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Many have heard of Cyprus as a wonderful Greek island in the Mediterranean, with beautiful beaches, modern hotels, ancient monuments and extensive resort opportunities. All this is true, except for one thing - Cyprus is not a Greek island. The main share of the population of the Republic of Cyprus is made up of indigenous Greek Cypriots. This is a separate state with a culture related to Greece, the official Greek language and the Christian religion. The northern part of the island has more Muslims. The partially recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is located here. In other words, Cyprus is divided between two ethnic groups - Greeks and Turks.

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Two countries in Cyprus

Even in the Middle Ages, Cyprus was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The confrontation between the two peoples has been going on since 1571. A few years after the independence of Cyprus in 1960, Turkey claimed its rights to the northern part of the island with a military invasion. From this period, about 40% of the land area of Cyprus is occupied by the self-proclaimed, partially recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Thus, Cyprus is territorially divided into two separate states. Between them runs a buffer zone, the so-called Green Line, controlled by UN peacekeepers. It is worth noting that there are two military bases in Cyprus that are under British sovereignty. Cyprus also includes nearby islands:

  • Geronissos
  • Agios Georgios
  • Glukiotissa
  • Kiedes
  • Kila
  • Cordilia
  • Mazaki


Greek Cyprus

Southern Cyprus is inhabited by the descendants of the ancient Achaean Greeks. Traditions, language, cuisine, architectural heritage - all this makes you think about the belonging of Cyprus to the Hellenic Republic. Despite a common history and similar culture, close trade and economic relations and political support from Greece, Cyprus is a separate state. Since 2004, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the European Union and is its end point in the southeast direction.

For tourists, it is the southern (Greek) part of the island that is most attractive. Several large resort cities can be noted here - Larnaca, Ayia Napa, Paphos, Limassol and Protaras. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia, a unique ancient city, within which the state border between north and south passes.

A succession of archeological sites, traditional villages, atmospheric restaurants with an abundance of seafood and modern waterfronts with well-groomed beaches - it's all there in the seaside resorts of the south. The choice of accommodation is unlimited - you can choose from a budget hotel to a luxury all-inclusive hotel.

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Turkey in Cyprus

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is considered partially recognized. As an independent country, only Turkey accepts it today. However, a curious tourist in Northern Cyprus can be very interesting. In the north of the island, two main cities are worth seeing - Kyrenia and Famagusta. As in the southern cities and suburbs, there are a lot of old places and picturesque quarters among which you can wander for hours, admiring every lane. The atmosphere of antiquity, the Turkish decoration of the old streets, traditional taverns, picturesque embankments and virgin beaches of northern Cyprus will certainly conquer you.


How to get to Cyprus

  • Greek. It is much easier to get to the Greek territory of Cyprus than to the Turkish one. Two international airports - in Paphos and Larnaca, receive many flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In addition, South Cyprus can be reached by sea from Greece or Italy. The flight will be less exhausting and more economical than a sea cruise.
  • Turkish. Regarding Turkish Cyprus, things are a little more complicated. In a partially recognized republic, you can fly to the only airport Ercan, which accepts only Turkish flights from Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir. Passenger and car ferries also run from Turkey during the warm period.


How to visit Northern Cyprus

To visit both states of Cyprus in one vacation, you need to choose the Greek part of the island as the main stopover. So you can visit the territory of Turkish Cyprus through the checkpoint. If you originally flew to Northern Cyprus, it is unfortunately impossible to make a legal trip to the south. Such crossing in South Cyprus will be considered criminal entry from the occupied territory.

Checkpoints for visiting Northern Cyprus are located along the border zone, passing from the west (Pyrgos town) to the southeast (Pyla). Most often, tourists prefer to travel north through Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus separated by a border line. So you can see one city from two completely different sides. Nicosia has two pedestrian and one vehicle checkpoints. To enter Turkish Cyprus, you must present a passport. A separate visa is not required.

Cyprus is Turkey and, so to speak, the historical part of Greece. A multi-faceted island where relaxation is not limited to beaches and the sea. The unusual flavor of Cyprus attracts travelers from all over the world. Discover medieval Turkey and Cypriot Greece with their cultural heritage and modern tourist infrastructure.


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