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Cyprus Island Information
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The Island of Aphrodite, centuries of history yet eternally young. In here you will find all the general information that you would possibly need.
Cyprus, an island drenched in sun and mythology, at the crossroads of ancient civilizations. This island, in the Eastern Mediterranean has seen many visitors, some built temples to their Gods, some castles for their Kings, the Crusaders used it as a staging post, and the pirates for a plunder.
Chroniclers tell of magnificent royal weddings and unsurpassed works of art created by its artists. All who saw Cyprus were enchanted by its beauty. The beauty is the legacy of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love. According to legend Aphrodite ‘rose from the foam of the sea’ off the coast of Cyprus. And from that moment Cyprus became her domain on earth.
Cyprus is may be a small country, but it's a large island - the third largest in the Mediterranean. And it's an island with a big heart - an island that gives its visitors a genuine welcome and treats them as friends.
Cyprus with its spectacular scenery and enviable climate, it's no wonder that Aphrodite chose the island as her playground, and since then, mere mortals have been discovering this 'land fit for Gods' for themselves.
Cyprus is an island of beauty and a country of contrasts. Cool, pine-clad mountains are a complete scene-change after golden sun-kissed beaches. Tranquil, timeless villages are in striking contrast to modern cosmopolitan towns; luxurious beachside hotels can be exchanged for large areas of natural unspoiled countryside; yet in Cyprus all distances are easily manageable, mostly on modern roads and highways - with a secondary route or two for the more adventurous.
Most important of all, the island offers peace of mind. At a time when holidays are clouded by safety consciousness, a feeling of security prevails everywhere since the crime level is so low as to be practically non-existent. Few countries can trace the course of their history over 9,000 years, but in approximately 6800 BC the island of Cyprus was already inhabited and going through its Neolithic Age. Of all the momentous events that were to sweep the country through the next few thousand years, one of the most crucial was the discovery of copper - or Kuprum in Latin - the mineral which was to give its name to the island and generate untold wealth.
The island's strategic position, its copper deposits and its timber attracted the first Greeks who came to the island over 3,000 years ago at the end of the Trojan wars. They settled down bringing in with them and establishing the Greek identity, language and civilization. Over the centuries Cyprus came under the sway of various rulers including the Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, the successors to Alexander the Great and the Romans, before Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire. Later came the Crusaders, the Lusignans and Venetians, Ottomans and British. Cyprus won its independence in 1960, for the first time in 3.500 years, but the Greek identity of language and culture has been retained. In July 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus and since then 37% of the island in the north, is being illegally occupied by Turkish troops who acted in violation of all principles governing international relations.
There's no getting away from it, cuisine is one of the most important criteria for determining a good holiday, and in this respect Cyprus is not likely to be found lacking. Apart from the fact that the standard of freshness and hygiene is high, visitors are usually very taken with Cypriot food and the friendly service that goes with it. There is a wide range of cuisine, with hotels and smart restaurants tending to serve international fare, and a choice of specialty restaurants all over the island. Fish tavernas are dotted all along the coastline, but the traditional Cypriot meal is the 'meze' - which really means a mixture. It consists of many dishes, all vying for space on your table, including delicious dips, moussaka, tavas, koupepia (stuffed vine leaves), etc, all accompanied by locally brewed Cyprus beer, or one of the island's excellent wines.
Cyprus night life caters for all tastes too. A number of tavernas serve-up traditional dancing along with the meze, and some of the impressive discos rival any in Europe. Nightclubs are also plentiful and most hotels have resident bands.