A land of infinite variety, relaxation and enjoyable climate
It is hard to describe Cyprus in just a few words. Every time you think you know everything about it, you discover something new! It is a land where east meets west, where cultures meet and feel at ease. It is rich in history and archeological attractions, both on land and beneath the sea. Its food reflects this same mix and the warmth and hospitality of its people is renowned.
Basking in over 320 days sunshine a year, Cyprus offers virtually year round sunshine with relatively mild humidity. Whether you prefer blue flag tourist, or deserted beaches, you can find them all in Cyprus. Water sports are in abundance and during the short winter months, you can even ski in the mountains, while still enjoying some sun on the coast. In Cyprus, you can do virtually every sport, including horse riding, mountain biking, quad biking, climbing, yoga, scuba diving and golf. For those wishing for something slightly calmer, there is an abundance of beautiful countryside to visit, including the Akamas National Park. This is a nature conservation area that occupies a whole peninsula between Pafos and Polis. There are also a number of world class spas to relax in.
Entertainment can be found throughout the year, with fine dining and other restaurants offering a variety of local and International cuisines. Modern and traditional concerts, theatrical and dance performances take place throughout the year, often in some of the ancient amphitheaters, like Curium, which were used for the same purpose thousands of years before. Bars, cafes and clubs can also be easily found catering to a variety of tastes. There are also numerous shops, from small souvenir shops to designer boutiques, from local mini-markets to International supermarket chains such as Carrefour and larger shopping Malls.
The relaxed lifestyle in Cyprus, coupled with the virtually crime free environment make it very attractive to all nationalities. It is a very family-oriented culture, with many moving there to take advantage of the excellent schools and secure environment for children. In fact,Cyprus is one of the most highly educated countries in the world, per head of population, and has a great education system. There are both local Greek and a variety of International schools on offer, some following the Greek Cypriot Education program, others offering other International qualifications.
Cyprus is easily accessible from the Middle East, with direct flights from Dubai,Abu Dhabi,Bahrain,Kuwait,Amman,Damascus, Jeddah,Cairoand others. The two new state of the art International airports at Pafos and Larnaca, were built and expanded in the last few years to cope with the increasing number of direct flights arriving, the first being Paphos opening in November 2008 and the latter in Larnaca which opened in November 2009. If you prefer, you can choose to travel by water and take one of the numerous cruises to Cyprus, one of the top ten maritime nations worldwide.
Cyprus’ other infrastructure is also fairly advanced, with motorways linking most major towns accompanied by a good network of standard roads. GSM and 3G mobile telephony are available, as well as high speed broadband Internet and wireless hot spots. The healthcare system is also excellent, with doctors, dentists and opticians educated in the top schools around the world. There is a combination of public and private healthcare, with numerous hospitals and clinic around the island providing swift and high quality treatment.
The island is geographically central in the world, making it a gateway into several continents and a popular International business centre. The capital is Nicosia, with Limassol the second largest town and Larnaca and Pafos coming after that. Limassol is a large cosmopolitan coastal town and Pafos is a slightly smaller beach resort that is on UNESCO’s world heritage list.
The Cypriot economy is prosperous and has diversified in recent years and due to this Cyprus has become sought as a base for offshore businesses, for its highly developed infrastructure. Tourism, financial services and shipping are significant parts of the economy. Economic policy of the Cyprus government has focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union. The Cypriot government adopted the euro as the national currency on 1 January 2008.
Cyprus now has a excellent future due to the significant quantities of offshore natural gas that has recently been discovered in the area known as Aphrodite in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 175 km south of Limassol. In August 2011, the US-based firm Noble Energy entered into a production-sharing agreement with the Cypriot government regarding the block’s commercial development.
All of this barely touches on what Cyprus is. The best way to find out is to visit it and enjoy the famous Cypriot hospitality. At the same time, you can learn more aboutCyprus’ position as an investment hotspot, especially for property, and maybe even decide to move there permanently!
This post is also available in: Persian