A “jewel” of a Mediterranean island and the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the island of Cyprus combines a rich natural and archaeological heritage with great natural beauty and a welcoming population!
Cyprus has the warmest climate (and warmest winters) in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. Summers can reach high temperatures of about 33 degrees celsius, and typically last about 8 months. The remaining months experience moderate temperatures of around 20 degrees celsius.
With such favourable weather conditions, and such a central location, it's no wonder that tourism occupies a dominant position in the economy of Cyprus. With over 2 million tourist arrivals each year, it is the 40th most popular destination in the world. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Cyprus’ tourism industry ranks 36th in the world in terms of overall competitiveness.
Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom and established a constitutional republic in 1960. Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the government-controlled two-thirds of the island in the south, occupied by the Greek Cypriots, and the remaining one-third of the island, which is administered by Turkish Cypriots. Greek and Turkish Cypriots share many customs but maintain distinct identities based on religion, language, and close ties with their respective “motherlands.” Greek is predominantly spoken in the south, Turkish in the north. English is widely used.
Legend says the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was born off Aphrodite’s Beach and when waves break over the rock they create pillars of foam that islanders say look just like the goddess herself
The northern portion is under Turkish control and is called “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” but is only recognized as legitimate by Turkey itself. The southern portion is an independent republic called the Republic of Cyprus.
The island is both an ancient land, with an eleven thousand year-old history and civilization, as well as a young independent republic since 1960. It's geographic location at the crossroads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - and at the meeting point of great civilizations, has been one of the factors influencing the course of the island’s history throughout the centuries.
Along with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, the Republic of Cyprus entered the EU on May 1, 2004. The EU acquis communautaire is suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots pending a Cyprus settlement. Cyprus adopted the Euro on January 1, 2008.