Located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, the island of Cyprus has had a tumultuous history. The Mycenaeans brought their civilisation here, establishing the first Greek roots thousands of years ago.
Many others passed through, including the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans and the British. The disciples of Christ walked this land. Here are the prehistoric settlements, ancient Greek temples, Roman theatres, early Christian basilicas, Byzantine churches, impressive monasteries, Crusader castles and Venetian fortifications.
In the villages, old customs and traditions are kept alive. Young girls still engage in the art of lace making in the beautiful village of Lefkara, just as their grandmothers did before them, while the sound of handlooms can be heard in Phini, the home of attractive hand-woven materials. In the local coffee shops, men dressed in traditional baggy trousers still congregate for a game of backgammon to discuss the news. You can see all this, and more, where the 21st century rubs shoulders with a civilisation 9,000 years old.
Yet modern Cyprus as a newly introduced European Union member State has all of the benefits of the Western world. Communications are first class. Two international airports service the island, located in Larnaca and Paphos, offering daily connections to other European destinations, the Middle East and beyond. Cyprus has a reputation for excellent health care with up-to-date hospitals and private clinics throughout the island. Educational standards are high too, with international schools in all towns, catering for day pupils and boarders.
The country’ is fast becoming an important commercial and financial centre, as businessmen are discovering the tax advantages of setting up offshore companies on the island.
For those contemplating a home in the sun, either for retirement or as holiday home, Cyprus has so much to give. With over 340 days of sunshine each year, this magical island offers the resident a high standard of living, while allowing all to enjoy a low cost of living. A perfect combination.