Cyprus may be a small country, but it's a
large Island, the third largest in the Mediterranean. It
is an Island with a big heart, an island that gives its
visitors a genuine welcome and treats them as friends.
With its spectacular scenery and enviable climates, it’s
no wonder that Aphrodite chose the island as her
playground and since then, mere mortals have been
discovering this "land fit for Gods" for
Cyprus is an island of beauty and a country of contrasts.
Cool, pine-clad mountains are a complete scene-change
after golden sun-kissed beaches; tranquil, timeless
villages are in striking contrast to modern cosmopolitan
towns; luxurious beachside hotels can be exchanged for
large areas of natural, un-spoilt country side; yet in
Cyprus all distances are easily manageable, mostly on
modern roads and high ways, with a secondary route or two
for the more adventures.
Most important of all, the island offers peace of mind. At
a time when holidays are clouded by safety consciousness,
a feeling of security prevails everywhere, since the crime
level is so low as to be practically non-existent.
Few countries can trace the course of their history over
9000 years, but in approximately 6800 B.C., the island of
Cyprus was already inhabited and going through its
Neolithic Age. Of all the momentous events that were to
sweep the country through the next few thousand years, one
of the most crucial was discovery of copper (or Kuprum in
Latin), the mineral that was to give its name to the
island and generate untold wealth.
The island's strategic position, its copper deposits and
its timber attracted the first Greek, who came to the
island over 3000 years ago, at the end of the Trojan wars.
They settled down bringing in with them and establishing
the Greek identity, language and civilization.
Over the centuries, Cyprus came under the sway of various
rules including the Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, the
successors to Alexander the Great and Romans, before
Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire. Later came the
Crusaders, Lusignans and Venetians, Ottomans and
Cyprus won its independence in 1960, for the first time in
3500 years, but the Greek identity of language and culture
has been retained. In July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and
since then 37% of the island in the north is being
occupied by Turkish troops.