History of Cyprus

Cyprus Flag

Cyprus dates its history far back in 7000 B.C. the Neolithic Age. After 5000 B.C., the art of pottery was invented. In 1400 B.C. the first Greeks came, Mycenaean merchants, to the island and started the Hellenisation of the island. During the 12th and 11th centuries several waves of Achaean Greeks came to settle on the island bringing with them the Greek language, their religion, and their customs.

The country of Cyprus was conquered several times by Assyria, Egypt and Persia. In 333 B.C. Alexander the Great claims Cyprus for part of his empire. After the succession struggles, between Alexander's generals, Cyprus eventually becomes under the Hellenistic state of Ptolemies of Egypt. Paphos became the new capital. This is a period of wealth for Cyprus. Cyprus becomes part of the Roman Empire in 58 B.C. and Saint Paul is converted to Christianity whilst in Cyprus and Cyprus becomes the first country governed by a Christian.

The Catholicism is expelled in the country when Islam is introduced by Ottoman troops who invaded the island in 1571 and became a part of the Ottoman Empire. The Greek Orthodox religion is restored. Under the Cyprus Convention in 1878, Britain assumes administration of the island although it remains part of the Ottoman Empire. However, in 1914 when the Ottomans entered the 1st World War on the side of the Germans, Britain annexed the island. In 1923, Turkey relinquishes all rights to Cyprus and in 1925 Cyprus is declared a Crown colony. According to the Zurich-London Treaty, Cyprus becomes an independent republic on 16th August 1960. It is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth as well as the Non-Aligned Movement.


UAE Map Cyprus Map - Click for larger view
  • Nicosia - capital of Cyprus and the largest in population city of the island
  • Larnaca Larnaka - oldest city in Cyprus
  • Limassol - the second largest city (after the capital, Nicosia) of Cyprus
  • Paphos Pafos - a town at the southwestern tip of Cyprus


When Cyprus achieved its independence from Britain in 1960, the new Republic's constitution defined the Greek and Turkish Cypriots as two separate ethnic groups. At that time, the members of both groups still co-habited in mixed villages and cities and purely Greek or Turkish villages were few. In the majority of cases, neighbours lived together in peace and celebrated their festivals together. Then the events of 1974 split the island, and the two communities have not lived with each other for over 30 years. Nevertheless, the two communities still have a lot of things in common: in the way they conduct their lives, their gestures, their food and drink. The Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots on both sides of the Green Line are all Cypriots, after all.

Weather and Climate

Cyprus Climate
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Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate with long dry summers starting in mid-May and lasting until mid-October and quite mild winters from December to February. Spring and autumn are effectively short intervals in between.

Public Holidays

Cyprus Public Holidays Year 2015
New Year's Day 1 January, 2015 Thursday
Epiphany 6 January, 2015 Tuesday
Orthodox Ash Monday 23 February, 2015 Monday
Greek Independence Day 25 March, 2015 Wednesday
National Day 1 April, 2015 Wednesday
Orthodox Good Friday 10 April, 2015 Friday
Orthodox Easter Sunday 12 April, 2015 Sunday
Orthodox Easter Monday 13 April, 2015 Monday
Orthodox Easter Tuesday 14 April, 2015 Tuesday
May Day 1 May, 2015 Friday
Orthodox Pentecost 31 May, 2015 Sunday
Orthodox Whit Monday 1 June, 2015 Monday
Assumption Day 15 August, 2015 Saturday
Independence Day 1 October, 2015 Thursday
Ochi Day /  Greek National Day 28 October, 2015 Wednesday
Christmas Day 25 December, 2015 Friday
Boxing Day 26 December, 2015 Saturday

Travel Advisory

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Cyprus. Exercise normal security precautions.