42 Interesting Facts About Cyprus

Last updated on April 18th, 2019

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 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.

39. A hairdresser, beautician, nail artist or MegaBet gambling 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 were 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.

Cyprus – country at a glance

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
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)
Population1,221,549 (July 2017 est.)
Literacy rate99.1%
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Official LanguageGreek
Turkish
BordersNo land borders. It is an island nation.
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
ReligionChristianity and Islam
DemonymCypriot
Life expectancy78.8 years (2017)
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.
Government typeRepublic of Cyprus - presidential democracy; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (self-declared) - semi-presidential democracy
PresidentNicos Anastasiades
Climatetemperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
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 rate11.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratio1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
National symbolsCypriot mouflon (wild sheep), white dove
National colorsBlue and 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$2.905 billion (2017 est.)
citrus, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, cement, clothing
Imports$7.884 billion (2017 est.)
consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, machinery, transport equipment
GDP - per capita (PPP)$36,600 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneEET (UTC+2)
Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Internet country code.cy
Calling Code+357
Drives on theLeft
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedJuly 12, 2018