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Luxurious, Sunny Cyprus

World  (tags: Cyprus, people, places, travel )

- 1735 days ago -
Most of us outside the country know Cyprus as the island of discord between the Greeks and Turks. We might also know it as the setting for Shakespeare's Othello.

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Kit B (276)
Friday September 20, 2013, 10:00 am
Map Credit:

Most of us outside the country know Cyprus as the island of discord between the Greeks and Turks. We might also know it as the setting for Shakespeare's Othello, which of course is not meant to be read as a history play. But there is much else about the country that is worth learning more about. Among them are the following:

5 Facts You Might Not Know

1 Various explanations have been given for the origin of the country's name. Some scholars say that it comes from the Greek word for 'copper' ('-); the island does have large copper deposits. Others argue that the reverse is the case, however, i. e. that the metal was named for the island. These scholars believe that Cyprus was named for the cypress tree that grows there.

2 Archeologists have uncovered the remains of the Khirokitia culture, dating from the 6000S B.C.E. These ruins include impressive round stone hilltop fortresses and evidence of communal living. This is the oldest culture known to have existed on the island. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

3 The Cypriot city of Salamis figures prominently in classical Greece, both in legend and in history. Ajax, the famed hero of the Trojan War (and of a tragedy by Sophocles), was supposedly the son of the King of Salamis. During the 5th century B.C.E., the city was the site of two separate battles between the Greeks and the Persians. And a Jewish uprising at Salamis during the 100s C.E. was crushed by the Romans.

4 The conflict between the Greeks and the Turks in Cyprus has also been the source of animosity between Greece and Turkey themselves. Their mutual hostility has persisted despite the fact that both countries have been members of NATO. Only Turkey recognizes the self- proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

5 Popular singer George Michael is the son of a restaurateur from Cyprus who moved to England in the 1950s.

Historical Background

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean with an area of 9.251 square kilometers. It lies in the north-eastern corner of the East Mediterranean basin, at the meeting point of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - a fact which has added considerably to the island's importance and development. Cyprus' population at the end of 1992 was 718.000. Population distribution by ethnic group is 81,7% Greek Cypriots including Maronites, Armenians, Latins and others and 18,3% Turkish Cypriots.
Since early times Cyprus has had an eventful history, mostly the result of its geographical position. It appeared for the first time in the history of civilisation in the 7th millennium B.C. during the Neolithic period. This period, which lasted three millennia, was followed by the Chalcolithic period. The Bronze Age followed which lasted until 1100 B.C. During the last phase of this period, in the 13th century B.C., the Mycenean Greeks came for this first time to Cyprus as merchants and immigrants. They settled and they introduced the Greek language and culture both of which have been preserved to this day. At the end of the 4th century B.C. Cyprus became part of the Kingdom of Alexander the Great. During the first century B.C. it became a province of the Great Roman Empire and remained as such until the 4th century A.D. when it was included in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. This marks the beginning of the Byzantine period, which lasted until the 12th century A.D. when, during the Crusades, King Richard Coeur de Lion, conquered the island. Very soon, however, Cyprus came under the rule of the Lusignan family, which remained and ruled Cyprus until the 15th century. In 1489 Cyprus became part of the Republic of Venice and in 1571 it was conquered by the Ottomans. Cyprus remained under Ottoman rule together with the Greek mainland and the other Greek islands for centuries. However, after the 1821 Greek uprising and the liberation struggle, the various parts of Greece gradually attained independence. Cyprus also participated in the Greek War of Independence and a large number of Cypriots fought and fell during this war, particularly in the battle of Athens in 1828. (At the beginning of Greece's War of Independence a number of Bishops in Cyprus were hanged by the Turkish occupation authorities, having been accused of supporting the revolution). The question of the incorporation of Cyprus in the Greek state was raised soon after 1830, but it did not become possible and Cyprus remained under Ottoman rule until 1878. In that year the expansionist policy of Tsarist Russia caused the Turks to cede Cyprus to Britain which promised to help Turkey in the event of an attack by Russia on certain bordering provinces. The Turco-British agreement was concluded in complete disregard of the wishes and interests of the Cypriot people, who demanded incorporation of their island as part of Greece.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Cyprus was annexed to the British Empire, and in 1925 it was formally declared a British Crown Colony. By that time Turkey had, under the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, Article 16, renounced all claim to Cyprus and by Article 27 of the same Treaty divested itself of the exercise of any power or jurisdiction in political, legislative, or administrative matters over the nationals of Cyprus. When Cyprus was declared a British Crown Colony, the Turkish population of the island - descendants of members of the Turkish occupation force and expatriates from Turkey - were invited to choose between repatriation to Turkey or permanent settlement in Cyprus, and a number of them chose to remain in Cyprus. At that time it had never been intended or expected, that the Turkish minority would become the arbiters of the country's destiny. From 1878 when Cyprus was handed over to Britain, until April 1955, when the struggle for liberation from British rule was started by the Greek Cypriots, the Turks in Cyprus intermingled with the Greek people and lived in peace and harmony with them.
Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year.

Cyprus is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite (Venus), the Greek goddess of love also known as Kypris or the Cyprian). The myth says that she rose from the sea at Petra tou Romiou in Pafo.

Salt is collected from the salt lakes in summer when the heat dries up the water exposing the salt.

Copper has been mined in Cyprus for thousands of years. The name Cyprus probably derives from the Greek for copper – kypros.

Cyprus has a considerably lower price rate for holiday or second homes from other European countries.v
It has one of the lowest costs of living and very low crime rates, one sixth of the European average.

It enjoys high standards of schooling and medical care.

Cyprus is among the most developed countries in the world regarding telecommunication and ranks 3rd in the world regarding quality and technology.

The country enjoys 340 days of sunshine.

The ceasefire line that divides Cyprus in two, through Nicosia, is known as the Green Line after it was drawn in green ink on a map.
Food on Cyprus

Cyprus Cuisine

The Cypriot cuisine is much like the Greek cuisine. Cypriot cuisine involves appetizers, delicacies and salads, main dishes and sweets. There is also the traditional coffee and other traditional beverages brewed on the island.


· Tzatziki (yogurt with garlic, cucumber, olive oil and a little pepper)

· Tahini (Crushed sesame seeds with olive oil, lemon and garlic)

·Taramosalata (Fish roe , pureed potatoes with olive oil, parsley, lemon juice and onion)

·Haloumi (soft cheese usually grilled, made from either goat or sheep milk and sometimes spiced with peppermint)

·Hummus (chickpeas and tahini)

Food for the day:

Sheftalia (minced pork, chopped onions, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, white pepper and salt).

·Afelia: (pork, red wine, mushrooms, potatoes and coriander seeds)


·Yemista (stuffed vegetables such as: peppers, tomatoes, onions, courgettes, aubergines or stuffed courgette petals)


· Lountza (smoked pork loin)

· Tsamarella (dried goat meat in coriander seeds and wine)

· Chiromeri (pork meat in wine and smoked)

· Zalatina (gelatine and boiled pork)

· Soulva (lamb, pork, chicken cooked on a skewer , garnished with oregano , salt and lemon)

· Souvaki (same as souvla but smaller pieces , placed in a pitta bread with salad and tzatziki)

· Stifado (Beef or rabbit stew with wine, vinegar, onions and spices)

· Mousaka (Baked lamb and eggplant covered with béchamel sauce)

· Kleftiko (lamb cooked for around 24 hours in a clay oven with lemon juice, and cinnamon)

· Fasolada (dry white beans, olive oil, and vegetables)

· Koupepia ((Vine leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice)

· Loukanika (Pork sausages soaked in red wine, seasoned with coriander and pepper)

cyprus traditional food
·Soutzouko (made out of grape juice and nuts)

· Loukoumi (known as Turkish delight)

· Palouzes (like a jelly made out of grape juice)

·Glyko ( preserves of almond, date, apricot, cherry, quince or grapes)

·Kourabiedes (small almond cakes coated in icing sugar)

·Melomakarona ( honey cakes)

·Finikia ( walnut cakes)

·Loucoumi (Turkish delight)

·Loukoumades (very sweet, small, Cyprus style doughnuts with honey)

·Kadeifi, Baklava and Galatopureko (very rich, sweet cakes made with honey)

·Vasilopita (Traditional New Year’s Cake with one gold coin in it. The person that gets the slice with the coin is said to have good luck all year long.)

·Fresh Fruit - fruit is often served as a dessert!


· Commandaria wine( sweet dessert wine made from grapes)

· Zivania spirit (produced by distillation of grapes). Ouzo is another famous and traditional Cyprus drink, which is produced by double distillation of selected dry wines, together with seeds of anise.

· Cyprus beers (due to the mild climate that produces rich wheat, which is used to brew high quality light beers)

· Cypriot coffee (The coffee is made from fresh, finely ground coffee beans, usually Brazilian. There is sweet “glikis” , medium “metrios” and “sketos” which is unsweetened. When the sugar has dissolved, the coffee is allowed to come to the boil, forming a creamy froth known as “kaimaki” on top. Cyprus coffee is served in small cups and is customarily accompanied with a glass of cold water.
For more info please visit this page where you can find more information: Cyprus coffee

·Frappe: An iced coffee drink. It is either glykos (sweet), metrios (medium sweet) or sketos (no sugar). It is also ordered with milk (me gala) or without.

Syd H (48)
Friday September 20, 2013, 10:03 am
I was in Cyprus this year, just before the meltdown there. It is indeed sunny. But, it's also quite easy to get back and forth across the border, at least if you are not Turkish or Greek. Islanders, westerners, no problem. Each side is distinctive.

I also saw a great movie while there about the divide.

Sharing An Island


Ben O (154)
Friday September 20, 2013, 10:05 am
Thanks Kit. -So far, I've not been to Cyprus. But, who knows...maybe some sunny day...???

JL A (281)
Friday September 20, 2013, 11:14 am
One place I've long been fascinated by--thanks Kit.

Pat B (356)
Friday September 20, 2013, 11:51 am
Oh, how beautiful. I've already signed up for hiking, and going to the indoor outdoor spa to swim, and hanging out at the Tombs of the Kings to look around. Thanks, Kit for an awesome trip.!!! ;-)

Nicole W (646)
Friday September 20, 2013, 12:36 pm
wonderful excursion, ty dear Kit

lee e (114)
Friday September 20, 2013, 1:30 pm
Thanks Kit - a great get away! If only by the movie and a little imagination!

Gloria picchetti (304)
Friday September 20, 2013, 5:00 pm
I love the comments on You Tube. Now if the Turks would go back home it would be perfect.

Bryna P (139)
Friday September 20, 2013, 5:12 pm
Cyprus is so beautiful; it's breathtaking. Thank you for the virtual vacation!

Barbara K (60)
Friday September 20, 2013, 6:09 pm
Wow, thanks again, my friend, for another really beautiful vacation via computer. Would love to visit there.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Friday September 20, 2013, 8:52 pm
Looks fabulous. A friend of mine did some peacekeeping there quite awhile ago. Looks like the place to be in the winter when its freezing cold.

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 3:44 am
I've been to Cyprus, but think most people would think of banking.

marie C (163)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 4:07 pm
I have been many times nearly built a house there years ago loved it so much
Troudos Mountains so wonderful Paphos so much history climate perfect usually a gentle breeze even when very hot
Lots of changes now we were going to have a holiday home in a place Called Pissouri it was just a beach and a few houses so cheap now its so built up with hotels restaurants etc
Thank you Kit you have brought back many memories

Craig Pittman (52)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 4:53 am
Refreshing interlude. I especially enjoyed the historical notes and culinary items you added Kit. Thanks for the moment.

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 9:27 am
Thanks 4 the sunny escape Kit!

Aileen P (40)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 10:06 am
Thank you.

Joanne D (38)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 5:56 pm
It's why copper is the metal associated with Aphrodite/Venus.

Melania P (122)
Friday September 27, 2013, 6:00 pm
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