If you're looking for a breathtaking vacation destination with a Mediterranean flair, look no further than Cyprus! This beautiful island nation has something to offer everyone, from stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters to quaint villages and engaging city life. This post will list just a few of the many reasons why you should definitely consider Cyprus for your next vacation.
As an island at the crossroads of the Greek and Turkish empires, it should be no surprise that Cyprus oozes history. The earliest reference to the island dates back over 3500 years ago, but archeological digs have uncovered prehistoric hunter-gatherers living on there since 10,000 BCE. Although its long and illustrious prehistoric history is still being revealed, the Greek, Roman, and medieval periods present the most fascinating glimpse of its past. With locations like the port city of Kyrenia offering a unique opportunity to see how its rulers have shaped the island's character over time, you can glimpse into the past like no other. Additionally, Cyprus is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, with Pafos as the most well-known and most-visited site of them all. In summary, you will get to see a true clash of civilizations that have occupied the nation over the centuries, including the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Roman Empire, Arab caliphates, and the British empire, up to its modern iteration as a sovereign nation. However, it even presents an interesting anomaly today as the island remains split between the Turkish north and Greek south, with no reconciliation in sight.
Arguably the main draw for visitors is the plethora of stunning beaches that dot the island. The first thing you notice when you visit one of the beaches of Cyrus is that they are all very different. Some are sandy, others have rocks, and some have pebbles. The water is always crystal clear, and you can often see small fish swimming near the shore. The beaches are also immaculate, which is good because people go there to swim or just sunbathe on the shoreline. The abundance of trees and flowers makes them even more attractive and relaxing.
As previously mentioned, Cyprus has been home to multiple cultural influences throughout its history and has accordingly developed a unique culture of its own. You can see this in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions that have been amalgamated over millennia. Furthermore, Turkish and Greek influences have morphed into something unique due to the north/south divide. This can be seen by visiting the capital Nicosia, which allows you to get a feeling of both sides of the culture.
There is nothing like Cypriot food to nourish the soul. Like other Mediterranean cuisines, it boasts a healthy mix of oils, grains, lean meats, and plenty of tasty seafood. If you genuinely want to experience the food of Cyrus, you can visit an authentic restaurant and order mezedes. This is a selection of small dishes served similarly to Spanish tapas. Consisting of various types of meat, fish, and vegetables, you certainly won't come away hungry! It may even inspire you to make your own home meals even more exciting when you return home!
Cyprus has a remarkably low crime rate compared to other European nations. While you should take the usual precautions to avoid becoming a victim of pickpocketing, violent crime is almost unheard of. As long as you respect the hard border manned by the Turkish army, you should be perfectly safe to travel around safely and securely.
Cyprus may be an ancient nation, but it has built a spectacularly efficient network of roads and mass transit. This makes traversing the southern part of the island a breeze. Thanks to its relatively small size, you can commute between most cities within an hour or two at the most. If you want to get the most from your trip, you can easily rent a vehicle, enabling you to go at your own pace and stop as you please.
The landscape of Cyprus has been shaped by the Mediterranean climate and is rich in ancient history. This has created an intriguing mixture of arid deserts and mountainous pine forests. The island is in the woodlands and scrub biomes found in and around the Mediterranean Sea. Its forests are especially prevalent in the center of the southern half, which is also home to Mount Olympus, Cyprus's largest mountain at almost 2,000 meters.
In short, Cyprus is chock full of things to see and do, ranging from water sports at any of the glorious beaches to gently strolling around the plentiful historical sites. Travelers who have visited the island state before confirm that it is one of the world's top vacation destinations.
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