- Capital: Nicosia
- Official languages: English, Greek
- Area: 9,251 km2
- Population: 1,189,085
- GDP: $24,996 billion (2019)
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time zone: GMT +2
Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean and is the third largest island in the area, enjoying more than 330 days of sunshine each year. The island has a rich history stretching back 10,000 years and although it is a small island it has a diverse topography which includes mountain ranges, two salt lakes and numerous Blue Flag awarded beaches, offering an excellent environment for a range of sports. Also, this diversity means that Cyprus is rich in flora and fauna.
Cyprus has a subtropical climate – Mediterranean and semi-arid type (in the north-eastern part of the island) with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Snow is possible only in the Troodos Mountains in the central part of island. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry.
Cyprus has one of the warmest climates in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. The average annual temperature on the coast is around 24 °C during the day and 14 °C at night.
Cyprus is well known as the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, who, according to legend, was born here.
The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for more than four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, shipping, and real estate have traditionally been the most important sectors.
Cyprus property market on the up Specialists are confident over the future of the Cyprus property market, saying that the upward trend in house prices is combined with an ongoing increase in demand for real estate.
According to the preliminary results of research conducted by a group of real estate specialists, Limassol and foreign investors are still driving the market with 37% of transactions carried out in Cyprus’ second city, followed by Paphos with 23%, Nicosia with 18%, Larnaca 15% and lastly Famagusta with 7%.
Food in Cyprus
Traditional local dishes include the Meze – a selection of appetizers served as a main dish, halloumi cheese and the zivania schnapps.
Like many in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is a country which cares passionately about food. No wonder that hospitality and cordiality are deeply embedded in the Cypriot psychology, so much that pleasing has become a fine art. Cypriot cuisine is shaped by the island’s Mediterranean climate, geography and history. Influences are evident from neighbouring countries, with strong similarities with the Greek cuisine with a hint of the Middle East and Asia Minor.
Key components of the Cypriot food include heart-healthy olive oil, fresh local fruits and vegetables, legumes, fresh fish and whole grains with moderate amounts of wine and red meat. The flavors are rich with local herbs and spices, and the health benefits for people choosing a Mediterranean diet are hard to ignore – they are less likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol or become obese.
Cyprus education system
Education in Cyprus is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The education system is divided into pre-primary education (ages 3–6), primary education (ages 6–12), secondary education (ages 12–18) and higher education (ages 18+) Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 15. State-provided schooling including higher education is paid for by taxes.
There is also a parallel system of accredited independent schooling, and parents may choose to educate their children by any suitable means. Private school and university fees are not usually covered by the state.
Higher education often begins with a four-year bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate degrees include master’s degrees, either taught or by research, and the doctorate, a research degree that usually takes at least three years. Universities require accreditation in order to issue degrees.
Cyprus Healthcare system
Private clinics and hospitals are located all over the island. Those opting for private sector treatments either pay their own costs or take out private health insurance.
Anyone working in Cyprus, regardless of nationality or residency, must make social security payments. This is known as Social Insurance and payments are made either through an employer or, if self-employed, independently at the District Labour Office. EU citizens paying into the system can apply for a ‘Medical Card’ (karta nosileias, Κάρτα νοσηλείας) which entitles them to state medical cover. As a rule, medical cards are only issued to Cypriots and EU citizens residing permanently in Cyprus.
Government medical services provide subsidised medical coverage depending on a person’s status (their employment or past employment, family status and income level). Based on these criteria a qualifying person is issued with a white Medical Card.
Cyprus Investment Program
An individual can become a Cypriot citizen by the means of investing in the country’s economy. Since March 2014, the council of ministers made the decision to allow non-Cypriots to become citizens of the country by meeting certain conditions. These conditions can either be met by the individual or by a company where such individual is a shareholder and/or an executive director.
Permanent Residence Program
- Must have an investment of at least €300,000 +VAT in a single residential property used as a permanent residence
- Spouse, the parents and any dependent children up to 25 years old can be included
- Can apply for citizenship after 5 years permanent residence
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