Top Ten Cypriot Attractions

Top Ten Cypriot Attractions

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       Cyprus is a Eurasian island country in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The earliest known human activity on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world and is the site of the earliest known example of feline domestication. At a strategic location in the Middle East, Cyprus has been occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Rashidun and Umayyad Arab caliphates, Lusignans, Venetians and Ottomans. Settled by Mycenean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC, the island also experienced long periods of Greek rule under the Ptolemaic Egyptians and the Byzantines. In 333 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the island from the Persians. The Ottoman Empire conquered the island in 1571 and it remained under Ottoman control for over three centuries. It was placed under British administration in 1878 until it was granted independence in 1960, becoming a member of the Commonwealth the following year. In 1974, following 11 years of intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, an attempted coup d’état by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta with the aim of achieving enosis (union of the island with Greece) took place. Turkey used this as a pretext to invade the northern portion of the island. Turkish forces remained after a cease-fire, resulting in the partition of the island; an objective of Turkey since 1955. The intercommunal violence and subsequent Turkish invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute. The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters, except for the British military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island’s area, and the Turkish-controlled area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and recognized only by Turkey, covering about 36% of the island’s area. Cyprus is the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of its most popular tourist destinations. An advanced, high-income economy with a very high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on May 1, 2004.

  1. Limassol
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    Limassol is the 2nd largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 (2008). It is the largest city in geographical size and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island’s southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District. Limassol is the biggest Cypriot port in the Mediterranean transit trade. It has also become one of the most important tourism, trade and service-providing centers in the area. Limassol is renowned for its long cultural tradition and is home to the Cyprus University of Technology. A wide spectrum of activities and a number of museums and archaeological sites are available to the interested visitor. Consequently, Limassol attracts a wide range of tourists mostly during an extended summer season to be accommodated in a wide range of hotels and apartments. A large marina is currently being constructed near the old town. Limassol was built between two ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion, so during Byzantine rule it was known as Neapolis (new town). Limassol’s tourist strip now runs east along the coast as far as Amathus. To the west of the city is the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, part of the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
    Links: Top Ten Carnivals, Castles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limassol,
  2. Paphos
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    Paphos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km (31.07 mi) west of the Limassol (the biggest port in island). Near Palaepaphos (Old Paphos) at the seaside of Petra tou Romiou is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty and the founding myth is interwoven with the goddess at every level, so that Old Paphos became the most famous and important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world. In Greco-Roman times Paphos was the island’s capital, and it is famous for the remains of the Roman governor’s palace, where extensive, fine mosaics are a major tourist attraction. The apostle Paul of Tarsus visited the town during the 1st century AD. Paphos enjoys a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island. The typical summer’s season lasts about 8 months, from April to November, although also in March and December sometimes there are temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F).
    Links: Top Ten Tombs, Top Ten Greek Gods, Top Ten Mosaics,
  3. Painted Churches in the Troodos Region
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    The Painted Churches in the Troödos Region comprises ten Byzantine churches and monasteries all richly decorated with Byzantine and post-Byzantine murals. They include; Ayios Nikolaos tis Steyis (Saint Nicholas of the Roof) in Kakopetria, Ayios Ionannis Lampadistis (Saint John Lampadistis) in Kalopanayiotis, Panagia (Church of Our Lady) Phorbiotissa (or Asinou) in Nikitari, Panagia tou Arakou in Lagoudhera, Panagia tou Moutoulla in Moutoullas, Church of the Archangel Michael in Pedhoulas, Timios Stavros (Church of the Holy Cross) in Pelendri, Panagia Podhithou (Church of the Virgin Podithou) in Galata, Stavros Ayiasmati (Church of the Holy Cross of Ayiasmati) in Platanistasa and Metamorfosis tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Saviour) in Palaichori.
    Links: Churches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_Churches_in_the_Troodos_Region,
  4. Khirokitia
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    Khirokitia is an archaeological site on the island of Cyprus dating from the Neolithic age. The site is known as one of the most important and best preserved prehistoric sites of the eastern Mediterranean. Much of its importance lies in the evidence of an organized functional society in the form of a collective settlement, with surrounding fortifications for communal protection. The Neolithic aceramic period is represented by this settlement and around 20 other similar settlements spread throughout Cyprus.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choirokoitia,
  5. Links: Islands, Top Ten Cypriot Hotels, Top Ten Cypriot Restaurantshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus,

Recommendations for Cruisin’ Through Cyprus