Traveling World

Cyprus - description, impressions

Cyprus is located south of the Turkish coast of Alanya, on the same latitude as Syria, but the climate on the island is much softer. The environment is affected by the sea from all sides, and the presence of a mountain massif crossing the island from north to south. Anyway, of course, it's hot, but not so much that it's impossible to go out on the street in the daytime.
Holidays in Cyprus, despite the proximity of Turkey, built still on the European model, than on the Turkish-Egyptian. In the sense that hotels with "all inclusive" in Cyprus are very few, and in those that are, prices are much higher than in Turkey.


 Cyprus. View from Kourion Hill

Cyprus. View from Kourion Hill


Politically, the island is divided into the Republic of Cyprus and the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Cyprus (as, indeed, all other countries of the world, except Turkey) do not recognize this state and consider its presence as a Turkish occupation. In fact, everything is not so simple.
Under the treaty establishing the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, equal rights were guaranteed to the Greek and Turkish communities, which in practice was not respected. Turkey in 1974 introduced troops to the northern part of the island precisely under the pretext of protecting Muslims. Given that in Greece at this time were, the so-called "Black Colonels", with the main slogan "Greece for the Greek Christians" (and Cyprus from Greece they did not separate), the Turks concern for the fate of the co-religionists can not be groundless. Moreover, the Turkish troops landed on the island only after a military coup with the support of the "black colonels" took place in Cyprus and supporters of annexation to Greece came to power. But, of course, this is precisely the occupation.
As a result, now on the south side of the island there live almost exclusively Greeks, on the north - the Turks. Since the local Turks did not have enough for the whole land, Turkey actively uses various baits to relocate residents from the mainland. By the way, as they say, the Cyprus Turks are quite different from their fellow tribesmen.
Of course, there is no diplomatic relationship between Cyprus and Turkey, therefore, if you are going to fly to the island by Cyprus airlines, please note that it will take an hour more time - the plane flies around the territory of Turkey. In addition, there may be problems with entry (and to Greece too), if you have a stamp of the Republic of Northern Cyprus in your passport. This tour is offered at the resorts of Alanya-Antalya, and from Greece Cyprus there is no problem. In general, the chance for this is small, since, for obvious reasons, Turks do not want to create problems for tourists, and everyone can put a stamp instead of a passport in a specially filled sheet.
What, after all these events, the relationship between the Turks and Cyprus, is not difficult to imagine. And these huge flags of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the slope of the mountain, perfectly seen from Nicosia, incl. and from the Greek part of it, they say that they are unlikely to improve in the near future.


 Cyprus. Mountain near Nicosia

Mountain near Nicosia.


To understand what is written in Greek letters is very difficult. Not only are the letters not very similar and there are many of them that we do not know at all, so also familiar letters sound sometimes in the most unexpected way, depending on their combination. Given that there are almost no words intelligible, it is very difficult to read. Communication is simpler - almost everyone speaks English - the damned legacy of the colonial regime is affecting. :)

There are a lot of cats on Cyprus. So much that they are considered one of the symbols of the island. Most of the special local breed are lean, with long paws and tails.


 Cypriot Cats

Cypriot Cats


Cyprus differs from mainland Greece in that it got rather late in independence (in 1960), freed from British rule. Nevertheless, even now, on the island there are several English military bases. And in general, much remains of the British. By the way, even some products are still brought from England, although it would seem, where England and where Cyprus ...

And, of course, in Cyprus, the left-hand traffic. However, you quickly get used to this, especially since the separator between traffic lanes on the Cyprus roads is most often not a marking, but some serious obstacle, such as a border or green plantations.
And still, from Englishmen there were "wrong" sockets, therefore, first of all on arrival it is necessary to attend to purchase of adapters. I advise all the same not to hurry, and find the nearest supermarket - there this necessary item (as, indeed, everything else) can be bought much cheaper than in small shops.

There are many expensive cars on the roads. Even a taxi is entirely a representative class Mercedes.

The products are very expensive. In principle, it is understandable, the island is still, and the products, mostly imported. Delivery only by sea or air.

If you judge by the prices, almost the only thing produced in Cyprus is wine and oranges. Both are very tasty.


 Cypriot oranges

Cypriot oranges


A lot of Greek wine, too inexpensive. Not bad, despite the crookedly glued labels, brandy "Five Kings".
When describing the sights of Cyprus, the "Commandaria" wine is always mentioned. To my taste, it's something terrible. Very sweet strong drink. Moreover, it is something not cheap, from 10 euros to infinity.
What is interesting is that there are a lot of shops of national products.


 Cyprus. Shop of Russian products

Shop of Russian products


Russian stores are nowhere unusual, but I saw more Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian ... And, even in ordinary stores, they sell products from Russia, such as stew or buckwheat, apparently for nostalgic Russians. :)

The historical sights of Cyprus are, basically, what remains of the Greek and Roman civilizations - most often, unfortunately, the ruins. There are also monasteries in the mountains and several interesting churches, mainly in Nicosia.
Familiar for Europe so-called old cities there are no on Cyprus. Almost everywhere the city center is an unremarkable modern building. Very rare buildings of the late XIX century. The oldest preserved streets are not older than the beginning of the 20th century.

Public transport in Cyprus is difficult to move. Actually, it is represented exclusively by buses. So the interval of their movement is large, and sometimes it is unreasonably large. More than once I watched the situation when at the stop people did not fit in the right bus and stayed for another hour, wait for the next one (this, naturally, not about intercity buses - there are no such problems). Moreover, it is not always clear what to expect, since the timetable on the official site of the Cyprus transport, in general, very convenient, does not always correspond to reality, and you can check only at the final stops (where, of course, there is no departure from other points) .
So, leaving the water park, we went to the bus stop, but the bus did not show up. We began to wait for the next one, which was scheduled at the hour, but half an hour later the bus arrived. What kind of bus it was and why he was there at an incomprehensible time, remained a mystery.
When I left the village of Kitty, the bus at the right time cheerfully flushed past me across the street :) Apparently, somewhere turned around and went back to Larnaca, but not along this road. I quickly went to another street to the next bus, but there was no stopping at all. There was a hope that the bus will still arrive, but no, he did not come. And only on the next flight, again on another street, I managed to leave. In total, I lost about an hour.
And still, if the stops are on the same street, then they are all called the same. For example, you drive along the long avenue - the stop of "Archbishop Makarios". Next stop is "Archbishop Makarios." And all the following too :) So choose where you need.
In short, entertainment is not for the faint-hearted.
Yes, why did I go to Kitty? In this village there is a beautiful Byzantine church of Angeloktisti. From Larnaca to go about half an hour. Even with all the bus adventures, I never regretted that I went.


 Cyprus. Church of the Theotokos of the Angels (Angeloktisti)

Church of the Theotokos of the Angels (Angeloktisti)(XI-XV century)


Tourists here do not get, but in vain. It is here you understand what the churches of medieval Cyprus were like. This is much more interesting than the pathos cathedrals, filled with golden utensils.


 Cyprus. Church of the Theotokos of the Angels (Angeloktisti)

Church of the Theotokos of the Angels (Angeloktisti)(XI-XV century)


The church began to be built in the 5th century, but now this early building is entirely hidden by later layers. The main part of the Byzantine, XI century, chapel was added by the French in the XII century.


Excursions on the на Cyprus


Excursion Limassol-Cuorion-beach Aphrodite-Paphos-Limassol


Kourion is the remains of an ancient city near Limassol. Only the amphitheater was well preserved, the rest, remains of walls and floors (here and there mosaic).


 Cyprus. The Ancient Theater of Kourion

The Ancient Theater of Kourion


The city was located on a hill with beautiful views to the coast.


 Cyprus. Kourion


Beach of Aphrodite

This beach differs from other beaches only in that it is located far from populated areas and tourists there carry specially. It is because, according to legend, it was here that the sea foam Aphrodite appeared. So it is or not, it is unknown, but the attraction for tourists to arrange did not fail.



In Paphos, a lot of interesting things. Very large ancient city, with well-preserved mosaics.


 Cyprus. Pathos. Mosaics

Pathos. Mosaics


And in general, as in most cities that existed since the time of antiquity, where you can not dig - you will come across an old building. This is really so - the guide told that most of the antique buildings are under modern urban buildings and they can not be unearthed for obvious reasons.


 Cyprus. Pathos



At the city pier Paphos preserved a small medieval fort. There is a small museum.


 Cyprus. Pathos. Fort on the pier

Pathos. Fort on the pier


Excursion of Famagusta-Monastery of Belopais-Kyrenia-Castle of St. Illarion

This tour of the Turkish part of the island. Crossing the border (or the demarcation line, as the Greeks prefer to say) did not cause any problems. Even passports were not needed. The only thing, very much asked not to take pictures of the passing Turkish military bases from the bus. I do not know why you can see such a secret there. However, a similar ban applies to British bases on the Greek half of the island.
In general, in Northern Cyprus there are quite a lot of historical architectural monuments, and here it is mostly buildings of the French domination period, in contrast to South Cyprus, with its Byzantine architecture. The first thing that catches your eye is the very poor condition of most buildings, even though many are actively used as mosques (it is clear that they were preserved, as elsewhere, for the most part of the church). Moreover, since in Islam there is a ban on the image of people and animals, all the bas-reliefs were beaten from the facades, and, naturally, everything was also cleaned inside. As a result, once the majestic Gothic temples look, in a literal sense, torn.



The city of Famagusta was once the main resort of Cyprus. Now the demarcation line runs along the edge of the city and in the neighborhoods adjacent to it it is forbidden to go, settle and even take pictures from the bus. This is a neutral territory, which, with the filing of one journalist, is called a ghost town, because everything there remained in the same form (as far as managed to defend against marauders), as it was before the war. Only people do not.

In order to understand that the main temple of Famagusta was built by the French, it is not necessary to know the history of Cyprus. Outwardly, St. Nicholas Cathedral is almost a copy of the Reims Cathedral.


 Cyprus. Famagusta. Cathedral of St. Nicholas

Famagusta. Cathedral of St. Nicholas (XIV century)


Since now it is the mosque of Lala Mustafa Pasha (who conquered Famagusta in 1571), the minaret sticks out to the left.
Another well-preserved building is the Church of Peter and Paul (also probably because it was converted into a mosque. Now, however, the mosque is already inactive.)


 Cyprus. Famagusta. Church of St. Peter and Paul

Famagusta. Church of St. Peter and Paul (XIV century)


Here already clearly visible Byzantine motifs, mixed with Gothic.
Inside, as well as it is necessary in a mosque, the perfect emptiness.


 Cyprus. Famagusta. Church of St. Peter and Paul

Famagusta. Church of St. Peter and Paul (XIV century)


That's all. The rest of the historic buildings are just ruins.
This is the church of St. Francis.


 Cyprus. Famagusta. Church of St. Francis

Famagusta. Church of St. Francis (XIII-XIV century)


From the oldest church of Famagusta - St. George of Latin, as well as from the same Orthodox Greek church, too, there were only ruins: (
Yes, there are, of course, city walls. This, to a greater extent, the creation of the Venetians, although it is clear that they did not erect them from scratch - they simply completed the existing fortifications.


 Cyprus. Famagusta. Othello Tower

Famagusta. Othello Tower (XVI century)


It is believed that this tower was the place of service of Captain Othello - the prototype of the novel's hero of an Italian writer whose Shakespeare borrowed a plot for his play. However, no less plausible is the version according to which Captain Othello was brought here by the British already in the XIX century, just for fun :)



The main attraction, of course, is the Kyrenia fortress. Well, another colorful embankment with a pier.


 Cyprus. Kyrenia. Embankment

Kyrenia. Embankment


The fortress of Kyrenia, as well as in Famagusta, was last completed by the Venetians. But here - this is the fortress - i.e. not just the remains of walls, but a closed circuit with interior rooms.


 Cyprus. Kyrenia. Fortress

Kyrenia. Fortress


Among other things, the castle of Kyrenia had its own prison with a torture chamber, which now houses installations with attempted mannequins :)


 Cyprus. Kyrenia. Fortress

Kyrenia. Fortress


In the fortress are the remains of a Greek ship, found in the sea, near Kyrenia.


 Cyprus. Kyrenia. Greek merchant ship

Kyrenia. Greek merchant ship. III century. BC.


Remained from this ship, frankly, a little, but this is almost the only true skeleton of an ancient ship.


Bellapais Abbey

On the hill above Kyrenia is the Abbey of Bellapais (White Abbey), named after the white cloaks of the Augustinian who inhabited it.


 Cyprus. Bellapais Abbey

Bellapais Abbey. XIII century.


The ceiling ceilings were preserved only in the church and the refectory (canteen), but one can get an impression of how the whole complex looked like.


 Cyprus. Bellapais Abbey

Bellapais Abbey. XIII century.


 Cyprus. Bellapais Abbey

Bellapais Abbey. XIII century.


Cypresses, of course, planted later, before these arches were a covered patio, surrounded by a gallery.


 Cyprus. Bellapais Abbey

Bellapais Abbey. XIII century.


The road to the abbey is through the village of the same name. It is clear that all this is exhibition and made specifically for tourists, but still beautiful and I want to believe that it was exactly like that in the 14th century. :)


 Cyprus. Деревня Беллапаис

Bellapais Village


Castle of St. Hilarion

Even further in the mountains, almost at the top, is the castle of St. Hilarion. The name is modern, in honor of the monk, who in the IV century built a church here (he, of course, did not have anything left). Byzantines called the fortress Didemos (Gemini), and the French - Diodeamur (Castle Cupid).


 Cyprus. Castle of St. Hilarion

Castle of St. Hilarion. X century.


At the time of the French there was a royal treasury, which is not surprising, given the inaccessibility of the castle, and the king himself visited to rest from the heat in the summer. Although, I would not say that the mountain is much cooler than the bottom, except that the breeze blows.


 Cyprus. Castle of St. Hilarion

Castle of St. Hilarion. X century. 


Views from the mountains, of course, stunning. 732 meters above sea level.


 Cyprus. Castle of St. Hilarion

Castle of St. Hilarion. Byzantine Church. X century.  


In general, like most similar structures, from below the castle looks much more impressive than from the inside.


A few words about the Cypriot customs, which directly affect tourists.

Firstly, swimming pools in hotels are open to local residents (maybe in five-star hotels this is not - I do not know). I.e., not that they come and they are not forbidden, but, on the contrary, the more they come, the better the hotel - they drink and eat in specially arranged cafes. As a result, the pool and its surroundings are almost always crowded with people.

Secondly, since the pools are the center of entertainment, then weddings are arranged right there. Therefore, if your windows face the pool, every Saturday you will be guaranteed to admire the Cyprus wedding.


 Cyprus wedding

Cyprus wedding


In principle, the first time is even interesting. By the way, the music is mostly local, and dances are purely national. From alcohol to the tables were put, basically beer, and those guests who wished for something else, brought bottles with them. In general, such a strange wedding - no drunken, no showdown, everything is quiet and peaceful :).
But, despite such a peaceful nature, it lasts all hours until three or four in the morning and, if you suddenly want to have a dream instead of a Cyprus wedding, it will be a problem. Because, no matter how quiet music was not - when it happens directly under the windows, everything is audible.

And finally - even the Cyprus cats :).


 Cyprusский кот


 Cyprusские кошки


Coins of Cyprus


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