The Republic of Cyprus is a country located in the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean and is divided into the south, Greek Cypriot community and the north part, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, which will be part of the European Union after the island is re-united. The population is reaching 1,150,000 out of which 300,000 are Turkish Cypriots and Turks, 29,000 are Greeks, 24,000 are British and 8,000 are Russians (more than 40,000 if we include the ones that travel often and were not recorded during the last census).
The Republic of Cyprus is divided into 6 regions (districts):
- Nicosia (or Lefkosia in Greek - Lefkoşa in Turkish)
- Famagusta (or Ammochostos in Greek - Gazimağusa in Turkish)
- Limassol (or Lemesos in Greek - Limasol in Turkish)
- Larnaca (also spelled Larnaka)
- Paphos (also spelled Pafos - Baf in Turkish) and
- Kyrenia (or Kerynia in Greek - Girne in Turkish)
All six districts maintain small-size cities that bear the same names.
Also known as Lemesos, it is the favorite resort and residency of Russians, as well as for the establishment of offshore companies. Its central location provides for an easy access to all main towns, as well as to the Troodos Mountains which is only a 35-45 minute drive. Larnaca and Paphos airports are only a 45 minute drive from the city. Limassol is a city with a well-developed infrastructure that surely satisfies the needs of any demanding resident. It is here that every townsman is looking forward to moving to since the benefits of this city are obvious: the public and private health system, a plethora of public schools, countless Blue Flag awarded beaches, historical monuments and other attractions, branded shops, entertainment for all needs, local and international cuisine restaurants and many city development projects.
Children’s education is essential for families who consider living in Cyprus. Limassol maintains 9 private schools for students who are not familiar with the Greek language. More specifically, there are 6 private English schools (St. Mary’s School, Logos School of English Education, The Heritage, The Grammar School, Pascal Education, The American Academy), 2 private Russian schools (L.I.T.C. School, Pupils of Pythagoras School) and one Lebanese private school (Green Hill School).
Health is a priority issue for people thinking of the possibility of relocation to Cyprus. Beyond the public hospital and the hundreds of private doctors, Limassol maintains private clinics / hospitals, such as the Ygia Polyclinic Private Hospital, the Mediterranean Hospital, Pantazis Clinic, the Apollonion Hospital, the Achillion Private Hospital, the St. Peter & Paul Hospital and many more. It is essential to mention that in such hospitals, foreign languages such as English and Russian are used all the time.
The mayor is running the city so successfully that for the last few decades year after year he is being directly re-elected. Limassol is getting more modern and is developing very quickly. Multiple social and city projects that have been implemented or are at the planning stage initiated by the city mayor: «the Limassol Marina», a conference centre, renewed pedestrian and bicycle paths along the sea, kilometers of coastline landscaping, cafeterias by the seaside and piers, the famous promenade, an athletic centre, an Olympic swimming pool, a new spacious park in the centre of the city and more.
Limassol beaches are vast and diverse. The coastline within the city limits is 16 km long, hosting one of the famous beaches, Dasoudi a picturesque beach with calm sea water, protected by breakwaters, next to the relict eucalyptus forest. Outside the city there are famous beaches like Lady’s Mile (with calm, shallow waters, ideal for kids), Kourion beach (for wave lovers), Pissouri beach – 30 km, Governor’s beach – halfway to Larnaca. A total of 13 beaches in the Limassol district have been awarded with the “Blue Flag” award. The Fasouri waterpark is also an alternative and fully entertaining option for the whole family.
Entertainment in Limassol never ceases. A great number of bars and night clubs, restaurants, cafeterias and taverns are open almost 24 hours a day. Other entertainment options include cinemas, theatres, a bowling center, kids’ fun parks and a skating rink in the city’s Mall.
Shopping lovers will be pleasantly surprised by designers’ boutiques, worldwide known brands such as Debenhams, Marks and Spencer's, Mothercare, Next, Calzedonia, Intimissimi, Mango, Zara, Bershka, The Body Shop and many others. In the city centre next to the promenade by the sea, the streets of Agios Andreas and Anexartisias offer a big choice of shops, more than 300 in total. More prestigious boutiques are located on Makarios Avenue.
There is also an abundance of local and international cuisine restaurants, including Japanese, Chinese, Syrian, Lebanese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Fusion, Sea-food and others. Many of such restaurants can be found within the luxurious hotels of the city, offering amazing dishes related to all the above-mentioned and even more.
Nicosia is the capital of the country, the largest in population, but the only one located far from the coast, thus not favor by tourists. Some offshore companies are situated in the capital but not as many as in Limassol.
The city was named after its sandy beaches, thus called Ammochostos (buried in the sand). It is the second largest district of Cyprus but the majority of its territories are under occupation, which gave the chance to nearby Ayia Napa village to flourish and now is a well-known municipality and a great attraction for tourists. Ayia Napa and neighboring Protaras are at the moment the number one destination for tourists, but only during the summer and autumn.
It is a city where the central airport is located, where the majority of holiday-makers arrive. The town is expecting big construction development but at present the town itself including its tourist area may offer a restricted amount of facilities and activities for both holiday-makers and residents. This town is loved by foreigners who require privacy without any choice of entertainment since the town is mainly oriented towards the needs of its residents. Its main coastline is, unfortunately, occupied by fuel tanks. Undoubtedly, the re-organisation of the city centre will be grand and the construction requires several years.
The most outstanding architectural monuments here are Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque – one of the holiest places of Muslim pilgrimage, the famous Larnaca Salt Lake, where thousands of flamingos come in winter, ancient orthodox church of St.Lazaros – a friend of Christ, who was resurrected by the last, the ancient settlement (city) of Khirokitia (Choirokoitia) – the oldest settlement of people in the Mediterranean, Angeloktisti church, the Stavrovouni Monastery, some museums and the archaeological sites of Kalavasos.
The centre of the tourist area of Larnaca offers a good choice of restaurants, taverns and cafes. Out of the theme parks it is worth mentioning a donkey farm in Skarinou village and the Mazotos camel park. There are no water parks in this region.
The small-size but growing city of Paphos, is a resort mostly loved by British. This picturesque place will suit the non-demanding residents who love leisurely lifestyle. The peculiarity of this city is its surface relief. Also, Paphos is very close to the secondary airport of Cyprus, which brings to the city every summer and autumn with thousands of British and Russian tourists.
Paphos suffered after the crisis of 2008, when the British started hastily selling their properties to repay their debts. Therefore, the region’s reputation has suffered and the economy is still in recession. Many companies have closed, even more job positions have been lost.
In Paphos region there are a lot of architectural monuments, charming villages and nature points, such as Akamas and Polis regions, plus the famous “Aphrodite’s Rock” landmark.. There is one Russian and a few international schools in the city. In the centre one will find a well-established network of restaurants, taverns, cafes and bars. In the Paphos region there are several golf clubs, a water park, horse and donkey farms, as well as a zoo.
Out of the charms of nature it is worth pointing out the beaches which are mainly located in rocky bays, while a few others are flat and sandy. Lara beach attracts the tourists with its well-known green turtles, which are under protection and breed every spring only in this area. Geroskipou beach is one of the most attractive town beaches and Coral Bay beach, with the white-grey sand, is probably the most popular.
The extremely small city (or town) of Kyrenia is located at the north coast of the island and its whole district is currently under Turkish occupation. It is most famous for its tranquil harbor with the dozens of boats that are always seen there, the Kyrenia Mountains where some castles still arise, and the vivid green color that spreads across the most of its unique territory, until it meets the vast blue of the Mediterranean Sea.