Before we begin with some amazing facts about Cyprus, make sure you read our blog on “9 Interesting Facts About Greenland” for some wonderful insights.
1. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells on the planet. The stone-age wells that were discovered in Kissonerga, Paphos have been studied and it is concluded that they have been around for about 10,500 years. These old age wells represent the sophistication of Neolithic period setlers.
2. The island country is divided into two different countries. The northern part is called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” while the southern part is called the “Independent Republic of Cyprus” or “Greek Cyprus”. However, both of these have Nicosia as their official capital city. Nicosia is the only capital in the world that is divided between two nations. Depending on which part of the country a person lives in, the residents are either known as “Greek Cypriots” or “Turkish Cypriots”.
3. Did you know that taxi drivers in Cyprus do not give change? They keep the change as a tip. A quick tip to save money in Cyprus is to tender an exact change to the taxi driver.
4. There is a tree in Cyprus known to fulfill wishes. This tree at the entrance to the Christian catacombs in Paphos is adorned with handkerchiefs and ribbons. People believe that infertile women will bear children and people will return to their loved ones when something that belonged to them is tied to the tree along with a belief that good will happen.
5. Cyprus is one of the only two nations and the first in the world to include its map on its flag. Kosovo is the other.
6. Cyprus was once a gift from Roman General Mark Antony to the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. The pair are still remembered as ill-fated star-crossed lovers who were cut down in the prime of their lives in a dramatic and bloody battle. During their romantic beginnings, Mark Anthony made a gift of Cyprus to the Egyptian queen. It was a political and strategic spot for any king or queen and a wonderfully romantic gift.
7. It is said there are more cats on the island of Cyprus than people. Legend has it an entire shipload of cats was sent to the island by St Helena, because of a severe snake problem. The plan was to have the furry felines eat the poisonous snakes. But apparently, they enjoyed Cyprus so much they didn’t want to leave.
8. The oldest perfume in the world was discovered in Cyprus. It was a team of Italian archaeologists who unearthed the treasures in 2007, found in Pyrgos. Dating back more than 4000 years, the perfumes were scented with extracts of lavender, bay, rosemary, pine and coriander and kept in tiny translucent bottles.
9. Cyprus is home to the oldest wine brand in the world. Commandaria, a dessert wine known for its unique aroma and flavour is recognized as the world’s oldest named wine dating back 5000 years. There are over 50 wineries in the country where the wine is still produced.