Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.
— George Eliot, 1819 - 1880
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Cyprus

Background

Cyprus

A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot-occupied area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), but it is recognized only by Turkey. The election of a new Cypriot president in 2008 served as the impetus for the UN to encourage both the Turkish and Cypriot Governments to reopen unification negotiations. In September 2008, the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities started negotiations under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under the internationally recognized government, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states.

About

Cyprus (Greek Κυπρος, Turkish Kıbrıs, ) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Although the island is geographically in Asia it is politically a European country and is a member of the European Union.

As the two regions are nearly completely separate from a traveller's point of view, this article will concentrate on the southern territory governed by the Republic of Cyprus. This is not a political endorsement of claims by either side in the dispute. For travel information regarding North Cyprus, visit the Northern Cyprus article.

Read more about Cyprus in our Cyprus travel guide »

Featured journals from

Cyprus

Кипр

by asy

May 2010  »  Cyprus

Featured hotels in

Cyprus

CyprusLe Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort 

Old Limassol Nicosia Road
Limassol 56560
Cyprus

Price (US$): $285 - $1142 / night

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Location. Le Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort is located near the beach in Limassol and close to Amathus Ruins and Amathus Beach. Other regional attractions include Limassol Castle and Limassol District Archaeological Museum. Hotel Features. Dining options at Le Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort include 8 restaurants. 2 poolside bars, 6 bars/lounges, and a beach bar are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast each… more »

CyprusGrecian Bay Hotel 

Kryo Nero Avenue 32
Ayia Napa 5340
Cyprus

Price (US$): $111 - $141 / night

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Location. Grecian Bay Hotel is located on the beach in Ayia Napa, close to Limanaki Beach, Grecian Bay Beach, and Ayia Napa Monastery. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Thalassa Museum and Nissi Beach. Hotel Features. Grecian Bay Hotel features a poolside bar, a bar/lounge, and a snack bar/deli. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, and a sauna. This 5 star property has… more »

CyprusInterContinental Aphrodite Hills 

3, Aphrodite Avenue
Kouklia 8509
Cyprus

Price (US$): $165 - $531 / night

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Location. Located in Kouklia, InterContinental Aphrodite Hills is near the airport and close to Aphrodite Hills Golf, Aphrodite's Rock, and Secret Valley Golf Club. Regional points of interest also include Paphos Harbour and Elea Estate Golf Club. Hotel Features. In addition to 5 restaurants, InterContinental Aphrodite Hills offers a snack bar/deli and a grocery/convenience store. 2 poolside bars and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational… more »

CyprusAnassa Hotel 

40 Regenas Road
Polis 8830
Cyprus

Price (US$): $401 - $1157 / night

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Location. Anassa Hotel is located on the beach in Polis, close to Latchi Harbour. Another point of interest is Blue Lagoon. Hotel Features. Anassa Hotel features 2 bars/lounges, a coffee shop/café, a beach bar, and a swim up bar. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Guests can enjoy a complimentary manager's reception on select days. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a children's pool, outdoor tennis courts, a health club, and a… more »

CyprusAmathus Beach Hotel Limassol 

Amathus Avenue
Limassol 3606
Cyprus

Price (US$): $193 - $420 / night

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Location. Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol is located on the beach in Limassol, close to Amathus Beach and Amathus Ruins. Other points of interest are Limassol Castle and Limassol District Archaeological Museum. Hotel Features. Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol features a coffee shop/café, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a children's pool, outdoor tennis courts, a health club, and a sauna. The property's full… more »

Browse more hotels in Cyprus »

Cyprus

Full name
Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti
Capital
Nicosia
Location

Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey

Geographic coordinates

35 00 N, 33 00 E

Area comparative

about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut

Coastline

648 km

Climate

temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters

Terrain

central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast

Lowest point

Mediterranean Sea 0 m

Highest point

Mount Olympus 1,951 m

Natural resources

copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment

Population

1,102,677 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5% (2001)

Religions

Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian Apostolic) 4%

Languages

Greek (official), Turkish (official), English

Government type

republic

Independence

16 August 1960 (from the UK); note - Turkish Cypriots proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 and independence in 1983, but these proclamations are only recognized by Turkey

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 October (1960); note - Turkish Cypriots celebrate 15 November (1983) as Independence Day

Chief of state

President Demetris CHRISTOFIAS (since 28 February 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; post of vice president is currently vacant; under the 1960 constitution, the post is reserved for a Turkish Cypriot

Head of government

President Demetris CHRISTOFIAS (since 28 February 2008)

Internet country code

.cy

Internet users

433,900 (2009)

Airports

15 (2010)

Ports and terminals

area under government control Larnaca, Limassol, Vasilikos;; area administered by Turkish Cypriots Famagusta, Kyrenia

Other countries in the region