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Cyprus is the third largest of the Mediterranean islands and lies off the coast of Southern Turkey. The island is partitioned with its Turkish population having declared the northern part of the island a separate state in 1983. Only Turkey actually recognizes the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and the United Nations has declared the action illegal. The result is that the Greek and Turkish Cypriot populations live separately with a UN force policing a buffer zone.

Despite the political situation, Cyprus is a warm, welcoming and safe place to visit, and attracts huge number of tourists each year. Its geographical location at the crossroads of three continents gives it an interesting cultural mix and its beaches, mountains, golf courses and luxury hotels cater for travelers from around the world.

Climate and Weather

Cyprus enjoys the best of the Mediterranean climate. Its hot summers when temperatures can regularly get up to around 36°C last from May to September, with July and August the warmest months. For the rest of the year the climate remains pleasant with sunshine found all year round and temperatures even in January settling at around 10° C. Evenings can be noticeably cooler, especially in the winter months. Rain is extremely rare between May and September and even in January and December rainfall is infrequent.

Where To Stay

The high levels of tourism on Cyprus mean that there are accommodations to meet all tastes and budgets. There are several hotels in the popular resorts and a good selection of golf hotels for those who enjoy 9 or 18 holes a day while on vacation. Villas with pools are dotted across the island and apartment complexes, many with pools, are also found in all of the major resorts. Many people buy timeshares or holiday properties to rent on Cyprus and it is easy to make accommodation bookings independent of travel agents. Some of the livelier resorts, in particular Pafos and Ayia Napa cater for families but also attract large number of young people who are on vacation to party into the early hours. Do your research before booking a hotel or apartment in these locations as being disturbed in the early hours every morning is not the best way to spend a vacation.

Main Tourist Attractions

Beaches on Cyprus are one of the main attractions. Beautiful beaches can be found all the way round the island but the Akakamas Peninsula is one of the most beautiful areas with excellent swimming as well as inland walking and cycling trails. In the main cities, the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia has some fine archaeological exhibits and sights such as the Venetian Walls and Famagusta Gate are also impressive. Limassol, the island’s second largest city has a Medieval Castle and Museum while the Sanctuary or Apollo Hylates and Amathus are worth a visit, as is the KEO brewery where the excellent local beer is made. Tourists in Ayia Napa can enjoy a day at the Water World Waterpark while in Pafos, an afternoon dining down at the harbor is a relaxing way to spend the day.

Festivals and Celebrations

Cypriots like to party and there are events all year round to celebrate annual events. Carnival time in Cyprus runs over ten days from February into March and see feasts, parties, parades and fancy dress in villages across the island with Limassol being the focal point for the celebrations. Villages build their own King Carnival character to parade on floats and communities come together to enjoy a truly Cypriot occasion

The months of June to September see a number of events that cater for both tourists and locals. The European Dance Festival is a prestigious arts event held each year in Limassol and Nicosia. Kataklysmos is a traditional celebration a celebration of Noah’s flood and sees celebrations take place around the island’s coastal towns and villages with fun-fairs, entertainment and food stalls. The Ayia Napa Festival is another major event, taking place each summer in the popular holiday resort. Traditional Cypriot music and dance are performed and family events and performances are organized to keep holidaymakers and locals entertained over a seven day period. For wine lovers, The Limassol Wine Festival takes place at the end of August and celebrates local wine alongside Cypriot cuisine, music and dance.

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