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The Cyprus Mistique

Classic Cyprus

Sun & Shore - Blue Flag

Were an ancient Mycenaean Greek in Cyprus to suddenly spring to life, or even Aphrodite herself, she would find the same warm sun overhead. The sun is a resilient force in Cyprus, shining high and bright enough to keep the sea warm for comfortable swimming from early May all the way through October. It helps give the island its quintessential Mediterranean atmosphere.

Even in the middle of winter, when temperatures get on the cool side, the sun usually shines for the better part of the day.

The best place to soak up the Cyprus sunshine is at the beach, and with more than four hundred miles of coastline, there are plenty from which to choose.

The "Blue Flag" is an exclusive eco-label awarded to more than 3.100 beaches and marinas in 35 countries in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the Carribean in 2006.

The "Blue Flag Campaign" is a program launched in 1987 during the European Year for the Environment, which promotes clean beaches and environmentally sound management of coastal areas. The "Blue Flag" is awarded to beaches meeting strict criteria relating to environmental education and information, beach area management and quality of bathing water. The Campaign is owned and run by the independent nonprofit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

With the initiative of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the cooperation of the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA), the local authorities and the relevant government bodies, Cyprus has introduced the "Blue Flag Campaign" and became a full member of the FEE in 1995.

In 2006 the International Blue Flag Jury awarded the Blue Flag to the following 49 beaches in 13 coastal communities and municipalities of Cyprus: Louma, Pernera, Potami, Vrysi A’ & B’ & C’, Protaras, Nisia Lombardi [Paralimni], Konnos Bay, Kermia, Ammos tou Kambouri, Glyki Nero, Pantachou, Loukkos tou Manti, Katsarka, Pernera, Vathia Gonia, Nissi, Nissi Bay, Lanta, Macronissos and Agia Thekla [Agia Napa], Yannathes [Voroklini], Phinikoudes, Kastella and Mckenzie [Larnaka], Kalymnos beach - CTO [Pentakomo], Aoratoi [Pyrgos], Municipal Beach Pareklisias [Pareklisia], Santa Barbara, Loures, Vouppa, Aphrodite, Onisilos, Armonia and Castella [Agios Tychon], Akti Olympion [Lemesos], Pissouri beach [Pissouri], Municipal beach – CTO [Geroskipou], Pachyammos, Vrysoudia A & B, Alykes, Municipal Baths and Faros [Pafos], Laourou and Coral Beach [Pegeia], Municipal beach, Dasoudi beach - CTO [Polis Chrysochous].


Multiple Adventure

As a Mediterranean island with a varied and sometimes rugged terrain, Cyprus lends itself to soft adventure holidays that involve activities as diverse as hiking, mountain biking, jeep excursions and bird watching.

In Cyprus one can also involve himself in various aviation sports such as gliding, parachute jumping, hang-gliding and aeromodelling.

Very few countries in the world are blessed by such favourable climate conditions which provide ample diversity in sea-sports enjoyment such as sub-aqua diving, water skiing, wind-surfing, sailing, canoeing, pedaloing, parachuting, yachting, etc.


Nature and Ecotourism

In recent years the government of Cyprus has acted proactively to limit over-development on the island. A building moratorium on coastal development was enacted in 1989 along with stricter guidelines to regulate other types of construction. Tourism on a smaller scale is encouraged through the agrotourism programme, which provides funds for the restoration of houses in rural areas in preparation for their use as guest houses.

As elsewhere around the world, tourism plays a continually increasing role in the Cypriot economy. However, the natural resources of the island are limited. Through water conservation efforts, controlled construction of new tourist developments and measures to protect sensitive environmental areas, tourism can play an important role in helping to preserve the ecology of Cyprus.


Ornithology / Birdwatching

Birdwatchers will be amply rewarded in Cyprus. Among endemic birds are the Cyprus warbler, Cyprus pied wheatear, coal tit and Scops owl. Other feathered residents include chukar, crested lark, wood pigeon, kestrel, barn owl, Bonelli’s eagle and griffon vultures. In addition, many migratory birds stop over in Cyprus in spring and fall. By December there are coots, ringed plovers, lapwings, sea gulls and sandpipers. In the spring come glossy ibis, egrets and herons. After the late fall rains swell the salt lakes of Akrotiri and Larnaka, thousands of greater flamingoes on hiatus from their traditional homes in Africa fly in to over-winter there. Many migratory ducks arrive by December. Every month the Birdlife Cyprus organizes field - meetings for bird ringing.

For further information please conact:
1. Birdlife Cyprus
P.O Box 28076
2090 Lefkosia (Nicosia)
Tel. +357 22 45 50 72
Fax: +357 22 45 50 73

2. Birdlife Cyprus Birdline
Tel. +357 2627 0447 


Flora and Fauna

There are 1,900 species of flowering plants in Cyprus, 140 of which grow nowhere else. In the Akamas region alone, there are 700 plant species, of which 40 are endemic. From February to April, pink cyclamen sprouts up from rocky foothills and glades. Pink oleander is common all over Cyprus and is often grown as an ornamental plant along roadsides and highways. From March to April, the pink wavy-leaved monkey orchid (Orchis italica) grows in dense patches around Pafos.

Many plants and herbs that grow naturally in Cyprus have medicinal properties and were once widely used by villagers to make holistic home remedies for a host of common ailments. Peonies, for example, used as painkillers in medieval times, grow in abundance in the Troodos Mountains above 1,500 metres.
Since 01/02/06 the Cyprus National Flower is Kyklamino and the Cyprus National Tree is Latzia.

A diverse array of fauna calls Cyprus home. There are 168 bird species, 12 for mammals and 20 reptiles - the latter including the sea turtles who annually nest at protected Lara Beach on the Akamas Peninsula. The moufflon is a mountain ram with thick, sinuous horns that lives in protected reserves in the Troodos.

For more information please apply to:
Ministry of Agriculture (Forestry Department)


Conferences & Incentives

Despite its small size, Cyprus has been at the crossroads of history for millennia. Professional destination management companies find that its location is no less strategic today - add to that, its unique combination of world class hotels and resorts and Mediterranean charm and you have the perfect setting for holding productive meetings and conferences in a relaxed environment. Whether the event you are planning is for five or 500, you'll find there's no more distinctive, user-friendly venue than Cyprus. It is their high expectations of service and modern, quality facilities that leads many international companies to select hotels and resorts in Cyprus for their international conferences and incentive activities. In the capital city of Lefkosia, plush business-oriented hotels are popular choices among travelling executives. Not to be outdone, hotel and resort properties of the coastal regions can afford a business person the wonderful experience of going from the boardroom to the beach in a matter of minutes.


Entertainment & Nightlife

Cyprus has a panoply of choices for night owls of all feathers. You will find traditional entertainment - folk music and dancing - at numerous tavernas and restaurants in the cities as well as in many villages. Tavernas offer a tantalizing selection of local food, and dessert is often on the house for visitors. You’re sure to enjoy this festive look into many of the colourful customs of old Cyprus.

Nightclubs of all stripes are found in Lemesos (Limassol) and Lefkosia (Nicosia), Larnaka and Pafos but especially in Lemesos (Limassol) and Agia Napa. The latter is a resort in the eastern part of Cyprus now known as an international clubbing destination, widely recognized for its British House Garage sounds, up-and-coming DJs and festive atmosphere. The action usually gets started late - towards midnight, unless the club also doubles as a restaurant or cafe.

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