Facts about Cyprus
We have created a list of 30 fun facts about Cyprus. Now, Cyprus may be a small island but it rich in history and culture. There are 5 districts in Cyprus that all have interesting facts about them, including being home to World Heritage sites and beautiful waterfalls.
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1. Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean.
2. Cyprus became a member of the European Union on 1st May 2004.
3. Last year (2019) Eurostat recorded that there were 875,899 people residing in Cyprus.
4. The district of Paphos, which is located on the southwest coast of Cyprus is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
5. The Tombs of the Kings, located just outside of Paphos is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although no kings have been buried here, archeologists have learned a great deal regarding the rulers during the Bronze Age.
6. It is said that Leonardo Da Vinci, the Italian polymath, visited the village of Lefkara in 1481.
7. According to legend, the Greek goddess of love-Aphrodite-was born in Cyprus. It is said that the goddess emerged from what is now known as ‘Aphrodite’s Rock’, located on the outskirts of Paphos.
8. Alexander the Great seized the island of Cyprus from the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians in 333 BC.
9. Cyprus is the only foreign venue for any Royal English wedding. King Richard and Queen Joanna married on the island on 12th May 1191.
10. The world’s oldest wine label belongs to the island. ‘Commandaria’ dates back 5000 years.
11. Pavlos Kontides was the first athlete to win an Olympic medal for Cyprus. The Cypriot Sailor who was born in Limassol won the silver medal at the summer Olympics 2012.
12. Next on our list of fun facts about Cyprus is that the island averages 40 days of rainfall each year.
13. Nicosia is the only city in Cyprus to have been inhabited continually since the Bronze Age.
14. With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Cyprus receives almost double the number of sunny days in comparison to other European countries such as the UK.
15. Cyprus is one of four countries in the EU that drives on the left side of the road. The other three are the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Malta.
16. The island is known for its extremely low crime rate, making it one of the safest places to live in the world.
17. Larnaca Salt Lake is the second largest Salt Lake in Cyprus. In the winter the lake fills with water and is home to thousands of flamingos and other migrating birds.
18. Only two nations have a map of the country on their flag. One is Cyprus and the other is Kosovo.
19. The city of Larnaca has its very own diving wreck. The Zenobia was a Swedish roll-on-roll-off ferry which sunk in 1980. Today, the wreck is a protected artificial reef and a well-known diving spot.
20. The highest peak in Cyprus is Mount Olympus. The mountain is 6,402 ft (1,952 meters) above sea level.
21. A collection of water wells in Kissonerga, Paphos, are thought to be the oldest wells in the world. They were discovered by a team from Edinburgh University in 2009 and date back to the Stone Age.
22. There are 371 species of migratory birds on the island.
23. Paphos is home to a turtle beach known as ‘Lara Bay Turtle Conservation’. The bay has various species of turtle who seasonally cross the Mediterranean to lay eggs. The turtles, which usually come around August, are well protected on the beach.
24. One of the most well-known Byzantine structures is located in Larnaca. The Church of Agios Lazaros or Saint Lazarus, lies over the tomb of the saint. Originally it was built in the 9th century but was later restored and still stands today.
25. Larnaca is also home to Hala Sultan Tekke, also known as the Mosque of Umm Haram. Located on the west bank of the Salt Lake, the mosque was built over the grave of Umm Haram. Umm Haram is believed to be the sister of the Prophet Mohammed’s foster mother and a follower of the Prophet.
26. There are 65 Cyprus beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag status including Limassol Marina and Fig Tree Bay.
27. Cyprus is home to a number of waterfalls such as Adonis Baths. According to Greek mythology this waterfall is where the Greek God Adonis and Goddess Aphrodite would meet.
28. Located in Ayia Napa, Cape Greko National Park is known for its sea caves, with some extending as deep as 240 feet into the rocks.
29. Near the old harbor in Limassol there is the medieval Limassol Castle. It is estimated that the castle was built between the early Christian Basilica and the Middle Byzantine era.
30. Our last fun fact about Cyprus is that the island is 240 kilometers long (149 miles) and 100 kilometers wide (62 miles) at its widest point.
There we go, our 30 fun facts about Cyprus. We’ve covered facts from all over the island and discussed everything from the history of Cyprus to the crystal-clear waters and the many blue flag beaches. Of course, we could write other 30+ facts about the island but for now you can use this list to help you decide what places have truly caught your eye and where you need to visit next.