Cyprus is the sunniest place in the European Union and has been the home of many different cultures and civilizations. Its long history and diverse history has resulted in some quirky characteristics. Here are some fun facts about Cyprus.
1. Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is now the only capital in the world to be divided between two ‘nations’ – the Republic of Cyprus (South Cyprus) and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, which is an unrecognised nation occupied by Turkey.
2. The Cyprus Mufflon is a wild sheep that is found in the Troodos & Paphos Mountains. It exists nowhere else in the world.
3. Commandaria is a sweet red wine produced in Cyprus. It is reputed to be the oldest wine in the world.
4. The Byzantine Museum in Nicosia holds the largest collection of Byzantine Art in Cyprus.
5. Cyprus was once the wealthiest nation in the known world. It was during the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island’s rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries.
6. The country enjoys 340 days of sunshine.
7. Cyprus was also the mythical birthplace of one of the most famous Greek Gods – Aphrodite god of love and beauty. As a result it is nicknamed the isle of love.
8. The English crusader king – King Richard the Lionheart – wed Queen Joanna at Limassol Castle on May 12, 1191. It is the only foreign venue at which an English Royal Wedding has been hosted.
9. The highest peak in the Troodos Mountain Range is Mount Olympus, which reaches up to 6402ft above sea level.
10. Life expectancy of men in Cyprus is 76; life expectancy of women in Cyprus is 80.
11. 82 percent of the population on the island speak Greek.
12. Legend says that Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine, first brought cats to Cyprus to deal with the snakes.
13. It has snow in the mountains that lasts until late spring; it is possible to ski in the morning and lie on the beach in the afternoon.
14. Cyprus has a communist president.
15. Mark Antony gave Cyprus to his lover Cleopatra as a gift.
16. Summers can last for 8 months.
17. Mount Olympus, the islands tallest mountain is home to a British radar station.
18. The locals very rarely walk anywhere but prefer to drive. Cyprus is home to some very congested roads.