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Cyprus

More about Cyprus

Capital: Nicosia
Language: Armenian & Cypriot Arabic
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: EET (UTC+2); Summer EEST (UTC+3)

As gorgeous as the goddess Aphrodite, rich in myths, history and culture, both European and Oriental, Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents. Mysterious as well as restless, politically divided yet unified in culture and tradition, it proudly waits to bestow on the visitor the magic of this past and present, brilliant sunlight,, sparkling sea and exceptional natural surroundings.

Enjoy the rich and varied cuisine and vivid nightlife. Dive in the emerald blue sea and explore its rich marine life. Stroll around its unique antiquities, admire the monuments left behind by its various conquerors and visit its numerous Byzantine monasteries and chapels, many of them World Heritage sites. Cyprus, the inspiration of artists of many cultures over many centuries will give you memories and experiences you will cherish for a lifetime.

Cyprus has long been popular with travelers. Its beauty and glorious Mediterranean weather have been the inspiration of many writers and artists. The numerous archaeological treasures are a sight to behold, so make sure you have a camera. The villages of Cyprus offer a wonderful contrast to the towns. Each village is different from the next and each offers its own unique and memorable moments reflecting the slower pace of life, closely linked to the passing seasons.

Larnaca: The name Larnaca comes from the greek word “Larnax” meaning sarcophagus, many of which have been unearthed in this area. Legend has it that the first settlement at the spot was founded by Noah’s grandson, Khittim.

In the 18th century , Larnaca became a trading centre for the island and, since the 1974 Turkish invasion, the airport there has developed into the main international airport of Cyprus.

The fine, paved palm-fringed, coastal road is really attractive, with its multitude of flowers, neat cafeterias and restaurants. The residents of the area have had a bust of Kimon of Athens erected on the right end of the breakwater in honour of the ancient warrior who was killed here in the struggle to liberate Cyprus from the Persians. In front of the breakwater is a Palm Beach, with its wide sands and clear sea (awarded a blue flag). In June every year, on the feast day of the Holy Spirit, the Cataclysm (or Flood) Festival, dating from the period of Venetian rule and consisting of a variety of events including yacht racing, is held over a two-week period.

Climate
Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate: hot, dry summers from June to September and mild, wet winters from November to March which are separated by short Autumn and Spring seasons of rapid change in weather patterns of October, April and May.

Sunshine is abundant during the whole year, particularly from April to September when the daily average exceeds 11 hours. Winds are on the whole light to moderate. Gales are very infrequent and heavy storms rare.

Snow hardly falls in the lowlands and on the Pentadaktylos range, but is a frequent feature very winter on ground above 1000 meters in the Troodos range. From December till April snow is usually in evidence there, but hardly continuous. Yet during the coldest months it lies in the considerable depths for several weeks, attracting skiers.

Culture
Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots share a lot in common in their culture but also have differences. Several traditional food (such as souvla and halloumi) and beverages are similar, as well as expressions and ways of life. Hospitality and buying or offering food and drinks for guests or others are common among both. In both communities, music, dance and art are integral parts of social life and many artistic, verbal and nonverbal expressions, traditional dances such as tsifteteli, similarities in dance costumes and the importance placed on social activities are shared between the communities. However, the two communities have distinct religions and religious cultures, with the Greek Cypriots traditionally being Greek Orthodox and Turkish Cypriots traditionally being Sunni Muslims, which has partly hindered cultural exchange. Greek Cypriots have influences from Greece and Christianity, while Turkish Cypriots have influences from Turkey and Islam.

The Limassol Carnival Festival is an annual carnival which is held at Limassol, in Cyprus. The event which is very popular in Cyprus was introduced in the 20th century.