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Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languageGreek, Turkish
Area9.251 km²
Population1,222,002  (2021)
Currencyeuro  (EUR)

Cities in CYPRUS

Nicosia (lefkosia)Paphos

Vacations and Sightseeing

Tourism, which is heavily promoted by the government, was mainly concentrated around Famagusta and Kyrenia before 1974. After that, it largely moved to the south and southwest coasts around Páphos. In 1974, about 90% of the tourist hotels came under Turkish control. However, partly due to new construction, the tourism sector in the Greek part has been able to expand considerably again. The number of tourists increased sixfold between 1980 and 1995 to about 2.1 million per year, which accounts for 12% of the gross national product. The number of Dutch people holidaying in Cyprus in 1996 was 49,000. In the Turkish part, visits from abroad are mainly limited to Turks from the mainland.

Since the elimination of the Nicosia airport in 1974, the new Lanarka international airport serves Greek Cyprus. There is also another airport near Páphos; the Turkish part of Cyprus has the Ercan airport. The airline Cyprus Airways operates services to Europe and to most countries in the Middle East. Limassol and Larnaca took over the role of Famagusta, officially closed to international shipping, as the main port after 1974. Since 1952, Cyprus has no railways, but the road network is good. Of the more than 10,000 km (1991), more than half are paved. The two parts of the island have separate transport systems. Highways connect the capital Nicosia with Kyrenia and Limassol.

Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia, is the divided capital of the island of Cyprus. Despite the division, it is one of the richest cities in Europe, a modern city with a cosmopolitan feel and a rich history. As Nicosia's history shows, the city's defensive walls have been of great importance. If you land in Nicosia by plane on a clear day, you can see the walls. The walls provide access to the historic centre of the Cypriot capital and are almost completely intact in both the north and south of the city. Some parts of the wall date back to the Middle Ages. There are eleven bastions in the wall, six of which are in the Turkish part of Nicosia. The Musalla bastion houses the National Battle Museum. The Selimiye Mosque is housed in the former St. Sophia Cathedral. The church was built in 1193 by order of King Amaury and has had a religious function ever since. The marble from the original structure has been incorporated into the north entrance of the mosque. This building is the focal point of the northern part of Nicosia. It is an imposing building with beautiful carvings as we know from European cathedrals. The towers now serve as minarets. You could see it as a strong example of recycling.

Paphos is a port city on the west coast of the island. Sights in Paphos are plentiful; a first walk through the city is likely to provide you with plenty of new impressions and many photos. It's not without reason that the city as a whole has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has also been named European Capital of Culture for the year 2017. You can see ancient Roman mosaics, the Ayia Solomoni underground church, the castle, the ruins of the old city centre and more.


Bulmer, R. / Cyprus Kosmos-Z&K

Het Spectrum

Haan-van de Wiel, W.H. de / Cyprus Gottmer

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info