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Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean (after Sicily and Sardinia),
and lies at its north-eastern end,
closer to the Middle East and North Africa than it is to Europe.
This position at a cultural crossroads has left the island with an interesting heritage
that's a blend of Eastern and European.
The overriding attraction is reliable sunshine - the island is the sunniest in the
Med, and from May to September there's barely a cloud in the sky.
Cyprus has more to offer, though, than just fun in the sun. It also has ancient
archaeological remains, mediaeval castles and monasteries, fertile countryside,
cedar forests, vineyards and mountains.
Families like the clean beaches and the child-friendliness of the people.
Sporty types can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, golf, diving, water
sports and mountain-biking.
Nature-lovers are attracted by ideal walking countryside, good bird watching (despite
the local fondness for shooting anything that tries to fly overhead) and spectacular
displays of spring flowers.
Everyone appreciates the island's almost non-existent crime rate and the Cypriots'
One blot on the landscape is the unresolved tension between the Greek and Turkish
communities, in a dispute that has left the island divided since 1974.
It's an emotional issue for locals, although it's unlikely to cause any disruption
to most people's holidays.
The big resorts, to which most tourists confine themselves, may be mostly concrete
and ketchup, but inland you can find timeless, sleepy little villages and tranquil
There's a strong sense of tradition in Cyprus. The festivals and celebrations of
the Orthodox church calendar play an important part of island life, and the Cypriots
are proud of their cultural heritage and of their island's claim to fame as the
birthplace of Aphrodite.
Even in winter, temperatures stay mild, so its popularity continues year-round.
It's also an affordable destination - certainly cheaper than France, though perhaps
a little more expensive than Spain.
Region Information - North Cyprus
| South Cyprus