Cyprus


Cyprus is a nice and relaxing country. I visited the city of Larnaca and the island's best beach resort, Ayia Napa. The general vibe is similar to Greece, but with a livelier atmosphere and more ethnically diverse people (as well as more signs in English, due to the country's colonial past). Pretty cool.

Larnaca has a nice promenade that comes alive at night with live music, restaurants, cafes, shops and lots of people enjoying themselves. The city beach looked pretty nice as well. The Larnaca Salt Lake, which dries up in Summer, is an interesting geographical feature that used to provide one of the country's main exports in older times.

In Larnaca you'll find the Church of Saint Lazarus, which was built over the reputed second tomb of biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany (who had fled to Cyprus to escape persecution after being resurrected by Jesus, and went on to live there for another thirty years, as the story goes). You can also visit the tomb of Saint Lazarus, located under the church.

Ayia Napa has fabulous beaches with fine white sand, warm and intense blue waters and all the amenities you need: water sports facilities, cool beach bars, beach chairs and umbrellas, etc. The resort presents innumerable ways to have fun at night, from cool clubs with great music to countless dining options, a theme park, shops, cafes and lots more. Nissi beach is the island's best, with other cool spots including Makronissos and Sandy Bay beaches. A quick trip to nearby Cape Greco features some cool scenic landscapes.

The road from Larnaca to Ayia Napa passes through Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area, one of two British overseas territories located on Cyprus island, which is kind of interesting (the other one is Akrotiri SBA, located to the East); both include British military bases and installations. There are no controls or formalities for crossing.

Another unique political feature of Cyprus is the status of the Northern part of the country, a self-declared state recognized by Turkey alone, and which is not under the control of the Cyprus Government; there's a UN-controlled buffer zone between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the country. I did not enter Northern Cyprus, though.

Cyprus is also the only EU member which is geographically located in Asia.

Food is good, with local delicacy grilled halloumi cheese being my favorite by far; I had it with almost every meal while on the island. Local versions of halva were also very good, as were the island's olives and the sweet commandaria wine.

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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Cyprus

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