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The people of Cyprus owe their individuality and warmth to the fact that they are the product of an amazingly colourful history. This sun drenched island has been at the crossroads of world events for centuries. Roman, Byzantine, Greek and British influences (to name just a few) have all had a bearing on life in Cyprus. Perhaps that's why Cypriots have a special knack of making visitors feel at home as soon as they step off the plane or ship. That warm welcome, plus the unhurried pace of daily life, makes Cyprus an instant favourite of anyone who goes there.

The island nation is a fascinating land of contrasts. It has some of the most sophisticated cities in the region, and yet, a short distance away, you can feel as if you have stepped back into a previous century, not just the 19th, but far back to a time when people pursued simpler pleasures.

Drop into almost any country teverna, or join the locals at a town market, and you will feel the atmosphere of a way of life that has remained essentially the same for centuries. The island has proved irresistible to many famous historical personalities, such as Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, Leonard da Vinci and Richard the Lion Heart.

When Richard freed his imprisoned bride-to-be, Berengaria of Navarre, in 1191, Cypriots all across the island seized on the opportunity to have a party! As you can see, a delight in having a good time is at the heart of the Cypriot personality.

Observe the fun Cypriots have when they go out - perhaps in large family groups - to eat and drink, and you will see how important a lust for life is on this enchanted island. Get to know the people, and you will probably be invited back to a Cypriot home to enjoy a meal of meze. Then, you'll truly learn the meaning of the word "hospitality".


Greek is the national language of Cyprus, but English is spoken almost everywhere.


AGIA - Saint (female)
AGIOS - Saint (male)
ICONOSTASI - Screen with icons separating the bema
(holy part of the church) from the nave in the Orthodox Church
KATO - Lower
PANAGIA - The Blessed Virgin Mary
PANO - Upper
PETRA - Stone
PLATEIA - Square


ai - as in egg
oi, ei, y - as in India
ou - as in tour
ch - as in home
d - as in there

Names of places have been converted into Latin characters according to the official System of Transliteration of the Greek alphabet. i.e.


Cyprus is a paradise for the sports enthusiast. Sports include angling, sea sports, golf, cycling, sailing/yachting, swimming, hiking/nature trails, and water sports.
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