Cyprus at a Glance
Rich in history and natural charms, Cyprus has much to offer the visitor. The following information is intended to give you a feel for the island and its people.
Cyprus is an island of legends, which basks all year round in the warm Mediterranean sun. Its history goes back 10,000 years and it has seen civilizations come and go. Many people including Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, have all staked their claim here. Aphrodite made her home on Cyprus, and travellers throughout antiquity came here just to pay her tribute. Aphrodite's spirit still abounds in Cyprus - it is found in a red poppy or fragrant rose, both sacred to the goddess of love - and the apple of antiquity is just as tempting today.
Cyprus is still a big draw to holidaymakers and foreign residents alike. It offers sun-splashed shorelines with hidden coves and high standard resorts as well as hilltop villages surrounded by lemon and olive trees, and mountain peaks thick with pine trees and golden oak.
Sunshine is a staple of life in Cyprus. There are more than 300 days of sunshine every year. The warm Cyprus sun makes swimming an enjoyable experience all the way through to November. There is a legendary warm welcome to visitors from the Cypriots themselves.
Cyprus beaches are at their hottest and best from May through October. Late autumn is like summer in the rest of Europe and still a great time to be outdoors, whether to take a dip or explore archaeological sites. Though wintertime is cooler, it's still a season of sunlight with plenty of cultural activities to enjoy. Spring is when the seductive powers of Aphrodite reach their peak, pushing clouds aside and transforming the hills and meadows into a verdant tapestry of wildflowers.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. It is situated at the north east end of the eastern Mediterranean basin. It is 380km north of Egypt, 105km west of Syria and 75km south of Turkey. The Greek mainland is some 800km to the west and the nearest Greek islands are Rhodes and Carpathos 380km to the west. Cyprus is also close to Europe, Asia and Africa and it rightly claims to be a stepping stone to three Continents.