Offering the perfect balance between work and relaxation, with long sunny days in a stress-free atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Cyprus enjoys an idyllic Mediterranean lifestyle, 340 days of sunshine a year and some of the most welcoming people in the world, all in a modern and well-functioning environment.
Cyprus is a member of the European Union and was also a former British colony and is part of the Commonwealth. A notable British presence remains to this day and it’s become home to a large expatriate community with around 20% of the population being foreign nationals, the biggest portion of whom are British.
The legal system and road networks are closely based on the British systems. Education in Cyprus is also based on British systems and standards, and private schools, colleges and universities all offer classes taught in English. With such an educated population and a huge tourism sector in Cyprus, English is very widely spoken among residents. Since Cyprus’s European Membership began in 2004, it’s residents enjoy completely free movement throughout Europe and have adopted all the benefits.
"Cyprus has the lowest crime rate in Europe and is one of the safest countries in the world"
To and From
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The numerous direct daily flights to and from the island, provide the opportunity to travelers to fly on a regular basis for tour, fun, rest and business purposes. This is the “bridge” linking both the locals as well as the foreigners with all other parts of the globe.
Cyprus has two international airports. Larnaca and Paphos International Airports.
Larnaca International Airport opened 38 years ago in 1975, on the 6th of February, with the landing of the first aircraft type Viscount. From the 10th of November 2009, the new Larnaca International Airport started operating in ultramodern facilities, offering 100,000 square meters of covered space, expanding the service to 7.5 million passengers a year.
Paphos International Airport started its operation on November 17, 2008, with modern facilities, offering 18,500 square meters of public services, serving 2.7 million customers a year.
Cobalt is a new international airline with its principal place of business in Cyprus, with a route structure across the UK, Ireland, France and Greece. Cobalt is the flag carrier for the Republic of Cyprus with a network of flying rights within all of the EU and additionally with special rights to the East and South of Europe. It will not only bring the world to Cyprus as an attractive destination, but will use Cyprus as hub to connect Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.
"Cyprus is a great place to visit and live. It enjoys a strategic geographical position, offering excellent worldwide connections, excellent infrastructure, a pleasant climate and stability."
Form of State
Republic of Cyprus
Common Law, primarily based on the English Legal System
Cyprus became a member of the European Union on 1st May 2004 and changed it’s currency on 1st January 2008. It has good relations with countries across the globe and is a solid member of the following organisations:
- European Union and Eurozone
- The World Trade Organization
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- The World Bank
- The Commonwealth
- The Council of Europe
- The United Nations
Flag of Cyprus
Coat of Arms
Cities in Cyprus
Limassol is the cosmopolitan city of Cyprus offering exceptional quality lifestyle, business facilities and nightlife. The Port of Limassol is the 2nd busiest port in Europe and 10th busiest port in the world. Over the years Limassol has evolved into the business centre of Cyprus, and one of the main business centres of Europe housing some of the largest shipping companies in the world. The 22km coastal line of Limassol has flourished over the years to become an impressive city, and a jewel of the Mediterranean with 5 star hotels and facilities as well as exclusive yachting Marinas.
Paphos is a city on the southwest coast. Inhabited since Neolithic times, it has several sites relating to the cult of goddess Aphrodite, whose mythical birthplace was at Old Paphos. New Paphos is the modern city that incorporates the harbor, and the ancient ruins of tombs, fortresses, theatres and old villas at Paphos Archaeological Park. Paphos has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2017 and the town of Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world’s heritage. Along with it’s rich historical character, Paphos is also a popular tourist destination for it’s beautiful sandy beaches and clear water, particularly at Aphrodite’s Rock and the Blue Lagoon.
The capital city, Nicosia, is located in the centre of Cyprus and is the most South-Eastern capital in Europe. Standing as the capital for over 1000 years, it is rich in culture and history, with marks left behind from many ancient historical periods. Nicosia is a lively blend of old and new with modern, award winning buildings and its historic 500-year-old Venetian walls all within metres of each other.
Famagusta is on the east coast of Cyprus and is a very popular seasonal tourist destination. The area holds the record for the highest concentration of Blue Flag beaches in Europe. White sandy beaches and clear blue water are the most attractive features along with the new harbour in ‘Ayia Napa’ which is also the nightlife centre with it’s famous nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Many local residents from all over Cyprus spend their summer holidays staying in the hotels that line the coast and enjoy the warm nights and outside lifestyle.
Larnaca is a port city on the south coast of Cyprus. It’s known for ‘Finikoudes Beach’, a sandy strip in the city centre backed by a palm-lined seaside promenade. Buzzing bars line the waterfront along the promenade and continue on towards the famous ‘Mackenzie Beach’, and directly behind lay a busy town centre full of shops, restaurants and nightlife. Larnaca is also popular for divers, where the cargo ship, MS Zenobia, lays beneath the ocean after capsizing in 1980. It’s been named by The Times, and many others, as one of the top ten wreck diving sites in the world.
Arts & Culture
Arts and culture have a long tradition in Cyprus with historical monuments dating back to 10,000 BC. In the capital of Nicosia there are over seventeen museums showcasing a broad array of archaeological collections, byzantine icons, coinage, paintings, and other cultural treasures. Throughout the year, local and international festivals, concerts of renowned performers and events take place in ancient open air amphitheatres.
Cyprus also plays its part in Greek Mythology. According to the tradition, Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, was born from the foam of the sea on the southwestern coast of Cyprus, near the city of Paphos.
One of the cultural events that take place annually is the Limassol Carnival Festival. It is considered one of the most notable carnival events worldwide. The event is held 12 days before the Christian season of Lent on the Sunday before Ash Monday, 50 days before Orthodox Easter.
Another popular cultural event in Cyprus is the Limassol Wine Festival that celebrates wine and wine-making. It has become an established annual event of merrymaking and fun, in which the citizens of Limassol are not the only participants; visitors come also from every part of Cyprus and its reputation has spread beyond the geographic boundaries of the island.
European Capital of Culture 2017
Paphos won the international competition to become European Capital of Culture for 2017. This is a great opportunity as the city and the district of Paphos will be exposed via a renowned project and will gain significant cultural, environmental and economic benefits.
A Brief History
Cyprus is very rich in history and tradition. Its strategic position has attracted a great deal of empires and powers which, through the ages, left their marks across the whole country. It began, however, with the earliest evidence of human settlement which dates back to around 9700 BC, possibly earlier, with hunter-gatherers. Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of man-made artefacts from this era and also an ancient settlement known as Choirokoitia, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Across the ages, Cyprus developed into a rich and prosperous country, with inhabitants making use of the natural copper with mining and trading. As it became popular, surrounding Empires were attracted to the wealth and location of Cyprus. The most notable historical figure is Alexander the Great and his Greek Empire which unified Cyprus with Greece in 300 BC.
During this period, Cyprus became part of the Ptolemaic Greek Empire and the Greek culture and language spread throughout the country. Around 250 years later the Roman Empire was established in Cyprus. Many architectural buildings were built under Roman rule, including Kourion Theatre, which is still in place today and is a popular tourist attraction. After a relatively peaceful 600-year period, the Roman Empire became divided and Cyprus then became the first country to be governed by a Christian during the spread of Christianity and under the Hellenic Empire of Byzantium.
During this period, the famous ‘Stavrovouni Monastery’ was founded by Saint Helena. It stands today as one of the oldest monasteries in the world, and one of the few places that holds a piece of the ‘Holy Cross’ from which Jesus is said to have been crucified upon. Today, the monastery is a well-visited tourist attraction in the mountain region of Larnaca.
Amongst other Empires, the famous British King ‘Richard the Lionheart’ during part of the Third Crusade took control of Cyprus and married his fiancée at the Limassol Castle in 1191. The Limassol Castle has been destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout its history but stands today and is another very popular tourist attraction in Cyprus.
Over the next 300 years, the leadership over Cyprus is shifted through Lusignan rule, Venetian rule, Ottoman rule, and British rule, leaving behind many more historical buildings, such as the Venetian walls of Nicosia, which today, stand in the centre of the ‘Old Town’ of Nicosia, and theHala Sultan Tekke mosque on the salt lake of Larnaca.
Cyprus was officially declared as a Crown Colony in 1925 by the British, and shortly afterwards, it became an independent state in 1960 and later in 2004 a member of the European Union.
Climate, Lifestyle & Tourism
With long, warm summers and cool, mild winters, Cyprus has a great seasonal balance for its residents. It has 2 beaches at #1 and #3 in the Top 10 Best Beaches in Europe list, and an average of 340 sunny days in the year. In the winter months, heavy snow falls in the mountain regions and ski clubs open for skiing and snowboarding.
The people of Cyprus are known for being very hospitable and laid back, a perfect fit for the warm climate. With a great appreciation for family and friends, Cyprus feels welcoming and safe boasting the lowest crime rate in Europe.
Cyprus has won numerous prestigious awards bestowed on its tourism industry from the Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100, VISION on Sustainable Tourism, Totem Tourism and Green Destination titles presented to Limassol and Paphos. Cyprus ranks at the top of the EU for clean waters for swimming and has been awarded 57 Blue Flags, achieving three records. New niche segments such as sports and cultural tourism are also on the rise. In 2016, tourist arrivals in Cyprus were 3,186,531. This is a 19.8% increase on the figures from 2015 and shows that Cyprus welcomes almost four times its population in tourism every year. For 2017 Cyprus expects an even greater increase in tourism to the Island, continuing to break records year after year.
Fig Tree Bay, Famagusta
CNN published an article based on TripAdvisor’s Top 10 list, where it states that Limassol is 3rd in the world for destinations on the rise.
Top 10 Traveler’s Choice: Destinations on the Rise
- Da Nang, Vietnam
- Sihanoukville, Cambodia
- Limassol, Cyprus
- Ao Nang, Thailand
- Bodrum City, Turkey
- Naha, Japan
- Hurghada, Egypt
- Kazan, Russia
- Manaus, Brazil
- Eilat, Israel
The number 1 travel and tourism website, recognised globally for it’s extensive information of businesses and local companies across every country in the world.
An American News TV channel and website, regarded as one of the biggest news outlets worldwide.
"CNN Money has listed Cyprus as one of the Top 4 of the World’s Hottest Tourist Destinations after a report from the World Travel & Tourism Council"
Blue Flag Beaches
All sources derived from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation
The most Blue Flags per capita in the world
The densest concentration of Blue Flag beaches
The most Blue Flag beaches per coastline
Cyprus has built a reputation internationally for the development of its education sector. In 2004 when Cyprus joined the EU, the amount of students doubled, creating an educational centre point in the Mediterranean. Today, around 30% of students in Cyprus are foreign, opening the door to opportunities to build the sector further. Cyprus also adopted the highest standards of quality in education, The Ministry of Education and Culture has harmonised the educational system of Cyprus with the European standards & guidelines. One of Cyprus’ advantages is the widespread knowledge of the English language. More than 75% of local residents are able to speak English, enabling a great environment for students with linguistic focuses to thrive. Cyprus is an extremely multicultural island and a lot of other language opportunities are available particularly within schools and institutions, giving children the chance to interact and develop familiarities for other cultures.
The Pathway to a UK & International Education
The education in Europe is among the most developed and efficient in the world. Students from Cyprus and all over the world aim for Europe, particularly the UK, for their tertiary education. The UK holds a reputation for its excellent level of qualifications which are internationally recognised. UK courses give you the skills, qualifications and connections you need to succeed in your chosen career and research shows that a UK education can improve your career prospects, and even boost your earnings. The 2013/14 QS World University Rankings found that employers worldwide consider UK graduates among the most ‘employable’. From a global survey of 27,000 graduate employers, five UK universities were ranked in the Top 10.
The Heritage Private School
The Heritage Private School, founded in 1987, is set in landscaped grounds and presents an impressive sight in the hills along the main Limassol to Troodos road. The School is approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus and provides a UK-curriculum education for students in the age range 2 to 18. It has over 1000 culturally diverse students on roll deriving from a wide variety of backgrounds and making up 40 different nationalities.
To see more about Education in Cyprus and about the Heritage Private school, see our Education page.
Healthcare & Social Security
The Cyprus healthcare system is divided into public and private sectors. Emergency healthcare is provided free of charge in the public medical centres. The service provided in Cyprus’s hospitals is of a high standard and hospitals and clinics have up to date and modern facilities with well trained and highly qualified staff to accompany them.
Most professionals have studied abroad and have earned their qualifications and experience in very well accredited universities across the globe, bringing back with them high standard international practices. Emergency medical treatment in Cyprus is free to citizens and residents alike and citizens from European Union countries are eligible for free health insurance at state hospitals in Cyprus.
Citizens are also entitled to apply for a European Health Card. A valid European Health Insurance Card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free.
Social Security System
The Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance is responsible for the promotion of social justice within a free democratic system based on the pillars of social cohesion and social inclusion and the maintenance and continuous improvement of the standard of living and the quality of life of the working population and society in general. The social security system provides for several benefits, such as maternity allowance, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, old-age pension, invalidity pension, widows’ pension, orphans’ benefit, benefits for employment accidents and occupational diseases. Cyprus has concluded social security bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom, Greece, Egypt, Canada, Quebec, Australia, Austria, Slovakia, Swiss Confederation, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Serbia and Syria.
The American Heart Institute
The American Heart Institute (AHI) is a state of the art health care facility based in Nicosia that offers a wide range of medical services and has been certified by European health organisations. Thousands of foreign visitors use the AHI annually and it has received great recognition and reputation. The No.1 business magazine in the US, Forbes, included AHI as one of the 10 hospitals worth the trip. The European Commission also awarded the American Medical Centre with the “Green Building Award” for it’s huge energy saving levels and it even won an award for it’s modern architecture.
Infrastructure & Business
By building upon its technologically advanced infrastructure, Cyprus has established an extensive telecommunications network, both in terms of cable and satellite, which ranks amongst the best in the world. The coastal resorts of Larnaca and Paphos each operate international airports serving flights to and from Europe and the world. The Limassol port, one of the busiest in Europe and Larnaca Port are both bustling and work around the clock to serve the island’s considerable import and export markets, simultaneously acting as an entry point to Europe.
Because of its location, Cyprus is a gateway to the world of international business. It has a stable business environment, based on the free market philosophy, a highly favourable tax policy, including a wide network of agreements for avoidance of double taxation and the corporate tax rate is just 12.5%, one of the lowest in Europe. The island has a highly skilled, educated and flexible workforce well acquainted with the use of modern technology. Most business in Cyprus is conducted in English, making it very attractive for foreign investors. Many international companies are based in Cyprus, taking advantage of the tax benefits and enjoying the high quality of life the island offers. Our Why Invest section has more information on all the benefits of using Cyprus as a base for business.