Cyprus Sights, UNESCO, Climate and Geography
According to wholevehicles, Cyprus is an Asian country thatfor political reasons is often considered part of Europe and has therefore acceded to the European Union. The first traces of human habitation here date back to 10,000 BC and the island has been inhabited ever since. The city kingdoms originated here in the seventh century BC. These mini-kingdoms were always under the authority of a larger empire. There has been an Assyrian period, Egyptian period, Persian period, Hellenistic period and a Roman period in Cyprus. From the sixth century AD, the land has been in the possession of the Arabs and Byzantines who conquered parts of the country from each other for several hundred years. In the twelfth century, the crusaders conquer the island and use it as a base to the promised land. This is followed by a Venetian and an Ottoman period.
However, Cypriot independence did not come about overnight. Once independence was achieved, this led to frustrations between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority. Tensions ran so high that the United Nations sent a peacekeeping force to the island. In 1974, Turkey invaded the northern part of the country and founded the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. However, this is only recognized by Turkey and the rest of the world speaks here of occupied territory. Despite multiple attempts to reunite the country, the Green Line still separates the country. The southern part of the island is the most popular with tourists and this is where all the major tourist attractions of the island can be found. As a tourist you can choose to stay here alone and then you will not notice the division. In the northern part of the island, however, the division is palpable.
For us Dutch, Cyprus is primarily a beach destination. The beaches of seaside resorts such as Ayia Napa and Paphos are fantastic. Cyprus’ warm Mediterranean climate is a major contributor to its success. The best time to travel to Cyprus for a holiday is from mid-April to mid-October. Are you going for a beach holiday? Then choose the period from May to September.
The sights that you will find in Cyprus mostly have to do with Greek and Roman antiquity. For example, near Paphos, the excavations of Kourion can be found. An ancient city kingdom has been uncovered here, the oldest parts of which date from the fifth century BC. Some of the younger parts, such as the theater and the stadium, date from the second century BC. The complex is known for its beautifully preserved mosaics.
According to Greek mythology, Cyprus is the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. There are then several places of interest about this Goddess. For example, off the coast of Cyprus is the Petra Trou Romiou also known as Aphrodite’s rock. The goddess originated here according to legend and if you swim around this you will be happy in love. However, the sea here is quite rough and tourists are advised not to swim here. Climbing the rock is prohibited. In the southwest of the island you can also find the Baths of Aphrodite.
Near the town of Paphos are the royal tombs in Paphos which, together with the excavations of Choirokoitia, are considered the most important historical sites of the island and both are also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. For nature lovers, the Cape Gkreko National Park is a must. Other recommendations are the historic city of Paphos and the capital Nicosia. There are also some authentic villages in the interior of Cyprus.
There are three inscriptions on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Cyprus. The port city of Paphos was the first to be included on the list in 1980. The city was listed in its entirety because of its great historical value. In the city and just outside it you will find for example the house of Dionysos, the castle of Paphos, the tombs of the kings and the rock of Aphrodite. In 1985 the painted churches in the Troodos Mountains were added. There are a total of nine Byzantine churches in this area. Finally, in 1998, the archaeological site of Choirokoitia was added to the list.
Cyprus has a mainly Mediterranean climate that is strongly influenced by the Mediterranean Sea. Only in the highest parts of the Troodos Mountains does a different climate occur here. Here there is a moderate maritime climate. In this type of climate, the average temperatures are slightly further apart than in a Mediterranean climate. In the Troodos Mountains the temperature can rise to well above 30 degrees Celsius in the summer months, but in practice it will be slightly cooler than in the more coastal places on Cyprus. In the winter period you have a chance of frost and snowfall here. The other parts of the country are generally a lot warmer, both in the winter and in the summer. In the winter months, the Mediterranean Sea ensures that the mercury does not drop too far here and temperatures below freezing are rare. In the summer months the temperature can rise considerably along the coast of Cyprus and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius are certainly no exception. The south coast of the island is generally slightly warmer than the north coast.
On average, there is little rainfall on Cyprus and the precipitation that falls there in the winter period. Summers are very dry here, which means that there is low humidity in Cyprus during this period.
Cyprus is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean and the third largest in the entire Mediterranean. The island mainly consists of two mountain ranges with a fertile plain in between. In the southwest lies the Troodos Mountains with the highest point of the island the 1952 meter high Mount Olympus. In the northern part of the country lies the lower but more erratic Kyrenia Mountains. This mountain range consists mainly of limestone. There are no fixed rivers on the island, but there are a few lakes that dry up some parts of the year. Rivers arise from these lakes in the winter months, but these too are empty for most of the year. Most places like Famagusta, Paphos, Larnaka and Limassol can be found on the east and south coast of the island.
The island is bisected by the demilitarized buffer zone. This creates a Greek Cyprotic part and a Turkish Cypriot part. However, the Turkish Cypriot part is only recognized by Turkey. The rest of the world sees this as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus. There are also two military bases Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia which form a British Overseas Territory within the Republic of Cyprus.
The status of Cyprus has been on “No special travel advice” for years, which means that in recent years no particulars have happened that you as a tourist should take into account. However, as a tourist you must be concerned with your own safety and that of your property. For example, it is unwise to leave valuables in your apartment or hotel room or to visibly walk around with expensive jewelry or equipment.
Traveling to Cyprus should be discussed in two parts as the rules for the southern part of Cyprus are slightly different than for the northern part. For the South Cyprus part, residents from the European Union can travel and stay here freely. For Northern Cyprus you need a visa which can be obtained free of charge upon arrival at the airport or at the border crossing. In addition, you must be in possession of a valid ID. In the past it sometimes happened that you were refused at the border if you wanted to visit the north side of the island. This is partly because the Turkish Cypriot government is trying to lure more and more tourists to the northern part of the island, almost non-existent. However, you should keep in mind that in some cases your rental car may not cross the border. It is also forbidden for taxis to drive as a taxi on the other side of the border. In practice, however, this happens regularly and part of the license plate is taped.
It is wise not to take too many goods such as cigarettes and spirits across the border. Border police are known for seizing goods for all sorts of obscure reasons.
|Phone (country code)||357|
|Language(s) (official)||Greek and Turkish|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Greek, Turkish and English|
|Religion(s)||Greek Orthodox, Islam|
|Time difference summer||In Cyprus it is one hour later than in the Netherlands|
|Time difference winter||In Cyprus it is one hour later than in the Netherlands|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||yes, this is the same as in the Netherlands|