Introduction

Nothing beats Cyprus for a beach holiday. With an expansive coastline providing a wide variety of beaches to choose from, ranging from secluded bays, to lively resorts, sandy beaches and rocky coves, you will have many travel options to find the right one for you.

The island, which legend has it was where Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, was born at the picturesque Petra Tou Romiou near Paphos, lies on the fringes of Europe at a point where Asian, Middle Eastern and European cultures merge. While giving the island a rich mix of traditions, cuisine and music, Cyprus’s strategic position has also made it desirable to countless powers over millennia. All have left their mark.

In fact, Cyprus’s history is legendary. More than 10,000 years of history has seen periods of rule by the ancient Mycenaean Greeks and Byzantines, and invasions by the Persians and Ottomans. The Romans, Venetians and the Lusignans, along with England’s Richard the Lionheart – who acquired Cyprus in the 12th century – have all ruled, before it became part of the British Empire in the 19th century, independent in 1960 and divided fourteen years later.