Cyprus is known for a great many things, starting with it being the presumed birthplace of Aphrodite. Local wine, cheese, wildlife, historical monuments, and natural attractions all deserve a mention as well. The island is famous as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Although not all things it’s known for are positive, there is no doubt that it’s a safe, and interesting place for tourists.
What Cyprus Is Known For: Top 7 Things Every Tourist Should Know
Cyprus is blessed by the goddess of love
The legend tells how Aphrodite, the Ancient Greek goddess of love and fertility, was born on the shores of Cyprus. You can visit the exact spot supposedly touched by the divine. It’s located between two popular tourist cities, Paphos and Limassol. The place is called Petra tou Rimou.
The Mount Olympus is also located on Cyprus. So, if you feel like delving deeper into fascinating Ancient Greek mythology, you can climb the mountain the gods were said to live on. However, it’s unlikely you’ll meet any. But you can ski down the slopes of this mountain during the short winter season the island has. As the weather here is warm even in winter, you might take a walk down the beach on the same day as well.
The multitude of historic sites in Paphos
To many people, Cyprus is known for being ‘that island where Paphos is located’. And there’s good reason to why this city is as famous (to some more famous) than the entire island. That reason is that the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you are planning Cyprus holidays, a visit to Paphos should definitely be in your itinerary. In fact, you might make it your default destination. Some of the best Cyprus hotels and resorts are located here.
Paphos houses unique and infinitely precious relics from different historical periods. The Roman mosaics in this city are the best preserved and most numerous in the world. The Tombs of the Kings date back to the 4th century B.C. and are made of solid rock. The list goes on and you’ll definitely enjoy discovering every interesting detail about this magnificent city.
Cyprus is known for being safe
That’s not a thing one can often hear about popular holiday destinations, but Cyprus is one of the safest places in the world. Crimes do happen, but they are petty, minor, and rarely result in severe losses.
However, for all the safety of Cyprus for tourists, its roads aren’t safe for anyone. The island has the highest rate of dangerous road accidents in the EU. Reckless driving is the norm here, so both drivers and pedestrians should be wary and exceedingly careful.
The wildlife of Cyprus is rich and largely unique
Cyprus is known for its beautiful nature. However, few people who come here to enjoy sandy beaches and great parties of Ayia Napa understand how special local nature is. The wildlife of Cyprus is rich and includes many species that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet. Today there are many groups fighting for their preservation and restoration.
They seem to be succeeding if the increased population of Cyprus mouflon sheep is any indication. This sheep is the symbol of Cyprus and it was nearly pushed to extinction. Only about 15 animals were left because they were actively hunted in the 1930s. Today there are over 2000 mouflon and hopefully their population will grow further. Same goes for the 140 species of flowering plants that only exist in the wild in Cyprus.
Cyprus is the capital of halloumi cheese
Cyprus is known for delicious foods, but its signature treat is halloumi cheese. It’s a very popular type of cheese made from goat or sheep milk, or a mix of both. The cheese is so delicious and easy to make, many people make it at home and even add cow’s milk to the mix.
However, only the halloumi cheese made in Cyprus is considered the ‘real halloumi’. This is because it’s recognized as a traditional Cypriot product.
The oldest wine is from Cyprus
One of the main reasons why Cyprus is known among foodies is that it has an excellent selection of wines. Every tourist should enjoy these local treasures as they complement delicious Cypriot foods perfectly. Local wineries are so interesting and beautiful, excursions to them are some of the most popular among tourists.
Cyprus has every right to be proud of its wines as the history of this beverage here dates back millennia. The oldest named wine in the world, Commandaria, is over 5000 years old. You definitely shouldn’t miss on trying that while on your Cyprus holidays.
Cyprus has one of the most interesting diving spots on the planet
There are no coral reefs or unique underwater structures here, yet Cyprus is known for its diving. The reason for this is called MS Zenobia, which sank near the shore in 1980. Today, diving to explore the luxurious ship hidden underwater is on the top of ‘things to do when in Cyprus’ list. The wreckage is recognized as one of the Top 10 Wreck Dives.
The story of Zenobia is an actual mystery as the legend has it that no official investigation ever took place. That’s surely a surprise as not only did it sink on its maiden journey. But it’s also believed that the ship’s cargo at the time was worth roughly £200 million. That’s not counting the cost of the ship itself.
Things Cyprus Is Known For: Dozens More to Look Forward To
Cyprus is a beautiful and interesting island filled with treasures. Some of them are hidden and many right before you to admire. Discovering them while exploring the island is a magnificent adventure you are sure to remember forever.