Explore Cyprus in Europe

Cyprus
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Cyprus with its capital Nicosia is located in Europe (Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 9,251 square kilometres (about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut) with 792,000 citizens. Greek, Modern (1453-), Turkish and English are the official languages spoken in Cyprus (consider regional differences).

Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. Public transportation in Cyprus has been revamped with all new buses in Nicosia. Still, most Cypriots drive by themselves. There are no railways in Cyprus. If you have any old Cypriot pounds lying around, the Central Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia will exchange them at a rate of CYP 0.585274 per €1 until 2017. There are countless hotels and hotel apartments of varying degrees of luxury within Cyprus. If you are considering an extended stay on the island, there are a number of educational courses that you can take. Popular options include Greek language courses and arts courses. Cyprus is a remarkably safe country, with very little violent crime. Cars and houses frequently go unlocked.

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Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism office

Website: Cyprus Tourism

The topography features central plain with mountains to north and south with scattered but significant plains along southern coast. The average density of population is about 86 per km². The climate in Cyprus can be described as temperate with Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters. Potential natural disasters are moderate earthquake activity or droughts.

To reach someone in Cyprus dial +357 prior to a number. There are 414,500 installed telephones. And there are 977,500 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900, 1800 MHz and 3G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".cy". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 240V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Cypriot Facts page.

Description of the flag of Cyprus

White with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities
note: the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" flag retains the white field of the Cyprus national flag but displays narrow horizontal red stripes positioned a small distance from the top and bottom edges between which are centered a red crescent and a red five-pointed star; the banner is modeled after the Turkish national flag but with the colors reversed.

National administrative regions of Cyprus

Historical background information

A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot-occupied area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), but it is recognized only by Turkey. The election of a new Cypriot president in 2008 served as the impetus for the UN to encourage both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reopen unification negotiations. In September 2008, the leaders of the two communities began discussions under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island. The talks are ongoing. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under the internationally recognized government, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states.

Learn more on our Cypriot Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.