Cyprus is the largest Mediterranean island after Sicily and Sardinia. It is the third largest and the most populous island in the region.
Cyprus is located in the extreme northeast corner of the Mediterranean; it is 71 km of Turkey, 105 km west of Syria and approximately 800 km east of the Greek mainland.
The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia, located in the north central part of the country.
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As the third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is situated at the north eastern corner of the Mediterranean, 300 km north of Egypt, 105 km west of Syria and 75 km south of Turkey, while the Greek mainland lies 800 km to the north-west.
Cyprus has always been the centre of attraction for numerous civilisations that ruled it. After the tyranny of the Greeks the island was under constant attacks and ruled by several empires which includes Assyria, Persia, Egypt, Rome, Byzantium, the French and the Venetians, the Ottomans and the British before it achieved independence in 1960.
Cyprus is divided into three major physical regions.
The Troodos Mountains or the Southern Range, occupying the central part of the island; The Girne Mountain Range, or the Northern Range, along the northern coast; The Mesaoria, running from Guzelyur Bay in the west to Magosa Bay in the east separating the two highland areas.
Cyprus has a variety of natural vegetation. This includes coniferous forests and broad-leaved trees. Cyprus is mostly surrounded by coastal valleys where the soil is fertile and suitable for agriculture. Rivers are seasonal and only flow after heavy rain.
Most part of Cyprus is dry and sunny. The warm currents of the Mediterranean makes winters mild but leaves coastal areas humid in summers. On the hills, rains usually play hide and seek with the sun.
The annual temperature goes upto 20°c (68°f). A cool, rainy season lasts from November to March. Snow covers the higher peaks in winters but other places the temperature seldom falls below freezing, and conditions are mild and refreshing.
Cyprus known as the 'Jewel of the Mediterranean', welcomes people with warm sun, fascinating view of the sparkling sea and unforgettable experiences.
Cyprus is also known for its history and culture, Mediterranean cuisine, tall mountains, lush green countryside that truly dipicts what Cyprus is all about.
The people of Cyprus are descendants from two major civilisations.
The Greek Cypriots have their roots to the Mycenaean Greeks while the Turkish Cypriots are descended from Ottoman settlers. Cypriots are very highly educated and multilingual.
The official languages of Cyprus are Greek, Turkish and English. Outsiders have no trouble communicating in English due to the fact that Cyprus was a British colony.
English is widely spoken and written and is the language of international business. German, French and Russian are also widely spoken.
The government and people of Cyprus are actively promoting the Cypriot culture. Art, literature, music, traditional dances, theatre, cinema are some of the areas that are given the utmost importance. From music concerts and cultural performances to religious festivals all are celebrated with pomp and show.
Cultural events such as the Kypria International Festival, comprising music, dance and performance arts, and the ‘Thalassa International Festival, which showcases photographic exhibitions, movie screenings and music performances, adds colour to the cultural extravaganza.
Football was first introduced to Cyprus by the British in the 20th century. Since then, people have been playing and enjoying the game. They also love to play basketball, volleyball, motor sports, badminton, cricket and rugby.