Customs & Habits
Cypriots are very proud of their cultural heritage, which stretches back more than 9000 years. However, you’ll probably find that Cyprus today is more concerned with the events of the last 20 years than those of a millennium ago.
The traditions and customs of a culture can best be observed in ceremonies an on special occasions.
Cypriot culture is reflected in the rich folk art of the island. Age–old crafts, handed down from one generation to another, are faithfully carried on to this day by skilful hands and nimble fingers, fashioning handicrafts, both decorative and useful, that would grace any home.
Climate, Language & People
Cyprus enjoys one of the healthiest climates in the world, with mild winters, long warm summers and over 330 days of sunshine a year. English is widely spoken and the island is renowned for its warm welcome, hospitality and friendly people.
Food and Wines
Gourmets will particularly appreciate what Cyprus has to offer, as Cyprus cuisine consists of dishes very rich in taste, and unique in specialties.
Within the very large range of the Cyprus cuisine, three favorites are:
- “Meze”, a rich collection of more than 20 different appetizers and savouries.
- “Tava”, a lamb stew with plenty of onions and tomatoes.
- “Stifado”, a stew of beef or hare, cooked with wine, vinegar, onion and spices.
The products of local marine aquaculture, seabream (tsipoura), seabass (lavraki) and prawns (garides) are becoming popular among the Cypriots and the tourists.
Cyprus wines, famous in antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages, are more than maintaining their tradition by becoming increasingly competitive in the International market. The quality of Cyprus table – wines ranks with the best in the world and the great variety provides a match for every kind of food and every palate.
As in the United Kingdom, cars are right – hand drive and driven on the left; signs are displayed in Greek and English. A valid driver’s license from your home country or an international driver’s license permits you to drive legally in Cyprus. The extensive network of roads and motorways makes driving convenient and safe.
Music and Dance
Cyprus also has rich musical and dance traditions quite distinctive from those of Greece. Instruments that typically accompany folk dances are the violin and laouto. Many dances are performed face-to-face and as a suite. Both men and women are very nimble-footed and the dances often allude to village courtship rituals – and are therefore most popular at wedding ceremonies.