Located in the Mediterranean Sea and south of Turkey, the island country of Cyprus is truly a paradise land with pristine beaches, turquoise blue waters, and scrumptious cuisines. Legends believe that Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and hence, the country is blessed with distinctive natural beauty and deep-rooted cultural roots. Each year, millions of travelers flock the streets of Cyprus to bask in the glory of its architecture especially the Lusignan and Venetian castles and imbibe some of the country’s culture. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the various offerings of this pristine Mediterranean paradise, and who know’s, maybe Cyprus becomes one of your favorite travel destinations after reading this post. Fingers crossed!
Cyprus became part of the Byzantine empire on the Eastern front in the year 395 BC. Under the Byzantine empire, the island country took on a distinctive Hellenistic-Christian character. Thereafter, Cyprus saw multiple invasions on its territories by the Ottoman Empire, Persians, the Crusaders, Mycenaean Greeks, and British colonizers up until 1960, when the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom. As a result of these invasions, Cyprus’ culture became an amalgamation of various beliefs and ethnicities, which is evident in its people and architecture. Today, Cyprus has successfully created a pedestal for itself on the European landscape by leveraging the thriving wine and tourism sectors.
Given the unique cultural mix that is the population of Cyprus, there are more than one languages that are used for communication here. Officially, Cyprus has two languages: Greek and Turkish. While Greek is spoken predominantly in the south, the populace in the northern parts of the country speaks Turkish. In addition, English is one of the widely spoken languages by locals of all ages, in the southern parts, partially because of the previous British rule and also due to the tourism establishment. However, in the north, English is not favored much. In case you’re wondering, Russian, French and German are some of the other languages commonly spoken on the island.
On the island of Cyprus, the festivities and merrymaking continue all year round! The country is essentially a combination of two dominant cultures – Greek and Christian; therefore, the populace here celebrates festivals for the major part of the year. Easter is celebrated with the same vigor, passion, and merriment as the Greek Flood festival or Kataklysmos. Since the Cypriots follow the Greek Orthodox calendar, people here celebrate the festival of Epiphany epitomizing the baptism of Christ and Green Monday that denotes the beginning of Lent, similar to the Greeks.
Cyprus’ cuisine takes serious influence from the Greek-Cypriot style of comfort foods. While the local interpretations of recipes are simple, they pack a punch of mind-blowing, flavorful and unique yumminess in each bite. For example, Cyprus has its very own take on stuffed vine leaves known as the Cypriot Koupepia, which essentially contains minced meat along with spiced rice. Among the popular recipes on offer here, we have the Greek essentials such as moussaka, souvlakia, stifado, kléftiko, sheftalia, keftedes, goubes, godopoulo, hummus, tzatziki, and taramasalata. You can also indulge in various local Cypriot specialties such as the halloumi or goat-milk cheese soaked in brine and Cypriot wine or Commandaria, a strong, sweet brew similar to the Porto wine. All in all, the cuisine in Cyprus is so scrumptious and satiating that you have to taste them to become a true believer.
Similar to the neighboring nations Greece and Turkey, the male population here in Cyprus dotes on their love for football. In addition, the Cypriots are extremely fond of adventure sports such as rock climbing, paragliding, wind sailing, skiing and scuba diving. Usually, the tourists flock the country during summer months, and readily indulge in rock-climbing, wingsuiting, parachuting, and gliding. Popular tourist spots for rock climbing include the Eagle Rock, Cave Greco, and Chassamboulia rock, hiking trails are best explored along the mountainous curves of the Troodos Mountains.
Cyprus or the Land of Aphrodite is a country that depicts the geographical intersection of the European, African, and Asian continental plates. In addition, Cyprus is also motherland of several celebrities including Marcos Baghdatis, George Michael, Helen Black, and the Chapman brothers. This small island country is truly the land of unexplored beaches, exotic Greek-inspired cuisines. Visiting this place, you can also bask in the glory of the mesmerizing island country.