Cyprus (also known as Kypros) is a little island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Even though it’s smaller in size than the American state of Connecticut, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.  

Geographically, it’s located in the Middle East; however, the island is now a part of Europe and the European Union.

The island’s strategic location between Europe and the Middle East encouraged numerous foreign invasions throughout the years.

Cyprus has been under the control of various leaders, such as the Egyptians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Persians, Ptolemies, and Romans, as well as the Crusaders, Frankish Lusignans, Venetians, Ottomans, and British.

According to ancient tradition, Cyprus is considered the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

More accurately, Cyprus is mentioned in the Bible, specifically during Paul’s first missionary journey.

After the Trojan Wars, the Greeks immigrated to Cyprus.  While settling on the island, they established the Greek identity, language, and culture.

Eventually, Cyprus won its independence in 1960 from the British, yet the Greek identity of language and culture has remained extremely evident on the island, even until today.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, and since then thirty-seven percent of the island is still occupied by Turkey.  Cyprus and Turkey are continuing to work out a solution, along with the assistance of the UN.

While Cyprus is sometimes confused as a part of Greece (due to the heavy influence of Greek culture and language in Cyprus), it’s actually a separate country.  Currently, it’s a divided country with the northern part of Cyprus occupied by Turkey.

This blog primarily focuses on the southern side of the island, which is simply referred to as Cyprus.  However, there will be blog posts featuring sites in Northern Cyprus.

Cyprus has five districts, which are Famagusta (Ammochostos), Larnaca (Larnaka), Limassol (Lemesos), Nicosia (Lefkosia), and Paphos (Pafos).

The main cities in Cyprus are Ayia Napa (Agia Napa), Larnaca (Larnaka), Limassol (Lemesos), Nicosia (Lefkosia), and Paphos (Pafos).  Plus, there are plenty of villages scattered throughout the island.

Northern Cyprus has three districts, which are Famagusta (Gazimağusa), Kyrenia (Girne), and Nicosia (Lefkosa).

The main cities in Northern Cyprus are Famagusta (Gazimağusa), Kyrenia (Girne), Nicosia (Lefkosa).  Some of the districts, as well as one major city are divided between the two sides of the island.

Cyprus has a wide variety of interesting archaeological sites and ancient ruins, museums and educational centers, landmark buildings and monuments, and monasteries and churches with historical and architectural significance.

Also, the island has natural beauty with beaches, mountains, valleys, farmlands, etc.  Since the island is a popular tourist location, there are plenty of hotels and restaurants for tourists and locals. 

Hope you enjoy Exploring Cyprus with us!

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