The beautiful island of Cyprus, birthplace of Aphrodite Goddess of love and beauty, is a unique place where the legend of 8,000 years of culture joins with modern living in a harmony which gives Cyprus a charm and individuality incomparable to any other place. Cyprus offers the best of both worlds: Excellent cosmopolitan restaurants and night-clubs, famous wines, sandy beaches, windsurfing or water-skiing and facilities for all kinds of sport such as tennis and horse-riding. Alternatively one can visit quiet mountain villages seemingly untouched by the twentieth century. Cyprus is fast becoming the businessman’s newly discovered paradise. Among the reasons for the development of Cyprus as a major commercial centre are the island’s key geographical position, its excellent infrastructure and numerous tax advantages.
Cyprus is an island whose rich, dramatic history can be traced back over eight thousand years; an island so coveted over the centuries that it has been invaded and claimed by a fascinating mixture of civilizations from near and far, all of which have left their culture and shaped its character. An island whose archaeology stems from the Neolithic Age, the Ancient Greeks and the Roman period; where churches and monasteries still stand from Byzantine times, castles and palaces from the days of Crusaders and Frankish Lusignans, and splendid city walls from Venetian days.
Geography and Population
Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island with a total area of 3,572 square miles (9,251 sq.km). It is situated between three continents at the crossroads of one of the most ancient and traditional sea routes of the world and is at a flying distance of less than three hours from the heart of Europe. This strategic location of the island has played an important role in its continuing development into a financial and tourist centre. The estimated population of Cyprus is 700,000, 80% of which are Greek Cypriots, 18% Turkish Cypriots, and 2% Armenians, Maronites, British and other European expatriates. Nicosia is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus with a population of approximately 210,000. It is situated roughly in the centre of the island and is the seat of government and main commercial centre. Limassol is situated in the south, has 180,000 inhabitants and is the main commercial port of Cyprus with a booming tourist industry. Larnaca and Paphos are the third and fourth largest towns respectively with populations of 60,000 and 40,000. The latter two are also tourist resorts and each has an International Airport. The south-east tip of Cyprus is also an important tourist resort with its endless coastline of rocky coves and sandy beaches.
Renowned for its healthy and pleasant climate Cyprus enjoys dry summers and mild winters. The sun shines for about 340 days each year and the light rainy season is confined to the period between November and March. There is snow on the mountains usually between the months of December and March. Visitors to Cyprus can bask on the sun-drenched beaches, swim in the dazzling blue sea in the morning and (usualy between December and March) visit the snow covered Troodos mountains for an afternoon skiing