Cyprus is an island country with rich history and culture. The country is full of interesting and exciting opportunities related to events, customs, places and activities. With these 41 interesting facts about Cyprus, let’s try to learn more about it!

1. Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

2. Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean.

3. Some of the world’s oldest water wells can be found in Cyprus.

4. The largest bank in Cyprus is owned by the Cypriot Orthodox Church. The church also plays a significant role in the social and political life of the island’s people.

5. Alexander the Great seized the island from the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians in 333 BC.

6. Cyprus became independent from the British in 1960, on August 16th. However, they celebrate their independence day on the 1st of October every year.

7. Legend has it that the Greek goddess of love–Aphrodite–was born in Cyprus. The country is also known as the playground of the Gods.

8.The island nation had seen its golden era during the Copper and Bronze Ages. At that time, the country was among the wealthiest of nations.

Sunset at Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus
A beautiful sunset at Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus. Image credit – Evgeniy Isaev

9. The island country is divided into two parts. The North and the South. The northern part is called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” while the southern part is called the “Independent Republic of Cyprus” or the “Greek Cyprus.”

Funny facts

10. As per topcyprustaxi.eu, taxi drivers in Cyprus do not give change. They keep the change as a tip. A quick tip to save money in Cyprus is to tender exact change to the taxi driver.

11. Oddly, Cypriots do not like fishing and they do not fish, despite being an island nation.

12. In Cyprus, there are some cafes that are only for men.

13. Cypriots are big-time foodies. The typical Cyprus citizen likes to dine at their favorite restaurant once per week.

14. The shape of Cyprus is like that of a Cigar pipe. Have a close look at the map of Cyprus included below.

Map of Cyprus

Map of Cyprus
Map of Cyprus

15. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean.

16. Would you believe that a whole town in Cyprus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The name of this town is Paphos. There are a total of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, including the town of Paphos.

17. The world’s oldest wine label belongs to Cyprus. Yes, you heard it right! “Commandaria” is recognized as the world’s oldest named wine dating back 5000 years.

18. Cyprus is the only foreign venue at which an English Royal Wedding has been hosted. The wedding happened between King Richard and Queen Joanna on May 12, 1191.

19. There is a tree in Cyprus known to fulfill wishes. This tree at the entrance to the Christian catacombs in Paphos is adorned with handkerchiefs and ribbons. People believe that infertile women will bear children and people will return to their loved ones when something that belonged to them is tied to the tree along with a belief that good will happen.

20. The capital city of Cyprus—Nicosia—is divided by “The Green Line.” This line is also known as the UN buffer zone. It is the only capital in the world that is divided between two nations.

21. Depending on which part of the country a person lives, the residents are either known as “Greek Cypriots” or “Turkish Cypriots”.

22. With a very low crime rate, Cyprus is also among the safest places in the world.

Cyprus facts for kids

23. Cyprus is also the first country to be governed by a Christian.

24. People of the island speak a mix of Greek, Turkish and English.

25. Cyprus is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious country.

26. The first Olympic medal won by Cyprus was at the London 2012 Olympics.

Pavlos Kontides olympic medalist Cyprus
The first Olympic medalist from Cyprus – Pavlos Kontides. image credit – cnn.com

27. Twenty rare species of Orchids and 371 species of migratory birds can be seen on the island.

28. Cyprus is one of just two nations and the first in the world to include its map on its flag. Wondering, which is the other nation? It’s Kosovo.

Flag of Cyprus
Flag of Cyprus

29. The Syrtos is the most popular folk dance in Cyprus.

30. Several British military bases still exist on the island, as the country was once governed by the British.

31. Out of the total 1950 species of flowering plants worldwide, 140 are found nowhere but in Cyprus.

32. A rare variety of sheep–The Cyprus Muffon–can only be seen in the country and nowhere else in the world.

33. With almost 80% of the population following the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox faith, Easter is the main holiday in Cyprus.

Easter celebration in Cyprus
Intereting facts about Cyprus: Easter celebration. Image credit – George Groutas

34. Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Cyprus at 6402 ft above sea level.

35. On an average, Cyprus receives 40 days of rainfall each year.

36. There is only one horserace track in the country, and it can be found in its capital city – Nicosia.

Interesting facts about Cyprus for visitors

37. It is one of only three countries in the EU that drives on the left. The other two are the UK and Malta. If you flash your light at somebody, it signifies that you are indicating them to stop quickly and let you pass. Drivers – keep this in mind while driving in the island nation.

38. Almost 20- 30% of the population of the country smokes. To curb this unhealthy habit of its population, the country imposed a smoking ban. However, smoking is still allowed in various establishments throughout the country.

39. A hairdresser, beautician, nail artist or MegaBet gaming office is easily accessible in the country.

40. Cyprus is known for its sunshine! It receives sunshine for more than 300 days during a year, which is nearly double the amount received in Britain.

A shot of the lightning - just before rain, Paphos
A shot of lightning – just before rain, Paphos. Image credit – colinedwards99

41. The remains of the oldest known pet cat was found in Cyprus, buried with its master. Archeologists found the remains to be dating back about 9,500 years.

42. The Zenobi (The Zenobia Shipwreck), a ro-ro ferry that sunk in 1980, is one of the top dive attractions in the world today.

Fast facts about Cyprus

Capital CityNicosia
35°10′N 33°22′E
Largest CityNicosia
35°10′N 33°22′E
Total area9,251 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
Population1,189,197 (July 2015 est.)
Official LanguageGreek
Turkish
BordersNo land borders. It is an island nation.
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
ReligionChristianity and Islam
Life expectancy78.51 years (2012)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Terraincentral plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast
Natural resourcescopper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
Agricultural land13.4%
Birth rate11.41 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate6.62 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio1.04 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Government typeRepublic of Cyprus - presidential democracy; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (self-declared) - semi-presidential democracy
Independence16 August 1960 (from the UK); note - Turkish Cypriots proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975 and independence in 1983, but these proclamations are recognized only by Turkey
National symbolsCypriot mouflon (wild sheep), white dove; national colors: blue, white
Industriestourism, food and beverage processing, cement and gypsum, ship repair and refurbishment, textiles, light chemicals, metal products, wood, paper, stone and clay products
Exports$1.818 billion (2014 est.)
citrus, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement, clothing
Imports$6.755 billion (2014 est.)
consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, machinery, transport equipment
GDP - per capita (PPP)$32,800 (2015 est.)
Internet country code.cy
Internet users853,000
percent of population: 71.7% (July 2015 est.)
Time ZoneEET (UTC+2)
Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Calling Code+357
Drives on theLeft
Sources: Central Intelligence Agency, Wikipedia and World Bank.

References:

  • http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/16/travel/10-unique-cyprus/
  • http://www.escapehere.com/destination/europe/10-interesting-cultural-facts-about-cyprus/6/
  • http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/top10facts/387213/Top-10-facts-about-Cyprus
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/8-interesting-facts-living-cyprus-european-immigration-specialist
  • http://www.whycyprus.com/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus

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