Cyprus

Cyprus is the third largest- and most populous island in the Mediterranean Sea south of Turkey and east of Greece. It is divided between a Greek-Cypriote part (70%) and a Turkish (30%) part. It is a popular tourist destination due to its rich culture and its great beaches. As a Cyprus has a range of astonishing archaeological sites, including ancient tombs, Neolithic houses, Roman mosaics, Venetian walls, Byzantine castles and churches, monasteries and mosques.

Due to its locations, various groups have crossed, occupied and colonized the island over the centuries, leaving their mark to create a rich blend of culture and archeology, including Greeks, Persians, Crusaders, Ottomans, British and, after becoming a financial hub, Russians. Cypriots are known to be very hospitable fond of kids and inquisitive, so expect to have an easy connection with the people you’ll meet.

The island is also known for its troubled political disputes between Greece and Turkey resulting in a divided island with a (now open) wall dividing the country into two separate regions. For tourists this makes the island even more interesting due to its diversity in culture, structures and cuisine. The wall that divided the island for more than 30 years opened up in March 2008 . There are now several access points linking the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, including pedestrian crossings in the capital Nicosia.

As far as the landscape, the island has more to offer than you’d expect from a small island: there are plenty of historical towns like Pafos, Girne (Kyrenia), Lamaka, Lemesos and of course Lefkoşa (formerly Nicosia); there are beaches, mountains (Kyrenia Range/ Troödos Massif) with castles and monasteries, hilly landscapes with vineyards, and dense forests and nature (Tiliria).