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Cyprus seduces visitors to its nation by boasting a Mediterranean climate, an idyllic coastline, and a rich, colourful history - that still holds traces from the Roman Empire and ancient Greece.
As the birthplace of Aphrodite - the goddess of beauty and love - the nation not only stimulates the imagination with its dramatic landscapes and ruins such as the spellbinding Bellapais Abbey, but also tastebuds with its array of fresh cuisine - it's no wonder that many relocate to its shores.
Things to do
With an array of sandy and pebble beaches, rugged coastal cliffs, steep forested mountain ranges, ancient ruins and hilly green valleys, there is something for everyone.
If you're looking for sporty excursions such as underwater diving or horse-riding are available in resorts such as Paphos. If, however, you prefer to explore the vast, picturesque countryside, there is the opportunity do so by hiring out vehicles such as buggies and jeeps.
Not only does Cyprus satisfy those with a taste for adventure, but also those looking to go time-travelling. The nation is a treasure trove of ancient ruins and historical treasures. One city famed for its classical remains is Paphos. Here, history buffs can uncover Cyprus' tumultuous past through discovering ancient palaces, villas and Roman mosaics.
St. Hilarion Castle in Kyrenia is another interesting location to visit. The castle, built on the site of an old monastery, is famed for its dramatic appearance and its state of ruin has been a source of inspiration for numerous historical film sets. Also in Kyrenia are the remains of Bellapais Monastery, which boasts impressive views, a wonderful museum and is also known to host the occasional music festival.
Places to eat
Foodies will be spoilt for choice in Cyprus. Most towns and villages are home to tavernas which serve up local delights like moussaka and traditional souvlaki eateries are great for grilled meat kebabs and mixed platters. They are a great way of experiencing the authentic side of Cypriot culture.
If looking to move to this island nation, consuming delicacies such as calamari, halloumi, hummus and the pork dish, afelia are likely to become a common occurrence. Those who get serious midnight munchies can rejoice in knowing that there is no shortage of 24 hour bakeries that produce freshly baked breads and sweet rolls around the clock. Coastal restaurants also serve a whole host of freshly caught fish for visitors to sink their teeth into.
The more sweet-toothed among us will not be disappointed with indulgent honey treats such as melomakarona, kataifi and baklava to tuck in to. Health conscious individuals should not feel disheartened as there is an abundance of fresh fruit to be found on the island.
As in the UK, you'll be able to find high street favourites Topshop and Zara, as well as designer boutiques Gucci and Fendi and modern shopping malls - packed with all the usual stores intended to beckon attention - in major town centres like Nicosia and Limassol. Aside from mainstream fashion, curious shoppers can find an array of handmade goodies, from pottery to lace and wood carvings to get their hands on. Smaller villages and towns such as Phini are great for nabbing beautiful handcraft pieces - and usually, you'll be able to watch in awe as the artisans are hard at work.
Away from retail goods, local food markets are a favourite among locals for purchasing fresh, high quality produce. Notable markets include the market at The Old Municipal Square of Nicosia, the Duck Pond market and the Latin Parish Market in Paphos - selling either a range of food or odd wares.
For European travellers, the easiest way to get into Cyprus is by air. With two international airports: Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport, locals and visitors are well-connected and in easy reach of many other countries.
Since there is no rail network in place, the best method of travelling around the country would be by bus - intercity buses conveniently link all major towns at regular intervals on popular routes. Taxis can also be used to travel around the island. Typically, urban taxis will honk at intervals to show that they are accepting fares. Although expensive, it can be an easy way to discover many of the island's charming, rustic villages and towns.
The good news for those looking to drive in Cyprus is that Cypriots drive on the left-hand side of the road - so one less thing to worry about!
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