Ayia Napa, Cyprus

10 reasons why you should travel to Cyprus right now

Aytan Akhundova Aytan Akhundova 23 February 2021
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Ah, great Cyprus! While it's probably not the first choice when it comes to tourist destinations (due to its remoteness from other European countries and the fact that it's an island, so you really can't just get there anytime you want), once you actually get there, you'll probably ask yourself why you haven't visited Cyprus much earlier. Beautiful Cyprus beaches, wild parties, delicious cuisine - this is just a small part of what Cyprus offers. We've selected 10 reasons why you should add this magical Mediterranean island to your list to visit, so let's check them out together!

But let's start with the moment of enlightenment!

Where is Cyprus located?

north cyprus

Do you know where is Cyprus? The island, geographically already part of Asia (Middle East), is located about 80 km (50 miles) south of the coast of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and east of Greece.

Cyprus on the map: The third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea has a land area of 9,251 km2. The island is divided into the Republic of Cyprus, Northern Cyprus (a country recognized only by Turkey), and the British Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

The Cyprus population is 875,900 people (2018), the island is home to about 1.2 million Cyprus people. The capital of Cyprus and the largest city is Nicosia; spoken languages are Greek and Turkish.

aphrodites rock

Cypriot culture is one of the oldest in the Mediterranean. The island successively fell under Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, and Roman rule. For 800 years, beginning in 364 AD, Cyprus was under Byzantine rule. In 1571, the island was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and ceded to Great Britain in 1878. Officially annexed by the United Kingdom in 1914, it became a Crown colony in 1925. British rule lasted until August 1960, when, after a four-year liberation struggle, the island became independent and was declared a republic.

In 1974, a Greek military junta in Cyprus launched a coup to seize the government of the President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, which was responded to by a Turkish military intervention, which soon resulted in Turkish troops controlling about 37% of the island. 40% of the total Greek Cypriot population was forced to leave their homes in the occupied territory.

bicycle

Since 1974, Cyprus has been de facto divided into the Republic of Cyprus, which controlled two-thirds of the island in the south, and the Turkish Cypriots-one-third in the north, with a buffer zone between them, supported by UN peacekeeping forces.

The Republic of Cyprus became an independent State on 16 August 1960, and a month later, since 2004, it has been a member of the European Union.

Under the influence of the United Nations and the European Union, efforts to reunify the island under a federal structure are continuing.

Cyprus tourist attractions and reasons to visit it immediately

1. Clean Cyprus beaches and sea water

waves

Cyprus on the map is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and its beaches are simply stunning. The crystal clear sea along with the neat and tidy Cyprus beaches will make you feel like a paradise on Earth. And when you realize that most of the year is sunny here, you will get a recipe for unforgettable impressions. The most popular beaches are those in Ayia Napa, but the most interesting is the beach in Paphos with the famous "Rock of Aphrodite". Legend has it that the birth of the Greek goddess takes place on this beach, more precisely, that she rose from the sea, which is surrounded by a rock.

2. Cultural diversity

dancers

As you may know, the Cyprus population is mostly Greek (78%) and about 18% of the population is Turkish. This is especially true for the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, which is the only divided capital in the world. The southern part of Nicosia is Greek, while the northern part is mostly inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. In addition, the Turks declared an independent state called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey. So in a sense, you can say that you actually visited two countries, not just one!

3. Traditional Cyprus dishes

bread

Since Cyprus is a country of ethnic Turks and Greeks (for the most part), it is obvious that most of the dishes of Cypriot cuisine will consist of Turkish and Greek dishes. Their favorite starter dish is mezedas, which consist of several different smaller dishes (up to 20 of them!), mostly meat and fish dishes with vegetables. Try the spicy Lucanico sausages and various sausages such as Tahini (sesame sauce) or Skordalia (garlic and potato sauce). Their local soft cheese is called halumi, and the locals like to eat it on the grill. As for the desserts, the Cypriots love to eat pudding pies, such as galaktoboureko or mahlepi, corn pudding malakopi with pink syrup. In addition to the delicious Cyprus dishes, do not forget to try their sweet dessert wine called Commandaria, which is perfectly combined with hard cheeses. Solid liqueurs such as ouzo, anise brandy and filfar are definitely worth a try.

4. There is no other party like Cyprus

nightlife in cyprus

Cyprus is very popular among young people because in the summer the nightlife in Cyprus is on fire! Ayia Napa is an unofficial "party capital" with more than 10 nightclubs and numerous bars where you can get drinks from 2 euros and many of them have "happy hours" for tourists. Although some nightclubs are open all year round, the best parties are held from June to August. Every day there are open-air stages and world-famous DJs who will entertain you until the sun rises! Also, did you know that the main square of Ayia Napa turns into an outdoor party called Circus Square in the summer? How beautiful it is!

5. Travel to the past with historical monuments

cyprus

The history of this island dates back more than 10,000 years, and many of Cyprus tourist attractions have witnessed cultural changes over the past centuries. Since we have already mentioned that Cyprus is very culturally diverse, it is logical to expect a rich historical past. The best "journey" to the past can be found in the Museum of Cyprus in the capital of Cyprus. The museum has an enviable collection of artifacts dating from the Neolithic and Byzantine eras. Apart from ancient Greek ruins such as Amathus and Korion in Limassol, and old Turkish mosques, there are even traces of old Venetian culture, such as the Venetian walls in Nicosia, which are considered the best example of an ideal Renaissance city.

6. Is it safe to travel to Cyprus?

monitoring

Are you wondering is it safe to travel to Cyprus? Well, Cyprus is known to be one of the safest countries in Europe due to its low crime rate. According to statistics from Eurostat, Cyprus has the lowest number of crimes, including robberies and violent crimes. This is very useful information, because who would want to visit a country that could be potentially dangerous for tourists? And given the fact that these days pickpockets are just waiting for the tourist season to "earn" some money, it's a great relief to hear that Cyprus doesn't really have to deal with this kind of problem.

coastal path

Since Cyprus is an island, you should not expect a very good road network, but here the situation is quite the opposite. For example, from Nicosia to Limassol can be reached in just an hour on the state highway. And best of all, all the major cities of the island can be reached in 2 hours or less. This is great news for those who like to travel independently, because in this case it is much easier and more economical to rent a car and make a round trip on your own.

8. Perfect Cyprus climate for 365 days

cyprus sunset

Cyprus climate is one of the most stable and warm in Europe, with an average annual temperature of 24 °C. This means that Cyprus has warm winters with very few rainy days, and summers are mostly dry and hot. It should also be noted that Cyprus has an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. For example, compared to Glasgow in Scotland, where there are just over 1,200 hours of sunshine a year, Cyprus is very close to an ideal climate. When we look at all the data given, we come to the conclusion that there is really no bad season for visiting Cyprus. Whether you want to go there in summer or winter, you can count on good weather, and there is no fear of spending your vacation under an umbrella.

9. Skiing in Cyprus

skiing

No, this is not a joke - skiing on the slopes of Mount Olympus is quite popular among the local Cyprus people in the winter season. Although there are only 4 tracks, each of them is designed for different types of skiers, from beginners to advanced. In addition, each track has its own lift, so do not be afraid to get stuck in queues. The ski center is also budget-friendly (compared to larger European ski resorts) - the daily ski pass is only 18 euros. Mount Olympus is actually the highest peak of the Troodos mountain range, where daytime temperatures rarely fall below 4 °C.

10. A tree that fulfils wishes? There is such a thing in Paphos!

tree

Few people know that there is a wish tree in Cyprus. The tree is located in Paphos, in front of the Christian catacombs of Ayia Solomon. The tradition is to tie a piece of handkerchief to a tree and make a wish to make it come true. Although the tree doesn't look very nice when all the handkerchiefs are hanging, the story behind the tree attracts tourists who come here in search of good luck.

How to get a visa to Cyprus?

passports

Have you learned about all the charms of Cyprus and now you want to visit it? We understand!

How to get a visa to Cyprus? Very simple, or through the dibo embassy online if you are a citizen of the Russian Federation. However, there are important nuances here.

If a traveller (except nationals of Turkey and Azerbaijan) is an open Schengen multi-visa or visa with double entry national visa of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania (double-or multi last three countries), it may need to visit Cyprus on this visa and stay there for the period provided for Schengen visa rules Schengen visa inserted in their passport and to leave Cyprus not later than the expiration of the Schengen visa; days of stay in Cyprus are not deducted from the Schengen visa.

Holders of passports of European Union member states do not need to obtain a visa to enter Cyprus, but they must have a valid passport or identity card with them, provided that they contain a photo and indicate their citizenship.

Citizens of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia who have a biometric passport do not need to apply for a visa.

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Aytan Akhundova

Aytan lives in Milan, Italy for 3 years now and has always been passionate about traveling and discovering new beautiful places all over the world. As of 2020, she has been to 10 countries and numerous cities which she lost the number of but the majority of them are definitely located in beautiful Italy. She loves digital marketing, art, music, and tries to find beauty in the smallest moments of our life. Her recent interest in spiritual growth has taught her one simple truth: "The most beautiful things in life are abstract." So, surely we can add travel to the list of these most beautiful things!  

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