Discover more about the sun-drenched island of Cyprus Find out more here.
An island full of history
The island of Cyprus has been capturing the imagination of visitors for centuries.
The Phoenicians and Minoans traded with it, the ancient Greeks colonised it and Persia ruled it. By the time the Romans made Cyprus part of their Empire, Alexander the Great and Ptolemaic Egypt had preceded them.
It has been fought over, mined, divided and claimed to be the home of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. An impressive pedigree for an island roughly half the size of Wales!
Discover a different side to Cyprus at the Princess Beach Hotel Find out more here.
A central paradise
So what is it about Cyprus that has made it so irresistible? Its situation in the Mediterranean, accessible from Asia, north Africa and southern Europe certainly helped.
The climate of course – with up to twelve hours of sunshine a day during midsummer and around six at times during the winter – can be hard to resist. But there’s more…
The coast is dotted with resorts. In the south is lively Limassol with its metropolitan atmosphere and sandy beaches. Go east and you find Larnaca, with its traditional town and modern resort area.
Look to the south-west and you’ll see Paphos, a great place to stay with the added attraction of some world-class archaeological sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Tombs of the Kings.
Move inland and you’ll discover another facet of Cyprus as the Troodos mountains rise up to over 6,000 feet. Among them lie ten Byzantine churches (also UNESCO World Heritage sites), historic mountain villages and forests.
These aren’t the only mountains on the island either. The Kyrenia mountains in north Cyprus – also known as the Five Finger mountains – border the coast and the town of Kyrenia with its charming harbour.
The capital of the island is Nicosia, a city distinguished by being split in two, the result of the island’s division in 1974. South Nicosia remains Greek Cypriot, while the north of the city is Turkish Cypriot.
Tradition, food and fabulous hospitality
The island joined the EU in 2004 and although it remains divided, visitors can now cross the border unimpeded.
Then there are monasteries rich in history and tradition, remote villages where life moves down a gear, coffee shops and warm hospitality, the walks, the agriculture, the food… no wonder visitors continue to come.
But even if you just want to take it easy and save the exploring for another time, Cyprus is ready and waiting, because with beaches fringed by the sparkling Mediterranean, glorious sunshine and a choice of places to stay, it is an island in the sun for everyone.
Perhaps that’s why Aphrodite chose to make it her home!
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