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Geographical facts

Cyprus is an island of almost infinitive variety. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in Cyprus. From the breathtaking beauty of the Troodos Mountains, to the beautiful beaches stretching along the stunning coastline, from the rural attractions of the countryside, to the countless sites of historical and archaeological importance, this is an island well worth exploring.

Cyprus has long been known as a sun, sand and sea destination... but it is so much more. Take a trip up into the mountains and discover for yourself the delightfully fresh air, the cool nights scented with the aroma of pine trees and wild herbs, and the fruit blossom in the fertile valleys that really has to be seen to be believed- cherry, apple, pear, plum, almond. The mountains are dotted with picturesque little villages where true Cypriot hospitality abounds, where the donkey was a cherished beast of burden, and where the nectarean village wine, untouched by chemical or mechanical methods, can be sampled.

Tennis, walking, horse-riding, mountain biking and skiing in winter are among the activities to be enjoyed in the hill resorts. The larger hotels have swimming pools and some are open all the year round with full central heating and air conditioning.

From Ayia Napa and Protaras in the east to Pafos and beyond in the west, the coastline of Cyprus offers endless opportunities for relaxing next to the cool blue of the Mediterranean. And most visitors will want to enjoy the sea and the beaches. Every type of water sport imaginable is enjoyed off the shores of Cyprus, including skiing, diving, sailing, cruising, windsurfing and more. And if you are looking for somewhere a little more discrete for some quiet swimming and sunbathing, the islands coastline has many secluded coves where you can enjoy a beach to yourself.

The south east corner proves the almost unlimited versatility of Cyprus, the focal point being the village of Ayia Napa with its historic monastery and attractive fishing harbour. Along the coast runs a very fertile strip with distinctive and red soil which produces 70% of Cyprus potatoes and the season's first tomatoes and cucumbers. The coastline here is also dotted with enchanting bays and beaches, with the impressive Cavo Greco dominating the scenery.

Of course, Agia Napa is also well-established as a tourist resort and attracts tourists from all over the world, while Larnaca and Lemesos do double duty as tourist resorts and busy ports. Larnaca is also home to the island's major international airport, while Lemesos has grown to become a leading business centre.

The western end of the island is growing more popular all the time with holidaymakers drawn to the many charms of Pafos, a town with and old-world atmosphere which will be retained for a long time to come.

Moving inland, the hinterland rises gradually to the Troodos mountains through vast areas of vines and magnificent forest beyond. The scenery is superb and a drive through this area is an unforgettable experience. Moving back to the coast to the north of Paphos, you will encounter the small town of Polis and, a few miles west, the little fishing harbour of Latchi. At the harbour restaurants here you can sample some of the island's excellent fish dishes. Further west you'll find Aphrodite’s favourite bathing place, Fontana Amorosa , a perennial bubbling spring.

Lefkosia is a bustling and cosmopolitan town that really does offer something for everyone. A unique blend of old and new, here you can visit museums, catch up on your shopping and even enjoy a day at the races at the Nicosia Race club.

As evening falls, what better than to sample the delights of a traditional Cypriot tavern? There are so many exciting dishes to try: meze, Cyprus' magnificent glorified hors d'oeuvres, more than a meal in itself; koupepia, afelia, kebabs, moussaka and many more; and delicious wines to accompany them. Of course, there are also plenty of top quality international restaurants offering dishes from all over the region and beyond.

Later into the night, there's plenty to do, with cafes, pubs and clubs open into the early hours. During the summer months, live outdoor entertainment is a popular pastime with shows and performances organised all over the island. And don't forget the legendary Cypriot hospitality ... Many a pleasant evening has been spent in a local village taverna, and many an impromptu party has lasted into the early hours!