An island nestled inside the depths of the Mediterranean Sea and at veritable crossroads with three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Cyprus it the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean yet the third smallest country in the EU; it is a premier starting point for the discovery of neighboring exotic locales such as the Greek Islands and the Middle East. In fact, around 800 ‘mini-cruises’ set off daily for these destinations from Limassol, one of the leading cruise and maritime activity ports in the region. But as close as Cyprus may be to the world’s epicenter, it remains a very distinct habitat that feels blissfully apart from it all.

The captivating island of Cyprus provides you with the ideal location for your home, receded by an environment of contrast and harmony. Cyprus has the picture-perfect Mediterranean climate, with warm breezy summers and sunshine brimming winters, complemented by its diverse landscape and intricate culture, Cyprus welcomes you to lounge in its sunshine and bathe in its waters. The lively cosmopolitan city of Limassol, where your home will be based, delivers a fusion of ecstasy and tranquility. Enjoy its buzzing nightlife and relax on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, on an island blessed with a strong cultural legacy, both past and present.

A historic island that trails past 10,00 years, has seen civilizations come and go, where the likes of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra of Egypt have staked claim- but then again, people do tend to get possessed when faced with such natural beauty. An island of myths that basks all year under the warm Mediterranean sun. Statistically, Cyprus enjoys 300-plus sunny days per year; something very few can resist.

Legend has it that even Aphrodite made here home here, and travelers throughout antiquity visited the island just to pay their goddess tribute. Nowadays, sun worshippers make detours off the Limassol-Pafos route, for a picnic and dive at Petra tou Romiou, a boulder that marks the spot where Aphrodite emerged from the sea foam. In the Akamas region, hikers exploring the area’s rich flora can cool off at the grotto where the love goddess bathed after her amorous interludes.

Today, Cyprus is a modern country that has effortlessly married with European culture, whilst maintaining its ageless enchantment. On the island, one discovers an abundance of alluring beaches and fragrant mountain peaks, vineyards sprinkled with olive trees and ancient relics that stir the imagination, citrus groves and old stone villages where sweet wine flows as freely as conversations at the local café. A peaceful place where a sense of timelessness is magnified by the openness of the natives.

Cyprus’ charisma is as much a product of its mystical beauty as it is of periods under globally competing empires, all unable to contest the island’s strategic allure. The very name of Cyprus shimmers with an ages-old quality that stretches from the time of the Copper Age. Abundant copper reserves put minute Cyprus on the map. In fact, Cyprus (Kypros in Greek) gave copper its Latin name, ‘cuprum’. In the late Bronze Age, Mycenaean Greeks settled in Cyprus and established trade links with Egypt and the Aegean Islands. This marked the period when ceramic art first flourished.

As centuries drifted by, the island came variously under Persian, Assyrian, Egyptian and Roman rule. It was the latter era that Marc Anthony, enthralled by the island’s sweet vines, gave Cyprus as a gift to his matchless Cleopatra. After a long period of Byzantine domination; European awareness of Cyprus surged with the Crusaders. In 1191, a fierce storm led Richard the Lionheart’s ship on to the port at Lemesos, Limassol, where he claimed the island his own. From 1489 to 1571 the flag of Venice was raised in Cyprus, until the Ottoman Turks moved in. That era ended in 1878, when Cyprus became part of the British Empire.

The Republic of Cyprus achieved independence from the British in 1960. Nonetheless, local turbulence in 1974, over unification of Cyprus with Greece, had invited hostility from Turkey who invaded and divided the island into two parts. Hereafter only the ‘free’ and legitimate Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized under sovereign government control. In 2004, Cyprus qualified in joining the European Union and became a fully established member of the Eurozone in 2008.

Observing Cyprus from a third party’s perspective; and despite its stormy past, or perhaps because of it, Cypriots themselves are extremely resilient people. They have always remained distinct in culture – different even from their closes relatives, the Greeks -  and have preserved their unique character.

Evidently, history and hedonism are comfortably intertwined on the island. Ravishing five-star resorts, within walking distance to well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins, offer every amenity modern travellers come to expect and more. From impressive pools, magnificent gardens and absorbing beach fronts, to state of the art thalassotherapy spas. World-class beach resorts alternate with settings untouched since ancient times. Travel along the sun kissed coastline from Agia Napa in the east, to southern Limassol’s graphical seafront, and Pafos’ pebbled shorelines in the west. One of the most impressive archaeological sites, the ancient city-kingdom of Kourion in Limassol, overlooks a magnificent stretch of sandy beaches and glistening blue seas.

Venture away form the sybaritic shore to the old wine-producing villages with their atmospheric winding streets and terraced vineyards. Gift your loved ones a night’s stay, for a song at the local tavern, in cosy renovated traditional homes and enjoy our deep-routed agro-tourism. Explore Greek Orthodox churches burrowed within hills, whose walls conceal ornamental Byzantine paintings. Several of which are found amongst the pine-covered peaks of Troodos mountains, graced with sublime serenity and dissolving all sense of time. There are crusader fortresses framed by tall cypress trees, Greco-Roman theatres carved out of cliffs, and Byzantine monasteries perched improbably on mountaintops.

Sophisticated cities successfully balance our ancient past and modern refinement. The capital, Lefkosia, Nicosia, is surrounded by Venetian walls with heart-shaped bastions; Larnaca, base of the major international airport, is home to St. Lazarus Church where lies the crypt of the eponymous saint resurrected by Christ. Near the animated harbour of Pafos lie the Roman floor mosaics of the Houses of Aion, Achilles and Dionysus, whose depictions of mythological extracts stand remarkably well preserved.

From independent travelers to honeymooners, archaeology aficionados to friends of nature, every visitor to Cyprus finds layer upon layer of discovery. Food lovers delight in farm-fresh halloumi cheese and mouth-watering meze dishes -  the local specialty appetizers that mix Western ingredients with Eastern zest. Travelers on business appreciate the fine conference facilities and kind professional service at each of our 64 hotels and resorts, most of which are in close proximity to the beachfront. Add it all up, and you have an ideally-situated island that truly measures up to its mystique.

Follow the electronic guides in the official websites at Heart Cyprus and Cyprus Tourism Organisation, in order to unravel attractions and truly experience the island.