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Cyprus

Introduction
Visitors to Cyprus can visit Greek temples, see painted Byzantine churches, or simply lay back on a beautiful sandy beach and enjoy the warm sun. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is part of the Eastern European Time Zone, which is two hours ahead of time in the UK. Getting to this beautiful island takes only around five hours from London’s Heathrow airport.

Coral Bay Harbour in Paphos

Regions
Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is a fascinating combination of a historic city and a dynamic modern metropolis. Visitors to Nicosia can expect to have an exciting time, visiting historic monuments by day and enjoying the lively restaurants and bars in the evening. Sights to be seen in the well preserved old town of Nicosia, which lies inside ancient star-shaped city walls, include the Buyuk Han inn that was built to house travellers in 1572. The beautiful Ottoman mosque in the middle of the Buyuk Han courtyard is usually surrounded by locals selling traditional handicrafts. Visitors to Nicosia will also enjoy the Byzantine Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of sculptures and ancient mosaics.

Paphos (pictured above and below), on the south-west side of Cyprus, was once home to a cult dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Holidaymakers can visit the site of Aphrodite’s temple to learn about ancient worship of the goddess of love. There are also some beautiful beaches surrounding Paphos, where the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea sparkles in the warm summer sun. Paphos is a relatively quiet part of Cyprus, but it is rapidly growing in popularity with visitors.

Aphrodites Birthplace in Paphos

Weather
Cyprus has a mostly dry and sunny climate. Average temperatures during July and August are as high as 32 degrees Celsius in Nicosia. Even in winter, Cyprus is still warm; the average temperature in Nicosia in December is 13 degrees, rising to an agreeable 20 degrees in April.

Cost of visiting Cyprus

Cost
Cyprus holidays are usually cheaper than those in Western Europe, but Cyprus is more expensive than holiday destinations in the Middle East. The Republic of Cyprus, which covers the majority of the island, uses the Euro as its currency, whereas the northern part of the island, known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, uses Turkish lira. Prices of everyday items are similar in both parts of the island; the average prices of some common items are shown below.

Item Price
Loaf of Bread £1.50  –  2.11€
Bottle of Water £0.78  –  1.09€
Pint of Beer £2.20  –  3.00€
Bottle of Wine £4.10  –  5.50€

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