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Cyprus

Description

Cyprus is a small European country about the size of Connecticut. It is an island located in the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea. The geography of Cyprus includes the central plain, the Mesaoria, which is bordered by the Kyrenia and Pentadactylos mountains to the north, and the Troodos mountain range to the south and west. There are also scattered, but significant, plains along the southern coast. Cyprus is endowed with golden beaches with clear blue waters, pine-scented forests and a superb climate. Cyprus is the sunniest country in Europe with over 300 days of sun annually. The environment is one of the healthiest in the world according to the World Health Organization and is relatively unspoiled by industrialization.

The Cyprus economy is booming and political stability has been firmly established for over thirty years. In May 2004, the Republic of Cyprus became a member of the European Union. As one of the region's leading business centers, the island enjoys advantages in tourism, consultancy, shipping, telecommunications, banking, and insurance. Crime and violence is rare by US and Western European standards.

The Cypriot people have been famous since antiquity for their hospitality and the warm and friendly welcome they extend to visitors. Due to the geographic separation of the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities following the Turkish invasion in 1974, Greek now predominates in the free south and Turkish in the occupied north. However, English is widely understood on both sides of the island, especially among the younger generations. Cyprus is known for its vast amount of foreigners from all over the world that travel here to live, as well as for vacation. This has also contributed to the continuation of English as a semi-official language. Reflecting the two dominant populations, Cypriot cuisine has evolved as a fusion of Greek and Turkish cuisine with local twists to well known dishes. Further influences are evident from neighboring countries, namely Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Cyprus also has intriguing historical locations such as the legendary site of Aphrodite's birthplace which is close to the coastal cliffs near Paphos. She is the goddess of beauty and love. The Ruins of ancient Salamis near Famagusta, the Kourion Theatre outside the city of Limassol, the Kolossi Castle, and the Centaur floor mosaic in Paphos are just a few other examples of great places to see. Since the dawn of recorded history, Cyprus has been one of the most sought-after areas of the region. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, along with Crusaders, Byzantines, Franks and Ottomans, have all left a remarkable legacy for the modern visitor to explore.




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Quick Facts

Population: 1,138,071
Capital: Nicosia (Lefkosia)
Per-capita GDP: $ 29400
Size: 9,251 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 02:00 hours) Kaliningrad

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
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Country information is adapted from public domain resources including the CIA World Fact Book and www.Wikipedia.org.
Please report errors or concerns to questions@abroadoffice.net.

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