Cyprus  Travel Guide : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach

You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the in Cyprus.

Cyprus, officially called the Republic of Cyprus, is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is located south of Turkey; west of Syria; northwest of Lebanon, Israel and the Gaza Strip; north of Egypt and southeast of Greece. Nicosia is the country's capital and largest city.The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC. As a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878.

Cyprus was placed under the UK's administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by the UK in 1914. The future of the island became a matter of disagreement between the two prominent ethnic communities, Greek Cypriots, who made up 77% of the population in 1960, and Turkish Cypriots, who made up 18% of the population. From the 19th century onwards, the Greek Cypriot population pursued enosis, union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s.The Turkish Cypriot population initially advocated the continuation of the British rule, then demanded the annexation of the island to Turkey, and in the 1950s, together with Turkey, established a policy of taksim, the partition of Cyprus and the creation of a Turkish polity in the north. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. The crisis of 1963–64 brought further intercommunal violence between the two communities, displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots into enclaves 56–59 and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus and the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognising the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. 

Foods in  Cyprus :
(1) Halloumi : 

Halloumi is probably Cyprus’ most famous product, with its popularity extending to many countries throughout Europe and the Middle East. Distinguishable by its mild salty flavour and rubbery texture, the delicacy has become a favourite for chefs across the globe, appearing in dishes as diverse as lamb roast and halloumi fries.The cheese is produced by combining a mixture of goat’s and sheep milk, before being set with rennet. This is an unusual practice due to the absence of acid-producing bacteria in any part of the process, a standard for most dairy products. Halloumi’s high melting point means it can be easily fried or grilled, or served cold alongside freshly sliced watermelon; the perfect summer dinner.

(2) Koupepia (stuffed vine leaves) and gemista : 

The Cypriot variety of the dolma uses minced meat, rice, onions, tomatoes and a mixture of herbs. This filling is then carefully wrapped in fresh vine leaves. A village favorite, this dish can be found commonly throughout Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. Koupepia are usually made in large batches and can be frozen to be enjoyed at a later time – the dish is in every Cypriot grandmother’s menu. The stuffing of vegetables, called gemista, is a Cypriot tradition which extends beyond vine leaves, with peppers, tomatoes, onions, courgettes and even courgette flowers often being cooked in this manner.

(3) Souvlakia and sheftalia : 

A spin-off from the famous Greek dish, the Cypriot-style souvlaki consists of small chunks of charcoal-grilled meat on a skewer, and a large amount of fresh salad filling. It’s a very popular meal, as many locals catch up over a pitta of souvlakia. The pitta bread used is thinner and larger than the Greek version, and usually contains a pocket to hold the ingredients, rather than wrapping the filling in the Greek way.

(4) Souvla : 

Similar in look to souvlaki but different in taste is souvla, comprising large chunks of meat slow-cooked on a large skewer over a charcoal barbeque, called foukou in Greek. The meat is neck and shoulder of either pork, lamb, or chicken. This food is seen as the king of meat dishes in Cypriot cuisine, as it’s very common that a group of friends gather to cook souvla, while drinking beer, snacking and chatting as it takes a good hour or two. It’s a popular meal eaten on Easter sunday. to celebrate the end of fasting and can be accompanied with a range of other dishes, usually potatoes and salads.

(5) Kolokouthkia me ta afka (courgettes with eggs) :

This dish often comes along with a dozen other mezze dishes, and consists of fried courgettes with scrambled eggs, sprinkled with salt. Most traditional eateries and restaurants serve this, and it’s considered to be a very simple and typically Cypriot dish to accompany any other main.

(6) Makaronia tou fournou :

Popularly known in Greece as pastitsio, the Cypriot version differs for its use of cheese, which is no other than halloumi, sprinkled with dry mint. Large pasta tubes, béchamel sauce and a tomato-y minced pork are the main ingredients used. Thin curls of cheese are often sprinkled on the top to give it a crispy crunch. The dish is usually prepared in a large oven pan. When served as a main dish, this Cypriot delicacy usually comes with a side of salad.

Weather & geography in  Cyprus :

Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate with sunshine likely on most days of the year. Spring (March to May) sees average high hovering between 19-24°C (66-75°F) and rainfall levels drop dramatically as the season progresses. ... Summer (June to August) is dry with plenty of sunshine and average highs reaching 30°C (86°F).

Per day Cost in  Cyprus :

How much money will you need for your trip to Cyprus? You should plan to spend around €82 ($97) per day on your vacation in Cyprus, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, €33 ($39) on meals for one day and €9.82 ($12) on local transportation.

History of  Cyprus :

In 1878, as the result of the Cyprus Convention, the United Kingdom took over the government of Cyprus as a protectorate from the Ottoman Empire. In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, the Ottomans declared war on Britain, leading to the British annexation of Cyprus. In 1925, following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Cyprus became a Crown Colony. Between 1955 and 1959 Greek Cypriots formed the EOKA organisation, led by George Grivas, to achieve enosis (union of the island with Greece). However the EOKA campaign did not result in union with Greece but rather in an independent republic, the Republic of Cyprus, in 1960.The 1960 constitution put in place a form of power-sharing, or consociational government, in which concessions were made to the Turkish Cypriots minority, including as a requirement that the vice-president of Cyprus and at least 30% of members of parliament be Turkish Cypriots. Archbishop Makarios III would be the President and Dr. Fazıl Kuçuk would become Vice President. One of the articles in the constitution was the creation of separate local municipalities so that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could manage their own municipalities in large towns.

Internal conflicts turned into full-fledged armed fighting between the two communities on the island which prompted the United Nations to send peacekeeping forces in 1964; these forces are still in place today. In 1974, Greek nationalists performed a military coup with the support of military junta in Greece. Unable to secure multilateral support against the coup, Turkey invaded the northern portion of the island. Turkish forces remained after a cease-fire, resulting in the partition of the island. The intercommunal violence, the coup, and the subsequent invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots.The de facto state of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in 1975 under the name of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus. The name was changed to its present form, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on 15 November 1983. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus.In 2002 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan started a new round of negotiations for the unification of the island. In 2004 after long negotiations between both sides a plan for unification of the island emerged. The resulting plan was supported by United Nations, European Union and the United States. The nationalists on both sides campaigned for the rejection of the plan, the result being that Turkish Cypriots accepted the plan while Greek Cypriots rejected it overwhelmingly.After Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004, it adopted the euro as its currency on January 1, 2008, replacing the previously used Cypriot pound; Northern Cyprus continued to use the Turkish lira.

Language in  Cyprus :
Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish. The island is divided into two, and the Cypriot Turks live to the north, the Greek Cypriots to the south. Around 2.7% of each also speak the minority languages Armenian and Arabic, and most of these also speak Greek.

Culture of  Cyprus :

The culture of Cyprus is divided between the northern Turkish and the southern Greek sections of the country. Since 1974 the Turkish community in northern Cyprus has promoted its own Turkish and Islamic culture, supporting its own newspapers and periodicals and changing many place-names to Turkish. The anniversary of the proclamation of the TRNC (November 15) is celebrated in the north, as are traditional Muslim holidays.Greek Cypriots speak a dialect of Greek and maintain a somewhat ambivalent attitude about mainland Greeks. However, most Greek Cypriots who go abroad for their postsecondary education travel to Greece, and these young people share in the popular culture of Greece, which is itself increasingly cosmopolitan. Even so, Greek Cypriots take care to preserve their traditional culture and to observe such important holidays as Easter (and the pre-Easter Carnival) and Anthestiria, a spring flower festival.Despite years of civil conflict in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, the younger generation of Greek Cypriots has grown up in a relatively peaceful, settled, and prosperous society that encompasses aspects of traditional culture while welcoming world trends in dress and entertainment. These trends were introduced not only by the mass media but also by a tremendous influx of young travelers, whose presence can be felt in the dance clubs and bars that now abound throughout the island.

Place to visit in  Cyprus :

(1) Famagusta

(2) Akamas Peninsula

(3) Nicosia

(4) Protaras

(5)  Kyrenia

(6) Larnaca

(7) Troodos Mountain

Hotel in  Cyprus  :

(1)  Alion Beach Hotel

(2) Mediterranean Beach Hotel

(3) Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol

(4) Lordos Beach Hotel & Spa

(5) The Ivi Mare - Designed for adults

How to reach in  Cyprus :

There are no direct flights from India to Cyprus. The return air fare from Delhi/Mumbai to Larnaca (LCA) starts at Rs 45,824-48,680 per head. The flights with the shortest stopovers will cost more (over Rs 64,000 per person), especially if you start from Mumbai. The euro is the official currency of Cyprus.

Travel Guide for  Cyprus : Food, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).