Petrosana Hotel

About Cyprus

Geography

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia (both in terms of area and population). It is also the world’s 81st largest by area and world’s 49th largest by population. It measures 240 kilometres (149 mi) long from end to end and 100 kilometres (62 mi) wide at its widest point, with Turkey 75 kilometres (47 mi) to the north. It lies between latitudes 34° and 36° N, and longitudes 32° and 35° E. Other neighbouring territories include Syria and Lebanon to the east (105 kilometres (65 mi) and 108 kilometres (67 mi), respectively), Israel 200 kilometres (124 mi) to the southeast, Egypt 380 kilometres (236 mi) to the south, and Greece to the northwest: 280 kilometres (174 mi) to the small Dodecanesian island of Kastelorizo (Megisti), 400 kilometres (249 mi) to Rhodes, and 800 kilometres (497 mi) to the Greek mainland. The physical relief of the island is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the smaller Kyrenia Range, and the central plain they encompass, the Mesaoria.

The Mesaoria plain is drained by the Pedieos River, the longest on the island. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The highest point on Cyprus is Mount Olympus at 1,952 m (6,404 ft), located in the centre of the Troodos range. The narrow Kyrenia Range, extending along the northern coastline, occupies substantially less area, and elevations are lower, reaching a maximum of 1,024 m (3,360 ft). Geopolitically, the island is subdivided into four main segments. The Republic of Cyprus occupies the southern two-thirds of the island (59.74%). Northern part of Cyprus (34.85%) is occupied by Turky, and the United Nations-controlled Green Line provides a buffer zone that separates the two and covers 2.67% of the island. Lastly, two bases under British sovereignty are located on the island: Akrotiri and Dhekelia, covering the remaining 2.74%.

Climate

Cyprus has a subtropical climate Mediterranean type, 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 during the day and 11-13 °C at night, ends in November with average temperatures of 22-23 °C during the day and 12-14 °C at night, although also in remaining 4 months temperatures sometimes exceeds 20 °C.

Average annual temperature of sea is 21-22 °C, from 17 °C in February to 27-28 °C in August (depending on the location). In total 7 months from May to November the average sea temperature exceeds 20 °C.

Sunshine hours on the coast is around 3,400 per year, from average 5-6 hours of sunshine / day in December to average 12-13 hours in July. This is about double that of cities in the northern half of Europe, for comparison: London: 1,461, however in winter up to some times more sunshine, for comparison: London has 37 hours while coastal locations in Cyprus has around 180 hours of sunshine in December (that is, as much as in May in London).

Cities of Cyprus

 

Agia Napa – Paralimni


The east coast of the island boasts the best golden sandy beaches as well as the liveliest resorts for fun in the sun and fun when the sun goes down. Once Ayia Napa was a fishing village, today, has become famous for its music scene and thousands of young people come here each summer to enjoy the best in club music and lively nightlife. Agia Napa’s famous historical monument is the Monastery with its 16th century church and the lovely harbour, where the tavernas specialize in fresh fish meze. A marine life museum presents exhibits of past and present marine life. The town of Paralimni with its sea resort of Protaras has long, golden beaches and the coast of Cape Greco with its unusual rock formations nearby will particularly impress. Both, Ayia Napa and Protaras are in the Kokkinochoria area, which means the red soil area, famous for the large percentage (approx. 70%) of potatoes produced.

Lefkosia (Nicosia)


The cosmopolitan capital of Cyprus is a thriving banking and financial centre. A fascinating mixture of old and new, it has a continental feel with its high-rise buildings, popular streets cafes and quality fashion shops in the commercial centre, while its heart (known as Old Nicosia) is enclosed within its 16th century Venetian walls with their eleven heart-shaped bastions. Famagusta gate one of the three original gates to the city was restored by the Municipality of Nicosia in 1981, and has been a successful cultural centre since. A multitude of museums, buildings of historical interest and Churches can be seen and visited in Old Nicosia. The Leventis Municipal Museum, the Cyprus Postal Museum and Cyprus Jewellers Museum are only a few of these. The house of Hadjigeorgakis Kornessios, the most important 18th century building in Nicosia and the Archbishopric also merit a visit, while those who like to explore on foot will no doubt enjoy a leisurely stroll in Laiki Geitonia (Folk Neighbourhood). Also within the walls, this a delightful pedestrian area that has retained the 19th and early 20th century character of its houses through careful restoration. Here narrow streets are lined with shops taverns and artisans’ workshops. Art lovers should spend at the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (which includes and a library and café) and the State Gallery of Conemporary Art. Your visit should not be complete without a visit to the Cyprus Museum (Mouseiou street) for a glimpse into Cyprus’ tumultuous history from the Neolithic Age to the early Byzantine period.

Lemesos (Limassol)


The second largest town in Cyprus, and its most important tourist and wine centre. Best known for its lively nightlife, Limassol is inundated with visitors all year round, but especially for its Carnival and for the annual Wine Festival in early September, where unlimited amounts of wine may be consumed free of charge! Hundreds of hotels and restaurants cater for all tastes and budgets, and the ten-mile Limassol coastline is famed for its bars, nightclubs and discos. In Limassol town centre is the Medieval Fort where Richard the Lionheart is thought to have married Berengaria of Navarre. Just outside Limassol are two of the island’s most important archaeological sites, Amathous to the east and Kourion to the west. Both sites were ancient city-kingdoms. The Graeco-Roman theatre at Kourion is in a spectacular setting with breathtaking views of the sea. Also at Kourion are a number of rooms with beautiful 5th century AD mosaic floors. At Amathous you can see, among others, revealed parts of the Acropolis and Agora areas. 14km west of Limassol (on the road to Pafos) is Kolossi Castle, bestowed by the Lusignan King Hugh I on the Knights of St. John in 1210. The castle was the knights’ commandery and gave its name to the sweet Cypriot dessert wine known as Commandaria.

Larnaca


Larnaca is a major city and one of the six districts in the Republic of Cyprus, which has continuous and uninterrupted history extending for 4000 years. In ancient times, the city and the whole of Cyprus was referred to as Kition, or (in Latin) Citium. The city is located on the southern coast of Cyprus. It has a population of around 75,000 (2001) and it is the third largest city of Cyprus in terms of population. Larnaca holds a major international airport and the island’s second most important commercial port. It has a nice marina for yachts and is an important tourist resort. Larnaca International Airport is situated to the south of the city and island’s oil refinery is to the north of the city. The ‘Phinikoudes’ is Larnaca’s main tourist attraction. This is a strip of cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants on the beach front which particularly gets crowded during the summer months. Larnaca is famous for its beautiful sea front. The city has an efficient tourist infrastructure, so enjoy the clean sandy beaches with clear blue waters and make this a holiday to remember.

Paphos and district


Paphos was the capital of Cyprus in Roman times – port for pilgrims visiting the Shrine of Aphrodite. Rapidly gaining importance as a tourist centre since the opening of the Paphos International Airport. Places of interest: The Harbour, first built in the time of Alexander the Great; the Castle, rebuilt in 1592 AD; St. Paul’s Pillar to which St. Paul was tied and scourged; the Tombs of the Kings; the mosaics of the third century AD, the finest in the Mediterranean. Nearby. The Petra tou Romiou, where Aphrodite emerged from the waves; Kouklia (old Pafos) and the Temple of Aphrodite. The forest, home of the moufflon, emblem of Cyprus Airways; neighbouring banana plantations and vineyards.

The Hill Resorts


Platres – The principal mountain resort in the Troodos Mountains, height 3,700 feet. Places of interest: Nearby, Monastery of Machaira; Monastery of Mesopotamos; Monastery of Kyko, with its icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary painted by St. Luke; the forests and scenic panoramas. Throni tis Panayias, the tomb of the late Archbishop Makarios. Prodhromos – 3,600 ft., the principal village of the Marathasa valley; main chery growing area, the massed blossom appearing in April. Ancient church of Archangel Michael. Moutoulas – 2,500 ft., the water from the village spring is said to be the best in Cyprus and is available in bottled form and even exported. The best pears come from the district; impressive chapel of the Virgin Mary built in 1279. Kalopanayiotis – 2,500 ft., best known for its sulphur springs and their beneficial effects on digestive disorders, skin and rheumatic conditions. Kakopetria – 2,200 ft., a picturesque village on the north east slopes of the Troodos mountains at the head of the fertile Solea valley where much fruit is produced. Agros – at 1,010 metres, centre of the Pitsilia region. Famous for its rosewater and quality fruit.