Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus) is an island state located in the east of the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of the Republic of Cyprus is the city of Nicosia.
Officially, only 98% of the island's territory belongs to the Republic of Cyprus. As for the remaining two percent, they are occupied by British military bases. In addition, the following nearby islands are part of the state of Cyprus: Mazaki, Cordilia, Kiedes, Kila, Glukiotissa, Geronissos, Agios, Georgios. In fact, the island of Cyprus after 1974 was divided into two parts. The first part occupies approximately sixty percent of the territory administered by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.
The remaining forty percent is administered by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The total population of the state is approximately seven hundred and ninety thousand people. Of this number, one hundred sixty thousand are Turks.
The Turks settled in the north of the island, and basically all Greek Cypriots live in the south. Both groups of the population coexist only in the town of Pyla. As for other nationalities, thirty-five thousand Russians, seventeen thousand English, four thousand Armenians live in Cyprus.
Orthodox Christianity is the main religion professed by the overwhelming majority of the population of the state (we are talking about ethnic Greeks). The religion of ethnic Turks is Islam.
In terms of administrative division, Cyprus is divided into six regions. These are Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, Cyrenea, Famagusta and Nicosia.
The working day of many banks and shops in Cyprus in the summer is limited to time from 16:00 to 19:00, and in winter - from 8:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 17:30. In addition, for many of them, weekends are Wednesday and Saturday.
There are six universities in the Republic of Cyprus, including three private and three public (Cyprus University of Technology, Open University of Cyprus and University of Cyprus). In addition, several institutions are located in Cyprus. These are the Cyprus International Management Institute, the Graduate School of Hospitality and others.
Cyprus attracts tourists and financiers, because it is the main offshore in Europe with the lowest taxes. Warm climate, sea and loyalty to Russian guests attract guests here. But the more reviews about the country, the more myths there are among them. We will try to debunk some of the misconceptions about Cyprus.
Cyprus is Europe. Politically, Cyprus is the southernmost country in the European Union. But from a geological point of view, the island still belongs to Asia.
Cyprus has a unique wine. At one time, the Phyloxera bug appeared in Europe, destroying unique grape varieties in France. But due to the autonomy of Cyprus, the pest did not get here. So any local village will proudly display live vines that are over 100 years old. It is here that the grapes, included in the Guinness Book of Records, grow - the vine has been growing for more than 150 years. The resulting drink is exactly the same as it was centuries ago.
Fishing is developed in Cyprus. Despite the fact that there is a sea around Cyprus, fishing is not developed here. Strong currents around the island discourage large fish.
Cypriots love to travel. Local residents are great couch potatoes. Many of them have never seen their entire island. Traveling to a neighboring republic is generally akin to a risky journey for them. Yes, here and in neighboring cities, many do not go. And seeing in their old age a picturesque mountain village, the inhabitants of Cyprus are surprised by the beauty of their island, a recognized tourist center.
There is no snow in Cyprus. On the island itself, the swimming season may open, while snow will lie on Mount Olympus, the highest point of Cyprus. There is even a ski center where you can go skiing, sledding, children play snowballs. But you won't be able to get to the very top of the mountain - there is a military base there.
Sharks are found off the coast of Cyprus. Sharks are not a typical sight in the Eastern Mediterranean. In Cyprus, since 1958, there has not been a single case of attack by marine predators on humans. On the contrary, the sharks themselves become victims - getting caught in the nets or as objects of hunting for tourists. The main food for large sharks is pinnipeds, which are not found in this region.
There are many mosquitoes in Cyprus. Cyprus has a fairly diverse small animal, but mosquitoes are not annoying here. In summer they are beaten by heat, and in winter - by rains. Mosquitoes are active only twice a year - in April-May and September-October. And these bloodsuckers are very different from ours. They are inaudible and not visible, but they bite no worse than domestic ones. In general, local mosquitoes are not a disaster, and fumitox is always available.
Cypriots are a warm-hearted and hospitable people. If you come here as a tourist, then you will really be pleased in every possible way, create a good mood and a desire to come back here again. Come back and spend your money again. Those who stayed here will have to see how hospitality quickly disappears. Russians are openly disliked due to high real estate prices. And the Cypriots themselves are honest about this. Due to the massive purchase of houses and apartments, their prices have increased 4-6 times, and in some places even more. As a result, it has become quite difficult for local residents to acquire a home. Cypriots, however, are quite jealous of women with a Slavic appearance, perceiving them as competitors in the struggle for the hearts of the islanders. And no one even thinks to hide the female rivalry.
Cheap real estate in Cyprus. This cozy island, far from the center of the continent, actually has some of the highest property prices in all of Europe. And this does not take into account the exclusive housing, but the average options are considered. Sea, sun, fresh air and a roof of your head are not so cheap. A direct alternative can be considered Spain, where similar housing will cost half the price. At the same time, the difference in the quality of life and in the cultural level is by no means in favor of Cyprus. And if the housing itself is normal here, then there are problems with the architecture. The first impression is that this is the most natural backwater. Nobody thinks about uniformity and general style. Here, as in the south of Russia, everyone builds as he pleases. The situation is saved only by strawberries, wine and oranges. They help to distract from the experience.
Buying property in Cyprus is easy. This question is extremely difficult, accompanied by problems. First, you have to wait for the title deed for the property. This is the name of the certificate of ownership. The deadline may even drag on for 10 years, which is normal by local standards, but this waiting will be unnerving. Ignorance of local laws may result in a violation of them. For their own benefit, Cypriot intermediaries may well resell the object to several individuals. All parties to the transaction are responsible for this. And although realtors say the opposite, you will have to regularly go to the immigration service for a visa. And it is not a fact that it will still be given. In the immigration service, a foreigner will be given special attention, all his finances will be carefully considered. He will have to make excuses and prove his financial solvency, which is quite humiliating for a respectable person. After that, you will have to face extortionate utility bills, so cunning that even Russian colleagues can learn. It seems that local lawyers have an unspoken agreement between themselves and all employees. All questions can be significantly accelerated on a call, but the client will have to pay for this. Those who took out a mortgage from a local bank should be prepared for any miracles. These documents are designed in such a way that the client can be easily manipulated, while no lawyer will undertake to improve conditions in favor of his ward.
In Cyprus, a foreigner can easily find a legal job. There are many vacancies on the island, but most often you will have to work for a penny, most likely also illegally. The employer proposes not to apply for a work visa. To combine paid work and a pleasant place of work, you need to look for vacancies in Russia. A large international company should be chosen as an employer. Local small firms are not worth considering. You have to respect yourself as a specialist and not work for a penny.
Thousands of euros a month is enough for life in Cyprus. In reality, everything is not so rosy. This amount will only last for a couple of weeks. 200-250 euros will have to pay for utilities, 400-500 for rental housing, another 150-200 euros for gasoline or road. The remaining amount is not even enough for food. You can only buy a fishing rod to fish in the sea.
You can get a good education in Cyprus. You shouldn't go here for a good education. The schools here are frankly weak. Even English private schools are beautiful cover in the form of a rich history. But behind this lies the inflated prices "especially for the Russians." For that kind of money, you can get an education in England itself. In Greek schools, the level of education is inferior to the Russian one, besides, foreign children will also be oppressed. The administration prefers not to make such cases public, transferring children to other schools. But in local Russian schools, secondary education is quite strong. It is sometimes funny to watch as parents of students of an elite English school send their children to their Russian competitors in the afternoon. But the difference in the price for training is 5-7 times. The parents themselves say that the loud names of English schools are needed only for documents. And the English language is still improving. But Russian schools provide knowledge and general erudition. It is worth noting that many Cypriots are proud of the Russian diploma of higher education, especially in the field of medicine. This fact puts everything in its place and testifies to the level of local universities. And wealthy citizens try to study in England or America, but definitely not in their homeland.
There are no problems with crime in Cyprus. Over the past couple of years, the once rosy statistics have deteriorated. The area of Germasogeia is regularly plundered, as are the surroundings of Paphos and the historical part of the capital. You won't find cars with open windows here. Homes are increasingly equipped with security, video surveillance systems, bars and shutters. Cases of robbery have been gathering dust in the police for years with no chance of being discovered.
Cyprus is a tourist paradise. It is a really quality vacation spot, but not the cheapest. The local industry cannot offer anything unique to a tourist who has traveled half the world. Most of the hotels on this island assign stars to themselves at their own discretion, without trying to comply with generally accepted norms. Excursions in Cyprus only 3-4 interesting and useful. You can go to see Orthodox Cyprus, Zenobia, Lefkara and Kykkos-Troodos. The rest of the excursions were invented out of the blue. The zoo compares favorably with domestic counterparts, but it will not be able to amaze with its diversity. Zenobia is suitable for diving, but here, too, the authorities are trying to limit diving. The tourist remains to admire the rustic flavor, excellent wines and simple but delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Only an unassuming tourist will like the rest, but he will have to fork out.
Cyprus is an expensive resort. When people start collecting information about Cyprus in preparation for their holidays, they come across this myth. But when buying vouchers, they turn out to be suspiciously cheap, compared not with Turkey or Bulgaria, but with Spain. For a moderate amount, you can get a bungalow hotel on the seashore, with its own beach and free sun loungers with towels. In addition to the bedroom, the large room will have a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Comparing with other popular European destinations, Cyprus will look more preferable in terms of price and quality. There is no particular high cost in stores - prices in supermarkets are comparable to those in St. Petersburg and Moscow. There is no point in talking about the prices of clothes and equipment, because you need to relax at the resort, not go shopping.
Guides and tour operators only think how to deceive the tourist. When preparing for a trip to Cyprus, one may hear that it is not worth buying tours from operators, not exchanging money with guides. But where does this negative come from? Nobody forces you to buy additional excursions. And groups are usually formed according to the linguistic principle. You can save money and get into the company of the Chinese. Would it be any better? Usually, you can buy several excursions and the operator will refund money for those that failed to visit without any penalties. In this regard, operators and guides are no different from other Europeans.
You cannot change money at hotels and with guides. People are gathering nuggets of information in preparation for a tough battle with speculators. In practice, the difference in the exchange rate between the euro and the local pound at the hotel, with the guide and at the bank is 1-2 percent. Yes, local currency is not particularly needed. She can pay off with taxi drivers, leave a tip, make purchases in small shops. Everywhere, you can pay with a credit card, while the rate will be significantly better than in the exchanger. Even the guide can take payment using a special cash register.
Calls from Cyprus are very expensive. If the call is made using a cellular connection, then this is true. If you call a landline from the number, it will be very beneficial. The guide will tell you about this, which tourists do not believe. After the first quick calls, it turns out that it costs so cheap that you can fully communicate with your family. It is even cheaper to call from a pay phone by purchasing a card. But tourists often live far outside the city. Rates from the machine on the territory of the hotel and from the room are the same. So you can chat right from your room, comfortably in bed.
Ayia Napa has gorgeous white sand beaches. Travel guides vied with each other to advise these beaches, promising clean sand, clear water and fun. In fact, there is nothing unusual about local beaches, they are rather narrow. And the entrance to the sea is not at all sandy. The Spanish Costa Dorada is much more interesting in this regard.
You can enter Cyprus without a visa. For Russians, the visa-free regime has been canceled since 2004. But it is not difficult to get an entry permit. You will need standard documents, they will be considered sparingly. A permit is usually issued in a few days, but if you wish, you can get a visa in a working day. It is the only EU country where you can get an entry permit via email and without a personal visit to the consulate. The document is printed on a printer and presented on arrival.
In Cyprus, you can take pictures of everything without restrictions. In order to take photos or videos of local attractions in museums, you must first obtain permission from the municipality. For this, a written request is sent there. But in the excavation sites, you can safely shoot, trying not to take other people into the frame. They may be outraged that they did not give permission to shoot. It is strictly forbidden to shoot the border area between the two parts of Cyprus, soldiers and military installations.
It is worth choosing a hotel located on the first line. Many three star hotels in Ayia Napa seduce with being located on the first line. Indeed, there are no other structures between them and the sea. But the distance to the reservoir can be significant - 200-300 meters. It is worth checking this issue with the manager in advance. And in Limassol, many hotels are located right on the shore.
Holidays in Cyprus are similar to Turkish ones. Turkey is famous for its animators.You can spend the whole vacation at the hotel. But in Cyprus this is not particularly accepted. All-inclusive lovers in Cyprus will not like it.
There are paid beaches in Cyprus. All beaches on the island are owned by municipalities. The entrance to any of them, even if near a fashionable hotel, is free for anyone.
Northern Cyprus is a dangerous and wild place. There is an unrecognized Turkish Republic on the territory of Cyprus. It seems that this status creates anarchy and lawlessness in this part of the island. In 1974, the northern part of the island was captured by the Turkish army, which led to the division of the country. Southern Cyprus is a member of the European Union, but Northern Cyprus is quite a civilized country. People do not disappear here in broad daylight. Crossing the border, you immediately realize that there is no particular difference between countries. It's just that Greek flags hang in one half, and Turkish flags in the other. The population is not much different from each other - just as welcoming and relaxed. Turks are even more hospitable, as their Greek neighbors are more spoiled for tourists. In the northern part, foreigners are sometimes received as personal guests. Non-recognition of the state does not mean its complete isolation. The embassies of Turkey, the USA, Germany and Australia, France, Great Britain and the EU delegation work here. Many Europeans not only prefer to relax here, but also buy real estate. Moreover, the status of the republic keeps prices much lower than in the southern part of the island.
Domestic tourists cannot get to Northern Cyprus. Our tourists are confused by the lack of direct flights and the Russian consulate in North Cyprus. True, this does not stop many. The reward for your passion for adventure will be pristine beaches, classy and affordable hotels and the opportunity to visit a unique country that many do not know about. To get here, you must first visit Istanbul, obtain a local visa and purchase a plane ticket to Northern Cyprus right at the airport. There are no problems with places - six airlines carry out passenger transportation at once.
Orthodox Christianity is the official religion of the Republic of Cyprus. This is so, because on the territory of this state there are a large number of monasteries and many churches. The archbishopric is located in the central part of Nicosia, in front of the building you can see a monument to Archbishop Makarios. It should be noted that there are many monuments to Makarios - the first president of free Cyprus - in the Republic. However, the majestic monument in front of the archbishopric is leading among all the others in importance and height. You should definitely get acquainted with the Cathedral of St. John the Theologian, located not far from the archbishopric. This cathedral was erected in the seventeenth century, and now its iconostasis strikes the eye of modern man. The iconostasis is majestic and grandiose. In the recent past, frescoes of the cathedral were restored, which depict scenes from the lives of the saints. There are a number of museums in the immediate vicinity of the Archbishop's Palace. The Museum of Folk Art and the Museum of Byzantine Art dominate. Nicosia is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. At the same time, it is the largest city in the state. Nicosia is located in the center of Cyprus.
Tourism is the main source of national income for the Republic of Cyprus. One of the main ones. Most of the population is employed in the tourism sector. Tourism provides the largest income to the state budget of foreign currency. Over the past four years, tourism profits have increased by forty percent, and the number of people wishing to visit the country by twenty-nine percent. The largest resorts in Cyprus are: Paphos, Larnaca, Protaras, Ayia Napa, Limassol. Also under the control of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are the following resorts: Kyrenia and Famagusta. The largest cities in the Republic of Cyprus are Nicosia and Limassol. The resorts of Ibiza and Ayia Napa are recognized as centers of club life aimed at young people, while Protaras and Paphos are more suitable for families with the whole family. As for the city of Paphos, its cultural heritage is protected by UNESCO, so you can also visit it out of curiosity about local attractions. By the way, not far from this city is the bay of Aphrodite. Legend has it that it was here that the goddess of love and beauty was born from sea foam. The geographical position of Cyprus is such that it makes it possible to organize sea cruises for vacationers to Jordan, to the island of Rhodes, or to Israel and Egypt. The seaports of Limassol and Larnaca are the departure point for liners, the time of one cruise, as a rule, is 48 hours. However, one should take into account the visa regime of some countries (for example, Israel) to which cruises are organized.
The Cyprus region of Nicosia is a mixture of historical sites from different eras. The tourist will be able to get acquainted with the Church of Chrysaliniotissa, built in the middle of the fifteenth century, erected in 1662 by the Cathedral of St. John, as well as the Churches of Tripiotis and Faneromeni, the Omeriye Mosque, the Venetian walls (sixteenth century), the Statue of Liberty and the Gate of Ammochostos, the Archbishop's Palace (which is located on Archbishop Square), the Center for Applied Arts and many others.
Limassol is the largest resort in Cyprus. More precisely, the southern coast of the island. Moreover, Limassol is the second largest city in the country. Even in winter, when other cities take a break from the tourist life, in Limassol, the doors are also open to visitors. This city gives a tourist the opportunity to choose a pastime to their liking: luxury hotels for adherents of passive recreation, a huge number of attractions for lovers of antiquity, because Limassol is a major cultural center. Those interested in history can visit churches, museums, fortresses. And of course, Lisbon offers a wide selection of night bars, youth clubs, discos, taverns and restaurants for every taste. For those who do not like to sit still, there are three excellent water parks open where the whole family can relax. It is worth noting the fact that Limassol is also a major trade, business and commercial center.
Ayia Napa is the perfect destination for avid bathers. It is easy to get a bronze tan here and swim to your heart's content, enjoy the soft white sand and warm, unusually clear sea. The tourist will be delighted with the amazing beauty of azure bays. Interestingly, Ayia Napa was a very small fishing village quite recently. At present, it is the capital of tourist entertainment in Cyprus, which every year attracts more and more tourists from different parts of the world. The network of cultural entertainment in Ayia Napa is well developed. The resort allows you to find to your liking water activities, restaurants and bars, karaoke and discos. Ayia Napa is ideal for families. There are shallow beaches for children. There is a dolphinarium on the coast, Luna - and water parks. To get to the resort, you need to drive from Paphos within approximately two and a half hours or from Larnaca airport within an hour.
Paphos is the most beautiful city in the Republic of Cyprus. This small port city is also one of the oldest cities in Cyprus. Moreover, at a certain historical stage, Paphos was recognized as the capital of the country. The city is actually very beautiful, tourists first of all pay attention to the stunning landscapes. One of the most famous bays on the city's coastline is Coral Bay. Fort Kato is one of the local attractions. It was originally intended to protect the harbor. This fort was built by the Byzantines. In the thirteenth century, the fort was rebuilt by the Lusignans. As a defensive structure, the Kato Fort ceased to function in the sixteenth century - after the Ottoman Turks came to Cyprus. Since then, the fort has become one of the main attractions in Paphos. The most significant landmark of Paphos is the mosaics in the Villa of Dionysus, some of which are considered the most beautiful mosaics that have survived from antiquity to the present. Dionysus, the god of winemaking, is depicted on many of them. Well-preserved mosaics also show scenes from Greek mythology and hunting scenes. At some distance from this villa, the villa of Theseus was found during archaeological excavations. One of the mosaics of this villa depicts the first bathing of Achilles, while the other depicts Theseus in Crete. Not far from this place is the villa of Hercules. There are several 4th century mosaics here. The Villa of Hercules was discovered in 1982, and the home of Eon was found the following year. The latter contains five mosaic panels.
The main natural attraction of the Republic of Cyprus is Pissouri. This is truly a very beautiful place that will attract a large number of tourists in the near future. Pissouri is located between two Cypriot cities - Paphos and Limassol. The virtue of this village is the virginity of the local nature. The magnificent landscape has not been touched by man, and now Pissouri is buried in fragrant greenery. Here you can get the most unforgettable emotions and feel like a free person. Vacationers will be delighted with the picturesque coves and many exotic trees. You can take a romantic walk in the mountains, which will also remain in your memory for a long time.
A place called "the stone of the Romans" is very popular among tourists. During the heyday of Byzantium, the Greeks called themselves "Romans" or "Romans". This fact makes it possible to translate the name "Roman stone" as "Greek stone". You can see him twenty-five kilometers from Paphos. As the legend says, the goddess of love Aphrodite came ashore from the sea foam in this place, but this was not the reason for its name. Another event is associated with the birthplace of Aphrodite. In the battle with the Saracens, Digenis Akrit, a semi-legendary Byzantine hero, threw a piece of rock into the enemy's ship. The thrown stone smashed the ship into chips.
The royal tombs are another attraction in Paphos. Dating back to the fourth century BC, these monumental structures are famous for their Doric columns carved into solid stone. They are called "royal" because of the extraordinarily regal majesty of the entire complex. They buried high-ranking dignitaries within these boundaries, but not kings.
There are bad roads in Cyprus. In fact, the roads on the island are recognized as some of the best in the European Union. Highways are subdivided into highways, country roads, main ones (there are four of them, they pass along the southern coast) and auxiliary asphalt roads. Left-hand traffic has been introduced in Cyprus. If desired, citizens of the Russian Federation can rent a car on the island. This requires a standard driver's license. True, some companies put forward an age limit. You should know that the driver is obliged to let pedestrians walking along it at a pedestrian crossing. Public transport is represented only by buses. In 1905, a railway was also opened in Cyprus, which was built by the British colonial authorities. It included about forty stations and stops, but was closed in the middle of the twentieth century due to low payback. There are currently two international airports operating in Cyprus. One airport is located sixteen kilometers from Paphos, and the second is two kilometers from Larnaca (opened in 1975).
There are many centenarians in Cyprus. This is true. One of the reasons is the healthy climate. Eighty-five years is the average life expectancy in Cyprus.
The national cuisine of Cyprus includes Mediterranean dishes. And this is not surprising. First of all, we are talking, of course, about Greek and Turkish dishes, including meze and kleftiko. Meze is prepared both in Greece and in Turkey - this name means a number of dishes and snacks (and there are many of them), which are prepared from fish and meat. Kleftiko (which means "stolen meat") is a dish made from lamb or goat meat. The name of the last dish came from life. The fact is that in the past, shepherds hid stolen meat in the ground. Making a fire on top of the hidden meat, they cooked it this way. Currently, kleftiko is cooked in a tightly sealed oven, making the meat very tender. It is not difficult to separate it from the bones. Among Cypriots, souvlaki and souvla are popular - dishes cooked on the grill, as well as seafood dishes. The latter include, for example, squid and octopus in red wine. The local population is happy to eat churchkhela made from nuts and grape syrup. Cypriot cuisine cannot imagine itself without rose water. Almost no Cypriot dish is complete without the addition of cinnamon. This seasoning is used both in the preparation of sweets and in the preparation of vegetable stews, cutlets and meat.
Cyprus is famous for its winemaking. Every year, with the onset of autumn, a wine festival is held in Cyprus. The traditions of this holiday date back to the times of antiquity. Legends associate this with Dionysus - the god of winemaking.