Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, with area 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq miles). The landscape varies between rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, rocky hills and forest-covered mountains. The Troodos Mountains in the centre of the island rise to almost 1,952m (6,400ft) and provide skiing during the winter. Between these and the range of hills that run eastward along the north coast and the 'panhandle' is the fertile Messaoria Plain. The Morphou Basin runs around the coast of Morphou Bay in the west.
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
Nicosia (Lefkosia). Population: 325,756 (2011, excluding Turkish-occupied portion).
The majority (approximately 80%) speaks Greek and approximately 11% speak Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect is different from mainland Greek. Turkish is spoken by Turkish Cypriots. English, German and French are also spoken in tourist centres.
Greek Orthodox, and Islam in the north.
240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square 13-amp three-pin plugs (UK-type) are used.
The population reached 838.897 persons on the 1st of October 2011 compared to 689.565 in the previous census in 2001, i.e. recording an increase of 21,7% in the last 10 years.
The distribution of the population by district in 2011 is as follows:
Lefkosia 38,8% of the total population
At district level, the largest population increase in 2011 compared to 2001 was recorded in Pafos with a growth rate of 33,0%, followed by Larnaka with 24,4%, Ammochostos with 23,1%, Lemesos with 19,6% and finally Lefkosia with 19,0%.
Climate of Cyprus
Сyprus has a Subtropical climate - Mediterranean and Semi-arid type (in the north-eastern part of island) with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Snow is possible only in the Troodos mountains in the central part of island. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry.
Cyprus has the warmest climate (and warmest winters) in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. The average annual temperature on the coast is around 24 °C (75 °F) during the day and 14 °C (57 °F) at night. Generally - summer's/holiday season lasts about 8 months, begins in April with average temperatures of 21-23 °C (70-73 °F) during the day and 11-13 °C (52-55 °F) at night, ends in November with average temperatures of 22-23 °C (72-73 °F) during the day and 12-14 °C (54-57 °F) at night, although also in remaining 4 months temperatures sometimes exceeds 20 °C (68 °F). Among all cities in the Mediterranean part of the European Union, Limassol has the warmest winters, in the period January-February average temperature is 17-18 °C (63-64 °F) during the day and 8-9 °C (46-48 °F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 16-17 °C (61-63 °F) during the day and 7-9 °C (45-48 °F) at night. In March and December in Limassol average temperatures is 19-20 °C (66-68 °F) during the day and 10-11 °C (50-52 °F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 17-19 °C (63-66 °F) during the day and 8-11 °C (46-52 °F) at night. Middle of summer is usually hot - in the July and August on the coast the average temperature is usually around 33 °C (91 °F) during the day and around 23 °C (73 °F) at night (inside the island, in the highlands average temperature exceeds 35 °C (95 °F)) while in the June and September on the coast the average temperature is usually around 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and around 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. Temperatures inside the island are more stringent, with colder winters and more hot summers compared with the coast of the island.
Average annual temperature of sea is 21-22 °C (70-72 °F), from 17 °C (63 °F) in February to 27-28 °C (81-82 °F) in August (depending on the location). In total 7 months - from May to November - the average sea temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F).
Tourism occupies a dominant position in the economy of Cyprus.
With some of the most popular and cleanest beaches in Europe, much of the tourist industry relies on "sea sun and sand" to attract tourists. This reflects in the seasonal distribution of tourist arrivals with a disproportionate number arriving during the summer months. Whereas most eastern resorts like Protaras and Ayia Napa lie dormant in the winter months the west of the island remains open to tourism with the promotion of Cypriot history culture, art and specialized sports such as golf and tennis has a wider distribution.
The CTO has a status of a semi-governmental organisation charged with overseeing the industry practices and promoting the island as a tourism destination abroad.
Cyprus tucked away in the top right hand corner of the Mediterranean is so close to Europe, Asia and Africa that it rightly, claims to be a stepping stone to three continents.
An island whose rich dramatic history can be traced back over nine thousand years; an island so coveted over the centuries that it has been invaded and claimed by a fascinating mixture of civilizations from near and far all of which have left their culture and shaped its character.
An island whose archaeology stems from the Neolithic Age, the Ancient Greeks and the Roman period; where churches and monasteries still stand from Byzantine times; castles and palaces from the days of Crusaders and Frankish Lusignans and splendid city walls from Venetian days.
An island chosen by the mythical gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece who indulged themselves here in sport pleasure and tragedy; where Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty, emerged from the Pafos foam to become a famous cult figure - centre of attraction for the first visitors who flocked to the island to worship her.
With such a historic and legendary background it is hardly surprising that Cyprus has developed a character which is quite unique. It is blessed with beauty, natural beauty that ranges from golden beaches and rugged coastlines to rolling hills and forest clad mountains, dotted with picturesque villages.