Religion in Cyprus
Most of the population – 77% – professes Orthodox Christianity, about 18% – Muslims.
Transport in Cyprus
To move around the island, you can choose a bus, minibus, taxi or car. Intercity buses (between cities and villages and to the most popular tourist places) run rarely, as a rule: in the morning and in the evening. City buses operate from 6:00 to 19:00, longer in the summer season. The usual interval is 20-30 minutes. The most convenient transport is a fixed-route taxi, which can even be ordered by phone. They run from 6 am to 6-7 pm with an interval of half an hour and are designed for 10 people, so it will cost less than a regular taxi. A trip between cities costs about 2 Cypriot pounds. But the shuttle bus does not go to airports. This market niche is given over to ordinary taxis. Ordinary taxis can be hailed on the street or ordered from the hotel.
There are plenty of car rental companies. They are located in all major cities and tourist centers. Depending on the type of car, the rental will cost from 13 to 30 Cypriot pounds per day. In order to rent a car, you need a regular (non-international) driver’s license. The driver must be at least 25 years old and not more than 70. During the period of the mass influx of tourists, a car must be rented in advance. It should be remembered that there is left-hand traffic on the island and it is difficult to park the car in the center of the city because of the very narrow streets.
In many cases the most convenient means to travel in Cyprus is a moped. Especially in mountainous areas. It can be rented at all recreation centers. In this case, a driver’s license confirming the right to drive such a vehicle (category C) must be presented. The rate is 5 – 7 Cypriot pounds per day.
On motorways, the maximum allowed speed is 100 km/h, the minimum is 65 km/h, on all other roads the maximum speed is 80 km/h, unless there are speed limiting signs.
The use of seat belts is mandatory for the driver and passenger in the front seat of the vehicle. Children under 5 years old can only be transported in the back seat. Children between the ages of 5 and 10 can only be seated in the front seat if the seat is equipped with a special child seat belt. Cyprus traffic rulesthe presence of alcohol in the driver’s blood up to 900 mg / l is allowed. Exceeding this level is a violation that is punishable by fines. In the event of an accident committed while intoxicated, you lose the right to insurance.
Plant and Animal World in Cyprus
The flora and fauna of the island is very interesting and original. In ancient times, Cyprus was famous for its forests. Despite the fact that over the years they were practically cut down, narrow strips remained along the slopes of the mountains and in some places along the coastline. Pine, oak, strawberry trees, giant cacti, endemic species of cypress, juniper, plane tree, alder and cedar grow in the forests. The nature of flat Cyprus cannot boast of special picturesqueness and expressiveness. For most of the year it looks like a scorched steppe, only after rain it transforms and pleases the eye with bright colors. The most colorful Cyprus in February – May. In the meadows you can find tulips, gladioli, irises, orchids, lilies. In the mountains, flowers grow right on the rocks. There are many endemics among flowers and shrubs.
Cyprus is crossed by seasonal bird migration routes, making it a paradise for ornithologists. Rare species such as the “Eleanor’s falcon”, the imperial eagle, the predatory vulture and the griffon vulture are found here. On the Salt Lake near Larnaca, you can admire the pink flamingos that annually arrive here from the Caspian Sea.
Of the animals in Cyprus, there are lizards, chameleons, turtles, squirrels, weasels, wild rabbits and snakes, fur seals. But the main asset of the island is the mouflon. This wild mammal, a close relative of the ram, was almost exterminated because of the tasty meat. Now the mouflon is listed in the Red Book and is under protection in the reserve in the west of the island.
Minerals in Cyprus
Copper, chrome, asbestos
Banks in Cyprus
Banks are open from 8.30 to 12.30, and in some tourist areas – even in the afternoon. Many international banks have branches throughout the island.
Money in Cyprus
Until January 1, 2008, the Cypriot pound was the currency of Cyprus, from January 1, 2008 the island switched to the euro. There are 100 cents in one euro. There are euro banknotes in circulation in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.
Until the end of January 2008, the Cypriot pound will be used in parallel with the euro. It will be possible to exchange lira for euro free of charge until the end of June 2008, after which the old banknotes can be exchanged at the branches of the country’s central bank for the next ten years.
A VISA card is accepted almost everywhere. American Express card is not accepted. It is unprofitable to withdraw money through an ATM.
Rate: 1 Euro (EUR) = 1.05 USD
Political State in in Cyprus
According to politicsezine, the Republic of Cyprus is a sovereign and independent entity with a presidential system of government and a parliament. Under the 1960 Constitution, executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, who is elected by universal suffrage for a period of five years and is the head of state. The Council of Ministers appointed by the President implements state policy. Legislative power belongs to the Parliament. The Republic of Cyprus is a founding member of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, a member of the European Parliament and the United Nations.
Population in Cyprus
The population of Cyprus is 771 thousand people. Most of the population – about 85% – is represented by Greek Cypriots, including Maronites, Armenians and Latins. Turkish Cypriots make up about 13%. The share of other nationalities accounts for about 2%.
The official languages are Greek and Turkish. Almost every Cypriot speaks English. There are those who know French, German. Recently, Slavic personnel who speak Russian have reached out to the country.
Cuisine in Cyprus
European dishes are widespread in Cyprus. But it is better to give preference to national dishes. Cypriot cuisine is in many ways similar to Greek. She was also influenced by Arabic and Turkish cooking.
The most complete picture of Cypriot cuisine can be obtained by ordering Meze or Mezedes. This is a set of twenty to thirty hot and cold dishes. It necessarily includes sauces (tahini from sumsum, talaturi – a mixture of yogurt with cucumber and mint, taramosalata – fish cream, hummus from chopped chickpeas). These appetizers can be served with olives, pickled cauliflower, cold potatoes in oil, a slice of spicy octopus, Cypriot ham, salad with feta cheese. This is followed by hot dishes, the set of which depends on the type of meze (meat, fish or vegetable). The most serious dishes appear at the end of the meal. These are aphelia (pork fried in red wine), stifado (beef stew with onions), moussaka (beef with vegetables and herbs), souvlaki (mutton fried on a skewer), kleftiko (lamb meat baked in foil with potatoes).
The most popular Cypriot sweets are baklava (puff pastry with nuts), Turkish delight, halva made from semolina and nuts, rizogalo (sweet rice porridge with cinnamon).
Cyprus is famous for its wines. One of the most popular and oldest is the sweet dessert wine “Commandaria”. Many tourists like the national Cypriot brandy sur cocktail, which consists of brandy, bitters, lemon juice, sugar, soda and ice.