Considered as the third largest Mediterranean island, Cyprus is known because of rich culture and beautiful nature. Truly a land of beauty and culture, Cyprus is one of the popular tourist destinations that attract millions of visitors every year. Over the year, the country was able to improve its restaurants and hotels and even enhanced its tourist destinations. Added to the beautiful beaches and exotic resorts is the local cuisine and local wine, completing your meal. If you like to explore the nature, trekking and hiking is more fun in Cyprus and it can be done all year round. Indeed, Cyprus is a sun kissed island paradise.
Important and Interesting facts about Cyprus
- There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cyprus – Paphos, the Painted Churches in the Troodos Region and Choirokoitia.
- The Neolithic settlement of Choirkoitia in Cyprus is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Europe.
- The Byzantine Museum in Nicosia holds the largest collection of Byzantine Art in Cyprus.
- Stavrouvouni Monastery in the Troodos Mountains is the oldest monastic site in Cyprus. It was founded in the 4th century by St Helena.
- The Sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis near Kourion, which was built in the 5th Century BC, is the largest & one of the most important historic religious sites in Cyprus.
- Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is now the only capital in the world to be divided between two nations – North Cyprus & South Cyprus.
- Cyprus is one of Europe’s most southerly ski resorts.
- More than 45 beaches on Cyprus have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for cleanliness & safety.
- The highest peak in the Troodos Mountain Range is Mount Olympus, which reaches up to 6402ft above sea level.
- One of the world’s most famous shipwrecks lies off the Cypriot coast near Limassol Harbour. The Zenobia, with its cargo of vehicles, sunk in 1980.
- Crime rate is very low in Cyprus, making it one of the safest places in the world to live.
Cool, Funny and Fun Facts about Cyprus
- 371 species of bird can be seen on the island of Cyprus. Most are migratory birds and are seen during spring and autumn.
- Cyprus is home to 20 rare species of orchid.
- There are more than 1950 species of flowering plant in Cyprus, 140 of which are found nowhere else in the world.
- 260 species of fish circle the warm Mediterranean waters around Cyprus.
- Cyprus is one of only a few places in the world where Green Turtles & Loggerhead Turtles nest.
- The Cyprus Mufflon is a wild sheep that is found in the Troodos & Paphos mountains. It exists nowhere else in the world.
- Around 10,000 Greater Flamingos temporarily stop over to feed at the salt lakes near Larnaca Airport every autumn during their migration south to warmer climes.
- George Michael (musician/pop singer), Fatima Whitbread (Olympic athlete) and Muzzy Izzet (English premiership soccer player) were all born in Cyprus.
- Its national symbol is a (very shy) sheep. It’s the national symbol, but you may never see it.
- Perfume originated from Cyprus! Scented with the aromatic herbs of lavender, bay, rosemary and coriander, the perfumes were discovered in alabaster bottles within an enormous underground cave.
- Kleftiko, the Cypriot slow roasted lamb speciality, got its name from the word “kleftis” which means “robber”. Legend has it that poor men used to steal meat and run away into the mountains to cook it in sealed underground ovens. The sealed oven kept the wonderful aroma of the cooked meat “secret”.
Historical and Cultural facts about Cyprus
- London 2012 gave Cyprus its first Olympic medal: a silver in men’s laser sailing.
- Christopher Pissarides, who was born in Cyprus, won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2010.
- In 2004, archaeologists found the remains of a person buried with a cat on Cyprus. Dating back about 9,500 years, this is the oldest known pet cat.
- There is a map of Cyprus on its flag, the only nation to do so until Kosovo did the same in 2008.
- Cyprus is known as ‘the playground of the gods’, and for good reason too! Aphrodite is said to have risen out of the water near Paphos.
- Archaeological evidence suggests that people first lived on the island of Cyprus 10,000 years ago.
- Cyprus became a province of the Roman Empire in 45AD, and was the first country to be governed by a Christian.
- In geological term Cyprus is an ophiolite. It rose out of the sea around 20 million years ago.
- Kolokasi is a speciality root vegetable grown on Cyprus. It is a type of sweet potato.
- Commandaria is a sweet red wine produced in Cyprus. It is reputed to be the oldest wine in the world.
- Hankies have manifold powers. Tie a handkerchief to a tree and who knows what might happen? Islanders say infertile women can bear children, lost husbands return and family feuds be resolved.