Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus, a status it has enjoyed for 1000 years since the 10th century, though its beginnings date back 5000 years to the Bronze Age. It lies roughly in the centre of the island in the Mesaoria Plain, flanked by the beautiful northern range of Kyrenia mountains with its distinctive 'Pentadaktylos" - the five finger mountain. There are various suggestions as to the origin of the name Nicosia - or 'Lefkosia' in Greek - but the most likely one is linked to the popular tree, the tall 'Lefki ' which once adorned the city...read more
The south coast town of Limassol is the island's largest seaside resort. Acting as a magnificent backdrop to the city that spreads for ten miles along the coast are the Troodos mountains, in whose fertile foothills most of the country's grapes are grown. Since the Middle Ages when the Crusaders held Cyprus under Richard the Lionheart, Limassol has been known to traders for its wine and sugar cane. Now, this second largest city of Cyprus, with a population of 135,000 is the centre of its wine-making industry, and an important commercial and tourist centre...read more
On the edge of Larnaca Bay, the palm-lined seafront of Larnaca town bustles with cafes, tavernas, shops and bars. Historic charm is lent to the scene by its fortress castle, now used as the town's summer cultural centre. Larnaca is an excellent base from which to get to know the central and eastern section of Cyprus and its proximity to the international airport and a number of luxury hotels that have been developed along its beautiful sandy beaches make this a popular holiday choice. Larnaca was originally known as Kition, or Khittim, and legend has it that the first settlement at the spot was founded by Noah's grandson Khittim. But the name Larnaca probably comes from the Greek word "Larnax", which means sarcophagus, many of which have been unearthed in this area...read more
The charming west coast town of Paphos focuses around an attractive little harbour whose picturesque open air fish restaurants line a quayside of bright fishing boats and pleasure craft.
With a population of just 28,000, Paphos nestles in the lee of the Western Troodos Mountains, which add another dimension to this area of scenic beauty. The recent addition of its own international airport nearby has opened up the Pafos area, and the resort is graced with some luxury hotels along the coastline...read more
The golden sandy beaches of the Famagusta district, lying in the government controlled area, stretch out in the eastern corner of the island. The popular holiday making centres of Ayia Napa and Paralimni have been called a veritable paradise for anyone who loves the sea and water sports...read more
Nine Byzantine churches in the Troodos mountains, are included in the oficial UNESCO list of cultural treasures of the World's heritage:
Stavros tou Ayiasmati, Panayia tou Araka, Timiou Stavrou at Pelendri, Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis, Panayia Podithou, Assinou, Ayios loannis Lampadistis, Panayia tou Moutoula, and Archangel Michael at Pedhoulas...
The word Paralimni means 'by the lake' as it was built near a dry lake, which has now been reclaimed as farm land. This village, which has historical roots to the 1500's, has recently grown to the size of a small town and is close to the superb, sandy beaches along the Famagusta coast...read more