51 Interesting Facts About Cyprus

Last updated on June 29th, 2020

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. It has an area of 9,251 square km. Nicosia is its capital and largest city. Greek and Turkish are its official languages. Its official currency is Euro (EUR). It has no land bordering countries. The natives or inhabitants of this region are called Cypriot. With these 51 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. The stone-age wells that were discovered in Kissonerga, Paphos have been studied and it is purported that they have been around for about 10,500 years. They represent the sophistication of Neolithic period setlers.

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. Aphrodite is said to have emerged from a rock at Latchi (now called Aphrodite’s beach) in Poli Crysochous. As the ocean waves crush over this rock, they form pillars of foam that resemble the goddess of love.

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.

A beautiful 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 below.

Cyprus on the map

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

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

View of the town of Paphos in Cyprus. Paphos is known as the center of ancient history and culture of the island. It is very popular as a center for festivals and other annual events.
Interesting facts about Cyprus: view of the town of Paphos in Cyprus. Paphos is known as the center of ancient history and culture of the island. It is very popular as a center for festivals and other annual events.

19. 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.

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 – the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The historic city lined with beautiful landmarks has a border zone at the point of division. The wall is a symbol of crises that separates the two nations.

The Green Line in Nicosia
Notice the gray dotted lines that cut through the capital city. The region between these lines is the Green Line. It is 180 km long and it spans an area of 346 square kilometres (134 sq mi), varying in width from less than 20 metres to more than 7 kilometres.

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.

The first Olympic medalist from Cyprus - Pavlos Kontides.
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.

Mouflon (Ovis musimon) ram and ewes, part of the captive breeding project, Stavros, Cyprus.
Mouflon (Ovis musimon) ram and ewes, part of the captive breeding project, Stavros, Cyprus.

32. A rare variety of sheep–The Cyprus Mouflon–can only be seen in the country and nowhere else in the world. They are said to have originated from a wild Asian sheep brought by prehistoric Cypriots around 9000-8000BC.

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

Easter celebration in Cyprus
Interesting 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 four countries in the EU that drives on the left. The other three are the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and Malta. If you flash your light at somebody, it signifies that you are indicating them to stop quickly and let you pass.

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.

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