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Welcome to Cyprus

Cyprus
 

 

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

One of the largest islands found in the Mediterranean Sea, located to the south of Turkey, the island of Cyprus is a popular tourist destination all year around. Geographically Asian but culturally and politically European, Cyprus blends dramatic landscapes with lively resorts to create the perfect holiday spot. Cyprus gained independence from the UK a little more than fifty years ago, but remains a divided country: to the north and east, the country is Turkish, whilst the remaining 60% is independently Cypriot. This history of the British association makes it popular for tourists from the UK today. Cars drive on the left-hand side, post boxes are painted red and numerous traces of colonial occupation remain but are flavoured now with a distinct Cypriot charm. 
When you choose a holiday in Cyprus from JiveHippo, all of the many and varied areas of the island become open for exploration. Whether you are looking to visit one of the last remaining divided cities in the world or to experience relaxation on remote beaches, there’s something for everyone. Moreover, the native population possess a natural friendliness and welcoming attitude towards visitors that makes it a lovely place to stay with families. 
It's an island of contrasts, and there are certain activities which must be seen to be believed. Everyone who visits Cyprus wants to spend time in the water, whether paddling by the shore or scuba-diving out at sea. One famous water attraction is the Aphrodite’s Rock. It's found close to Pissouri, and there is a legend which says that those who swim around the rock will find themselves looking ten years younger when they leave the water. Though strong currents make this an impractical challenge, the bay itself remains stunning with its clean and clear blue waters. Those who enjoy diving will be sure to visit the wreck of the Zenobia, known around the world as one of the top ten dives today. A cargo ship, the Zenobia sank near Larnaca in the 1970s, and it offers a range of diving difficulties and depths. The marine life that now inhabits the ship is spectacular, but most interestingly for some is the way that the boat’s interior is preserved — the original carpets are still boldly patterned, the snack machines still contain the chocolate bars of the day and there are even eggs preserved in their shells scattered along the sea bed.
On dry land, there are plenty of other things to see and do. In the interior of the island, the Troodos Mountains are a striking and well worth exploring. Guided tours will take in several of the sights, often including a traditional meze meal too, or travelers can plan their own trips to the main highlights. Of these, the monastery at Kykkos is one of the best. Situated high in the mountains, the monastery is the Archbishop’s seat and an incredibly beautiful church. Lit only with candles, the interior appears to glow. Also in these mountains are the Painted Churches, of which ten are already UNESCO World Heritage Sites and another four are awaiting their accreditation. What appear to be normal, even plain-looking buildings from the exterior house unique Byzantine frescoes and murals which have been preserved in exceptional condition. Some people have even compared them to the wonder of the Sistine Chapel.
It's an island of contrasts, and there are certain activities which must be seen to be believed. Everyone who visits Cyprus wants to spend time in the water, whether paddling by the shore or scuba-diving out at sea. One famous water attraction is the Aphrodite’s Rock. It's found close to Pissouri, and there is a legend which says that those who swim around the rock will find themselves looking ten years younger when they leave the water. Though strong currents make this an impractical challenge, the bay itself remains stunning with its clean and clear blue waters. Those who enjoy diving will be sure to visit the wreck of the Zenobia, known around the world as one of the top ten dives today. A cargo ship, the Zenobia sank near Larnaca in the 1970s, and it offers a range of diving difficulties and depths. The marine life that now inhabits the ship is spectacular, but most interestingly for some is the way that the boat’s interior is preserved — the original carpets are still boldly patterned, the snack machines still contain the chocolate bars of the day and there are even eggs preserved in their shells scattered along the sea bed.
On dry land, there are plenty of other things to see and do. In the interior of the island, the Troodos Mountains are a striking and well worth exploring. Guided tours will take in several of the sights, often including a traditional meze meal too, or travelers can plan their own trips to the main highlights. Of these, the monastery at Kykkos is one of the best. Situated high in the mountains, the monastery is the Archbishop’s seat and an incredibly beautiful church. Lit only with candles, the interior appears to glow. Also in these mountains are the Painted Churches, of which ten are already UNESCO World Heritage Sites and another four are awaiting their accreditation. What appear to be normal, even plain-looking buildings from the exterior house unique Byzantine frescoes and murals which have been preserved in exceptional condition. Some people have even compared them to the wonder of the Sistine Chapel.
Between December and Easter, the Troodos Mountains have one other great attraction: skiing. It may seem counter-intuitive to head to a hot Mediterranean island to go skiing, but the Cyprus Sky Club boasts up to two metres of snow at that time of year at their High Troodos base. The slopes have a good range, catering to beginners and the more experienced alike, with a school area also offering lessons. Equipment can be hired easily, so skiing can form a small part of a longer break enjoying the beaches.
Party-goers could also visit Cyprus before Lent on ‘Green Monday’ to experience the sights and sounds of Limassol Carnival. Similar to Mardi Gras events in Latin America, Limassol’s carnival is said to be one of the best in the world and comparable to one in Rio itself. Revellers wear masks and dress up to party, with the atmosphere being truly unique.
 

Climate

The climate of Cyprus is one of the best in Europe, with warm sunshine for eleven months of the year. Average summer temperatures in Nicosia for July can reach 36 degrees, with other parts of the island easily exceeding 30 degrees, but even in winter the weather is mild.

 

Getting Around

Frequent bus services only run from the main towns and the tourist areas.

You will be able to hail a taxi in the street, get one from the taxi rank or just get your hotel to call and book one for you. Taxis are available 24 hours a day and you will see that they have two different tariffs, one for during the day and one during the night.

 

Health

While you are visiting Cyprus you will be able to use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles you to state provided medical care that you may need.

If you do not have a Health card (EHIC) then you will need to show your travel insurance documents and make sure that you have available funds to be able to cover any costs that may be needed during any treatment that takes place.

Language

Locals speak Greek and Turkish, though in the holiday resorts English is also used to speak with travelers. Learning simple greetings and basic phrases in the native language can be helpful if travelling inland to the more remote areas. 

 

Money

The currency is the euro, as it is elsewhere in Europe.

Safety

Crime against tourists in Cyprus is not common, but just like anywhere in the world you should keep your ID, money and any other valuables safe.

There have been reports of attacks which include sexual assault, so be aware of the possible use of the "date rape" and other drugs that can be added to your drinks.

Time

Cyprus has two different Time Zones.

The time zone that is used in Nicosia is Eastern European Time (UTC+02:00).

The time zone that is used in Kyrenia is Turkey Time (UTC+03:00)

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