Cyprus is a small island country located in the Eastern part of Mediterranean Sea, close to countries such as Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Egypt. The island covers an area of about 9.2 thousand square kilometres and it is home to 1.1 million people. The official languages are Greek and Turkish, with some minority groups also speaking Armenian or Arabic.
The island was first occupied by humans probably around 10 000 BC and then settled by Greeks 8 000 years later. It played an important role for Egyptians, Assyrians and Persians during the history thanks to its strategic position for the Middle East. Eventually, Cyprus started belonging under the British administration in 1878, followed by granting its own independence in 1960. Although the Greek – Turkish Cypriots intercommunal violence period in the following years raised a question about the incorporation of the island to Greece, the whole business went unfinished.
Today, the Republic of Cyprus is practically divided into two parts; the south and west area under the control of the Republic; and remaining north of the island which is being administrated by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Due to the fact that Cyprus is a member of the European Union, the northern part of the island is sometimes considered to be occupied by Turks.
Despite the non-violent conflict between those two parts of the island, Cyprus is a popular tourist destination within the Mediterranean. While being a member of Commonwealth since 1961 as well as the Eurozone and EU, it has a developed and high-income economy.
Two different cultures shape the overall impression into a great experience. The entire island is sprinkled by historical sites and ruins and the extraordinary feeling of the past breathes through every wall and cobbled street. Relics, tombs, castles and churches all create a truly fascinating atmosphere.
The mild, yet pleasant and warm climate together with endless coastline washed by the bluest water of Mediterranean Sea ensure the paradise-found feeling for every outdoor and water-sport lover. Last but not least, the local cuisine influenced by both Greek, Turkish and also Middle Eastern cultures is simply an irresistible culinary experience on its own.