Cyprus, An Island With Something For Everyone
If one were looking at a world map, they would see an island in the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by Syria, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon and Israel. This is the island of Cyprus. In 1974, Turkey invaded the northern part of Cyprus, which resulted in the division of the island that one sees today, with a Turkish northern section of the island, and a Greek southern section. As a result, a visitor to the island will find a variety of sites, both Greek and Turkish, along with activities to take part in no matter what their interests.
As one might expect, Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry, while the winters are cool and wet. The peak of the summer tourist season in Cyprus is August. The autumn and spring months go by quickly, and result in a quick change from summer to winter as well as winter to summer. The rainy months are usually the autumn and winter months and Cyprus is mainly dry during the rest of the year. The island has two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the Kyrenia Range. At times, there is snow on the Troodos Massif, allowing the visitor to ski on Mount Olympus during the winter if they wish.
Cyprus has a long history, with the first human settlements taking place almost eight thousand years ago. There are many well-preserved archeological sites on the island such as the village of Khirokitia, which UNESCO has named a World Heritage Site. Because of the many times other countries invaded Cyprus during its history, there are remnants of the cultures of many of the invaders, including the Persians, Egyptians and Romans.
Many of the cities in Cyprus combine both the old and the new when it comes to their culture. With the island split into two sections, it is common to find remnants of more than one culture there. For instance, in regards to religion, the Greek Cypriots follow the Christian Orthodox beliefs while the Turkish Cypriots follow the Sunni Muslim beliefs.
Those who visit Cyprus will find a wealth of sites to visit. For example, anyone interested in Greek mythology can get a car hire Cyprus and travel to the town of Paphos, which, according to legend, is the birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
Those who feel at home with art and architecture will enjoy visiting the Painted Churches in the Troodos region. These churches, along with their icons and frescoes, are excellent examples of Byzantine architecture.
A unique site all should visit is Choirkoitia. It is the home of the earliest culture in Cyprus and is still being excavated. According to the archeologists, humans first came to this area about 7000 BC. There were about 300 inhabitants with a short 35-year life span. They mainly farmed, hunted and picked fruit from the numerous fruit trees.
For those who enjoy shipwrecks, Cyprus is the perfect place for diving. One of the most popular is the Zenobia shipwreck, a sunken cargo ship that went down in 1980. Another shipwreck is the Vera K, in Pafos, which sank in the 1970s. Those who enjoy diving to see ancient objects should visit The Amphorae Reef in Pafos. There they will be able to find numerous examples of ancient pottery.
Divers who appreciate natural sites will find that the Mediterranean has many to offer. There are underwater caves where one can hand feed fish and eels. If one is partial to octopus, they have their own home, the Octopus Reef in Larnaka, where many octopuses go to relax.
This is only a small introduction to Cyprus. There are many other places to see including pristine beaches, bike and walking trails, wineries, and many ancient treasures. Cyprus is truly a mix of the old and new, the ancient and modern. No matter who visits this unique island, each visitor will find something that makes this destination one they will remember for the rest of their lives.