Cyprus: events, national customs, climate
|January 1||New Year|
|February 6||Green Monday (Carnival)|
|25th March||Greek National Day|
|April 1||Cypriot National Day|
|April 21||Greek Orthodox Good Friday|
|April 24||Greek Orthodox Easter Monday|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|12th of May||Pentecost|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|October 1||Cypriot Independence Day|
|28th of October||Greek National Day|
National holidays May 3 (constitution of 1791) and November 11 (regaining independence in 1918).
Most holidays are religious, like Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, All Saints’ Day, Assumption Day, Christmas etc. Immovable holidays are January 1st (New Year) and May 1st (Labor Day).
Source: Countryaah – Cyprus Holidays
|Date||kind of event|
|February||Carnival in Limassol. It is a legacy of the Venetians and begins 60 days before Orthodox Easter.|
|May||Anthestiria flower festival all over the island, especially in Larnaca and Paphos|
|Pentecost||Kataklysmos (musical performances, fair, boat races), Larnaca|
|September||Wine festival in Limassol|
From July to September, the ancient theaters of Kourion and Paphos regularly host open air concerts and theater performances.
|Date||kind of event|
|February||International Ski Championships, Troodos|
|May||FIA World Rally Championship, start in Limassol|
|October||Cyprus Republic Cup (horse racing), Nicosia|
|autumn||Autumn Cup (horse racing), Nicosia|
In the villages in particular, the centuries-old customs and traditions have at least partially survived. In Lefkara, traditional patterns are used to embroider and lace, while the tradition of pottery is maintained in Phini. In the old towns you can still find inconspicuous small workshops where silver and coppersmiths pursue their craft.
If you see a woman sitting in a coffee house, it is almost certainly a tourist – these places called “kafeneia” are still reserved for men today. Something other than mocha is seldom drunk here, and there are not many differences from village to village and from kafeneion to kafeneion when it comes to pastimes: either tavla (backgammon) is played or a simplified version of rummy.
In churches men and women sit strictly separated; appropriate clothing is desirable; Crossed legs are acknowledged with a frown.
Overall, however, “Westernization”, tourism and increasing prosperity have largely destroyed the characteristic “otherness” of Cyprus. Thirty years ago, there were more donkeys than cars in the villages, and there were no supermarkets, kindergartens or old people’s homes; nude bathing was strictly forbidden, and young women could not even go to a restaurant, let alone a bar or discotheque, without the company of a male relative. All of that has changed.
The best time to travel to Cyprus
The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who, for example, want to spend a pure beach holiday. The state of health or age can also play an important role.
For sun seekers
For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems, the following times are particularly suitable for a stay in the country: May to October.
For people who prefer
a temperate climate People who prefer a temperate climate and lower temperatures should better use the following times to stay in Cyprus: November to April
The following table shows a range of climate data for Cyprus. It should be noted, however, that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ considerably from one another and thus also from the values shown. In addition, such monthly temperature averages say little about the possible current minimum or maximum temperatures. It is not uncommon for average temperatures of around 25 °C to reach maximum values of 35 °C or even more on a number of days. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in Cyprus.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that CY stands for the nation of Cyprus as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Ruins of Paphos
In and near Paphos there are a variety of ancient ruins worth seeing. These include the “royal tombs” from the 3rd century BC. Or the Roman houses (2nd-3rd century), which are decorated with precious floor mosaics. All the ruins of Paphos were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980. In total there are the following ruins:
– Stavros tou Ayiasmati
The Byzantine church of Stavros tou Ayiasmati dates back to 1491, it is now a little over 5 km from Platres after the church was moved in 1930..
– Panayia tou Araka
Die Panayia tou Araka church dates from the 12th century. It is located near the village of Lagoudera. The frescoes are from 1192 and their style is Byzantine.
– Timiou Stavrou in Pelendri
The church is located about 10 km from Agros 10 km, it was founded in 1171. There are paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries. Century. Special attention deserves the representation of the “world ruler” and a silver cross with relief work.
– Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis
The church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis has a very low roof. The frescoes date from the 11th – 17th centuries and this church and the church of Asinou are arguably the most important Byzantine churches on the island. – Panayia Podithou The church was built in 1502 and its frescoes have a very distinct style. – Asinou
This “barn roof church” – the Panagia Phorbiotissa – is rather insignificant from the outside. Inside, however, the frescoes are surprisingly well preserved. The cycle of images shows scenes from the life of Christ – including his birth, baptism, crucifixion and ascension.
– Ayios loannis Lampadistis
The Lampadisti monastery churches in Kalopanagioti cannot be reached by car. You have to walk to the other side of the valley and you will find three churches there that are connected. Two of the churches date from the 12th century, the larger monastery church was rebuilt in the 18th century. The churches are known for their icon collection, here you can find heraldic animals of the Byzantines – lion and eagle.
– Panayia tou Moutoula
The church with a wooden gable roof was built in the 13th century .
– Archangel Michael in Pedhoulas
This church is dedicated to Archangel Michael. It is completely painted with beautiful frescoes.
Painted churches in the Tróodos area
Only in the Tróodos Mountains are there churches from Byzantine times that look like barns from the outside, but inside they are decorated with noble decorations and their walls are painted with wonderful frescoes. One of these beautifully decorated buildings is the “Kykkos” monastery. It is located at an altitude of about 1,300 m in the Troodos Mountains and dates from the years 1095 to 1110. It is located near the town of Pedoulas. The Kykkos Monastery burned down four times over the centuries. According to legend, a bird is said to have initiated the construction of the monastery as a shrine for the icon of the Virgin Mary. The icon is covered with gold and silver.
The painted churches were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 and expanded in 2001
Archaeological site Choirokoitia
The Stone Age site Choirokoitia was already 7,000 years BC. Settled. During excavations, numerous remains of round houses and a city wall were found. Some of these houses were reconstructed and the reproduced Stone Age objects show the life of the people of that time. The oldest church is the Marienkirche of Moutoullas, it was built in 1280. In the other monastery churches – Kakopetria, Asinou and Lagoudera – there are wonderful frescoes that come from Constantinople, such as the cycle of pictures in the Holy Cross Church, which depicts Christian scenes.
The Choirokoitia archaeological site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.
Landmarks in Lanarka
Hala Sultan Tekke
The palm-framed Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque was built in 1816 on the grave of Imm Haram, who is said to have died in 649 here. According to legend, she was a relative of the Prophet Mohammed. After Mecca, Medina and Aksha, Tekke is the fourth most important pilgrimage site in the Islamic world and is definitely worth a visit. The salt lake, on the banks of which the mosque is located, is the home of flamingos every year in winter, and they obviously find it particularly beautiful here. 3 km from Larnaca, near the airport
This 18th century aqueduct, which is located near Larnaka, used to bring water to the upper part of the city.
The remains of the oldest Cypriot settlement from 5,800 BC. BC (Neolithic) are a cultural site that has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Approx. 30 km from Larnaka.
Church of St. Lazarus
According to legend, St. Lazarus was the first bishop of Kition. His grave is under the choir of the famous Byzantine St. Lazarus Church (9th century) in Larnaka, built in the 9th century by order of Louis VI. The iconostasis that separates the altar from the main part of the church is an excellent example of baroque wood carving. Every year eight days before Easter, the icon of Saint Lazarus is carried in procession through the streets of Larnaca. Ayios Lazaros Square
Larnaka Archaeological Museum
This interesting museum on Kalogreon Square shows collections of finds from Larnaka and the surrounding area, dating back to the Neolithic, but also dating back to the Romanesque period.
Larnaka Fort (Turkish Fort)
The fort was built in 1625 on the spot where a Venetian structure had previously stood. It was used as a prison during the British colonial rule. Today it houses a small archaeological museum where finds from Kiti and Hala Sultan Tekke can be viewed.
The Pierdes Museum in Larnaka shows an impressive private collection of Cypriot antiquities.
ca. 40 km from Larnaca and picturesquely situated on a mountain peak, Stavrovouni (translated: Cross Mountain) was founded in the 4th century by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who is said to have left a fragment of the Holy Cross to the monastery. The monks living here are extremely conservative and careful to keep historical vows; unfortunately only male visitors are allowed in.
Attractions in Limassol
Limassol Archaeological Museum
The museum’s collections provide deep insights into the cultural history of the Limassol district. The exhibits go back to the time between the Neolithic and the Eastern Roman Empire.
Limassol Castle (now Medieval Museum)
The castle was built in the 13th century on the foundations of an earlier Byzantine castle. Richard the Lionheart is said to have married Berengaria of Navarre here in 1191 and crowned her Queen of England. After the fortress was owned by the Order of St. John from 1292, it is now home to the Limassol Medieval Museum.
A visit to the beach promenade, which is so charmingly hidden between the Mediterranean Sea and a cozy park, is also highly recommended. The promenade is particularly attractive due to the numerous modern works of art that have been put up there.
The Limassol Ethnological Museum has a magnificent collection of Cypriot handicrafts, household items and costumes.
Attractions in Nicosia
The southern Greek Cypriot part of Nicosia, the only still divided capital in the world, is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus, while the northern Turkish Cypriot part of the city is the capital of the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The division of Nicosia into two parts also corresponds to the division of the entire island of Cyprus and found an architectural fixation in the so-called Green Line. This border, unofficially called Attila Line or officially United Nations Buffer Zone, runs for about 180 kilometers (from Kato Pyrgos to Famagusta) and through the middle of Nicosia’s old town.
This Green Line separates the island of Cyprus into a southern or Greek Cypriot part – controlled by the Republic of Cyprus – and a northern or Turkish Cypriot part controlled by the separatist Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The border dividing the city and island was established in 1964 and runs through the middle of Nicosia. Its establishment is linked to Major-General Peter Young, the then commander of the Peace Force. He had stationed his troops in different parts of Nicosia and used to draw the (at his time still “imaginary”) border on plans with a green pen. Through the invasion of the Turks in 1974, during which about 37% of the island was occupied by the Turks in response to a short-lived coup in Cyprus,
With the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the border became a fix. Up until 2003, crossing the border was more than complicated, but since then it has been easy to get behind the border observed by the UN peacekeeping forces in several places. Around 100,000 people live along the Green Line in several villages and on numerous farms. Pyla is the only village in all of Cyprus where Turkish and Greek Cypriots live together peacefully.
You can find a detailed and well-structured representation of the city of Nicosia here >>>.
The old town is certainly the main attraction for visitors to Nicosia. The southern part is characterized by a very lively atmosphere, which increases especially around the Famagusta gate. Restaurants, traditional shops and cafes characterize this part of the old town. Those who are enthusiastic about modern boutiques and shops should follow Ledra Street from Platía Eleftherías (= Freedom Square) to the Green Line. But most tourists can be found in Laikí Jitoniá.
The Arabahmet mosque, which is said to have kept a strand of hair of the Prophet Mohammed, dates back to the 17th century.
Monument The Liberation Monument, which rises on the Podokataro Bastion, was erected shortly after the British colonial rulers gained independence in 1960.
Cyprus Classic Motorcycle Museum
Friends of motorized two-wheelers will get their money’s worth in this museum, as the Cypriot history of this vehicle is presented here.
Cyprus Museum (Archaeological Museum)
Arch. Kyprianos Square
The museum houses the largest collection of icons in Cyprus (9th to 18th centuries). The art galleries display paintings, maps, lithographs, etc.
In 1872 Nicosia’s probably largest church was built. At the time of its construction, this part of the city was still under Turkish rule.
House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornessios
Patriarch Gregoriou St. Most
important 18th century house in Nicosia. The translator Hadjigeorgakis Kornessios once lived here. The house was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize in 1988 (European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage).
The Icon Museum, which shows around 150 representations of saints, has been located in a part of the Archbishop’s Palace.
built in 1662 and elevated to the status of a cathedral in the 18th century, the John’s Cathedral still impresses every visitor to the Cypriot capital.
Caravanserai Büyük Han
This old caravanserai was established by the Turks in 1572. This makes it the oldest Turkish building on Cyprus.
This mosque of Nicosias was once a cathedral, which was built in the 13th century as Hagia Sophia, but was converted into an Islamic house of worship by the Turks in 1571.
State Museum of Contemporary Art on the
corner of Stassinos Ave. and Crete St.
Representative collection of paintings and sculptures by Cypriot artists of the 20th century.
Sultan Mahmut Library
A large collection of Islamic manuscripts can be seen in the SMB.
Venetian fortress wall
This wall measures almost five kilometers in length and dates back to 1567 and 1568. With the help of its eleven bastions, the fortress wall encloses the old town.
Attractions in Paphos
Castle of Paphos
This medieval castle stands directly at the harbor and is probably the symbol of Paphos. In 1592 the Turks restored the fortress that had been abandoned by the Venetians.
Attractions in Northern Cyprus (Turkish)
Old town of Famgusta
The old town of Famgusta is surrounded by medieval walls that are very well preserved. Two of the original approaches still exist: Porta del Mare (The Sea Gate) and Ravalin/Akkule Bastion (The Land Gate).
Salamis ‘ancient ruins
The ruins of ancient Salamis, which was once Cyprus’ richest and largest city, are surrounded by pine groves and dunes. The “metropolis”, which is one of the most important cities in the Levant, had more than 100,000 residents and a size of around 8 square kilometers in its heyday. Part of the city has been excavated and made accessible to today’s visitor. Important and interesting components of the system include:
- Royal tombs
- Theater (designed for 15,000 spectators)
- Thermal baths
- Thermen-Gymnasium (impresses with magnificent marble columns)
- Toilet facilities
- Remains of two early Christian basilicas
Ruined city of Soli
The ancient ruined city of Soli is located northwest of Nicosia and inspires, among other things, with the ancient (and now reconstructed) Roman theater and an early Christian basilica.
Fortress of Kyrenia (Girne)
The age of Kyrenia Castle, the castle at the port of Kyrenia (Girne in Turkish), could not be determined exactly until today. It was first mentioned in 1191 AD, but it is believed that it was mentioned between 111 and 11 BC. BC and was later expanded by the Franks and Venetians. Today it is in an excellent restored condition.
The Girnetor in the Turkish part of Nicosia was once part of the earlier Venetian city fortifications.
Museum of Turkish Folk Art
The Museum of Turkish Folklore in Nicosia is located in the former dervish monastery Mevlevi Tekkesi, which dates back to the 17th century.
This medieval fort watches over Famagusta and the harbor. Shakespeare made Famagusta the backdrop for his famous play; artistic freedom let him make Othello a Moor, but in fact Othello was a Venetian governor (beginning of the 16th century).
Swedish archaeologists have excavated the Vouni Royal Palace, which dates back to the 5th century BC. Was built by a Persian governor.
This is an impressive castle ruin, which is enthroned at an altitude of 950 meters in the Besparmak Mountains.
North-east of Kyrenia, Bellapais Abbey (13th century) is picturesquely situated on a mountain slope and is considered one of the most beautiful and most important Gothic buildings in the Middle East. After the British writer Lawrence Durrell, who lived in Cyprus for a long time, bought a house very close to the monastery, he himself considered it an “act of audacity” to settle in a place of such grandiose beauty. Above the monastery is the picturesque village of Bellapais with its narrow streets and small cafes; Here, the stressed cultural tourist can enjoy peace, relaxation and the view of Kyrenia and the turquoise blue sea.
Selimiye Mosque (St. Sophia Cathedral)
The most important mosque in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia was once a Christian church. The original construction of the cathedral was completed in 1325 and, after the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus in the 16th century, the minarets were added, from which there is an excellent view of Nicosia.
St. Andrew’s Monastery
The St. Andrew’s Monastery is a well-known Cypriot pilgrimage site, which is based on the legend that the Apostle Andrew cut a spring out of the rock here.
Agia Napa Monastery
A bit in contrast to the actually very party-oriented Agia Napa, this monastery from the year 1500 rises venerably above the city. It should be the only cultural attraction of the bathing town.
Amathus – located 11 km east of Limassol – is one of the oldest royal cities and, according to legend, was founded by a son of Hercules. Not a legend, but a scientifically proven fact that Amathus was settled at least 3,000 years ago. The city was built on the cliffs and offered a breathtaking view of the sea. – Much later, in 1869, blocks of stone from Amathus were used to build the Suez Canal. Cypriot and French archaeologists have been working on the excavations since 1988. The acropolis, Aphrodite’s temple, the market, the city walls, the basilica and the harbor have already been uncovered. Several objects that the archaeologists found during this work can now be admired in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Kolossi Castle – km west situated 14 of Limassol on the road to Paphos – is a striking example of military architecture. Originally built in the 13th century; New building two centuries later. Initially served as the command post of the Order of the Knights Templar, later as the headquarters of the Knightly Order of St. John of Jerusalem, better known as the “Order of Malta”.
Kourion is about 19 km west of Limassol on the road to Paphos
The excavations of the ancient kingdom of Kourion are among the most interesting sights in Cyprus. The magnificent Greco-Romanesque amphitheater, for example, which has been wonderfully restored here, was built between the 2nd century BC. Between the 2nd and 2nd centuries AD, concerts and theater performances are held here in the summer. The “House of Eustolios”, another excavation, was originally a private villa and was used as a public recreation center in early Christian times. Several with mosaic floors from the 5th century AD and some bathrooms were uncovered. The “House of” Achilles “and the” House of Gladiators “also have beautiful mosaic floors. It is assumed that the early Christian basilica from the 5th century AD.
The sacred building located 20 km west of Pedhoulas is the most famous and wealthiest monastery in Cyprus. Founded in 1100, it has one of the three surviving icons that Saint Luke is said to have painted. Makarios III served here as a novice as a young man. At his own request, he was buried in Throni, 3 km from the Kykko Monastery.
Mavi Köşk, a house built in 1957 by the Greek Cypriot Byron Pavlides, is still an insider tip. Pavlides, who was considered a smuggler by the Turkish army, not only built this interesting Blue House, but also the White House on the road to St Hilarion Castle.
North-west of Paphos is the Akamas Nature Reserve. Here you will find peace, beautiful views and a unique fauna and flora, including more than 150 species of birds. Hundreds of giant tortoises breed here in summer.
This absolute must for every interested nature lover can rightly be called the “Green Lungs of Cyprus”. The highest mountain, the 1.951 meter high Olympus, offers ski lifts and skiing opportunities, which seems very bizarre when you think about the rest of the landscape and climatic conditions in Cyprus.
This is Cyprus’ center of beach culture and nightlife. The lido in the east of the island attracts with its beautiful beaches, the most wonderful of which are probably Nissi Beach (but quite loud) and Makronisos Beach. Another beautiful beach is Grecian Bay, close to the city center.
More beautiful beaches can be found in Protaras, which is a little south of Famagusta. The beaches there are a lot smaller than those in Agia Napa.
Besparmak Mountains (Northern Cyprus) The
“Five Finger Mountains ” are a fascinating, wooded range of hills characterized by steep and rugged rocky peaks.
Karpasia Peninsula (Northern Cyprus)
The coasts of the peninsula are among the last retreats for the endangered sea turtles.
According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. She is also one of the twelve Olympic deities.
In Roman mythology it is Venus. According to mythology, she is the daughter of Uranus, the father of the titans and three Cyclops. Uranos’ genitals were cut off by his own son Kronos, the father of Zeus – at the insistence of his mother Gaia, the personified earth – and thrown into the sea. From the union of the blood and the semen with the foaming sea Aphrodite was born.
Zephyros – the embodiment of the west wind – first brought them to Kythera, an island of around 280 km² off the southern tip of the Peloponnese.