Cyprus is a beautiful island country in the Mediterranean Sea. One of the oldest inhabited places in the world, this gem of an island is home to ancient ruins, stunning natural landscapes, and a vibrant culture. It is a popular place for tourists because of its sandy beaches, clear water, fun places to hang out, interesting historical sites, and friendly people. However, there are some unusual facts about this country that might surprise you, and the desire to travel there can get even stronger. This article outlines seven unexpected things about Cyprus that every traveler should know.
FLOURISHING WINE COUNTRY
|A VINEYARD IN CYPRUS ~ PHOTO BY CYPRUS TOURISM VIA WIKIMEDIA|
The island of Cyprus has a long history of winemaking. The beginning of production cannot be exactly determined, but some archaeological discoveries dating from 2500–2000 BC indicate it had already become widespread by the Bronze Age. Particularly, it was in the Middle Ages that Cypriot winemaking really took off.
Nowadays, Cyprus tourists are offered both internationally renowned wine beverages like Chardonnay, Riesling, or Cabernet Sauvignon and plenty of indigenous wine varieties. Sweet Commandaria wine, which always has a high alcohol content, is legendary and a classic example of indigenous wine. It is made from the most planted indigenous grape varieties, such as Mavro and Xynisteri, However, there are other noteworthy strong spirits found in Cyprus, such as Zivania or Brut Champagnewhich can be ordered at this site https://puninwine.com/catalog/champagne-and-sparkling/filter/sugar-brut/instock-y To get a taste.
If you want to explore some of the wine regions in Cyprus to learn about the rich history and culture hidden behind the bottles of eloquent beverages, you should know that there are basically no official appellations for the island’s wine regions. But there are several interesting wine routes to follow, including the following ones:
● Diarizos Valley
Mainly, they are located around the island itself and in some winemaking regions as well.
DELICIOUS TRADITIONAL DISHES
|Halloumi Cheese ~ PHOTO BY HMIONNOU VIA WIKIMEDIA|
The island of Cyprus is located at the crossroads of three continents, so the majority of its cuisine consists of a mixture and refinement of a variety of Middle Eastern, Southern European, and Central Asian influences. It is safe to say that the locals adore veggies, and that is reflected in the large variety of vegetable-based dishes served. It could be almost anything, from fried to raw, served cold with yogurt or in cream, or first dried and then cooked.
The most popular local starter dish is mezedes, It can have up to twenty different smaller, predominantly fish and meat dishes with vegetables. Halloumi is a popular local cheese that is preferred to be eaten grilled. Hard cheeses are what Cypriots like to combine with Commandaria wine. Regarding desserts, locals prefer to eat galaktoboureko (pudding pie) or Malahapi (corn pudding) with rose syrup on top.
PERFECT YEAR-ROUND MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE
|PERFECT MEDITERRANEAN WEATHER ~ PHOTO VIA PIXABAY|
Cyprus has one of the warmest and most stable climates in all of Europe. The average annual temperature is usually about 24°C. Consequently, there are warm winters in Cyprus with relatively few rainy days. Furthermore, summers here are primarily hot and dry. Another great fact is that Cyprus has approximately 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, which means Cyprus’s climate is very close to perfect. Hence, there is no bad season to visit the island, as you can expect good weather whether your vacation is planned for summer or winter.
ONE OF THE SAFEST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE
|CYPRUS IS A SAFE PLACE ~ PHOTO BY HERT NIKS VIA UNSPLASH|
Cyprus is considered one of Europe’s safest countries because it has a very low crime rate. According to some recent statistics, the island has the lowest number of recorded crimes, including violent crimes and robberies. It is a very helpful fact, as no one would want to visit a place that is potentially dangerous for tourists. It is a significant relief to know that Cyprus doesn’t have to struggle with pickpocketing, especially considering how many thieves these days wait for the tourist season to “earn” some cash.
GOOD ROAD NETWORK BETWEEN CITIES
|ROAD NETWORKS IN CYPRUS ~ PHOTO BY DATINGSCOUT VIA UNSPLASH|
Considering the fact that Cyprus is an island, one may mistakenly think that there is a very bad and inconvenient road connection. However, on the contrary, it has a very good road network. For instance, it is easy to get from Limassol to the capital of the island, Nicosia, in just one hour via the state motorway. Furthermore, all of the bigger cities in Cyprus can be reached within approximately two hours or even less.
Cyprus is the perfect choice for a vacation for those who prefer to travel on their own—renting a car and making the round trip by yourself is much more economical and easier.
A SPOT FOR SKIING
|A SKI RESORT IN CYPRUS ~ PHOTO BY ANASTASIIA RUCHKO VIA UNSPLASH|
Skiing in Cyprus is possible despite the fact about the warm climate we’ve talked about earlier. Specifically, skiing on the slopes of mount olympusthe highest peak of Troodos Mountainsis a popular activity among Cypriots during the winter season.
There are only four pistes at that location. However, each of them is used by different types of skiers. That means both novice and advanced skiers can have a great experience at this spot during their vacation. Furthermore, every piste has its own ski lift; therefore, no waiting in lines is necessary. The ski center at Mount Olympus slopes are budget-friendly compared to other big European ski resorts—a daily ski pass is only 18 euros.
ENTIRE ISLAND CAN BE COVERED WITHIN A SHORT TIME
|A TOWN IN CYPRUS ~ PHOTO BY JAANUS JAGOMAI VIA UNSPLASH|
The island of Cyprus is relatively small. To be more specific, most distances within the country can be effortlessly covered by a car, as mentioned earlier. All of that allows tourists to see the entire island in the shortest possible time. You can wake up to a traditional Cypriot meal in North Cyprus, have a delicious lunch at one of the border cities after visiting the Walls of Nicosia, and then find yourself enjoying the evening sea breeze overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in South Cyprus.
|CYPRUS ARCHITECTURE ~ PHOTO BY MIK YUKHTENKO VIA UNSPLASH|
From fascinating ski slopes and a good road network to mouthwatering cuisine and a perfect climate, it’s now easy to see why Cyprus is such an attractive holiday destination. Now you have even more reasons to visit this amazing country. So start planning your vacation today!
~ WORDS BY J. SMITH, COVER PHOTO BY ANASTASIIA RUCHKO VIA WIKIMEDIA
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