53 Facts About Cyprus That Will Have You Wanting To Plan Your Next Trip | Kidadl


53 Facts About Cyprus That Will Have You Wanting To Plan Your Next Trip

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Cyprus, a Middle Eastern country, is also known as the 'Island of Love' because Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was said to have been born there!

Did you know that several powerful empires clashed against each other to occupy Cyprus due to its enviable location in the Mediterranean Sea? Currently, the island is occupied by two communities, namely the Greeks and Turks.

Formally known as the Republic of Cyprus, this island country is situated in the vast Mediterranean Sea at the center of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Greece, occupying an area of 3572 sq mi (9251.44 sq km). It ranks third among the largest Mediterranean islands while in terms of population, the country currently holds 1,219,868 individuals (as of 2021), qualifying it as the third most populous island.

Cyprus draws huge crowds due to its versatility, making it a major tourist destination. Moreover, the pleasant subtropical climate along with the semi-arid weather conditions of this island serves as a major attraction. People from across the globe drop in not only to indulge in the mesmerizing sites and scenes that the island offers but also to have a taste of its culture.

Besides some of the world's famous beaches, Cyprus boasts of several archaeological sites, ancient Byzantine buildings, museums, monasteries, castles, villages, mountains, and much more. Nicosia is the capital city as well as the largest city of the Republic of Cyprus but Paphos is also held in high regard as it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The capital city, famous for its Venetian walls and archaeological museums, is the world's only city to be divided by a 'green line'. To know more about this unique island country, keep reading. Also, be sure to read through our adventure-packed fact article about Charlotte NC, and check out our facts about Bolivia.

Cyprus Beaches

Who doesn't love to relax on the golden beaches with a glass of sweet wine or a refreshing soda? With their stunning beauty, the sandy beaches of this island country are some of the best in the entire world. Read through this list of best beaches in Cyprus to find out more!

Cyprus is renowned for its exotic beaches so if you have a beach as your destination in mind, Cyprus should be your first choice! The top five must-visit beaches in Cyprus have been listed below:

Aphrodite's Rock and Beach: As the name suggests, this beach has a Greek myth associated with it. According to the myth, goddess Aphrodite rose from the waves of the ocean. It's considered to be her birthplace. The myth was popularized by Botticelli, a painter who illustrated the goddess of love standing on a seashell. The beach is near the city, Paphos, and is known for its magnificence as every step towards the location is as equally enchanting as the beach itself. However, people mostly visit the beach for its scenic exuberance as the waters are quite unpredictable for surfing or swimming.

Lara Bay: Located in the Akamas Peninsula, the beach is the ideal spot for spending quality time in solace as the beach is well concealed with lush, green vegetation. You can only reach this spot on four-wheelers. The waters are crystal clear and extremely calm, and the pristine beach is almost deserted with no stalls or restaurants. If you are fortunate enough, you might even stumble upon loggerhead turtles here!

Nissi Beach: This is a very popular beach in the Ayia Napa province. If you want to go sunbathing then this is the perfect place for you! However, this beach is comparatively crowded as people engage in surfing, swimming, playing volleyball and other games, or just lying stretched out in the bright sun. While the sand is white, the waters are blue.

Paramali Beach: Situated in the Avdimou Village near Limassol, Paramali beach draws all the attention for kitesurfing. If you don't intend to laze around but rather invest your time in some fun and adventure then this beach is for you. Moreover, the sea turtles you can spot here are fascinating.

Makronissos Beach: If you're looking for lots and lots of sand to roll on then this beach, situated in Ayia Napa, is the right spot. Although the beach is somewhat less crowded, it's ideal for surfing, swimming, or just relaxing in the sun.

In case you're traveling with your family then you can also root for Fig Tree Bay or Konnos Bay. However, Cyprus is not only famous for its spellbinding beaches but also the old Byzantine churches, castles, and monasteries.

According to popular local lore, a fairy constructed the St. Hilarion Castle to lure wandering shepherds. True or not, the ruins of this ancient castle are perhaps the best in northern Cyprus and if you can manage to climb to the top, then be ready to behold a phenomenal sight! Karpas Peninsula, Kolossi Castle, Cape Greco, and the Cyprus Museum are some other tourist attractions that are noteworthy.

Cyprus Plant And Animal Life

What makes Cyprus unique is not only its ideal weather conditions and culture. The bounteous flora and fauna of the island make it even more versatile.

A large number of plant species including some exotic flowering plants add to the beauty of this island. Plants like the Cyprus tulip, Cyprus cedar, yellow Cyprus sun rose, Cyprus bee orchid, and golden drops are a few of them.

Innumerable animals, birds, and reptiles live in the Cyprus Mediterranean forests. Animals like the spiny mouse, Cypriot mouse, and Cyprus mouflon are endemic to Cyprus. In fact, the Cyprus mouflon has been identified as the national animal.

In addition, the Cyprus wheatear, Cyprus warbler, and Cyprus scops owl are some of the exclusive bird species commonly found in Cyprus.

Similarly, reptiles like the Troodos lizard and Cyprus whip snake can solely be spotted within the boundaries of this island. The list of exotic animals is pretty huge as other amphibians and insects such as the Cyprus grayling, Cyprus green toad, Cyprus water frog, Paphos blue, Cyprus meadow brown, stag beetle, flower beetle, and many others thrive on the island of Cyprus.

Fossilized remains of animals from excavations from 9,500 years ago reveal crucial facts about the ancient history of the island. Did you know that these ancient ruins are even older than those retrieved from ancient Egypt? The city named Paphos has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Paphos is popular for tombs and archaeological sites. For instance, the House of Dionysus, St. Paul's Pillar, Hrysopolitissa Basilica, and Tomb of the Kings are some of the unmissable tourist spots.

Did you know that the population of stray cats in the country can easily outnumber humans? Generally, these felines are not taken up as pets and so there's a surplus population of these strays. Their numbers are estimated at around 1.5 million! There are cat sanctuaries across Cyprus to ensure the well-being of these furry animals. As the story goes, Saint Helena, a Roman empress, introduced the cats to Cyprus so that snakes could be chased out of monasteries.

Cyprus Culture

Let's take a peek into the rich culture of the natives of Cyprus.

Since the country is divided between the Greek and Turkish sections, multi-cultural influences can be traced in every aspect of life here. About 78% of the population is Autocephalous Orthodox while only 25% represents the Muslim community. The rest of the inhabitants are either mainly Armenian Apostolic or Maronite worshippers.

The official languages of the natives are Turkish, Greek, and English. A majority of the natives are well versed in English since the island of Cyprus was historically a British colony from 1914 to 1960, after which it became independent. Even in the present day, you'll come across military bases of the British in the country.

The official currency used throughout the country is the Euro. With an average monthly income of about €2,339, the inhabitants of this island country are pretty wealthy. This also reflects the economic prosperity of Cyprus. In fact, Cyprus has been recognized as one of the high-income economies by the World Bank.

The main holiday celebrated by most of the residents (80% of the population) of the island is Easter Sunday. The delectable Mediterranean food found here is loved by many. Did you know that Cyprus has also been a witness to a royal marriage? The marriage was between Queen Joanna and Richard the Lionheart.

Facts about Cyprus reveal the history and culture of the island.

The Cyprus Flag

The history of the island of Cyprus is fascinating and makes the country important. Here's a short glimpse of the country from the pages of history.

Although a part of the European Union, constant strife between Turkey Cyprus, and Greek Cyprus has informally divided the island into two nations. The island of Cyprus has been broken into two. The 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' marks the northern section of the island and is occupied by Turkish natives whereas southern Cyprus, regarded as the 'Independent Republic of Cyprus' is inhabited by the Greeks. Are you aware that the natives of the island are referred to as Cypriots?

Individuals residing in the Greek-speaking community are known as 'Greek Cypriots' and the Muslims belonging to the Turkish ethnicity are 'Turkish Cypriots'. Even the capital city is segregated by a 'green line'.

However, the national flag was first waved on the day of its independence on 16 August 1960. The design was an amalgamation of the flags of Turkey and Greece. Designed by İsmet Güney, the flag exhibits the island's shape with an illustration of two olive boughs that symbolize peace among the two communities of Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

With a white background (also signifying peace), the map of the island is shaded in copper-orange which is perhaps a reference to the rich copper ores of the island. However, Cypriots have adopted their national anthem from the Greek. Since 1966, the national anthem 'Hymn to Liberty' is sung by the residents of Cyprus.

Myths & Legends Of Cyprus

Cyprus is also popular across the world for its legends and myths. Check out these mystical Cyprus facts that reveal more about the ancient sagas and legends.

Do you struggle to get enthused about the history of places? Well, then leave out the history part and focus on the myths! Through generations, Cyprus has passed down its share of legends and myths. This island is believed to house some popular Olympian gods like Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, and Hera.

As an ancient legend goes, when the creator of the world completed his task, he shook off the clay remnants that stuck to his hand. It was from this lump that dropped from his hands and into the sea that Cyprus was formed. Aphrodite's Rock is believed to be the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of fertility, love, and beauty, Aphrodite Rock is said to be where the goddess emerged from the depths of the water and went up to a gigantic piece of rock.

Another myth states that Aphrodite fell for Adonis on the first glimpse while he was taking a bath. This myth is manifested through the Baths of Aphrodite spread throughout the Akamas Peninsula.

Mount Olympus is another site that keeps the myths alive. If you're wondering, this is not the actual Mount Olympus that was home to the Greek gods. However, here you'll find several ski slopes identified with names of Greek gods. For instance, Sun Valley I (Aphrodite), Sun Valley II (Hermes), and North Face I (Zeus) are some of the ski slopes.

Are you aware of the mystical wish tree in Cyprus? It's the Terebinth tree. This tree is embellished with colorful cloths and ribbons and can be spotted at the entrance of the Agia Solomoni Catacomb. It's believed that when someone ties a piece of cloth to the branches of the tree, that person's wish is granted.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about Cyprus then why not take a look at facts about Buenos Aires, or facts about Denver Colorado.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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