Written by Roseanne Bradley,
13th March 2023

Are you considering buying property in Cyprus? Perhaps you’re moving there? Or maybe, you’re just interested to learn a little more about the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here, I’ve gathered 10 weird and wonderful facts about Cyprus for you to have a flick through. Who knows, one could maybe be a conversation starter when you get there?

1. Cyprus is warmer than most of Europe all-year round

Cyprus has a subtropical climate which is semi-arid. The average mean temperature for the year varies but is usually around the 18°C mark. Summers in Cyprus are usually enjoyed between the months of May and October. Temperatures have been known to reach 32°C and are usually hot and dry. In fact, for up to three months of the year Cypriots enjoy up to 13 hours of sunshine, how bliss!

Winters last from November to mid-March which are rather changeable but often mild and rainy in mountainous areas. The average temperature in November is usually 22.7°C and its lowest (16°C) in January.

Parasols along a Cyprus beach

2. It has Europe’s longest beach season

Coming off the back of the last point, Cyprus enjoys up to 340 days on sun every year due to its profitable southeaster position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. This makes the island’s beach seasons some of Europe’s longest.

Notable beaches in Cyprus include Coral Bay, Nissi Beach, Atki Olympion, Konnos Bay Beach, Fig Tree Beach, Makronissos Beach and Lara Beach.

An ancient drawing of Cleopatra on a paper scroll

3. Cyprus was once given as a gift to Cleopatra

Yes, Cyprus was once given as a gift to Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, from her beau Julius Caesar and then by Mark Anthony in 40 BC. Talk about a great Valentine’s Day gift!

The second gift-giving came about after Julius Caesar’s death when Roman general Mark Anthony paid a visit to Cleopatra in Egypt and sought out financial aid for his military campaigns.

The pair quickly became romantically involved and Mark Anthony gifted the Queen of Egypt Cyprus, which was hers until the fall of the Egyptian Empire when Cyprus once again, belonged to Rome.

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4. Lots of Cypriots speak Greek

Lots of Cypriots, identify as Greek – this is due to the country’s Ancient Greek origins, which locals have remained loyal to. Most Cypriots speak Greek, despite it being 1,117km from Greece.

If you’re interested in learning Greek, check out our guide on how to learn a language without going back to school.

Booking flights to Cyprus from Europe is easy

5. It’s extremely well connected to Europe

There are two airports in Cyprus – one in Larnaca and one in Paphos. Limassol is approximately in the middle of the two.

There are frequent flights to a large number of locations across Europe from Larnaca. Flight times are as follows…

  • London, UK: 4h 40m
  • Athens, Greece: 1h 40m
  • Vienna, Austria: 3h 5m
  • Munich, Germany: 3h 20m
  • Krakow, Poland: 3h 15

Wild mouflon in Cyprus

6. Its national symbol is the mouflon

A mouflon is a wild sheep that’s native to Cyprus, Turkey, Armenia, Iran and Azerbaijan. It’s believed that the mouflon is the ancestor of all domestic sheep breeds.

While you might recognise the mouflon from the Cyprus national rugby team’s logo, the Cypriot mouflon is a strictly protected species in the Habitats directive of the EU.

Commandaria wine sold locally in Cyprus against the vineyard. Image: Chrispictures via Shutterstock

7. It is home to the world’s oldest wine label

Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine that originates from Cyprus. It’s the world’s oldest wine label which dates back an astonishing 5000 years. It’s made in the Commandaria region of Cyprus, in the foothills of the famous Troodos mountains.

Its sweet taste comes from over-ripened grapes which are laid out in the sun to dry, thus increasing their sugar density. It’s said the grapes are then squished to extract the juice, then they’re aged for at least four years before the wine is ready to drink.

Zenobia ship wreck near Paphos, Cyprus

8. There are some excellent diving spots in Cyprus

Whether you’re an amateur looking to scuba dive for the first time or are a thrill-seeker who often engages in cliff diving (please only do so with licensed professionals), there’s something for everyone in Cyprus.

There are easy sandy bottom dives for beginners and deep ocean dives further off shore for practiced divers.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is a great reference point for those looking to seek some thrill in Cyprus. You can book dives with the association’s instructors and use their diving map to seek out the best diving spots.

Explore PADI today

Aerial Bird’s eye view of Petra tou Romiou, aka Aphrodite’s rock a famous tourist travel destination landmark in Paphos, Cyprus

9. There’s a whole city with heritage status

Odds are, you’ve heard of Paphos (Pafos) in Cyprus, but did you know the entire city is a designated UNESCO Heritage site? The coastal city was given “enhanced protection” in November 2012 due to its very rare archaeological remains associated with the cult of Aphrodite, mosaics, and remains od civil, military, and funerary architecture.

If you’re a history buff, read more about the district of Paphos’ dated history here.

Places worth a visit in Paphos include the Archaeological Park, the Tomb of the Kings and 12th century ruins.

Olympic rings at London 2012 Olympics I Image: Dignity100 vis Shutterstock

10. Cyprus won its first Olympic medal in 2012

If you attended London’s 20212 Olympics, you could’ve been witness to Cyprus’ first-ever Olympic medal. It was Pavlos Kontides who won the Mediterranean island its first old medal when he came second in the men’s laser sailing event.

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  Ask the right questions
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