Cyprus is an island country located in the Middle East, the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The longitude and latitude of Cyprus are approximately 35N, 33E. The total area of the island nation, including water area is 5,895 sq. km of Greek-Cypriot area, and 3,355 sq. km of Turkish Cypriot area. Cyprus is about 60% of the size of Connecticut. The coastline of Cyprus is approximately 648 km. The people of Cyprus live in a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers, and cool, wet winters. Cyprus is a very hilly mountainous country. They highest point, Mount Olympus, located in the Troodos mountain range, rises majestically 1,952 m above the Mediterranean sea, the lowest point on Cyprus. Several natural resources and products of Cyprus are : pigments, gypsum, salt, wood, copper, pyrites, asbestos, and marble. 17% of the land is appropriate for farming, whereas only about 30% of this land is used.
The population of Cyprus is roughly 754,064 people, compared to about 1 to 2 million living in Philadelphia. About 65% of the population is working age(between ages 16 and 65), while 24% is under 15 years old, and 11% over 65 years old. The population growth rate is approximately 0.67%, with a birth rate of 13.64/1000, and a death rate of 7.42/1000. The life expectancy for men is 74.91 years, and 79.39 years for women. For every woman, about 2 children are born. 78% of the population is Greek-Cypriot, 18% is Turkish-Cypriot, and 4% is neither. 78% of the population is also Greek Orthodox, 18% is Muslim, and 4% is neither. Greek and Turkish are the two official languages, but English is widely spoken, also. About 94% of the population over the age 15 can read and write.
Cyprus is broken up into two areas, both politically, and socially. The northern(Turkish) area refers to itself as The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The southern (Greek) area refers to itself as The Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus is brimming with history and many ancient sites where you really can step back in time. If you are on the west coast, anywhere near Paphos, it’s worth looking up Aphrodite’s Rock. This is where the Greek Goddess of Love is said to have risen from the water. You might prefer to check out the Tombs of the Kings where you can explore this ancient burial site by going into the tombs. It’s really good value at €1.40 and it’s worth splashing out another €4 for the guide book. Near the harbour in Paphos visit Paphos Mosaics; this is an old Roman site which is almost 2000 years old. The excavated villas have amazing mosaics that are worth seeing. See the medieval Venetian Bridges between Paphos and Nicosia. The first one is Tis Elias and there are two more further along the trail. Originally camels carried smelted copper along these roads to the ports at Paphos and Polis. ‘Eviva’ to ancient Cyprus When you visit the Wine Museum in Limassol you get to taste Commandaria, the fortified Cypriot wine that has been brewed for hundreds of years. Buy the €7 ticket to enjoy the tastings of wines produced in the area. These include the top dog Commandaria and Zivania, described by some as ‘local rocket fuel’. Cheers or eviva as the locals would say. These sorts of travel extras are what holidays to Cyprus are all about. Omodos Village Making lace is an old tradition in Cyprus. At Omodos where time has stood still, you can be sure to find local lace for sale on one of the many market stalls. The village is picture perfect and you’ll find more charming local products such as sweets, oils and wine. Don’t leave without visiting Dempsi’s glass shop where every piece is individual and hand blown. Larnaca Salt Lake Right near Lanarca airport is a natural salt lake. In the hot summer sun it dries up to reveal its salty bed. In winter it fills with water and attracts ducks and flamingos. Which ever sites you choose to visit remember to take bottled water, your sunglasses and sun block with you. And of course a camera is essential to record your favourite bits of Cyprus too.