Within the Mediterranean Sea, near the Turkish and Syrian coasts, this island - including its capital Nicosia - has been divided in two since 1974. The north is under Turkish domination, the south, with a Greek majority, corresponds to the Republic of Cyprus. The two areas are separated by the United Nations buffer line, known as the green line. The island of Cyprus is a seaside destination above all. In addition, there is a wealth of heritage and hiking opportunities in a preserved natural setting. Among the highlights are South Nicosia, rich in historical monuments, whose warm atmosphere is appreciated, and the archaeological sites of Paphos linked to the cult of Aphrodite. Between Nicosia and Paphos, the 3 valleys of Marathassa, Cedars and Pitsilia house 9 Byzantine chapels listed as World Heritage sites. On the road to Larnaca, we pass typical villages, the monasteries of Stavrovouni, Makhairas and Ayios Hérakleidos, the ancient site of Tamassos and the Neolithic site of Khirokitia. Near Lacarna, we discover Sultan Hala's Tekke on the shores of Salt Lake, an important pilgrimage site for Muslim Cypriots. Finally, we don't miss the Kykkos monastery. Cypriot food is one of the pleasures of the destination. It is similar to that of Greece and is accompanied by local wines. Do your shopping, early in the morning, to enjoy a multitude of fresh fruits. As for souvenirs, local craftsmanship provides with lace and embroidery, basketry, pottery, woodcuts... And to better organize your visits, immerse yourself in your tourist guide to Cyprus
When to go to Cyprus?
The very high tourist season is of course July and August, which could almost be extended to June and September. High prices and crowds guaranteed. The spring is superb, because the island is then covered with flowers. For a lazy stay, beach and sunbathing, spring, from March to June, or autumn from September to the end of October are perfect. Autumn is the quieter mid-season and winter is the low season, when prices are lower. Many establishments are idling or even closed. In the off-season, there are some very good deals to be made. Luxury hotels then offer rates that are 30 to 50% lower than in the summer. Supermarkets are starting to grow on the outskirts of major cities, but not excessively so far. Don't miss the religious festivities that punctuate the daily life of the Orthodox, such as the Orthodox Passover, which is celebrated in April and lasts several days. Throughout the month of February, the carnival alone is a great attraction. Parades, balls and disguised nights then gather the whole population in the main towns of the island with, as a climax, the closing party in Limassol. On this occasion, take advantage of the special evenings that the hoteliers do not fail to organize. Those who have waited until autumn to travel will attend the Limassol Wine Festival, honouring the many Cypriot vineyards (September)