Cyprus is in the eastern Mediterranean – such a small Island with so much packed into it. Not only does it abound with good beaches and holiday resorts, but this tiny island has so many relics of ancient history, from the huts of primitive man to classical Greek and Roman ruins, and many ancient churches and monasteries plus everything else you can imagine.
It was a thousand years ago that the city of Nicosia (known as Lefkosia to locals) became its capital. Today Nicosia is unique in Europe because it is divided by the 'green line' that divides the whole island, north from south. The line, which serves as a United Nations buffer zone, was drawn in 1974, when Turkey invaded and took over the North of the Island. Most of the tourist development since then has taken place in the southern Government-controlled sector, and the political divide, even in Nicosia itself, has not affected the island's appeal as a major holiday destination.
The charms of Cyprus are many and varied. The weather is sunny and dry for most of the year, and the Mediterranean Sea circling this magical Island is blue, clear and very enticing. There are modern luxury hotels in the coastal resort towns, historic cities to explore, tavernas and nightlife for all. Cyprus has remote picturesque mountain villages and monasteries, beautiful churches, Crusader castles and fascinating museums. The local people are extremely welcoming to tourists, happy to share with them their love of life and gentle Cypriot camaraderie. In Cyprus it is possible to mingle with crowds, or seek isolation off the beaten track as the mood takes, even in peak holiday season. For this reason the island is also a favoured destination for both Weddings and honeymooners, a reputation which is no doubt enhanced by the fact that, according to legend, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, rose from the sea.
Cyprus has a typical Mediterranean climate, warm and dry with little rainfall, which makes Cyprus very popular as tourist destination., and definitely an island for all the seasons, from very mild winters to long hot summers. The official language is Greek however, English is widely spoken and understood throughout the island.
Cyprus has lots to offer for tourists. There are various recreation and sports activities available such as sea sports, diving, go-carting and golfing. There are many casinos, and for those of you who prefer the out doors there's bird watching, turtle watching and hiking. Cypriots are very proud of their cultural heritage, which stretches back more than 9000 years. Cyprus has many traditions and customs. Cypriot culture is reflected in the rich folklore of the island. Age-old crafts, such as the lacemaking at Lefkara, handed down from one generation to another, are faithfully carried on to this day by skilful hands and nimble fingers, fashioning handicrafts both decorative and useful, that would look beautiful in home. It is probably no surprise with a history so long, that Cyprus is remarkably rich in culture.
Local Areas in Eastern Cyprus
Protaras - The resort of Protaras is about 45 minutes east of Larnaca airport and has grown over the last 20 years, from a simple fishing village into a superb resort for holidaymakers. It is one of the most picturesque parts of the island of Cyprus.
With its blissful golden sandy beaches lapped by the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean it is little wonder that Protaras is getting bigger all the time – more and more visitors are coming here every year. The most famous of all the beaches in Protaras are both Fig Tree Bay and next door Flamingo Bay. The resort itself spreads over 10 miles of coastline, most of it fringed by stunning bays and little idyllic coves. Protaras is a modern, purpose-built resort, popular with watersports fans of all kinds, Watersports and scuba-diving being available all along the sands, although generally, the pace of life in Protaras is one of unbroken relaxation and tranquillity. Equally calm but growing is the nightlife. Restaurants offer international and local food and the few discos are also popular with locals. There are plenty of bars, tavernas and choices of eateries around the area, with a vast choice of international cuisine. Why not explore the area around Protaras and nearby Paralimini, browse around the wonderful shops, visit a medieval monastery, churches in the surrounding villages, stop for a drink or meal at a local taverna before returning to your Villa or Apartment in Protaras, for your choice of evening entertainment or that simple al fresco dining at your own ‘home in the sun’.
This area is the main potato producing area of the Island of Cyprus, and is known as "Kokkinochoria" which means "red soil villages". The villages of this area are equally known for their folk poets, who are regarded as the best on the island. The area is also renowned for the famous windmills all over the region in Protaras and Paralimni.
Paralimni - With the Turkish military occupation of Famagusta in 1974, this small town of 6,000 inhabitants, is now the main administrative town of the district and is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing, modern towns in Cyprus. Here, you will find an abundance of modern shops, bars and Tavernas, all around the outskirts of the lovely central square. The twin aisled vaulted church of St. George is decorated with unusual 18th century porcelain plates. Parts of the church belong to the 13th century. Some other interesting churches can also be found in the area.
Ayia Napa - The resort town of Ayia Napa is now well known for its nightlife, and has been renowned for its long golden sandy beaches for many years. You can spend your days on the lovely Nissi beach or on one of many other lovely beaches, swimming in the crystal blue waters, sun bathing, relaxing and enjoying the surroundings and atmosphere.There are a good range of water sports available; again you will be spoilt for choice. This is a beautiful location with plenty of activities on offer. If you take a walk around the harbour area you will find some good fish restaurants well worth trying. Sitting in a bar next to the beach as the sun goes down drinking a brandy sour is also highly recommended
Originally a small fishing village, this is now a major tourist centre. The interesting mediaeval monastery dedicated to out Lady of the Forests stands in the middle of the village, surrounded by a high wall. Its 16th century church is partially underground, cut into the rock. The hostel, west of the church, belongs to the World Council of Churches. The ancient sycamore tree, in front of the south gate, is believed to be 600 years old. The area around the monastery of Ayia Napa was not inhabited until 1790, thus beginning the village, which was named ‘Ayia Napa’ after the shrine. The small harbour is busy with fishing and tour boats heading for Cape Greco peninsula, and nearby occupied Famagusta. The town beach, Grecian Bay, is a gorgeous crescent of golden sand, with many watersports. Nissi Beach is a popular choice with families due to the excellent long fine sandy beaches – without doubt one of the best beach loations Europe, if not worldwide. Situated away from the nightlife of Ayia Napa, Nissi Beach is still within close proximity to a number of attractions including the nearby waterpark. Many restaurants and bars are close by or if you fancy a night on the town, take a short taxi ride to Ayia Napa centre.
Ayia Thekla - The church of Ayia Thekla is one of the oldest spots in the area. The area is surrounded by natural beauty and flora and considered by many as ‘the place to live’. There is a small sandy beach looking out to the clear blue Mediterranean sea. Situated six kilometres west of Ayia Napa is the quieter area of Ayia Thekla. It has a small island across from the beach and is within walking distance from the main road taking you to Agia Napa. It has taken its name from a tiny old church in that area bearing the same name. It is an area with lots of high quality private villas, and if you are looking for complete seclusion and privacy, but within a short distance of Ayia Napa and Protaras, then Ayia Thekla is the place for your Cyprus Property.