- Island of Love
Cyprus
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Location has blessed Cyprus with an excellent climate and a fascinating history that spans 9,000 years. This small country is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, a convenient gateway to Europe, Asia and Africa. Two million tourists are attracted annually to this safe and sunny land.
The Cypriot people are gentle, friendly and generous and the richness of their culture is always evident. Since the 1st century A.D. the Greek Orthodox Church has been the mainstay of religion in Cyprus and continues to preserve old style values and close-knit family units. As a result, handicrafts, music, dance and festivals have been passed down from generation to generation.
The Greeks were the first to settle in Cyprus but over the years, numerous foreigners have left their mark. Historians and archaeologists are delighted with Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, Crusader castles, Christian basilicas and Venetian fortifications.



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Archaeologist Panaylata Komodromou is shown here working at an archaeological excavation. The whole town of Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Excavations completed in 1965 unearthed spectacular mosaics dating from the 3rd to the 5th century A.D. The entire area between the lighthouse and the harbour probably has as much archaeological wealth beneath the ground as has been exposed above.
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Part of this museum without walls is the Tombs of the Kings, a monumental underground structure carved in stone, used for burials of the elite dating back to the 4th century BC. Early Christians used the tombs for refuge when being a Christian wasn’t the safe thing to do.
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The most popular site is the Ayia Kyriaki, a Byzantine Church dwarfed by an earlier basilica and palace destroyed by Arab raids. What is left are fourth-century floor mosaics and dozens of columns, one called “St. Paul’s Pillar”, where legend believes Paul was tied and lashed. Nearby, hewn out of rock, the Agios Neophytos Monastery was founded by Saint Neophytos. Some of the finest Byzantine icons and frescoes in the world, dating from the 12th to 15th century can be found here.
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A spectacular stretch of coastline near Paphos is the most photographed place in Cyprus, Petra tou Romiou, the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. This cult lasted several centuries. Legend claims that a woman will have eternal youth if she swims in the nude around these rocks.
Limassol, (Lemesos to Cypriots) is the country’s main port. It stretches along the south coast, surrounded by citrus fruit plantations and vineyards. It is a vibrant seaside town with a busy nightlife, celebrating Carnival in February and the Wine Festival in September.
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Near Limassol, the Kourion site is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island. The ruins of the ancient city-kingdom, include a huge Greco-Roman Theater which has been partly restored and is still used for concerts today. It provides an excellent view overlooking the vast, blue Mediterranean. The Sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis, 3 km west of Kourion, was a very important site when the cult thrived ( 8th century BC - 4th century AD). Part of the huge temple has been restored.
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A popular side trip through lovely rolling hills is Lefkara, known for the lace-like “Lefkaritika” embroidery in fine tablecloths, napkins and doilies. This little village is a great place to shop for quality linens and silver. treasures.
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The capital, Nicosia, is a modern city teeming with activity. At its heart is a walled medieval city built by the Venetians. The Ledro Museum on the 11th floor of the Woolworth Tower offers the history and an unhindered view of the entire city. Unfortunately Nicosia is divided by the Green Line which separates the Turks and the Cypriots. Since 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus, 37% of the island has been occupied by the Turks and United Nations Peace Keepers have maintained peace.
The famous Famagusta Gate protects the ancient town within the walls. Trendy bars, cafes and night spots brighten the street. Red, pink and purple flowers cascade from window boxes, adding a touch of old world charm. Barter over local crafts like lace, embroidery, woven articles, silver and pottery.
Tourists who visit Cyprus follow in the footsteps of figures as diverse as St. Paul, Alexander the Great and Leonardo da Vinci. The whims of history have endowed it with a rich heritage making it a world-renowned destination for those who love art, history and archaeology. For many, spectacular beauty, lovely beaches and inviting resorts are sufficient for a perfect holiday.
 
'Hot Tips'
Cyprus Tourism Organization, New York
Phone:(212) 683-5280
Fax: (212) 683-5282
In Canada, the Cyprus Tourism Organization is represented by the RMR Group in Toronto.
Phone: (416) 485-8724
Fax: (416) 485-8256
Cruises are available all year round:
Two day cruises to Egypt
Two-day cruises to Israel, with visits to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Three-day cruises to Egypt and Israel.
Seven-day cruises to Egypt, Israel, the Greek Islands and Piraeus.
The Anassa, Polis - Super deluxe resort on western tip which caters to the wealthy. Rooms US$ 400/night. reservations (357) 6-888000.
Kykko Monastery - high in the Troodos Mountains is famous for its superb museum, a chapel that shimmers in gold, and a winery famous for its red zivania , a potent aperitif.Its most famous monk was Archbishop Makarios.
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'Cyprus - When You Go'
Cyprus is located in the eastern Mediterranean 65 km off the coast of Turkey. The Cypriot side is about 150 km long and 50 km wide
Language- Main language is Greek, but English is widely spoken.
Climate- Cyprus averages 340 days of sunshine a year.
Population- 735,000 which includes 135,000 in the Turkish region.
Electricity: 240 volts, a.c. with square pin
Currency: US$1=Cyprus pound.52
Food,Water,Wine: Extremely high standards. Service excellent, servings generous, prices modest.
Agrotourism: Encourages the use of traditional houses in picturesque villages for tourist use. Go to www.agrotourism.com
 
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