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Summary: Cyprus is in the Middle East, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey, and is a central plain with mountains to the north and south, and scattered but significant plains along southern coast, with a UN controlled buffer zone between northern and southern halves. The Greek Cypriot economy is prosperous but highly susceptible to external shocks such as swings in tourist arrivals, and remains based on agriculture and Turkish-funded economic development.

Capital: Nicosia
Time Zone: DST +0300 UTC
Population: 775,927
Languages: Greek, Turkish, English
Power: 240 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Cypriot Pound - Currently 1 CYP = 2.5003 USD $
Climate: Cyprus has a temperate and mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cooler winters.

Nicosia: Although embroiled in turmoil and cut by the Green Line, which separates Greek South from Turkish North, Nicosia offers 12th century buildings and shrines, venetian city walls, and a number of museums celebrating the history of the country, like the Leventis Municipal Museum, the Dragoman Hadzigeorgakis and the Byzantine Museum. Nearby, the Troodos Mountains offer relaxation in the resorts, or head back to Nicosia to relax in the world famous B?? Hammam - a Turkish bath.

Limassol: Wine aficionados will love Limassol, with frequent festivals, the biggest of which is the September Wine Festival. In addition to the grapes, the Folk Art Museum, where you can shop for local handicrafts, and the Cyprus Medieval Museum, housed in the 14th century Limassol Castle, are places to keep you busy, other than the beaches and the nearby Troodos Mountains. In the nearby villages of Amathus, you can watch as excavation sites are worked.

Paphos: Once home to a cult of Aphrodite, Paphos or Pafos offers Roman, Christian and Byzantine architecture, like the Tombs of the Kings, with more than a mile of tunnels and tombs to explore, along with many beautiful mosaics dedicated to Dionysus. The city has beaches to enjoy, but not many hotels, making Paphos better as a daytrip destination or seen on package tours.


North and South: Although day-tripping is allowed for southerners going north, you can not day-trip going south across the Green Line which divides the country and Nicosia.

Religion: Religion is a prominent issue among all Cypriots, and visitors should be respectful of Greek Orthodox and Muslim customs.

Buses: The bus system in Cyprus overall is effective and affordable. Of course, taxis and bikes are alternatives.

Local Culture: You will find a mix of Greek and Turkish culture, with a dash of British thrown in, and casual dress is normal with beachwear kept to the beach. With strong ties to both Muslim and Greek Orthodox faiths, you may want to tread lightly when discussing religion or politics.

When To Visit: The September wine festival in the southern town of Limassol is a good time to enjoy regional vintages.

Food: A typical meal can start with mezedes, salads, dips and other appetizers, and kleftiko, baked lamb. The fruit you find will always be local, as the country bans the import of fruits.

Tipping: Service charges are normally not included, so standard tipping of around 10% applies.

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