eight-digit telephone number.

Atmosphere

Cyprus climate is Mediterranean climate. Hot dry summers will start in mid-May and lasts until mid-September. Rainy and mild winters start from November till mid-March. Sun shines almost year-round and the daylight ranges from 9 hours to 14 hours at the max. The average temperature ranges from 18 degrees in land and 14 degrees in coastal areas.

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