The people of Cyprus owe their individuality and warmth to the fact that they are the product of an amazingly colorful history. This sun drenched island has been at the crossroads of world events for centuries.
Roman, Byzantine, Greek and British influences (to name just a few) have all had a bearing on life in Cyprus. Perhaps that’s why Cypriots have a special knack of making visitors feel at home as soon as they step off the plane or ship. That warm welcome, plus the unhurried pace of daily life, makes Cyprus an instant favorite of anyone who goes there.
The island nation is a fascinating land of contrasts. It has some of the most sophisticated cities in the region, and yet, a short distance away, you can feel as if you have stepped back into a previous century, not just the 19th, but far back to a time when people pursued simpler pleasures.
The island has proved irresistible to many famous historical personalities, such as Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, Leonard da Vinci and Richard the Lion Heart. When Richard freed his imprisoned bride-to-be, Berengaria of Navarre, in 1191, Cypriots all across the island seized on the opportunity to have a party! As you can see, a delight in having a good time is at the heart of the Cypriot personality.
Drop into almost any country taverna, or join the locals at a town market, and you will feel the atmosphere of a way of life that has remained essentially the same for centuries. Observe the fun Cypriots have when they go out — perhaps in large family groups — to eat and drink, and you will see how important a lust for life is on this enchanted island. Get to know the people, and you will probably be invited back to a Cypriot home to enjoy a meal of meze. Then, you’ll truly learn the meaning of the word “hospitality.”
Geography and Population
Cyprus is situated in the north Eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. This strategic location of the island has played an important role in its development into a financial and tourist centre. With an area of 9251m², Cyprus is the largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia. The population of Cyprus (2010 estimate) was 850.000 with 80% of the population being Greek Cypriots, 11% Turkish Cypriots, 8% Foreign residents and 1% other small minorities. Population in towns:
- Nicosia 313.000 (Capital)
- Limassol 228.000 (main commercial port)
- Larnaca 140.000 (commercial port + main international airport)
- Paphos 66.000 (second international airport)
The towns of Ammochostos (Famagusta) and Kyrenia in the eastern and northern parts of the island respectively, are currently under the illegal occupation of the Turkish army.
The legal system in Cyprus is mainly based upon the British Legal System. The Cyprus Land Registry is probably one of the most advanced and reliable systems in the world. Purchasers of property in Cyprus will therefore be far more secure, with regard to their acquisitions, than they might be in another country. Furthermore, legal fees/costs are very reasonable and are way lower than in other European countries. For an ordinary sales contract the fee is at €1,000-€1,500.
Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers from June to September and rather variable winters from November to March. The autumn and spring seasons are therefore short and of a rapid change. Τhere are approximately 300 days of sunshine p.a. and around 30-40 days of rain, mainly during the period of November to March. Winter period has a mean temperature of 15’’c. – 20’’c. while August, the hottest month ranges from 25’’c – 40’’c.
For climatic details please refer to the Meteorological Service.
There are both junior and secondary schools of high standards catering for English, Armenian, French, Russian and Arabic speaking pupils. There are two Greek speaking Goverment Cyprus Universities and a number of English speaking private Universities of high standards covering a wide spectrum of professions, as well as english speaking collages which cover professional exams/courses such as ACA, ACCA etc. These collages are related to UK and USA universities and graduates of 2-3 years courses in these collages can easily enrol with the UK/USA related universities or colleges. Fees in such Cyprus Universities or Colleges are in the range of €4.000 – €8.000 per annum depending on the University and the course attended.